The Board of Management and Staff at Powerstown ETNS have been working very hard over the last number of weeks, to safely re-open for pupils on 31st of August 2020.
As you know recently the Department of Education and Skills published a number of documents outlining required actions to facilitate the safe re-opening of PETNS, in light of the Covid-19 Pandemic. All of the provisions in these documents are being implemented in our school.
Below are the key changes, that we want to make you aware of at this time. Your support of these changes is essential to ensure we do our best, to protect the Powerstown ETNS community.
Covid-19 Policy Statement
The Board of Management of Powerstown ETNS have ratified a Covid-19 Policy Statement. This was published on our school website (click here)
All children must have a personal hygiene bag that contains hand sanitizer, tissues and small hand-towel / facecloth, Please make sure this hand-towel is changed daily.
Small School Bags
All children must have a small school bag that carries just their hygienebag, their lunch and pencil case (1st – 6th class). These bags must be kept on the backs of their chairs. No rucksacks \, wheelie bags or large school bags please, as they topple chairs.
All classrooms will have windows open regularly to ensure rooms are well ventilated.
We will be maximising the use of our outdoor facilities. Please ensure your child wears weather appropriate clothes.
Morning Assembly 8.20 – 8.30am for children only. Please avoid large crowds
Morning assembly is from 8.20am – 8.30am. Children should not arrive to school before 8.20am to avoid congestion at gates. We have 3 gates to access assembly areas: staff car park gate, SNU gate and main yard gate. Please see visual of assembly areas and class allocated areas here.
On a wet day, children will be directed towards their allocated entance door and be brought straight to class.
The school grounds must be used for drop off only. There will be sufficient staff on the ground to escort your child to their assembly point and to supervise them safely. Parents are not permitted to access assembly areas and are asked not to gather at assembly gates. (Junior Infant Parents, please refer to Induction letter).
All children will be asked to hand sanitise at the entrance gate before going to the yard. (If your child has allergies / must use their own please email firstname.lastname@example.org so relevant staff can be informed).
Teaching commences at normal time of 8.30am.
All children, especially 3rd – 6th class pupils are strongly encouraged to walk, cycle or scoot to school.
Children from 3rd to 6th class will be released by their class teacher at their allocated door and encouraged to walk/cycle/scoot home or meet a parent at an agreed collection point. This agreed collection point is agreed between you and your child. Parents/guardians are not permitted to gather at entrance/exit doors. (If special arrangements need to be made for your child, please inform class teacher via email)
Children from Junior Infant – 2nd class must be release to a known adult. Please see diagram here of collection point.
All parents/guardians must make an appointment via the office (email email@example.com, phone 018272018) to enter the school building.
When entering the building by appointment all visitors must wear a face covering, and sanitise hands on entrance to reception. Visitors will be asked to complete a visitor register that complies with DES contact tracing form via their phone by using a QR code. (Alternative arrangements can be made for visitors without a phone)
We are very fortunate to have small class sizes and large classrooms, so implementation of Social Distancing guidelines is not problematic in PETNS. We have mentioned Bubbles and Pods before; Bubbles are classes and Pods refer to groups in classes. All children will be allocated to a pod of no more than 6 children. In classes from 3rd – 6th class desks will be arranged to facilitate social distancing as required.
(Due to the large number of pupils we have in the school and the needs of each individual class it is impossible to arrange pods by friends, neighbours, crèche users, childminders etc)
Pupils Break times – staggered
We will be introducing staggered breaks, whereby each class (“Bubble”) will play independently. Please see document visualising staggered yard breaks here.
Use of shared books from libraries
Personal items to be kept at home
Unfortunately, due to cleaning regimes in the school personal items are not to be brought into school.
If your child has Additional Needs and personal equipment/comforter is required please email firstname.lastname@example.org so the school can try and make necessary arrangements.
Hand sanitizing & hand washing in school.
All toilets (2 per classroom) have hand wash facilities with hot water and soap. All classrooms have hand was facilities with hot water and soap. Regular handwashing will be timetabled into the school day for pupils.
Staff will be wearing face coverings
The government advise against children under 13 wearing a face covering. Pupils may wear a visor / face covering in school if parent or the child wishes. It is not however the responsibility of school staff to enforce pupil wearing of face covering.
- You are feeling unwell: For the safety of the entire school community, if you child is feeling ill, in any way they may not come into school.
- Any child, who staff feel may be ill, will be promptly brought to the isolation room and parents/guardians will be asked to collect their child immediately. If necessary, the HSE may provide further guidance to the school. The school’s decision in any such cases is final.
- You have been diagnosed with Covid 19.
- You are a close contact of someone diagnosed with Covid 19, or suspected Covid 19 or waiting results of Covid 19 test
- You have been referred for a Covid 19 test, or are awaiting results of a Covid 19 test.
All after school activities postponed
If your child has not returned from abroad by the 16th of August you must email the school at email@example.com and be prepared to self-isolate for 14 days in line with government policy (refer to email sent 12/8/2020 & school website)
Please refer to most recent government guidelines here.
Please make sure we have your up to date contact details – phone number, emails and emergency contact details. These can be updated by you on Aladdin, or by emailing the office at firstname.lastname@example.org
New email for Covid 19 Concerns- email@example.com
A new email address has been set up by the school strictly for use in relation to serious Covid 19 concerns
Webinar 20th August @11am
If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff sharing videos/information on 27th & 28th of August.
Staff will be working over the next couple of weeks on making videos to assist your child (and you) transition back to school. These videos will include: an introduction to your child’s teacher, your child’s classroom, your child’s assembly point and collection point.
Preparing your child for school
We strongly encourage you to teach your child good handwashing technique. Please see video here
We ask that you teach your child good coughing/sneezing etiquette. Please see video here
If your child is deemed “high risk” or if your child is overly-anxious about returning to school, please email email@example.com and a member of staff will get in touch with you.
We understand that many of the arrangements detailed above may be challenging for both you and your child. However, we all have a personal responsibility to minimise the risk of an outbreak/cluster of Covid 19 cases in our school. By working together, and supporting each other we can ensure we create a happy, safe, fun learning environment for our pupils.
Thank you for your continued support
I am really looking forward to welcoming your child back to school on 31st of August
Stay safe & kind regards
Helena Trench (Principal)