Please see HSE Advice for Parents & School Letter sent yesterday to all parents.
As the welfare, health and safety of our students is of paramount importance, Columba College has taken considerable steps to ensure that a full and safe return to school is achieved in the coming weeks. I am contacting you to inform you of measures taken so far and I will follow up with regular updates via email and school website to keep you and your family informed of emerging requirements, changes etc. Columba College supported by LWETB are committed to implementing all the measures contained in the documents as laid out by DES, public health advice and LWETB Covid-19 Task Team.
Preparation for reopening of Columba College
Students Returning to Ireland from a High Risk Country
If your son/daughter has returned to Ireland from a country on the high risk country, you must make the school aware of this.
To ensure compliance with public health guidelines and to ensure that schools can operate safely as possible:
- Facemasks: In line with the updated guidance issued by the DES in August – Facemasks are recommended when a social distance of 2 meters cannot be observed. Students are required to provide and wear their own masks to ensure the health and safety of all stakeholders. Class sizes are being reduced to ensure a minimum of 1 meter social distancing. Therefore, we at Columba College are making Facemasks mandatory. The guiding principal in our decision making has been to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff.
- A student friendly Induction Programme has been developed for all students returning to school.
- It is essential that if a student displays any symptoms of illness that they are kept at home to ensure the health and safety of all persons.
- The school should be contacted if a sibling or family member is awaiting the result of a test for Covid 19 so that the school can make a decision to protect the student body.
- Students will not be sharing any materials with other students so please ensure you have all resources required for class.
- Students will be restricted in their movements at break and lunchtime and will be confined to areas to ensure limited mixing with other year groups. We ask that students respect and ensure social distancing during break and lunchtimes.
- Lockers: To ensure social distancing – students will not be using lockers.
- All relevant school policies including the Code of Behaviour have been reviewed and amended to include Covid-19 guidelines.
- All students must adhere to all Covid-19 regulation imposed by school management and failure to do so is a health and safety matter that will result in immediate contact with parents to bring the student home.
Parental Visits to our school:
Columba College has always been delighted to welcome parents/guardians to our school. However due to Covid-19, a strict protocol is now required to ensure exposure to the virus is minimized. Parents visiting the school will be required to do so by appointment only unless in cases of emergency.
Columba College over recent weeks have worked very hard to implement the Roadmap for return to school, public health advice and implement a Covid-19 Response Plan. These changes include:
- Implementation of One Way System in the school
- Establishment of base classrooms for each class group at 1 meter social distancing
- Introduction of staggered breaks – to allow for social distancing
- The installation of hand sanitisers in every room and sanitising stations are installed at all entry and exit points throughout the school. Installation of PPE where necessary
- Additional cleaning of school premises
- Changes to timetable where necessary – to allow for social distancing
- Class sizes are reduced where possible.
- All staff in Columba College will receive specialized training on Covid-19 before school commences.
- A Lead Worker Representative has been appointed. The LWR has the responsibility to ensure that all Covid-19 guidelines are followed and implemented.
- Staff are required to wear a facemask when 2 meter social distancing cannot be observed or adhered to.
Finally, we here at Columba College are looking forward to the reopening of the school and ensuring a high quality of teaching and learning and to seeing our students again. If you have not provided your email address to the school please email email@example.com as further updates will be communicated through email. The Covid-19 Policy Statement is available on our school website, as is the Covid 19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Post Primary Schools. We appreciate all your support over the coming days and months to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our school, during these strange and unprecedented times. We hope that you and your family stay safe and well.