Dear Parents and Staff
Re: If we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the school
We do not have any confirmed positive cases of Covid-19 in the school. However, it is only prudent that we consider what procedures are in place to deal if such a situation were to arise so that all of us are aware in advance of what happens in such an event.
Safety and Control Measures
The BoM, school leadership and staff are very conscious of the paramount need to keep all pupils, staff and visitors safe while in the school. The school is a controlled environment. There are control measures in place to combat the introduction or spread of COVID-19. These are based on:
- Physical Distancing
- Hand Hygiene
- Respiratory and Hygiene Etiquette
- Face coverings, where necessary.
When a person displays symptoms of COVID-19
The following steps are taken when a person (child or adult) in the school presents with suspected COVID-19 symptoms:
- That person is moved to the isolated area prior to going home. In the case of children, their parents will be asked to come to the school, take them home and contact their GP for a free telephone consultation
- If the GP recommends that the person (child or adult) go for a COVID-19 test, that person is now considered a query case for COVID-19 and all of his/her household members are removed from the school and must restrict their movements until the results of the test come back
- In the case of a negative result (98% of cases), the GP will advise when the person should return to school – usually after 48 hours.
- In the case of a positive result (2% of cases), Public Health will, by law, be informed. This may take a matter of hours due to legal and volume of work issues. The risk has been removed from the school as the person who tested positive and his/her household are at home
- The person tested, or their parents, may well be informed before Public Health. In many cases a social media discussion ensues and anxiety levels are raised among the school community.
Public Health Intervention
The Public Health Department of the HSE is the agency responsible by law for dealing with positive cases of COVID-19:
- Once notified by the HSE testing regime, Public Health Doctors assume total control of the situation and will carry out a risk assessment. Based on questioning, the person with the positive result they will ascertain if they were within the school setting when they contracted the virus. If not, there is no need to contact the school
- If the person was within the school setting when they contracted the virus, Public Health will contact the principal to carry out a Public Health Risk Assessment. This is a set of questions to see who might have been exposed to the virus and who needs to be excluded or tested. This risk assessment will be unique to each school
- The principal and BoM have no function in the risk assessment other than to provide whatever information is required by the Public Health Medical Officer conducting the risk assessment
- The principal and BoM may be asked to assist the Medical Office by sending a message from them to the relevant families identified in the risk assessment. Public Health will not contact other members of the school community
- The principal and BoM are not permitted to inform members of the school community of the identity of the person or persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 for the following reasons:
- Doctor – Patient confidentiality
- GDPR legislation prevents the publication of personal data without consent
Geraldine Conlon (Chairperson)
Sarah Bradley (Principal/Secretary Board of Management)
You can now view the 2020-2021 School Holidays by clicking here.
I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and well. My name is Maria Lucey and I am going to be teaching your child this year in Junior Infants. I can’t wait to meet them all and get to know them and their super little personalities. I hope they are looking forward to their big adventure too.
I completely understand the feelings you must be all going through, as I am sending my own little one off to school for the first time this year too, the nerves, excitement, the huge emotional milestone that this is for you and your little one. I am sorry that Covid -19 has resulted in the introduction to our school being disrupted in the ways it has, but I will be making it a very happy, fun and easy going introduction for them. My aim for your child is to feel happy and confident in my room. I want them to have fun and enjoy making new friends, having fun in class and learning along the way. All the children have been disrupted so please believe me when I say, I will be looking to help your child be introduced to our great school in a calm and relaxed way, help them meet new friends, socialise with groups again and get used to a busy school day slowly. The children will be seated in groups “pods” within the class “bubble”- to help keep everyone healthy and happy.
The children will have an induction day on Thursday 27th August, where they will get to meet me and the others in the class. They do not need to bring in anything on this day. We will have fun playing with some toys, introducing ourselves, seeing where the toilets and yard are and I will get a photo of your child, on their 1st day of school and send It on to you when we get the remote learning systems set up and running. Ms. Bradley will have a chat with you and the other parents in the yard while the children settle in the class. I am sorry that you will not be able to bring the children into the class, this will be normal for the children, only we will be comparing it to our own first day. I would recommend taking advantage of all the other great moments in that day for firsts, first day of school breakfast, first day of school dinner and all the photos along the way!
On Monday 31st the children will come to school until 12 noon. They will enter the school via the main gate and access their classroom through the main doors of the school. At collection they will leave through the same door and be collected from the designated waiting area in the yard. They only need a small snack/ lunch and drink for these short days, until they have their full school day. Hand sanitiser will be provided by the school and children will wash and sanitise their hands before and after eating, before and after toileting and at regular intervals throughout the day.
Please do not bring in anything else in the school bag i.e toys, games etc , due to Covid 19 restrictions.
Over the coming days, help your child settle in well to school by
- Getting them to open and close their lunch box, bottle and school bag themselves with confidence
- Putting on their own coats and opening and closing the zip themselves.
- Wear shoes with Velcro, no shoelaces if they can’t tie them on their own.
- Please label everything- all items of clothing, their school bag, lunchbox, coat, hat scarf etc. They cost you a lot of money and it is very difficult to return lost items to you if there are no names on them
- Help your child to go to the toilet and wash their hands independently properly.
- Help you children cough/sneeze into their elbow
- Chat to them about how they feel about going to school, hopefully they will feed off your excitement and happiness for them – for their big adventure
- Please be on time to collect your little one, in order to help them settle in to school with security and confidence.
I really look forward to working with you this year and cannot wait to meet your little one. I know it will be an emotional day on their first day, try take some time for you, maybe get to enjoy a hot cup of tea and in no time, your child will be back with you to tell you all their news! If you have any question at all, please don’t hesitate to contact the office and I will get back to you as soon as I possibly can.
Click here to read “Re-opening of St Joseph’s – Information for Parents”.
Adjustments to the School Day to Facilitate Covid 19 Safety Measures
Due to Covid 19 Regulations changes are being made to the school day. These changes are being made in the interests of health and safety and may be subject to change in line with guidance from the Department of Education and Skills and the H.S.E.
Thursday 27th August school begins at 10.00 am and finishes 11.30am: Parents and children will enter through the main gate and assemble in the Green Yard in a socially distant manner. The teachers will bring pupils to their classes and parents should remain in the yard for a short meeting to outline Covid 19 Safety Procedures. Children are to wear the school tracksuit. They do not need to take anything to school with them on this day.
Friday 28th August: No school
Monday 31st of August to Friday 11th September school starts at 8.40am and finishes at 12.00pm:
Monday 14th of September and for the rest of the school year 8.40-1.20pm, Main School Gate (Green Yard)
Thursday 27th of August school starts at 12.00 and finishes at 1.30pm: Parents and children will enter through the main gate assemble in the Green Yard in a socially distant manner. Teachers will bring pupils to their classes and parents should remain in the yard for a short meeting to outline Covid 19 Safety Procedures. Pupils may wear school uniform or tracksuit.
Friday 28th August: No School
Monday 31st – August and for the rest of the school year school starts at 8.50am and finishes at 2.30pm
Friday 28th of August school starts at 9.45am and finishes 11.00am: Children will enter through the main gate and assemble in the Green Yard. Teachers will escort pupils to their classes. Socially distant meeting in the Green School Yard for parents to outline Covid 19 safety procedures 10.30am- 11.00am. Pupils may wear school uniform or tracksuit. Classes will be dismissed at intervals from 11.00am to ensure social distancing
Monday 31st – August and for the rest of the school year school starts at 8.50am and finishes at 1.20pm, Main School Gate (Green Yard)
1st Class and 4th Class
Friday 28th of August school starts at 9.30 and finishes at 11.00: Children will enter through the main gate and assemble in the Green Yard. Teachers will escort pupils to their classes. Socially distant meeting in the Green School Yard for parents to outline Covid 19 safety procedures 10.30am- 11.00am. Classes will be dismissed at intervals from 11.00am to ensure social distancing. Pupils may wear school uniform or tracksuit.
Monday 31st – August and for the rest of the school year school starts at 8.50am and finishes at 2.30pm, Main School Gate (Green Yard)
5th Class and 6th Class
Friday 28th of August school starts at 9.30am and finishes at 11.00am: Children will enter through the back gate and assemble in the Red Yard (entrance via King St.). Teachers will bring pupils to their classes. Socially distant meeting in the Red School Yard for parents to outline Covid 19 safety procedures 10.30am- 11.00am. Classes will be dismissed at intervals from 11.00am to ensure social distancing. Pupils may wear school uniform or tracksuit.
Monday 31st – August and for the rest of the school year school starts at 8.50am and finishes at 2.30pm, Red School Gate (entrance via King St).
*Arrangements for children travelling on the bus and for siblings will be outlined before school begins.