Returning to School Information.

 

Summary of Changes for Parents:
  • NO STUDENT SHOULD ATTEND SCHOOL IF THEY OR ANY MEMBER OF THEIR FAMILY HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID 19. (If symptoms arise please phone your doctor and to follow HSE guidance on self-isolation)

 

1st years via school Reception entrance

2nd years via C compound entrance at rear of school (one-way system to G)

3rd years via F compound entrance at rear of school 

4th years Sports Hall & Balcony

5th years use the K Building entrance

6th years use the entrance by the Technology rooms 

  • From Thursday 9th September all students will attend school for their full timetable with the following new daily arrival and departure times:

The ‘staggering’ of the start and end of the school day is aimed to reduce congestion and  to avoid congregation of people at the school gates, entrances and other areas where physical distancing requirements may not be respected.

    • Students must bring their books in and out of school daily.
    • School bags should be organised each evening for the next day’s classes.
    • Pens, books, pencils etc must not be shared. Students should come to school equipped with their own writing utensils.
    • Students must  keep a personal pack of tissues, wipes, small bottle of sanitiser in their school bags for use outside the classroom
  • Students living locally are to return home, to their own home, at lunchtime. Students remaining in school at lunchtime will be required to bring their own lunch to school. No nuts in ingredients please. 
  • On the day of their timetabled P.E. class, students come to school in clean, plain PE gear. 
  • Students who forget class materials etc will have to manage without, as no items may be dropped to school during the day.
  • Visitors to the school (by appointment only) must report to the main office and provide the required details to ensure contract tracing can occur. 
  • Requests for early student departures for medical/ dental/ other should now be emailed to the office admin@portmarnockcommunityschool.ie where they will be logged and shared with relevant staff. A note should also be put in the journal to show teachers.
  • Students, in line with the existing Code of Behaviour, must not leave the school without permission; parental contact with the office or relevant Deputy/ Principal enables us to ensure safeguarding of all students. Until further notice, the system of Year Head/ Tutor signing a note in the journal does not apply.
New Staggered Times 
5TH YEAR AND 6TH YEAR
class start – 8.40
break – 11.25 to 11.40
lunch – 12.55 to 1.55
finish- 3.55
Wednesday  finish – 12.55
TY
class start – 8.40
break- 11.25 to 11.40
lunch – 12.55 to 1.55
finish- 3.45
Wednesday finish- 12.45
JUNIOR SCHOOL
class start – 8.50
break – 11.20- 11.35
lunch- 12.50- 1.50
finish for 1st and 2nd year- 3.45
Wednesday finish time 1st& 2nd- 12.45
Note finish time for 3rd year is 3.55
Wednesday finish time 3rd year 12.55

To the students and staff – A Message from the P.A.

We wish the staff and students returning to school in these challenging times the very best of luck. We know it’s a very different time with many extra difficulties. The Parents Association are fully supportive of the school and the public health guidelines in place. It is up to all of us to follow them to the best of our ability and help keep our school safe. I would also like to thank Ms Deeney and all the staff for the huge amount of work that has gone into preparing the school for reopening.
Very Best Wishes
Parents Association, Portmarnock Community School

 

Sharon Smyth Callan

1/9/20

PDF File click below

Open Letter from the ACMO to Parents 

All sixth year students will participate in a two and a half hour  study skills seminar and workshop on Thursday, September 3rd and/or  Friday September 4th 2020 . These sessions have been organised  and paid for by the school and offer our  students an opportunity to  learn the tools of effective study. The workshops will include lessons and methodologies  on  goal setting,  creating study timetables, how to take notes effectively and how to study . We have organised the study skills sessions to help with students’ wellbeing and integration in learning

31/8/20

Helpful Advice for Parents:

Schools Pathway for COVID-19 – the Public Health approach here.

I’ve attached some useful links and resources which may help to alleviate some concerns expressed by parents as their children return to school.

The first link provides NEPS advice & resources during Covid-19 and includes information for both parents and students on areas such as How to Calm and Support your Child and Managing Stress and Anxiety. See Below:

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/af24b-wellbeing-guidance-documents-for-parents-students-and-schools/

The second link is a very useful topic-by-topic guide to a range of questions and queries about returning to school for parents:

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/389bd-topics-being-raised-on-the-back-to-school-helpline/

Furthermore, below are some short videos with ‘back to school’ advice for pupils and parents.

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2d3af-advice-during-covid-19-back-to-school-advice-for-parents/

As you know, further information on Back to School for parents, staff and professionals can be found at https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/a128d-back-to-school/

27/8/20

For details on dates and times for our students’ return please click here.

 

26/8/20

Advice for Parents:

The HSE have published a poster with advice for Parents as a PDF poster which can be downloaded here and the DES have published advice here. 

A series of helpful videos can be accessed here.

There is also lots of other advice on the official Government website here.

21/8/20

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s), 

 As you are aware the school is planning to reopen our doors to staff and students for the academic year 2020/2021 in the coming weeks. The Government published the ‘Roadmap for the Full Return to School’ which I have shared with you. This document and those linked to the Roadmap provide us as a school with guidance on the necessary actions required to reopen the school safely for all staff and students. 

 

The Board of Management has ratified the School’s Covid-19 Response Plan which has been uploaded to our school website. This plan outlines the procedures to manage Covid-19 in a workplace and educational setting. It includes a Covid-19 Policy Statement, details on the role of the Lead Worker Representative (LWR) and procedures in dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19. It is important to note that this is a working document which may change following future guidance from the DES. All parents and students should make themselves familiar with these new procedures and support the successful implementation of these new safety guidelines to our school.

 

Reopening the school to teachers and students will present many challenges over the coming days and weeks. We are presently reconfiguring the school building and facilities to enable us to implement the procedures required to keep our students and staff safe. We appreciate your patience with us as we prioritise the completion of works to enable students and staff to return to school for their induction sessions, followed by the full return of all staff and students. 

 

The return schedule will extend over a longer period of time this September, as follows:

 

Monday 31st August 6th years  (10.00am-11.30am)

Tuesday 1st Sept 1st years (10.00am – 11.30am)

6th years (classes; periods 1-6)

Wednesday 2nd Sept 1st year Wellbeing Day (9.00am-11.00am)

Thursday 3rd Sept 5th years   (9.00am -11.00am)

3rd years   (11.30am- 1.00pm)

6th years     (Study Skills; time tbc)

Friday 4th Sept 2nd years   (9.00am- 10.30am)

Transition Years                (11.00am- 12.55pm)          6th years (Study Skills; times tbc)

 

Monday 7th September 1st, 3rd & 6th years (full day)

Tuesday 8th September 1st, 3rd, 5th & 6th years (full day) 

Wednesday 9th September 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th & 6th yrs;    (full day)

TY Induction (9.00am-11.30am )

 

From Thursday 10th September all classes will run as per full timetable for all years

 

In order to minimise the risk of introduction of Covid-19 to the school community we remind you that NO STUDENT SHOULD ATTEND SCHOOL IF THEY OR ANY MEMBER OF THEIR FAMILY HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID 19. Students returning from a country which is not on the Government’s Green List must self-isolate for 14 days before returning to school. Up to date advice can be found on https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/b4020-travelling-to-ireland-from-a-country-that-is-not-on-the-covid-19-travel-advice-list/. As a school community, all partners are required to respect and adhere to this guidance, ensuring the safety of our school community

 

An isolation area will be available in the school if a student/staff member becomes ill and DES protocols will be followed, including the immediate contact of parents/ guardians.

 

School life as we know it will be different for the academic year 2020/21. It will involve some changes including the following:

 

  • Students will be encouraged and expected to follow the HSE advice regarding washing hands, respiratory etiquette etc. 

 

  • Cleaning regimes will be intensified to adhere to DES guidelines as outlined in last week’s letter.

  

  • The movement of students around the school will be limited as much as possible, with most classes happening in a base classroom other than elective subjects when students will move to specialist rooms/ laboratories etc

 

  • Each year group will be assigned to a specific compound and corresponding entry/exit door.

 

  • For the most part, students will sit at single desks, one meter away from their peers in the classroom. Pens, books, pencils etc must not be shared. Students should come to school equipped with their own writing utensils. Further details will be provided at opening assemblies. 

 

  • Due to the proximity of lockers and the limited space in locker areas, student use of lockers is not possible for at least the first term. Students will be required to bring their books in and out of school daily. Teachers will use a variety of strategies to reduce the need to bring in books and guide students in relation to planning for their subject. School bags should be organised each evening for the next full day’s classes.

 

  • Students living within walking distance of the school are to return home, to their own home, at lunchtime. Students remaining in school at lunchtime will be required to bring their own lunch to school as our canteen facility has been suspended to enable us to maximise the space available.

 

  • For the health of our school community, packed lunches should never include food that contains nuts of any kind, this includes Nutella and nutrition bars, Kinder Bueno etc  Please check ingredients if in doubt. For healthy eating purposes we continue to ask that students do not bring fizzy drinks or energy drinks to school. Finally, if eating utensils are required they need to be disposable and brought from home. Sharing of food, utensils etc. will not be allowed.

 

  • Students will be required to stay in their base classroom to eat their lunch before accessing the outside areas, weather permitting, for recreation. Base classrooms will be assigned on the first day back for each year group.

 

  • Lunch boxes, water bottles, pens and other equipment should be brought home each evening and need to be cleaned daily.

 

  • There are currently no proposed changes to the school uniform but we would be grateful for your support in ensuring more frequent cleaning of the uniform. To support you in this we will permit students to come to school in clean, plain PE gear on their timetabled PE day.  As per current practice, PE teachers will advise students on most suitable PE clothing. 

 

  • HSE COVID-19 Interim Guidance on the use of face-coverings in childcare and educational settings now recommends that teachers, staff and students attending secondary schools wear a face-covering when a physical distance of 2 meters from other staff or students cannot be maintained. All pupils, staff and visitors to our school must wear a face covering similar to those that are currently mandatory in other indoor settings. Provision will be made for pupils and members of staff for whom this safety measure presents a difficulty. The School will provide two reusable face coverings free of charge for every pupil and member of staff. We also suggest that parents purchase an additional face mask to facilitate the recommended regular washing routine. Any coverings that you purchase for use in school should be appropriate and must provide sufficient protection. The guidance is designed to ensure the safe operation of the School and to protect all members of our community, particularly those who are vulnerable. These precautions take account of the nature of our school buildings and our large pupil and staff population.

 

 

  • Face coverings will not need to be worn when the pupils are exercising, eating/ drinking or when spending time outside and observing physical distancing 

 

  • Students who are unable to wear a cloth or disposable face covering will be catered-for; please contact the relevant Deputy Principal to discuss before your son/ daughter returns to school.

 

  • There will be some students who will be categorised as ‘high risk’ due to particular medical conditions. We would recommend you discuss this with your GP in the next fortnight. We will address all individual cases during the weeks ahead.  

 

  • Visitors (by appointment) to the school will be required to report to the main office and provide the required details to ensure contract tracing can occur. 

 

  • Students who forget class materials etc will have to manage without as no items may be dropped to school during the day. We would greatly appreciate your full support with helping your son/ daughter to manage their organisation ahead of each school morning.

 

  • Extra-curricular activities and evening study will not take place until further notice. We will keep this under review and should it change we will inform students. 

 

 

Here in PCS we understand that this is a lot to take on board but please be assured that we are doing everything possible to support your son’s and daughter’s safe and happy return to school. Our priority is the wellbeing of our entire school community. 

 

May we take this opportunity to thank you in advance for your continued support of all our endeavours to ensure a safe return to school for all. We look forward to seeing your sons and daughters walk through the gates of PCS for the new academic year.  

 

We will be in contact with you regarding further guidance on the return to school over the coming days and weeks. Wishing you and your family good health to enjoy the rest of the holidays. 

 

Keep well and safe. 

 

Kind regards,

 

Eithne Deeney

 

PCS Covid-19 Policy can be seen here

 

 

 

MESSAGE FROM MS DEENEY

12th August 2020

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

We hope you and your families are well and safe. It has been a difficult few months for everyone in our school community. We cannot thank you enough for the co-operation and support you have shown to us during this time and we look forward to your ongoing help and support in the new school year. We know that you have made great efforts to support your child’s continued education when schools were closed. As we prepare to open, the SMT and teachers look forward to reengaging with your children in the classroom.

Preparations are under way for the safe return of all of our students for the new academic year using the recently published Department of Education and Skills Roadmap for Reopening Schools. Every effort will be made to minimise the risk to our school community, to support pupil and staff wellbeing and to continue with excellent teaching and learning when our school reopens.

We hope our students are looking forward to returning to school and meeting up with friends, teachers and other school staff. Many will feel excited, relieved and happy. Some may feel a little anxious about coming back. That is to be expected and it is a normal response at this time of transition and change. Our students will settle in over time, as they reconnect with their friends and get used to our new school safety routines. We are working very hard to make sure the school building and outdoor spaces will be safe for all students, and staff. We will communicate these measures to you in more detail in the coming week. Students will begin to return during the week commencing 31st August. Dates and arrangements for return of individual year groups will be confirmed and shared with you next week.

In order to support student wellbeing, where possible, students are encouraged to walk or cycle to school. We would also value the support of families in ensuring that where practicable and safe, students living locally go home, to their own homes, for lunch. All students are asked to bring a packed lunch and break time snack as the normal canteen service will not be available until further notice. Updates will issue should this change.

In line with Public Health Advice, the implementation of regular and enhanced cleaning routines in school to manage risk, has already commenced and will continue, once term starts, throughout the school day. Sanitiser dispensers will be installed in every classroom and at other key, high traffic points such as entrances and exits for each year group. Cleaning of high-touch points and surfaces will also be performed professionally during the school day. 

At this point we would like to reassure families that there are currently no proposed changes to the school uniform but we would be grateful for your support in ensuring more frequent cleaning of the uniform. To support you in this we will permit students to come to school in clean, plain PE gear on their timetabled PE day.

The HSE COVID-19 Interim Guidance on the use of face-coverings in childcare and educational settings now recommends that teachers, staff and students attending secondary schools wear a face-covering when a physical distance of 2 meters from other staff or students cannot be maintained. We are therefore recommending that all pupils, staff and visitors to our school wear a face covering similar to those that are currently mandatory in other indoor settings. Provision will be made for pupils and members of staff for whom this safety measure presents a difficulty. The School will provide two reusable face coverings free of charge for every pupil and member of staff. We also suggest that parents purchase an additional face mask to facilitate the recommended regular washing routine.The guidance is designed to ensure the safe operation of the School and to protect all members of our community, particularly those who are vulnerable. These precautions take account of the nature of our school buildings and our large pupil and staff population. Face coverings will not need to be worn when the pupils are exercising, eating or drinking or outside.

We will all need to continue to work together as a school community to minimise the impact of Covid 19. With this in mind we remind you that students returning from a country which is not on the Government’s Green List must self-isolate for 14 days before returning to school – please stay informed of any changes/updates to this list should they arise.

 

NO STUDENT SHOULD ATTEND SCHOOL IF THEY OR ANY MEMBER OF THEIR FAMILY HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID 19.

As communication will be key in the coming months:

    • Please contact admin@portmarnockcommunityschool.ie to inform us if any of your contact details have changed.

 

  • Please email the relevant Deputy Principal (see below) if your child is in a high-risk group and has been certified by a doctor as being unable to return to school: 

 

 

1st years: Ms Molamphy omolamphy@portmarnockcommunityschool.ie

 

2nd & 3rd years: Mr Clarke dclarke@portmarnockcommunityschool.ie

 

TY & 5th years: Ms Dargan hdargan@portmarnockcommunityschool.ie

 

6th years: Ms Molamphy omolamphy@portmarnockcommunityschool.ie

 

(Please also check the school website, Twitter and Facebook pages regularly)

 

 

I hope that you and your families enjoy these final weeks of the summer holidays. 

I will provide you with further updates next week on our Response Plan and schedule for the reopening of the school. 

 

Kind Regards,

 

Eithne Deeney

Principal

 

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