COVID -19 Section.

Updated Covid-19 Response Plan Sept 2022

The following plan, which was drafted by the School Management Team, having considered input from the Board of Management, Staff and Parents Association in August 2020 has now been updated for our return to school on August 30th 2022. The plan has been formulated to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of all members of our school community- children, parents and staff. It is not possible to eliminate the risk of infection. However, with the cooperation of all members of our school community, it is possible to minimise the risk of the virus being introduced to the school and the consequent risk of its spread.

The BOM is responsible for ensuring control measures are in place within the school to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Two staff members are nominated to act as Lead Worker Representative and Deputy Lead Worker Representative to work with the school management to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of staff and pupils in relation to Covid-19.

Lead Worker Representative: Siobhan McCabe

Deputy Lead Worker Representative: Caroline Ryan

Cloonakilla NS will reopen as follows on August 30th:

Cloonakilla N.S. will reopen for all classes on Monday, 30th August at 9.20am.

Only new Junior Infant parents will be permitted into the front yard for the 1st week. All other parents will be expected to leave their child at the top of the ramp in the carpark or at the red line in the front yard as per last year. Extra staff will be available on Monday, Aug 30th to assist with heavy schoolbags etc.

  1. Role of Parents

The following would greatly assist your child’s return to school:

  • Please practice good respiratory hygiene with your child before returning to school
  • Please practice good hand washing hygiene with your child
  • Ensure children are aware that they must not engage in hand-shaking, hugging or spitting
  • Ensure children avoid touching their eyes, mouth or nose unnecessarily

Teachers and staff will complete multiple lessons on correct hygiene with the children on return to school

Under no circumstances is a parent to bring a child to school if:

  •  child is exhibiting any symptoms of Covid-19
  •  child has tested positive for Covid-19
  • Morning Routine
  • The school yard will be supervised each morning from 9am-9.20am.
  • Parents are asked to “Drop and Go” at the following designated times:
  • Children will go to their designated area and stand in their class line.
  • The class teacher will invite the children to enter the building via their designated entrance point as outlined in the following table:
Entrance & Exit PointsClass
Junior Infants 5th & 6th Classes  Door A Front of school right hand side
Senior Infants  Door C (Assembly Hall)
1st Class 2nd Class  Door F (Back of School)
3rd Class  Door E (Door beside bicycle shelter)
4th Class  Door D Front of school left side
Staff/ Visitors /Adults  Door B (Main Entrance)

On wet days children will proceed directly to their classrooms from 9am onwards where the same supervision rota will apply as for yard supervision.

  • Dismissal of pupils

2pm: Junior & Senior Infants

3pm: 1st -6th classes

Parents are not permitted to enter yard beyond red lines.

The following table illustrates where parents may meet their children:

Junior & Senior InfantsTeacher brings class to their designated entrance/exit point –  Door A & C where they wait for collectionAdults wait behind red line in front yard at appropriate social distance from others waiting adults
1st & 2nd ClassTeachers bring class out through their designated entrance/exit point – Door F and walk to Door E area where they await collection from their marked lineAdults wait behind red line on the path at top of the steps or behind the school wall or behind red line in front yard maintaining social distancing at all times
3rd & 4th ClassesTeachers will bring class out in their pods – 3rd class will exit Door E  and 4th Class Door D where they await collectionAdults wait behind red line on the path at top of the steps or behind the school wall or behind red line in front yard maintaining social distancing at all times
5th & 6th ClassesTeachers will bring class out in their pods through Door A where they await collectionAdults wait behind red line on the path at top of the steps or behind the school wall or behind red line in front yard maintaining social distancing at all times


Siblings will exit at their designated doors and wait on the basketball court at front of school for collection

Bus: Children from all classes will proceed to school bus immediately on the exit from the school but no later than 3pm.

It is important to note that the bus transport is not the responsibility of the B.O.M. Parents should ensure that the buses are operating in a compliant manner so that all the careful work done at home and school is not compromised.

To this end we suggest children should sit beside their siblings or classmates at the very least in designated seats each day.

  • Collection of children during school day

Parents may collect children by calling to the school office. Children will be called by intercom to the front door.  There will be no need to enter the building.  Please wait outside the main door and your child/children will be sent out to you.  

Children who leave for appointment during the school day MAY return to school having followed the routine hygiene procedures.     

  • Breaktimes

For the immediate future, given dry weather and low incidence rates of Covid-19, we have reverted to single breaks instead of staggered breaks.

11.00am Break

12.30pm: Lunchtime


Yards will be supervised by class teachers, S.E.N. teachers and SNAs working with these year groups mostly.

  • SEN Teaching

In keeping with our Special Educational Needs policy support for pupils will be provided by the usual combination of in-class support and withdrawal.

Special Needs Assistants will work, as far as is possible, within the confines of a class year group.  Rotation between classes will be kept to a minimum for Special Education Teachers and sanitizing routines will be observed.

Where a support teacher is working alongside a class teacher in a classroom, both teachers must be mindful of maintaining social distance from one another.

The tables and chairs in SET rooms will be wiped down in between different pupils or small groups attending if there is a high incidence of Covid in our school community.

Junior Infants  Ms O’KeeffeEAL & SEN Support
Senior Infants  Mrs McCabe Ms Mullally        EAL & SEN Support    
First ClassMrs McCabe Ms Mullally   Ms Hibbitt Ms Butler Ms O’KeeffeSEN Support, Reading Recovery & Literacy Lift Off   Literacy Lift Off
Second Class  Mrs. McCabe, Ms McHibbitt, Ms O’Keeffe & Ms MullallyLiteracy, Numeracy  and SEN Support
Third and Fourth ClassMs Kelly Ms HibbittLiteracy, Numeracy  and SEN Support
Fifth and SixthMs Butler Ms KellyLiteracy, Numeracy  and SEN Support
  • Supporting children who cannot come to school
  1. In the event of full lockdown (national or local)

Teachers will communicate with children via Seesaw.  For those who cannot access Seesaw work will be emailed to pupils.

  • For pupils who are unable to attend school (those who are self-isolating, Staff or are in high risk category) work will be sent home by the class teacher on Seesaw and a member of SEN team will monitor work.  If a teacher is restricting movement he/she will monitor work if possible.
  • If a parent opts to homeschool their child this must be done through TUSLA  & Dept of Education. The school has no duty in this situation.
  • If a child is not able to attend school for an extended period of time due to illness or an underlying health condition, the class teacher (and/or the SEN Teacher, where relevant) will provide work to support the child’s learning at home and this will be shared with parents/guardians.
  • Illness/Dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19 in pupils

If a pupil displays symptoms of Covid-19 while in school the following procedures will be implemented:

  • Parents/guardians will be contacted immediately
  • The child will be accommpanied by a staff member to the isolation area at end of hallway near staffroom. This area will be cordoned off with screen. The staff member will remain at least 2m away from the symptomatic child at all times.
  • The child will be advised to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue provided when coughing or sneezing and this will be disposed of in the bin provided.
  • If they are too unwell to go home or advice is required the secretary will contact 999 or112 and inform them that the sick child is a Covid-19 suspect.
  • Arrangements will be made for appropriate cleaning of the isolation area and work areas involved.

N.B: For children who are unwell but do not display Covid-19 symptoms the usual procedures will apply:

Parents will be contacted and children will remain in classroom until called to front office via intercom where they will be collected.

  • Illness/Dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19 in staff
  • Staff members who are symptomatic should immediately inform the Principal/Deputy Principal and go to the isolation area.
  • If a staff member is well enough to go home they may do so. Alternatively, arrangements will be made for them to be collected by a family member as soon as possible.
  • The isolation area and work areas will be cleaned thoroughly in line with the guidelines.
  1. Implications for Staff
  • Staff Absence

In the event that a teacher is absent every effort will be made to secure a substitute teacher for the class. If a substitute is not available a member of the SEN Team or Principal will fill in.

  • Staff Induction Training
  • All staff has completed Covid-19 Induction Training in Sept 2021.
  • It is the Principal’s responsibility to ensure that all staff is familiar with the updated Covid-19 response plan.

Staff will be kept fully informed of the control measures in place in the school and their duties and responsibilities in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and with any changes to the control measures or guidance available from the public health authorities.

10. Hygiene and cleaning

30 sanitizer dispensers have been installed throughout the school. Additional classroom soap and towel dispensers have also been installed at classroom sinks. Warm water and soap is available in all toilet areas and staffroom.

Hand hygiene will be promoted and encouraged, and parents will be asked to support the school in reinforcing this message.

The school will be cleaned thoroughly every evening. Staff will also ensure that frequently touched surfaces e.g. door handles, handrails etc. will be cleaned once weekly.

SNAs will sanitise desks and chairs each Friday evening for Junior Infants -2nd class. 3rd -6th classes will be required to sanitise their own work areas each evening before leaving school on Fridays. Teachers are responsible for sanitising their own work stations each evening.

Waste will be collected daily from all classrooms/ toilets etc.

11. Practical Considerations for parents

School Uniforms

We recognise that it is difficult for uniforms or tracksuits to be washed daily. We will follow our usual practice in relation to uniforms and tracksuits. Uniforms should be worn every day except on PE days. Teachers will ensure that PE days are spaced apart in the week so parents have a chance to alternate the two sets of clothes. We advise that school uniforms and tracksuits should be taken off straight after the child arrives home from school for the day.

Personal belongings

In so far as possible it is requested that children from 1st-6th class will bring their own pens, colours etc. in their own pencil case to avoid the sharing of equipment. All items should be labelled for ease of identification. Class teachers will be contact with you over the next few days in this regard.

Children (1st -6th classes only) may bring their own hand sanitiser to school which they will use at their table if required during the day. This must be clearly labelled. Alternatively they can use the sanitisers in the classroom.  Infant classes will use sanitisers in classroom. This is in accordance with DES guidelines. If for medical reasons parents do not wish their child to use sanitiser they may use warm water and soap instead.

What to do if a child is sick

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

  • High temperature
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
  • Loss of smell/taste

It is likely that many children will exhibit symptoms of colds, coughs etc. on returning to school. Parents will have many queries about this and sometimes we don’t have the answers. If you are worried the best advice is to contact your doctor and consult the HSE website for up to date information.

12. Use of Masks/PPE


The Dept of Education has relaxed the recommendation for staff to wear masks if they are unable to maintain 2m distance from pupils or other staff members. Masks are provided for all staff should they wish to wear them.

All staff members should continue to practise good hand hygiene.


If a teacher/SNA accompanies a child with symptoms of Covid-19 to the isolation area they should wear appropriate PPE and maintain a distance of 2m from the child. This can be disposed of when the child has gone home. The adult must wash and sanitise their hands before resuming their work in the classroom.


Children are not required to wear masks or face coverings. However, if a parent is anxious that their child wears a face covering, this will be permitted.

14. Classroom/Curricular Considerations


All PE lessons will be conducted outdoors for the immediate future. Teachers are also encouraged to use the outdoor classroom where appropriate.

  • Choir/Musical Performance

Choir practices and classroom singing has resumed. This will be reviewed at Halloween.

15. Ventilation

The Department of Education has set out the following guidance setting out the practical steps for good ventilation in schools:

“Windows should be open as fully as possible during breaktimes, lunchtimes and at the end of each school day. They should be partially open when classrooms are in use”. As we approach colder weather it is important to ensure a level of comfort on the classrooms. Carbon Dioxide monitors will be in operation in classrooms.

Please be assured that we will do our best to ensure your child remains in school in a safe manner. For all our parents, especially our new Junior Infant parents, we realise that the “new normal” means becoming accustomed to many new routines and we will require your patience and cooperation in implementing these new procedures.

This is a live document and will change in accordance with Public Health advice. This document will be reviewed at the Halloween break.

Signed:____________              _______________

Mary O’Rourke (Principal)    Tommy Cormican (Chairperson)