Covid 19 Information

Re-opening of Dripsey National School

Dear Parent / Guardian,

I hope you and your families are keeping well.

For our school to be open safely, the co-operation of all members of our School Community – BoM, School Leadership, Staff, Parents and Pupils is required. 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

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.

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

Physical Distancing and Safe School Attendance

We are currently working on upgrading our procedures and routines within the school to ensure that there is as much Physical Distancing as is possible in our building. We will apply physical distancing in a practical and sensible way, recognising that the learning environment cannot be dominated by a potentially counterproductive focus on this issue.

Physical Distancing will be achieved in two ways: –

Increasing Separation.  This will be achieved by re-configuring the classrooms to maximise physical distancing. Each class will be referred to as a bubble and we will ensure that there is as little contact as possible between children in different bubbles.  Within the bubbles, children will be organised into pods.  A pod is a group of children who will sit together and who will stay in their pod while in the bubble, or classroom. 

Decreasing Interaction. This will be achieved by decreasing the potential for children from different bubbles to interact.  Bubbles will have different mid-morning and lunch-time access to the playground.  We will make these routines enjoyable activities for the children, emphasising safety at all times.

While all children will be welcome back to school, we would inform parents that, where children are displaying colds, coughs or flu like symptoms, they should not be sent to school.  Children who display such symptoms in school will be isolated and parents asked to collect them from the school.

Children who have travelled from countries not on the Green List should not attend school during the 14-day self-isolation period

Further information on COVID-19 symptoms in children is available at: –

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/if-your-child-has-symptoms.html

Teachers will make children aware of the proper hygiene procedures regarding hand washing and etiquette related to sneezing, coughing or spitting.  We would be grateful if you could also practise correct hand washing and “elbow catching” with your children at home as part of the preparation for returning to school.

Our aim remains to re-open the school in an orderly safe manner, while reassuring the children and making them feel comfortable, safe and relaxed with their friends in the new school environment.  This will be achieved by all of us working towards this common goal.

Drop-off and Collection

The BoM and the School Leadership Team have been working to ensure a safe return to school for all pupils and staff iOn September 1st..   We have now finalised our plans for drop-off and collection of the children every day. 

Dripsey NS appreciates your support as we try to safely reopen the school building. If at all possible we request you not to come into the school playground or into the school building unless it is essential. We appreciate that dropping off the Junior Infant pupils to their yard may be necessary, but for the older pupils a drop off in the yard is desirable. Working together we hope to be able to progress the reopening in as safe a manner as possible for all.

We would ask all parents to familiarise themselves with the following drop-off and collection routines for the safe delivery and collection of pupils from school.  Please be patient as we endeavour to embed these necessary precautionary and protective practices at the beginning of the school year.

It is imperative that

  • adults do not come within 2m of each other
  • parents do not try to have meetings with members of staff in the playground at drop-off and collection times – meetings between parents and teachers can only take place by prior arrangement. (This may have to be more restrictive depending on guidance – it is quite possible that the recommendation will be for remote meetings/telephonic communications.)
  • all parents adhere to the drop-off and collection plans as outlined below

Drop-off Plan

Pupils can be dropped off in school between 9:00 and 9:20.

Please do not arrive at the school gate before 9 as there is a risk of an accident occurring outside the gate when there is a build up of traffic backing onto the main road.

Pupils are to remain in the cars until the teacher on morning duty is up in the court area.

Once in the yard, pupils in each of the classes will have a designated area of the yard to play in until 9:20.

New starts on their first day of school

Parents can bring the new Junior Infants to the yard at 9:30. I will arrange a class photo and then entrust the children to Miss Dineen’s capable and safe hands.

Late arrival:

If a child arrives late he/she is to go to the external door of their classroom for entry. The classes will be entering and exiting the building via these doors for the foreseeable so they will know where to go if necessary.

Collection Plan

Children from First Class up are to be collected at 3:00.

Infants are to be collected at 2:00.

The new Junior Infants are going home at an earlier time for the first month. Please check your information pack for these times.

If a parent needs to collect a child at a time other than the above, please inform the school in advance and collect the child from their classroom’s external door.