We’re delighted to be able to write to you today about returning to school! We hope you are all safe and well. We look forward to welcoming all of our students for the new academic year. Covid-19 measures remain in place, and so school will remain quite a different experience for students, staff and parents.
We are really delighted to inform you that we have our extension and will have full use of our new building. We appreciate the efforts and commitment in really challenging circumstances by all the stakeholders in this project. Aside from a number of works ongoing in relation to Covid-19 preparations including a thorough deep clean of the entire building, our staff have done extraordinary work on our school building over the summer
As a community, we were all deeply saddened by PJ's passing. He was an enormously important part of the life of our school and we will miss him very much. We want to take this opportunity to thank you all most sincerely for the many kind and heartfelt words of sympathy and condolence we have received. Fr PJ's family also wished to extend their thanks to the wider school community - they have been deeply moved by the huge show of love and support for them and for PJ.
Mayo for Sam!
Covid-19 – Returning to School
We trust you will have monitored the various documents released by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) over the last number of weeks in relation to reopening schools. In that time, our staff have been working extremely hard to get the school ready for the very different school environment that the present public health emergency dictates.
The most important consideration for the school – for all students, staff and parents – on our return to school is the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, our staff and our families so that highest quality learning and teaching can take place in the safest possible learning environment.
With this in mind, a number of important things must be borne in mind:
- Students and staff must be physically distant by as much as possible at all times.
- Students, in general will not be moving around the campus.
- Standards of cleanliness and hygiene must be high and strictly adhered to at all times
Over the last number of weeks and in the remaining period before students return, our staff have been and will continue to be hard at work preparing the school building.
During students’ first days back in school, we will work intensively with them to remind them of the changes that these principles have made to day-to-day life in school. Last year, students responded extremely well to these challenges.
In general, the changes student’s experienced in school last year will remain in place for the time being, including:
- Students will be room-based, and students should expect to spend much of their time in school at the same desk in the same room.
- Students will be expected to maintain physical distance from each other at all times, including when outside at break and lunch times.
- Junior students and Transition year students will not have access to lockers, but instead will be provided with a storage box to be located underneath their desk.
- Students will be required to wear a Face Mask at all times when in the school building, except when eating or drinking. Students will be expected to bring their own Face Mask to school, one that is plain in design/colour and that does not contain logos/images/patterns.
What do I need to do to get ready for back to school?
Alongside your normal back to school preparations there are some extra items that your child should have with them:
- A Face Mask that, fastens by the ears or at the back of the head. (scarves/snoods are not acceptable) Face masks should fit securely to the sides of the face, have at least 2 layers of fabric and allow for unrestricted breathing.
- A small personal bottle of hand sanitizer. (hand sanitizing stations will be available in each room)
- Pocket size disposable tissues and hand wipes.
Coming to school and going home from school
The schedule of the school day, with school starting at 08.40 and finished at 15.30 (13.15 on Friday) will continue, and there are a number of changes to the entrances and exits assigned to year groups from last year:
- The school building will open at 08.20 each morning. Students will not have access to the school building before this time.
- Each year group has been assigned a separate entrance to access the building. Students will only ever enter and leave the building via their assigned entrance: (see map below)
- 1st year – Student Entrance near main gate.
- 2nd year – Main Entrance
- 3rd year – Emergency entrance at Room 8
- TY – Rear Entrance behind the gym.
- 5th Year – Courtyard Entrance – New Building
- 6th year – Rear Entrance – New Building
- Each Caomhnóir group will be assigned to a specific classroom, and students will be expected to be in their assigned seat by 08.35.
- At the end of the school day, each class group will exit the building using their designated entrance/exit points.
- Students are discouraged from congregating in large groups at the end of the school day.
- Staggered finishes will not be in operation for the moment, but this situation will be reviewed if necessary.
- We strongly encourage students to walk or cycle to and from school where possible.
Return to School Dates
The full return to school will be staggered to allow time and space for students and staff to return to school safely.
- Unfortunately, we will be unable to have our normal first day of school for our new first years and parents will not be able to accompany their son/daughter into the school building on Monday 30th August.
- Students should arrive in full school uniform and have a healthy snack and drink for their day.
The schedule for students is as follows:
Wednesday August 25th
Thursday August 26th
Friday August 27th
Monday August 30th
Tuesday August 31st
Students should enter the building via their year group’s designated entrance only.
Map of Student Entrances
Please see below a map of the student entrance points. We look forward to welcoming you all to school over the next few days.
Map of Year Group Zones