Covid 19 information for Parents
Updated Covid Statement March 2021
Letter to parents from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer
Letter to Parents from the Minster for Education 24 Feb 2021
If The Old Borough School has a confirmed case of Covid 19
Covid 19 Guide
Back to School Video
Absences and Illnesses
Covid Response Plan: information for parents
Back2School Checklist for those with Asthma
Dear Parents / Guardians
RE: Fáilte ar ais
The BoM and School Staff are looking forward to welcoming all our pupils and parents / guardians back to school for the 2020/2021 school year on Monday next, 31st August.
We are satisfied that we have control measures in place to ensure that this will be a safe re-opening. It will take some time for all of us to get used to the “new circumstances” as we become familiar with the new routines and procedures designed to keep everyone safe and to prevent the spread of the virus. There will, undoubtedly, be some unforeseen challenges and we will deal with these as they arise.
We have rethought our recommendation to ask children to bring in small hand towels. We will be providing paper towels for all to use to dry their hands. Sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.
The recommendation to provide non-alcohol based hand gel was one from the Department for fear of young children ingesting it. Alcohol based hand gels kill germs and are recommended for use (when hands are visibly clean). We will be providing this type of gel in our dispensers where teachers can supervise its use.
We would like to thank you for your cooperation and all your support in making preparations to date and look forward to working with you as we assist the children adapt to the necessary changes. We are also conscious of the fact that our pupils have not been in school since March and that they are looking forward to coming back to school to meet their friends again. We are aware that our new pupils are beginning a school year at a challenging time and have made plans to ensure that their arrival will be as free from stress as possible.
Rev. Neal Phair Anne-Marie Woods
Chairman, Board of Management Principal
Changes to the School Day
To allow for the safe reopening of schools, a number of changes need to be made to make the school as safe as possible for both pupils and staff. These are outlined as follows:
Coming to school
Do not send your child to school if they have returned from a country not on the Green List on or after 17th August. Please email this information to your child's teacher to explain.
Do not send your child to school if they have any symptoms of Covid 19:(temperature above 38*, a cough, shortness of breath, loss of sensation of taste/smell).
Pupils from 1st- 6th class will enter the school grounds unaccompanied by an adult and enter the school through their classroom door.
Infant pupils will be accompanied to their classroom door by an adult/older sibling.
Please give consideration to your child walking or cycling to school, if feasible.
Pupils will wash their hands with soap and water on entering the school, after using the toilet and when hands are dirty. Hand Sanitisers will be available in all classrooms for use on other occasions e.g. before/after eating; after PE, etc.
3rd- 6th class: pupils' desks will be spaced 1m apart where possible and seated in groups to allow each group (pod) remain at a 1m distance for as much of the day as possible.
Infants - 2nd: pupils are not expected to be physically distanced. They will be seated in groups and activities will be in that group(pod)
All pupils will move seats after mid-term to encourage good interaction with others.
Two classrooms(a bubble) will have breaks at any one time i.e. Infants - 2nd will share half the yard followed by 3rd - 6th classes. Children will only play with the children in their room.
There will be a 5 min fresh air break at 9.25/9.30 to ventilate the classrooms, followed by the usual small break at 10.20/10.30 and big break at 12.00 and 12.15.
If the weather is particularly inclement the children will take some exercise in the hall but this will have to be one class at a time.
1.10 for Infants (Junior Infants will finish at 11.45 for the first two weeks as advised in a separate email)
2.00 for 1st & 2nd class
2.05 for 3rd & 4th class
2.10 for 5th & 6th class
These times are staggered to allow for social distancing among adults in the yard. Once dismissed from class children must remain beside their adult and not play with others.
An arrangement can be made by creches by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org for organising the collection of pupils in their care. Parents are asked to relay this message to creche owners by the 27th August.
Ms Woods is available to have a short chat with parents at 1.15 outside the classroom when all pupils have been dismissed.
Parents should communicate by email with teachers between 8 am - 3 pm. If sending an email after this time, please schedule it to arrive at 8 am the following day. This video will show you how to do this if unsure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwnXbc5iIEk
Parents are not permitted to enter the building except by prior arrangement with a member of staff, this includes Mary in the Office. A contact tracing log must be completed before any meeting takes place. This is a big departure from the norm but I hope you will understand that as well as being a place of learning, the school is also a place of employment and the Board of Management must protect all its employees.
Way 2 Pay
Important changes in advance of school reopening
(This email was issued to all parents on Monday 11 August. If you did not receive it please check your Spam. If using your work email, your company's firewall may prevent you accessing our emails).
Further to a number of enquiries I would like to confirm that booklists for the year ahead can be found on the school website https://www.oldboroughschool.ie/booklists/
The Book Rental scheme operates by assigning books to children at the beginning of the year – pupils will return these books in June. There will be no sharing of books or class sets of books – children will be assigned their own copies of the books which will be safe for them to use for the year. Pupils will receive most of their Book Rental books in early September.
We are introducing a cashless system this year so money for Book Rental and Arts & Crafts(Senior Infants -6th class) can be paid online. A more detailed letter about how this system will operate will follow later this month.
As the school closed so suddenly in March many of our Book Rental books, library books and parallel readers are now in homes throughout the community. I am appealing to every family to return all of these books to school in September.
This year children will need two pencil cases – one for school and one for home. The children need to maintain a fully equipped pencil case with everything they need as there will be no sharing of items between children as happened in the past. We feel that leaving a pencil case in school is the best way to ensure that items are not forgotten or left behind.
In Junior & Senior Infants, crayons and pencils are supplied to each child for their own use only.
Finally we are asking pupils to come to school with their own towel to dry their hands. THis can be a flannel/face cloth and should be kept in a separate bag along with some non-alcoholic hand sanitiser and a packet of tissues. If you have a drawstring bag it could be hung on the back of the chair during the day for ease of use. There are hand dryers in each toilet but children find them noisy. We will continue to provide a fresh roller tower daily for each toilet.
These changes are to provide the safest environment for all children to return. I will outline the changes around how the school will operate in a separate letter to you before school returns. In the meantime stay safe and enjoy the rest of the break.
Old Borough School Covid 19 Policy Statement
This email was sent to all parents on 4 August 2020 .
(If you did not receive it please check your Spam folder. If you are using your work email group emails may not reach you because of the company's firewall).
Reopening of The Old Borough School
4th August 2020
I hope you and your families are keeping well. As you are aware, our school has now been closed since 12th March due to the COVID-19 situation. We are now hoping to re-open our school safely, in line with current guidelines and recommendations.
Re-opening the school safely will require the co-operation of all members of our School Community – BoM, School Leadership, Staff, Parents and Pupils. We will all be called on to play our part in ensuring that re-opening of the school is done in a safe manner which prevents the spread of the virus and allows the vital work of Teaching and Learning to proceed with as little disruption as possible. We have been working on our plan for the safe reopening of the school for some weeks now and have published the DES COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools on our school website)https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/a0bff-reopening-our-primary-and-special-schools/#covid-19-response-plan-for-safe-reopening-of-primary-and-special-schools)
The Response Plan gives details of
● Physical preparation, signage, hand sanitiser stations,
● Advice, procedures and training for the safe return to working in the school for all school staff and pupils
● General and specific advice on how all pupils, staff, parents and visitors will prevent the spread of the virus
We have also published our COVID-19 Policy Statement on the school website.
Our BoM will keep you informed as to the progress of our re-opening plans and provide you with the information required by you to play your part in safely re-opening the school.
We are really looking forward to welcoming our children back to school and will be doing all that we can to ensure that the return to school is a safe and enjoyable experience for the children.
We will be in touch with you again before school re-opens.
Rev. Neal Phair Anne-Marie Woods
Chairperson, BOM Principal
The following websites provide further information on COVID-19 and on government advice and recommendations regarding the re-opening of schools: - https://www.education.ie/en/covid-19/