School Reopening Arrangements
On behalf of St. Tiernan’s Community School, I am delighted to welcome you to the 2020-21 school year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and understanding as we, as a community, responded to the unexpected COVID-19 school closures since March.
As we prepare for the full reopening of St. Tiernan’s Community School, our first priority is the safety of our students, our staff and our wider school community. We will be returning to school with enhanced safety and cleaning measures in place. These include increased hand sanitiser availability throughout the school, increased frequency of cleaning of high touch areas, staggered break times, limited student movement through the use of base classrooms and the use of PPE. On this note, all students must wear a reusable face mask in school. We would ask you to buy an adequate supply of these, so that your child has a spare, if needs be.
Mr. Declan Hughes has retired as Principal. We thank him for his long standing and dedicated service to the students of St. Tiernan’s Community School, and wish him well. I have been appointed as Principal, while Ms. Siobháin McCann had been appointed as Deputy Principal.
I am enclosing some important dates as regards our return to school.
Uniform Shop: This will occur on Wednesday, 26th of August, from 10:00am to 12:00pm for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Years, and 12:30 to 2:30pm for 4th, 5th and 6th Year. It is very important that you attend on this date. We only accept cash and cheques, we cannot accept cards.
Friday, 28th of August 10:00 – 11:30am Registration of 2nd Year, 3rd Year, 6th Year and LCA2
Monday, 31st of August 9:00 – 11:00am Registration of 1st Year.
Monday, 31st of August 11:15 – 12:30pm Registration of 5th Year, Transition Year and LCA.
Tuesday, 1st of September Normal classes as per timetable which will be given at registration.
Please ensure your child returns to school both with their own face mask, in full uniform, and with all books.
We look forward to meeting and working with you all in the coming academic year.
School Measures and Procedures Regarding COVID-19
Below is a list of some of the measures that St Tiernan’s Community School has currently in place in preparation for our return to school at the end of the month.
Any new updates or information will be available on our website at www.sttiernans.ie,
and on our social media platforms
Please visit the DES website for further information https://www.education.ie/covid19
While we have implemented these measures to minimise the risk of infection, it is important to recognise that no interpersonal activity is without risk of transmission of infection at any time.
If students have symptoms of Covid-19, they are not to attend school, their doctor must be contacted, and HSE guidance on self-isolation must be followed. .
If students have been identified by the HSE as a contact for a person with COVID-19, or as having Covid-19, they are not to attend school, must phone their doctor and follow HSE guidance on self-isolation (mandatory quarantine). It is of the utmost importance to point out that all staff or students who have been abroad in ‘non-green list countries’ should not return to school until 14 days after arriving back in Ireland.
Visitors to the School:
We ask parents/guardians not to visit the school over the course of the day unless by prior appointment.
Maintaining physical distancing in the school environment is recommended as one of the key control measures to minimize the risk of the introduction and spread of COVID-19.
Physical distancing falls into two categories:
Classrooms and other areas of the school have been re-configured to support physical distancing in line with the official guidance. A model of student based classrooms has been implemented.
Hand Hygiene Hand sanitising stations have been installed throughout the school, and at areas of entrance. Everyone entering the school building needs to perform hand hygiene with a hand sanitiser. Students should perform hand hygiene:
Students will be encouraged to follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering their nose and mouth with a tissue or their bent elbow when coughing or sneezing, and disposing of tissues immediately after use.
It is important to note that government advice now insists that all students and staff wear face coverings in school. Each student is obliged to have his/her own mask every day; we recommend cloth face masks. Cloth face coverings should be washed after every day of use and/or before being used again, or if visibly soiled. Therefore, a supply of backup masks is recommended for each student. Face coverings should be stored in a space designated for each student that is separate from others when not being worn, eg in a clean resealable Ziploc bag
Please note, that wearing a face mask does not negate the need to stay at home if symptomatic.
Lockers To minimise the movement of students, and to prevent mass gatherings, students will not have access to school lockers for the upcoming school year.
School Uniform Jackets: To increase student separation, students will be encouraged to go outside for breaks and lunch-times. Consequently, we ask that they bring their school uniform jacket to school every day.
Jackets will no longer be hung in cloakrooms, so students will need to keep their jackets with them at all times.
After School Activities:
To facilitate more enhanced cleaning of the school, after-school activities such as Study, Homework Club, Maths Club and extra-curricular activities are postponed for the foreseeable future.
Dealing with a suspected case
We are aware that we may need to revert to Distance Learning in the event of a further shutdown. To enable this to be as effective as possible, we will be organising the set-up of Google Classroom for all students and implementing the use of I.T. so students are familiar with all practises. We would ask parents/guardians to support students in using I.T. for some school assignments, and for parents to provide us with an up-to-date and working e-mail address.
SANCTIONS/CODE OF BEHAVIOUR:
At present, we are updating our Code of Behaviour to reflect the changes brought about in the school due to COVID-19 restrictions. Any non-compliance with our implemented protocols will be seen as a serious breach of discipline and will be dealt with accordingly.
We ask all parents/guardians and students to support our school’s endeavours to provide a safe environment for us all.
As well as the required books, copies and equipment, all students should have with them each day:
Any new updates or information will be available on our website at www.sttiernans.ie, and on our social media platforms.