Monthly Archives: August 2020

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Logistics Plan St. John’s September 2020

Original documents for download:
Logistics Plan September 2020

St John’s Dropoff Map (002)

Logistics Plan


Return to School

September 2020


School Dropoff Plan Junior, Senior 1st and 2nd Classes:

School Dropoff Plan 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Classes:



Underlying Principles

  • The school has a responsibility to make every effort to ensure the safety, health and well-being of all members of our school community – children, parents and This plan has been formulated to better ensure that the school can exercise that duty of care.
  • Assuming it is in keeping with public health advice and guidelines issued by the Department of Education and Skills, it is preferable for all children to return to school for all five days of the school week and for a full school day. This plan has been formulated to achieve that
  • It is not possible to eliminate the risk of However, with the co-operation of all members of our school community, it is possible to minimize the risk of the virus being introduced to school and the consequent risk of its spread.
  • The co-operation, flexibility and goodwill of all will be required to ensure the plan can be
  • It is critical that staff, pupils, parents and visitors are aware of and adhere to the control measures outlined and that they fully cooperate with all procedures and health and safety requirements.
  • All members of our school community will actively promote awareness of COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Signage informing members of the school community of the symptoms of Covid-19 and the need for social distancing are displayed at all access points to school grounds.
  • All members of the school community will embed in pupils the need for appropriate respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene.
  • Parents, pupils and staff will adhere to all procedures.


  • On return to school classes will operate within a bubble system – this means each class is a bubble and will not mix with other classes at any
  • The day will include 1 x 10 min morning break and 1x 30 min lunch break for each pupil as
  • From Junior Infants to 2nd class the children will sit in pods (groups) of 4 to 6 pupils. Each pod will be kept 1 meter apart. Children can mix with their full class once they are outdoors e.g. during break, P.E etc.
  • Children from 3rd to 6th will sit 1 meter
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all entry points to the School and in all classrooms, and Support


Junior Timetable Senior Timetable

Junior Infants

9.35 a.m. – 12.15 p.m.



     1st /2nd classes

     9.20 a.m. – 2.40 p.m.

Senior Infants

9.20 a.m.  –  2.00 p.m.




    3rd/4th classes

    9.20-2. 50pm


    5th /6th classes



Arrival and Dismissal of Pupils

It is of vital importance that we avoid congregations of parents or pupils at any point in the vicinity of our school so that the health and safety of all is guaranteed and social distancing guidelines are followed.

In a recent Survey of parents, data returned indicated that 72.5% of pupils travel to and from school in family cars.

15.4% walk or cycle to and from school

12.1% use bus transport

  • We know that more than 60% of the school pupil population live within 2 km of the school, so to help reduce traffic in the vicinity of the school we are encouraging as many pupils as possible, particularly those in the 10 – 12 age group, to walk/cycle to school, weather permitting.
  • As of now and based on the school timetable outlined above we are asking families who need to drop off an infant pupil to use the car parking spaces in the set down area only.
  • If these families have pupils in other classes they can drop them also so that they can join their class assembly line (see map).
  • Parents/ guardians can accompany their child to their infant line for the first two weeks of school.
  • All other families dropping pupils are asked to park in the SuperValu or
  • Church car parks and walk your child (if necessary) to the designated gate nearest their assembly line. Each gate/ entrance will be clearly marked with signage.

Gate A = 3rd & 4th Class

Gate B = 5th & 6th Class

Gate C = 1st & 2nd Class plus Senior Infant pupils accompanied by parents


At Hometime

  • Children using bus transport will be escorted from their classes at50p.m.
  • Pupils from classes 1st – 6th will leave the school via designated doors.

As Infant pupils will have already been collected at 2p.m. we can accommodate the collection of pupils using the school car park

  • 1st, 2nd classes at 2.40 pm
  • 3rd , 4th classes at 2.50 pm
  • 5th , 6th classes at 3.00pm

The system outlined above will ensure that we have an orderly dismissal of all pupils while observing recommended guidelines in relation to crowd management.

Before Arrival at school

  • Please ensure that good hand hygiene is adhered to including proper handwashing and short clean nails
  • Teachers are aware of the importance of good hand hygiene for all and will ensure the regular cleaning of hands and the use of
  • It is essential that each child always has tissues to hand which should be kept in their schoolbag.


Frequency of Hand Hygiene

  • Pupils and staff MUST perform hand hygiene:
  • On arrival at school;
  • Before eating or drinking;
  • After using the toilet;
  • After playing outdoors;
  • When their hands are physically dirty;
  • When they cough or sneeze

Arrival at school

  • The school yard is supervised from 9.10 a.m. As pupils can no longer congregate and mix together before school we are asking parents to make sure that their children do not arrive before then.
  • On arrival, all pupils are to go straight to their designated class assembly line (See map of new lines below).
  • Each class should line up with social distancing
  • The class teacher will invite the children to enter the building via their designated entrance point at the appropriate
  • NO ADULTS, other than staff members, should enter the
  • Messages for teachers can be sent via Aladdin connect.

Wet Mornings

  • On wet mornings the school will open at 9.10am and the children will go directly to their classes where they will be supervised by staff. Designated gates should also be used by pupils on wet mornings. Parents of Infant pupils should accompany their child to their designated lines and leave promptly.

Parental responsibilities at assembly /dismissal

  • It is imperative that Parents must arrive on time for dropping off and collecting their child.
  • Only parents/ guardians who are well and have no symptoms of COVID-19 or who have served the required quarantine time of 14 days where advised are allowed to drop off and collect children.
  • Any parent who is in a very high-risk category should not drop off or collect children in order to protect themselves.
  • Parents are not allowed on the school grounds, with the exception of parents of Infant pupils and pupils with special needs.
  • Parents must not congregate in groups outside the school
  • Parents who are permitted on school grounds (Infants and pupils with additional needs) must ensure their child remains at their side at all times and that their child does not interact with other children.
  • Parents who are permitted on school grounds (Infants and pupils with additional needs) must wear suitable face coverings.
  • At arrival and departure times social distancing is to be maintained by children and parents.


Physical Distancing

Maintaining physical distancing in the school environment is one of the key control measures to minimize the risk of the introduction and spread of


  • Physical distancing will be applied in a practical way that recognises that the learning environment cannot be dominated by a potentially counterproductive focus on this issue. Physical distancing in our school will look different across the various ages and stages of learning.
  • It is recognised that it is not always possible for staff to maintain physical distance from pupils and it is not appropriate that they would always be expected to do so where this could have a detrimental impact on the pupil i.e. if a child sustains an injury and requires first aid. However, where possible staff should maintain a minimum of 1m distance and where possible 2m.
  • They should also take measures to avoid close contact at face to face level such as remaining standing rather than sitting beside/crouching down.
  • All adult visitors to the school, as scheduled by appointment, must maintain a 2m distance from school staff and wear suitable face coverings.
  • Our school community is committed to the two principles of physical distancing, namely, increasing separation and decreasing interaction, as a means of minimizing the risk of the introduction of Covid-19 to our school

Collection of Children during the School Day

If an adult has to collect a child during the course of the school day, the following arrangements will apply

  • When the adult arrives at the school, they should report directly to the school reception No non- member of staff may enter the school or call to a child’s classroom
  • The child will be brought from their class to the adult by a member of staff
  • The adult who is collecting will be asked to sign the child out
  • No adult should enter the school building, unless invited to do so

Meeting a Teacher

The new restrictions do not lessen the importance of parent-teacher communication. Any messages you wish to give a teacher can be done on Aladdin Connect. Any meeting, no matter how brief must be organized in advance.

Parents can no longer wait to speak to a teacher before or after school.

Once a meeting is confirmed it will be held remotely or in person with adherence to all social distancing protocols.

School uniform

Pupils should wear their full school uniform as normal . Parents should use their discretion in deciding the frequency of washing uniforms/tracksuits. We would suggest that if uniforms need more frequent washing then the tracksuit could be worn instead. Teachers will be flexible in this regard.

Children who should not attend school

If your child is in one of the following categories, they should not attend school –

  • Children who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 (until instructed to return by the GP)
  • Children who have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with Covid-19
  • Children who have a suspected case of Covid-19 and the outcome of the test is pending
  • Children who have been in contact with a person who has a suspected case of Covid-19 and the outcome of the test is pending
  • Children with underlying health conditions who have been directed by a medical professional not to attend school
  • Children who have returned home after travelling abroad and must self-isolate for a period of 14 days
  • Children who are generally unwell

Inability to attend school due to Covid-19

  • Pupils who are unable to attend school on medical grounds, due to Covid-19, must provide the school with a letter/report from their GP/Consultant stating that they cannot attend on health grounds.
  • In the absence of medical certification of non-attendance, the school is obliged by law to implement the terms of The Education Welfare Act as normal.

Supporting the Learning of Children who cannot attend school

If a child is not able to attend school for an extended period of time (because of doctors’ instructions), the class teacher (and/or the learning support teacher, where relevant) will provide suggested activities to support the child’s learning at home.

Hygiene and Cleaning

  • Sanitizer dispensers have been installed throughout the school e.g. at each entrance, in each classroom and support room, and in offices.
  • Emulsifying soap is available in all toilets.
  • Hand hygiene will be promoted and encouraged, and parents/guardians are asked to support the school in reinforcing this message.
  • In accordance with the DES guidelines, the school will be thoroughly cleaned by a team of contract cleaners (Easy Clean, Killarney) once per day.
  • O’Shea’s Cleaning will provide a steam-cleaning-fogging disinfecting service once per week (Friday).
  • Frequently touched surfaces – door handles, handrails, communal eating areas, sink and toilet facilities will be cleaned on a rotational basis during the school day by a cleaner employed by the Board of Management.
  • All staff will have access to cleaning products and will be required to maintain cleanliness of their own work area. Under no circumstances should these cleaning materials be removed from the building.
  • Staff should thoroughly clean and disinfect their work area before and after use each day.
  • Waste will be collected regularly from offices and other areas within the school.
  • Staff must use and clean their own equipment and utensils (cup, cutlery, plate etc.)


  • Parents must ensure that all lunch boxes/water bottles are sanitized using alcohol wipes before being placed in the child’s schoolbag.
  • Parents MUST ensure that pupils have sufficient lunch/drink coming to school each morning as we will not be in a position to accept and distribute lunches during the school day.
  • Please remind your children not to share their food or drinks with other children.
  • Please make sure your child is self-sufficient i.e. they can open/peel any lunch/drink you pack for them. Please pay particular attention to any drinks that require a straw.
  • Please make sure they have enough drinks to last them throughout the day as we will not be in a position to refill drinks bottles.


Children will remain in their bubbles (class) and pods (groups) and adhere to social distancing in class while being supervised by teachers and SNAs.


While it is not envisaged that PPE will be worn by staff in general, staff who are attending to particular care needs or who are administering first aid will wear appropriate PPE including gloves and face masks.

Staff who wish to wear masks or shields will be provided with same.

Personal Equipment

  • It has now become essential that all pupils bring their own pens, pencils, colours, rubbers, , to school in their own pencil case to avoid the sharing of equipment.
  • It is further requested that all items have the child’s name on them for ease of ( jumpers, tracksuits, coats.)

Shared Equipment

By necessity, some classroom equipment needs to be shared including tablets, laptops and the equipment used for structured activities and play in Infant classrooms. Cleaning of such shared equipment with wipes or other cleaning products will take place at regular intervals to minimize the risk of the spread of infection.


Each class will have a designated space in the yard and they can freely mix with their own class.

Each class will have a 10 min morning break and 30 min lunch break outside each day. They will be supervised by teachers and SNAs.

 Teaching and Learning

As a school, we are very aware that the children have been away from school since March 12th. We appreciate the time and effort that went into Home Learning, and we recognize the challenges that Home Learning presented for all families. Each child will be in a different place in relation to his/her learning, and we wish to assure you that staff will take that into consideration when planning for Teaching and Learning during the 2020/2021 school year.

The Department of Education and Skills has published Curriculum guidelines for schools, as we work with all the children during the return to school. Initially there will be a focus on Language, Numeracy, SPHE and PE. As advised by the National Educational Psychological Services we will need to “Slow down to catch up”

Learning Support

In keeping with our Special Education policy, learning support will be provided by a blended approach of in-class support and withdrawal. The provision of support will be organized to ensure our support teachers will work within the confines of the bubble system.

  • Where a support teacher is working alongside a class teacher in a classroom, both teachers must be mindful of maintaining social distance from one
  • Where children receive support in one of the SET rooms, social distancing of 1 meter will be maintained between each child in the Children will only be taken from one class at a time.
  • The tables and chairs in SET rooms will be wiped clean in between different groups

Teacher Absence and Substitution

In the event that teacher is unable to attend school, every effort will be made to secure a substitute teacher for the class. If a substitute teacher is not available, it is not appropriate for the class to be divided into groups and accommodated in other classes. The SET team and Principal will cover the class until a sub is found.

In extreme circumstances where there is a high number of teachers absent and no substitution available, it may not be possible for the class to attend on that day. If that is the case, as much notice as possible will be given to parents.


Where possible, PE should take place outdoors. If the PE hall is being used by class groupings, common touch points should be cleaned at intervals throughout the school day and equipment will be wiped down after use.

Extra-curricular and After-School Activities

It would not be recommended that children from different bubbles would participate in extra-curricular / after-school activities at the same time.

There will be no school teams or training involving the mixing of pupils from different classes in the first term.

It is unlikely that visiting teachers or external coaches will be allowed into school in the first term.

Dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 it is important to know and recognise the symptoms. They are:

  • High temperature – 38 degrees
  • Cough – any type
  • Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
  • Loss of smell, of taste or distortion of taste

 Pupils should not attend school if displaying any symptoms of Covid-19. If a pupil displays symptoms of Covid-19 while in the building, the following are the procedures will be implemented:

  • Parents/guardians will be contacted immediately
  • The child will be accompanied to the designated isolation area (Room 2 adjacent to ASD unit) via the symptomatic child and will also make sure that others maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from the symptomatic child at all times, while ensuring the child is cared for
  • A mask will be provided for the child presenting with symptoms. He/she should wear the mask if in a common area with other people or while exiting the premises
  • An assessment will be made as to whether the child who is displaying symptoms can immediately be brought home by parents and call their doctor and continue self-isolation at home
  • The school will facilitate the child presenting with symptoms to remain in isolation, if they cannot immediately go home, and will assist them by calling their
  • The child presenting with symptoms should be advised to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and to put the tissue in the waste bag provided
  • If the child is well enough to go home, the school will arrange for them to be transported home by a family member, as soon as possible, and advise them to inform their GP by phone of their symptoms. Public transport of any kind should not be
  • Siblings of the child with the suspected case of Covid-19 must be collected at the same time as the child
  • Please note siblings of the child awaiting test results will not be permitted to attend school until the negative test result is
  • If they are too unwell to go home or advice is required, the school will contact 999 or 112 and inform them that the sick child is a Covid-19
  • Arrangements will be made for appropriate cleaning of the isolation area and work areas


  • The HSE will inform any staff/parents who have come into close contact with a diagnosed case via the contact tracing process. The HSE will contact all relevant persons where a diagnosis of COVID-19 is made. The instructions of the HSE should be followed.

Our general duty of care

Our first duty to the school community is care. Teachers will still at times need to sit next to a child to help them with their work or if a child is upset a teacher or SNA may take their hand or comfort them. All staff will operate with the highest standards of hand hygiene and social distance etiquette but as the management of St John’s NS we accept and understand that the staff care for the pupils in myriad of ways and it is right that this continues in the ‘new norm

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18/08/2020 Uniforms Order Collections





Dear Parents,

We will be in Kenmare, as usual, for distribution of uniform orders on 26th + 27th August – 12 noon – 5 pm each day

Due to Covid19, and associated restrictions, we will need to implement specific guidelines in the interest of safety and well being of all.

Please have your Order Number in advance of coming to the Hall.

You can get this from the Master Sheet posted here on the relevant school website.

We will post these at the school entrance, on the day, but the less time you spend on collection the better for all.

We will have all orders, along with order sheets, bagged and ready for prompt pick up.

We would ask that only one person per family attend for pick up and further request that no children attend.

We regret but we cannot allow fitting/try on of garments and cannot offer any exchange

Please have the precise monies, in cheque payable to John O’Brien / Money order or Cash, to cover your order – we need minimise the exchange of notes and change as much as possible – we do not have the facility to take credit/debit cards.

We will use a one way system in the hall which will be clearly marked and we will control numbers at entry e.g., through the school entrance as usual and out the rear side door of the hall or vice versa dependent on weather.

Please help us to help you and follow these guidelines for an easy / safe and speedy collection

Any queries – please contact John on 087 984 3321

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17/08/2020 Letter from Principal

                                                                                                                                                   17th August 2020

Dear Parent / Guardian,

RE: Re-opening of St John’s N.S

I hope you and your families are keeping well.

As you are aware, our school has now been closed since March 12th due to the COVID-19 situation. We are now hoping to re-open our school safely for all pupils on September 1st in line with current guidance and recommendations. Please be aware that these guidelines may change.

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.  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. We 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.

I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you all of my intention to retire as Principal of St John’s N.S. on November 1st 2020.


I want to reassure you of my absolute commitment to facilitate a seamless transition to my successor who will be appointed in advance of my retirement. I am determined to afford him/her all the necessary time and support which will enable the new leadership to continue to build the capacity of our school and maintain the critically positive bond that exists between the management, pupils, parents and staff.


For the next few weeks our sole attention will be focused on getting all the children back to a safe school environment where optimum teaching and learning can resume, secure in the knowledge that no matter who is at the helm, St John’s National School’s distinctive reputation as a highly regarded learning environment will not be compromised.

On a practical basis, you can be preparing for return to school by using our online system to pay for books, Arts /Crafts/Insurance.

(See newsletter of June 24th on Aladdin Connect for more details).

School uniforms can be collected on distribution days August 26th/ 27th.

(See separate note from uniform supplier in separate note to follow)

Your child’s class teacher may also be in contact with you on Aladdin Connect with regard to information about their specific class.


We remain hopeful that government advice on re opening of schools will not change as we are really looking forward to welcoming our children back to school and doing all that we can to ensure that the return to school is a safe and enjoyable experience for all. We will be in touch with you again before school re-opens.


Le meas,


Denis Courtney,




The following websites provide further information on COVID-19 and on government advice and recommendations regarding the re-opening of schools: –


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APPENDIX 1 COVID-19 Policy Statement

St. John’s N.S., Kenmare
Bunscoil Eoin Naofa, An Neidín
Tel: 0646642598 / 0646642300
e-mail[email protected]

APPENDIX 1                          COVID-19 Policy Statement

St. John’s N.S. is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our pupils. To ensure that, we have developed the following COVID-19 Response Plan. The BOM and all school staff are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus. We will:

  • continue to monitor our COVID-19 response and amend this plan in consultation with our staff
  • provide up to date information to our staff and pupils on the Public Health advice issued by the HSE and
  • display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct hand-washing techniques
  • agree with staff, a worker representative who is easily identifiable to carry out the role outlined in this plan
  • inform all staff and pupils of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements
  • adapt the school to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the guidance and direction of the Department of Education
  • keep a contact log to help with contact tracing
  • ensure staff engage with the induction / familiarisation briefing provided by the Department of Education
  • implement the agreed procedures to be followed in the event of someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school
  • provide instructions for staff and pupils to follow if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during school time
  • implement cleaning in line with Department of Education advice

All school staff will be consulted on an ongoing basis and feedback is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions.

This can be done through the Lead Worker Representative(s), who will be supported in line with the agreement between the Department and education partners.



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