COVID -19 Section.

Covid -19 Response Plan Updates October 23rd 2020

  1. Supporting children who cannot come to school
  2. 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.

  • In the event of a teacher being sent home with class

Teacher will communicate with class via Seesaw as above (presuming the teacher has a negative result and is also able to do so).  If a teacher has a positive result a substitute will be employed

  • In the event of teacher and pod being sent home

A substitute teacher will be employed to teach the class in school.  A member of SEN team will continue distance learning with the pod who are at home if the teacher is unable to do so.

For pupils who are unable to attend school (those who are self-isolating, restricting movements 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.

2. What will happen if we have a positive case in our school

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
  • Mask Wearing

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 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.
  • The school, if we are aware of a positive case, cannot raise awareness until direction is received from Public Health.  In many cases a social media discussion ensues and anxiety levels are raised among the school community. Please refrain from engaging with discussions on social media in this regard.

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 may be 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
  • Congegration of staff

No more than 4 members will congregate in the staffroom at breaktimes at 2 metres apart. SNAs and other staff members will eat in Assembly Hall ensuring all are 2 metres apart at all times. SEN teachers, Secretary and Principal will eat in own rooms.

  • Ventilation

The school heating system will revert to the winter setting after the Halloween break. Windows will be opened in the morning, at break/lunch times and again in the late afternoon to ensure ventilation. Classroom doors will also remain open where possible. It is advisable that children and staff wear an extra layer of clothes as protection from colds etc. The school community have been advised of this.  It is also recommended  that all pupils wear coats when going outside at breaktimes to minimise risk of colds etc.

  • Masks/Visors

The BOM have recommended that all staff wear masks, not visors, as an added protection. All adults are required to wear masks on school grounds irregardless of whether they are outdoors or not. This request is made to parents in the interests of health & safety as there are times, particularly at dismissal time, when parents congregate.

  • Sports  Coaching

GAA /Tag rugby coaching will continue outdoors only and the coach will not be permitted to enter the school building.

  • Changing pods

Pods will be changed to some extent after Halloween break. However, while teachers are restricted according to reading groups there will be some level of flexibility. We would envisage that pods will be changed again in January.

Click on the link below to view our Covid-19 Response Plan and Policy Statement ;

Covid-19 Response Plan and Policy Statement

Click on the link below to view our plan for re-opening Cloonakilla N.S.

Plan for Re- Opening Cloonakilla N.S.

Please click on the link below to read an Open letter from Acting Chief Medical Officer to parents, guardians of school children and to teachers and affiliated school staff.