19th August 2020.
Dear Parents, guardians & pupils of Inchigeela National School,
I hope you are all well.
Our school is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, 26th August & we are all really looking forward to welcoming
our wonderful students back again. There will be some changes to our school system, to maximise safety and good hygiene practice for all, in line with Government guidelines. They are outlined below and we ask you to speak with your children re these changes
in preparation for return.
Classrooms and teachers are as follows-
Realtai- - Teacher: Ms O’ Driscoll- Same room as last year
Junior & Senior Infants- Teacher: Mrs Mc Carthy - Main
1st & 2nd Class- Teacher: M. Ui Dhuinnin- Classroom of juniors/ seniors last year
3rd -6th Class – Main Senior Room- Teacher: Ms Lucey
3rd- 6th Class Group & Class
Support – Teacher: Ms White- Same classroom as last year
will come directly into class on arrival in morning. Please arrive after 9am, as school will not start until 9:20am. Children arriving to school by bus will be escorted from bus to school.
Home time: Children will group in yard at assigned places according to family group for evening collection, until a family member arrives at the gate. Children going on bus will be escorted to bus.
Class organisation: All children will have assigned coat hooks, individual seats & desks, individual boxes for their own individual books, stationary
& school equipment, that cannot be shared with peers. Children under 13 do not have to wear masks. Please get books and supplies as per booklists - these booklists remain on our website-
Class focus- Initial return to school for all pupils will focus on pupil well-being, social interaction, increased good hygiene practice, communication activities, SPHE, PE, Art, Drama, Games, and throughout
the year we will continue to revise and recall work from last year. Pupil reassurance and self confidence development will be central in return to school. Academic work will gradually increase as children settle back to our school environment again.
Break time: 3rd to 6th will remain on back yard only, front yard will be sectioned for Realtai / Juniors & Seniors /1st&
2nd to keep class groupings as separate as possible. Wet days- children remain in their classroom for majority of break- All children will access shed and new outdoor class area for shorter time period for some fresh air each break- in their class
Handwashing: Handwashing and good hygiene practice is central to our safety and an additional wash unit is being installed
at our emergency entrance to school, in newly erected outside covered room. Handwashing will happen before school, after each yard break, anytime hands become dirty and will always be followed by hand sanitization.
Hand sanitizer stations will be in each class for the children to use at start of day, before each break for food, returning from yard or into classroom from toilets or handwashing.
Staff and visitors need to avail of hand sanitizer stations at entrance and in hall areas.
The following link will be used at school to support children with correct procedure on hand
washing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VjeIWLnEg. We encourage parents to watch this with their children in preparation for return to school.Signage will show this procedure also in wash areas and
classrooms & all classes and groups will regularly practice hand hygiene and sanitization.
Illness: If your child is sick, they need
to stay at home please. Also, if your child becomes ill during the day, we will need to contact you immediately, so please ensure you are reachable. The school has purchased a non-contact thermometer, so we can give temperature when we phone also.
Visitors to school need to phone ahead to make an appointment and complete a visitor form, giving contact details etc and record of who they met
while at school kept. A school buzzer system, with fob key entry and intercom is being installed at our main door, to create a safer work environment for everyone.
Drop off box: There will be a drop off box outside main school door for any late lunches etc, with intercom used then to notify staff of drop off.
Staff: All staff will complete return to work forms, complete contact tracing forms, complete return to work hygiene and safety courses. As per latest Dept safety guidelines, face coverings- visors/ masks- will be worn by staff when working
nearer than 2 metres from your child in the school building.
Cleaning: School will be thoroughly cleaned & disinfected before we
return, cleaning of classrooms, pupil work areas, equipment, high frequency touched surfaced will be cleaned/ disinfected throughout the school day as per Government guidelines, work management officer rota established to oversee this works effectively &
class cleaning rotas in place
School Uniforms: We will continue to use school uniforms. We suggest purchase of a second one, for increased
changing when parents see fit, and similar to last year, please place a note in diary in event that uniform not worn on a particular day
We hope children can be as independent as possible, where possible, opening their lunches/ drinks etc to limit contact with their food for their safety. Please use easy to use boxes and bottles, and ensure the food they bring can be opened by them- fruit peeled/
sliced perhaps- things with wrappers made manageable etc.
Clothes/ shoes: On a practical level, please check zips and buttons can be
opened and closed by children and laces are not too long or Velcro closures used where possible. Please make sure you label all jumpers, coats, hats of children to avoid clothes going home to incorrect addresses
Digital remote teaching & learning: All children will be taught to use and link to digital resources for activity and homework completion & work submission to develop stronger
and a better interactive remote learning environment. These are necessary stepping stones in IT use for us all, & in current climate we need to prepare for the possibility where a child may need to remain at home on occasion or in the event of possible
further school disruption. We will start with initial small activities in school and increase use and parental involvement to make this calm and manageable for all.
Our new infants are
going to have 12 noon finish until 4th Sept, staying until 2pm from Mon7th Sept.
I am very confident we will all adapt well to this new system. I know there is huge detail
in above letter, but detailed planning and preparation will maximise smooth return for all and give reassurance to all. Should Government guidelines change we will adapt and update accordingly
Margaret Lucey, on behalf of all staff.🙂