Covid-19 Response Plan
The following Covid-19 response plan has been developed in line with the Government’s Roadmap for the Full Return to School, guidelines from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health. This document lays out the measures that the school will put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in our school. The situation will be reviewed in light of any issued circulars from the Department of Education and Skills.
Summerhill, Portlaoise, Co. Laois
Table of Contents
- Covid-19 statement………………………………………………………………………5
- Occupational health and safety measures and recommendations………………………………………………………….……………………6
- Consulting communicating and implementing workplace changes or policies………………………….10
- Health and safety documentation……………………..………………………….10
- Communicating the Plan……………………………………..……………………….14
- Stay at Home Policy…………………………………………………..………………….15
- At risk / Vulnerable Staff (those with an underlying medical condition)…………………………15
- At risk/ Vulnerable Students ( those with an underlying medical condition)……………………15
- Return to school requirements…………………………………………………..16
- Online / Blended learning……………………………………………………..…..17
- Legionella………………………………………………………….. …………………..18
- Statutory Training Updates…………………………………………………….….18
- Mental Health and Wellbeing…………………………………………………….18
- Environmental Hygiene……………………………………………..……………..20
- Social Distancing………………………………………………………..…………….22
- Hand Hygiene……………………………………………………………….…….……23
- Respiratory Hygiene………………………………………………………………….24
- Prevention of Cross Contamination………………………………….………..25
- Entry & Exit to school (arrival and hometimes)……………………………25
- Le Chéile (Special Classes)…………………………………………………………28
- Visitors to the school i.e. Parents, Guardians etc…………………………29
- Management of Deliveries to the school (school office supplies stationery furniture etc)….30
- Administration Offices……………………………………………………………..30
- Student breaks…………………………………………………………………………31
- Staff room…………………………………………………………………….. ……….31
- Management of meetings…………………………………………………………32
- School hall / library………………………………………………………..…………33
- Rental of school facilities (Sherpa etc)………………………………………..34
- Evacuation Procedures……………………………………………………..………35
- Bus Escorts (Le Cheile)……………………………………………………………..35
- School Travel…………………………………………………………………….. …..35
- Contractors on Site…………………………………………………….. ………….36
- Personal Protective Equipment…………………………………………………36
- Contact Tracing………………………………………………………………………..37
- First Aid Responder Guidance………………………………………………….38
- Covid-19 suspect / Confirmed cases…………………………………………..39
- Reporting Requirements under Occupational Health and Safety legislation………………41
- Cleaning spaces with suspected / confirmed cases…………………….41
- Return to school process……………………………………………..…………..43
- Return to school safely induction form – staff……………………………44
- Return to school safely induction form – students…………………..….46
1 COVID-19 Statement
Portlaoise E.T.N.S. is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all staff & a safe learning environment for all pupils. To ensure that, we have developed the following COVID-19 Response Plan.
The BOM and all school staff are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus.
· continue to monitor our COVID-19 response and amend this plan in consultation with our staff
· provide up to date information to our staff and pupils on the Public Health advice issued by the HSE and Gov.ie
· display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct handwashing techniques
· agree with staff, a worker representative who is easily identifiable to carry out the role outlined in this plan
· inform all staff and pupils of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements
· adapt the school to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the guidance and direction of the Department of Education
· keep a contact log to help with contact tracing
· ensure staff engage with the induction / familiarisation briefing provided by the Department of Education
· implement the agreed procedures to be followed in the event of someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school
· provide instructions for staff and pupils to follow if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during school time
· implement cleaning in line with Department of Education advice
All school staff will be consulted on an ongoing basis and feedback is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions. This can be done through the Lead Worker Representative(s), who will be supported in line with the agreement between the Department and education partners.
Chairperson Board of Management Principal
Date: 12/08/2020 Date: 12/08/2020
The following Covid-19 Response Plan has been developed in line with the Government’s Roadmap for the Full Return to School, guidelines from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the Health Services Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health. This document lays out the measures the school will put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our school. The situation will be reviewed in light of any issued circulars from the Department of Education and Skills.
The Covid-19 Response Plan incorporates current advice about measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community issued by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). As the advice issued by NPHET continues to evolve, this document may also change. Therefore, it shall be noted that the following measures are non-exhaustive and are also subject to change i.e. this is a living document.
As stated above, the challenge that we face is changing, and we need to be able to quickly respond to those changes. We also need to monitor how our school is coping with the new way of working and whether changes need to be made to elements of this Covid-19 Response Plan.
We will follow closely the advice issued by the relevant government departments and if necessary update / amend this Covid-19 Response Plan.
3. Occupational Health and Safety Measures and Recommendations
All existing Occupational Health and Safety provisions will continue to apply to our school during this time and we will continue to adhere to our existing Health & Safety Management System.
We will periodically review the advice available on the Health and Safety Authority website www.hsa.ie including additional occupational health and safety information on the specific COVID-19 webpages: https://www.hsa.ie/eng/topics/covid-19/covid- 19_coronavirus.html.
As Portlaoise ETNS implement the measures in the school to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for staff, students and wider school community specific occupational health and safety measures may also need to be considered and implemented.
Portlaoise ETNS shall first take into account the most up-to-date official public health advice and guidance from the Department of Health and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre on how to mitigate the health risk.
Where a risk of exposure to COVID-19 is identified in the COVID-19 Response plan, an occupational health and safety risk assessment shall also be completed. All of the public health and occupational health and safety measures shall be developed in consultation with staff and ultimately communicated to staff and others in the school.
Portlaoise ETNS shall also communicate with safety representatives selected or appointed under the Occupational Health and Safety legislation and consult with staff on safety measures to be implemented in the school.
What is Coronavirus / Covid-19
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a new (novel) Coronavirus virus called CoronavirusSARS-CoV-2. Current evidence suggests that the virus is significantly more infectious than the flu that circulates every winter. Viruses can be easily spread to other people and patients are normally infectious until all the symptoms have gone. COVID-19 may survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours. A combination of good personal hygiene and management of social distancing can protect from infection. This is at the core of this document.
This non-exhaustive document describes the steps that Portlaoise ETNS and staff shall take in order to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in our school. It also provides policies and procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Portlaoise ETNS and staff will however keep up to date with the latest measures introduced by Government and any advice issued as a result.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 can cause illness, ranging from mild to severe, and, in some cases, can be fatal. It can take anything from 2 days up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear.
They can be similar to the symptoms of cold and flu.
Common symptoms of coronavirus include:
• a fever (high temperature – 38 degrees Celsius or above).
• a cough – this can be any kind of cough, not just dry.
• shortness of breath or breathing difficulties.
Some people infected with the virus, so called asymptomatic cases, have experienced no symptoms at all.
Table 1: Compare symptoms of coronavirus, flu and cold
How COVID-19 Spreads
The virus that causes COVID-19 disease is spread from people in fluid and in droplets scattered from the nose or mouth of an infected person when the person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks.
The fluid or droplets land on objects and surfaces around the infected person. Other people contaminate their hands by touching these objects or surfaces and then bring the virus into contact with their eyes, nose or mouth by touching them with their contaminated hands. COVID-19 can also spread if droplets from an infected person land directly on the mucous membranes of the eye, nose or mouth of a person standing close to them.
It is still not known how long the virus survives on surfaces in different conditions. The period of survival may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment). Studies indicate that it can persist on surfaces for hours and up to several days in the absence of effective cleaning. Thorough and regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is essential. If disinfection is required it must be performed in addition to cleaning, never as a substitute for cleaning.
While people are most likely to pass on the infection when they have symptoms, current information suggests that some infected people spread the virus to others prior to developing or displaying symptoms themselves.
Working together to suppress COVID-19 in the school
Strong communication and a shared collaborative approach between Portlaoise ETNS, our staff, students and the wider school community is key to protecting against the spread of COVID-19. It is also essential to achieve success and maximum buy-in. Portlaoise ETNS will have regular engagement about COVID-19 and the preventative measures established to address the current pandemic.
Adherence to this Covid-19 Response Plan will only be achieved if all associated with Portlaoise ETNS share the responsibility of implementing the measures contained in this plan. A collaborative approach to the implementation of the Covid-19 Response Plan is essential to achieve success.
Portlaoise ETNS will appoint one Lead Worker Representative charged with ensuring that COVID-19 measures are strictly adhered to. The person(s) undertaking the role will receive the necessary training and have a structured framework to follow in order to be effective in preventing the spread of the virus.
Portlaoise ETNS will have regular and meaningful engagement with this staff representative, about the measures being put in place to address the occupational exposure to COVID-19 in the school.. Portlaoise ETNS and staff representatives will work together to ensure that all the actions in this Covid-19 Response Plan are fully adhered to in order to ensure the suppression of COVID-19 in the school.
5. Consulting, Communicating and Implementing Workplace Changes or Policies
Portlaoise ETNS shall:
• Consult with and communicate to staff, students and the wider school community, in line with normal procedures, on any changes that are introduced to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
• Communicate the messages about good hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing.
• Provide training and advice on the measures recommended to reduce the spread as well as dealing with any anxieties or concerns staff may have about COVID-19.
• Make available the necessary public health advice from the HSE and other sources as appropriate to their staff where there is no occupational health service available in a workplace.
• Ensure that a Lead Worker Representative is appointed and involved in communicating the health advice around COVID-19 in the workplace.
• Implement temporary restructuring of work patterns that may be required to implement the COVID-19 prevention measures in the workplace.
As information about the virus is evolving, public health advice is being updated and it is important for Portlaoise ETNS staff, students and the wider school community to recognise that flexibility will be required on their part in meeting the measures to reduce the spread.
6. Health & Safety Documentation
Prior to the school reopening of the school after the COVID-19 shutdown period, all health and safety documentation including the school Health & Safety Statement has been reviewed to ensure that the documentation is aligned with the measures as outlined in this “Covid-19 Response Plan” and general / standard health and safety requirements, considering the constraints of COVID-19.
Role of the Covid-19 Response Team
For the purposes of the document, anyone with supervisory responsibilities is classified as a member of the Covid-19 Response Team. These include:
Board of Management
Lead Worker Representative Deputy Principal
Deputy Lead worker Representative
Covid-19 Response Team will collectively implement this document. Note: This team must stay agile as new information comes available that may change approach in procedures, processes or PPE.
• Managing and instructing all our staff on various control measures and compliance.
• Ensuring that all personnel on school premises, including staff, students and visitors have been made aware of the specific requirements of the Covid- 19 Response Plan.
• Ensure that the Lead Worker Representative are appointed.
• Ensure the Return to School Safely Induction has been undertaken by all staff prior to reopening the school.
• Ensure that sufficient arrangements are in place to allow for social distancing and hygiene requirements of this plan and to take appropriate immediate action where they are not.
Role of Staff
Staff shall follow the public health advice and guidance, as well as any specific direction from Senior Management at Portlaoise ETNS. They shall also adopt good hygiene practices, such as frequent hand washing, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing to protect themselves and their work colleagues against infection and shall seek professional healthcare advice if unwell. If staff have symptoms of COVID-19 they shall not attend work. Staff shall also avoid making contact with their face and in particular their eyes, nose and mouth. Where necessary, staff shall wash their hands immediately before touching their face.
As noted above, the key to effective implementation of the infection prevention and control measures as well as occupational health and safety measures in the school is having a strong communication and shared collaborative approach between Portlaoise ETNS and staff.
In addition Staff shall:
• Undertake the Return to School Safely (Covid-19) Induction and adhere to the measures identified.
• Complete the Covid-19 Self Declaration Form 3 days in advance of returning to school and then daily thereafter..
• Review the Covid-19 Response Plan, provide constructive input and adhere to the measures identified.
• Follow signage, allow for social distancing and adhere to hygiene requirements.
• Make representations to the Principal regarding Covid-19.
• Coach other staff to self-assess their task for social distancing and transmission points.
Role of Parents / Guardians / Students
Parents / Guardians / Students are asked to follow the public health advice and guidance, as well as any specific direction from the Portlaoise ETNS. They shall also adopt good hygiene practices, such as frequent hand washing, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing to protect themselves, teachers and fellow students against infection and shall seek professional healthcare advice if unwell. If students have symptoms of COVID- 19 they must not attend school. Students must also avoid making contact with their face and in particular their eyes, nose and mouth.
In addition students/their parents shall:
• Undertake the Return to School Safely (Covid-19) Induction and adhere to the measures identified.
• Follow signage, allow for social distancing and adhere to hygiene requirements.
• Inform Teachers should they experience any of the symptoms of Covid-19.
• Inform the school on any planned international trips and their intention to return the school after the 14 day self-isolation period has passed.
Role of the Lead Worker Representative
As noted above, Portlaoise ETNS will appoint a Lead Worker Representative and a Deputy LWR whose role is to work collaboratively with the school to assist in the implementation of measures and monitor adherence to the measures to prevent the spread of COVID -19. Staff representative shall together with the COVID-19 response management team, support the implementation of the measures identified in this Covid-19 Response Plan. Such a person will receive the relevant and necessary training by Portlaoise ETNS.
• Represent all staff in the workplace regardless of role, and be aware of specific issues that may arise in respect of different staff cohorts;
• Keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 public health advice;
• Work collaboratively with school management to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of employees in relation to COVID-19;
• Consult with school management on the control measures required to minimise the risk of staff and students being exposed to COVID- 19;
• Promote good hygiene practices, in conjunction with school management, such as washing hands regularly and maintaining good respiratory etiquette along with maintaining social distancing in accordance with public health advice;
• Assist school management with the implementation of measures to suppress COVID-19 in the workplace in line with the Return to Work Safely Protocol and current public health advice;
• Monitor, in conjunction with school management, adherence to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
• Conduct reviews of safety measures that are in place to address and suppress COVID-19 in the workplace. Reviews (including an examination of the workplace) should be conducted on a regular basis (at least twice per week);
• Report any issues of concern immediately to school management and keep records of such issues and actions taken to rectify them;
• Consult with the school management on the school’s COVID-19 Response Plan in the event of someone developing COVID-19 while in school including the location of an isolation area and a safe route to that area;
• Following any incident, assess with the school management any follow up action that is required;
• Consult with colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace;
• Make representations to school management on behalf of their colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.
· assist the LWR in their duties as set out above; and
· deputise as LWR where the LWR is absent
8. Communicating the Plan
In advance of the school reopening following the COVID-19 shutdown period, we have considered the following, in conjunction with communications and briefings that will be required:
Portlaoise ETNS shall:
• Inform Staff, students and the wider school community not to enter the school if they are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus.
• Inform parents that if their child needs to be accompanied to the school only one parent should attend.
• Inform parents and students their allocated drop off and collection times and the process for doing so, including protocols for minimising adult to adult contact (for example, which entrance to use).
• Make clear to parents that they cannot gather at entrance gates or doors, or enter the school (unless they have an appointment, which should be conducted safely).
• Make parents and students aware of recommendations on transport to and from school.
• Inform staff about the school’s Covid-19 Response.
• Communicate early with contractors and suppliers that will need to prepare to support the schools plans for opening for example, cleaning, catering, food supplies etc.
• Discuss with cleaners the additional cleaning requirements and agree hours to allow for this.
9 Stay at Home Policy
The prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a crucial step in protecting staff, students and the wider school community. Portlaoise ETNS has a policy of “Staying at Home if unwell”.
Portlaoise ETNS will:
• Ensure a policy of “staying at home if unwell” as it applies to all staff, students and ancillary staff.
• Establish procedures for students or staff who have symptoms of COVID- 19 or are feeling unwell in any way to be sent home or isolated from others.
• Provide for enhanced substitution arrangements for teachers for such scenarios;
• Inform parents about the measures the school is putting in place and ask for cooperation to report any cases of COVID-19 that occur in the household. If someone in the household is suspected to have COVID-19, it is important to keep the child home and inform the school.
10. At Risk/Vulnerable Staff (Those with an underlying medical condition)
• DES Circulars & Public Health advice will be followed at all times regarding the cocooning of at risk / vulnerable staff.
• At risk staff will be asked to consult their GP / Medical Practitioner regarding their fitness to return to school.
• At which point the member of staff will be asked to furnish to the Board of Management a “Fitness to Return to Work” Certificate.
• Portlaoise ETNS will implement so far as is reasonably practicable organisational changes to ensure the safety of the At Risk / Vulnerable members of staff on their return to work.
11. At Risk/Vulnerable Students (Those with an underlying medical condition)
For students vulnerable to the disease, attendance at school may not be possible.
• DES Circulars / Public Health advice will be followed at all times regarding vulnerable students.
• Portlaoise ETNS also recognises that given the potential for an upturn in the disease (and/or a second wave) and that ‘stay-at-home’ may have to be re- introduced.
• Therefore a blended learning approach (online / in school) may be a feature this school year and the school will have to provide the necessary agility to respond very quickly to changed circumstances at a local, regional or national level.
12. Return to School Requirements
In advance of Portlaoise ETNS reopening following the COVID-19 shutdown period, we have considered the following, in conjunction with communications and briefings that will be required:
• Updates to Safety Statement and other relevant documents will have to be communicated to all staff members;
• All staff returning to school must complete the “Return to School Safely Induction” Training.
• This training shall at a minimum include the latest up to-date advice and guidance on public health: what a staff shall do if they develop symptoms of COVID-19; details of how the school is organised to address the risk from COVID-19; an outline of the COVID-19 response plan; and any other sector specific advice that is relevant.
COVID-19 Self Declaration Form
All persons returning to school must complete a COVID-19 Self Declaration Form at least 3 days in advance of planning to do so.
• This form shall seek confirmation that staff, to the best of their knowledge, have no symptoms of COVID-19 and also confirm that staff are not self-isolating or awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
• If conditions change at any time, resulting in a re-appearance of symptoms – staff are instructed to not come to school!
• The following questions on the form. If any member of staff answers ‘Yes’ to any of them, they are strongly advised to follow the medical advice they receive or seek medical advice before returning to work:
- Do you have symptoms of cough, fever, high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, breathlessness or flu like symptoms now or in the past 14 days? Yes/No,
- Have you been diagnosed with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection in the last 14 days? Yes/No,
- Are you a close contact of a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days (i.e. less than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes accumulative in 1 day)? Yes/No,
- Have you been advised by a doctor to self-isolate at this time? Yes/No,
- Have you been advised by a doctor to cocoon at this time? Yes/No.
• Complete and return the Covid-19 Self Declaration Form before they return to school and then daily thereafter.
• Inform Portlaoise ETNS if there are any other circumstances relating to COVID-19, not included in the form, which may need to be disclosed to allow their safe return to work.
• Self-isolate at home and contact their GP promptly for further advice if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.
• Stay out of work until all symptoms have cleared following self-isolation.
• Participate in any induction training provided by Portlaoise ETNS on their return to the school.
13. Online / Blended Learning
It is recognised that for students vulnerable to the disease, attendance at school may not be possible. Portlaoise ETNS also recognises that given the potential for an upturn in the disease (and/or a second wave) that ‘stay- at-home’ may have to be re-introduced (at a school, region or national level).
Therefore a blended learning approach (online / in school) may be necessary to ensure that the school has the ability to respond very quickly to changed circumstances at a local, regional or national level.
It is also possible that Portlaoise ETNS may be required to provide both in-school and remote learning support during the coming school year. This approach to learning which combines face-to-face and remote learning experiences is known as blended learning.
The school has implemented G-Suite for Education & Aladdin and these technologies will be core to the delivery of blended learning should the need arise.
In that context the Department of Education & Skills together with the NCCA is working towards:
• Identifying an appropriate blended learning models for individual school contexts;
• Adapting the delivery of the overall curriculum in the context of a blended learning environment;
• Providing specific advice on particular curriculum subjects and programmes;
• Maximising the use of digital technologies to support a blended learning approach;
• Supporting and enhancing the role of parents/guardians and other partnerships;
• Guidance: The NCCA will provide overarching guidance on how the curriculum can be differentiated.
• Curriculum advice: The Department’s Inspectorate, in collaboration with the Department’s Curriculum and Assessment Policy Unit, will develop more detailed advice on operational aspects of curriculum implementation.
• Supporting the readiness of the teachers to work in new ways and to use technology in lesson preparation and delivery.
• Supporting access to technology in the school and home.
• Providing further guidance to parents.
• Training and support programmes for teachers in the use of digital technologies.
Legionella is the name given to the pneumonia like illness caused by legionella bacteria, including the most serious Legionnaires’ disease. Infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. Common symptoms include coughing, breathlessness, high fever, muscle aches and headaches and usually appear 5-6 days after infection but may take longer.
- Competent contractor has been contracted to test water on the school premises and treat it accordingly.
- Water storage tanks are checked and cleaned, any buildup of sludge/slime is cleaned, and tanks are disinfected annually
- There are arrangements in place for little used outlets, to either:
o flush through showers/taps/water fountains and all other sources arising on at least a weekly basis, or
o carry out a safe purge of the water system;
o before use e.g. prior to reopening after summer holidays;
15. Statutory Training Updates
First Aid Responder Training The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) is responsible for the provision of First Aid certification in Ireland. PHECC have confirmed that if a First Aid Responder’s certification has lapsed and they are unable to complete a refresher course, their certification will remain valid until such time that the situation is rescinded. This departure from normal standards shall be limited to the duration of the current COVID-19 outbreak.
16. Mental Health & Wellbeing
‘SLOW DOWN TO CATCH UP’ We want to help our students feel safe and comfortable by creating a supportive and sensitive environment.
Staff & students who are returning to the school after a period of isolation are likely to have concerns about the risk of infection or changes to their job due to the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Staff on their return to work, may have also gone through traumatic events such as the serious illness or death of a relative or friend, or be experiencing financial difficulties or problems with their personal relationships. Portlaoise ETNS will support our staff who may be suffering from anxiety or stress.
The following publicly available sources of support and advice should be noted by all staff.
Your family doctor is usually the first person to approach in relation to mental health concerns. Many people attend their General Practitioner (GP) with mental health problems such as depression or anxiety and may not need the help of a mental health professional.
In other cases the GP may decide to refer you to the community mental health team.
Portlaoise ETNS will support you through this time. In addition to seeing your GP the following organisations provide mental support and advice:
• Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme (EAWP) The service is accessible through the Freephone Helpline at 1800 411 057 and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Depression & Bipolar Disorder Support www.aware.ie | Tel: 1800 80 48 48 | Email: email@example.com
• Pieta House
Free therapeutic support to people who are in suicidal distress and those who engage in self-harm. T: 1800 247 247 | W: www.pieta.ie
They offer self-help, peer support and professional support through an online platform for those who are experiencing poor mental health. www.Turn2Me.org
Mental Health support and Recovery Organisation Tel: 1890 474 474 | Email:firstname.lastname@example.org | www.grow.ie
The national helpline for parents www.parentline.ie Helpline: 1890 92 72 77 | or 01 873 3500
The national helpline for young persons www.childline.ie Helpline: 1800 666 666
17. Environmental Hygiene Portlaoise ETNS shall ensure:
• Non-essential items, clutter, equipment shall be removed to facilitate cleaning and maximise physical distancing.
• Cleaning procedures are in place in the school to prevent cross contamination, particularly in communal areas and at touch points.
• The school is cleaned each day and there is a roster of daily cleaning of touch points including:
• Taps and washing facilities.
• Toilet flush and seats.
• Door handles and push plates.
• Handrails on staircases and corridors.
• Food preparation and eating surfaces.
• Communications equipment.
• Keyboards, photocopiers and other school equipment.
• Rubbish collection and storage points shall be increased and emptied at the end of each day.
• Regular cleaning of welfare facilities, handrails and touch points shall be undertaken.
• If disinfection of an area is required it must be performed in addition to cleaning, never as a substitute for cleaning.
Staff shall ensure:
• Clean workstations, desktops, tables and any other equipment before and after use, including any meeting rooms and shared spaces.
• Clean down their table after break times.
• Clean touch points in toilets before and after use.
• Staff are provided with essential cleaning materials to keep their own workspace clean (for example wipes/disinfection products, paper towels and waste bins/bags).
Students shall ensure:
• Maintain good hand hygiene i.e. washing hands regularly with hot water and soap.
• Use good respiratory hygiene i.e. coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the back of their elbow.
Cleaning Staff shall ensure that:
• Cleaning is best achieved using a general-purpose detergent and warm water, clean cloths, mops and the mechanical action of wiping/scrubbing. The area should then be rinsed and dried.
• The routine use of disinfectants is generally not appropriate but is recommended in circumstances where there is a higher risk of cross-infection for example someone has become ill whilst at school or if there has been a spillage of blood, faeces or vomit.
• Disinfectants are potentially hazardous and must be used with caution and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Surfaces and items must be cleaned before a disinfectant is applied as most disinfectants are inactivated by dirt.
• The manufacturer’s instructions for mixing, using and storing solutions must always be followed.
• Using excessive amounts of cleaning agents will not kill more germs or clean better but it will damage work surfaces, make floors slippery and give off unpleasant odours.
• Water should be changed when it looks dirty, after cleaning bathrooms and after cleaning the kitchen.
• Always clean the least dirty items and surfaces first (for example countertops before floors, sinks before toilets).
• Always clean high surfaces first, and then low surfaces.
• Separate colour coded cleaning cloths and cleaning equipment should be used for kitchen areas, classrooms and toilets.
• Cleaning cloths can either be disposable or reusable. Disposable cloths should be disposed of each day.
• Ideally, reusable cloths should be laundered daily on a hot wash cycle (at least 60°C) in a washing machine and then tumble dried.
• Ideally, mop heads should be removed and washed in the washing machine at 60°C at the end of each day or in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Buckets should be emptied after use, washed with detergent and warm water and stored dry.
• If equipment is stored wet, it allows germs to grow increasing the risk of cross infection.
|Routine Cleaning||Post COVID case|
|Surfaces||Neutral detergent||Neutral detergent and 0.05% sodium hypochlorite or virucidal disinfectant|
|Toilets||Neutral detergent and 0.05% sodium hypochlorite or virucidal disinfectant||0.1% sodium hypochlorite or virucidal disinfectant|
|Cleaning Equipment||Disposable cleaned at the end of cleaning session||Non-disposable disinfected with 0.1% Sodium hypochlorite or virucidal disinfectant|
|PPE for cleaning staff||Uniform and household gloves||Uniform and plastic apron and household gloves|
|Waste management||domestic waste stream||Place in plastic bag and tie then place in a second plastic bag and store security for 72 hours before putting it out for collection in the normal domestic waste stream|
Ecdc technical report. Disinfection of environments in healthcare and non-healthcare settings potentially contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 March 2020
18. Social Distancing
Physical distancing is recommended to reduce the spread of infection. The current recommended distance to be maintained between staff to minimise risk of transmission is 2 metres. Senior classes i.e. From 3rd – 6th Class, will need to be socially distanced at 1 metre where 2 metre physical distancing cannot be achieved. Junior Classes i.e. Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 1st & 2nd Class will not be socially distanced but instead.
Portlaoise ETNS identified a number of measures for social distancing and how this will be achieved in a number of ways:
• Classes will become class bubbles and the interaction of class bubbles is not permitted.
• Junior Classes (Junior Infants – 2nd) will be seated in pods in the classroom.
• Senior Classes (3rd – 6th) will be seated with a distance of 1 metre apart
• All available space in the school shall be availed of in order to safely maximise physical distancing.
• The class space shall be reconfigured to maximise physical distancing in line with the “Illustrative Classroom Layouts referenced in the Framework to maintain Physical Distancing in the Classroom in Primary Schools with a full return of all Students for the 2020/2021 School Year “.
• Floor tape will be used to mark out the exact location of tables which ensures that a 1 metre social distancing can be maintained.
• The teacher’s desk will be placed at least 1 metre and where possible 2 metres from student’s desks.
• Multiple entrance / exit points into the school building will now be utilised.
• Chairs, benches, notice boards are removed from all hallways / corridors to maximise the available space in these areas.
• Social distancing of 2 metres must be maintained on corridors through the use of a one way system to the greatest extent possible. Corridors will only be used for travel between classes / at break times and never for accommodation i.e. sitting and congregation. Suitable floor signage will be laid down. Those on Supervision at break times should monitor the use of the system. Those not adhering to the measures will be subject to the school’s Code of Behaviour policy.
• Staff Room has been reorganised and provisions are in place to minimise the transmission of Covid-19.
• Meetings as much as possible are now conducted using phone, Google Meet or Zoom.
• Situations that require people to sit or stand in direct physical contact with other people will in particular be avoided.
• Where face to face meetings are absolutely necessary, the length of the meeting will be kept to a maximum of 40 minutes and the numbers attending are to be kept to a minimum. At all times participants must maintain physical distancing at the advised 2 metres. In addition, the location for these meetings must facilitate good ventilation i.e. an open window. Meetings shall not take place in rooms without natural ventilation.
• Large gatherings of staff in the school at the beginning and end of working hours (such as in the staff room) is not permitted.
19. Hand Hygiene
Regular hand washing with soap and water is very effective in tackling COVID-19. Portlaoise ETNS shall ensure that appropriate hygiene facilities are in place to accommodate staff and students in adhering to hand hygiene measures.
We will also display posters on how to wash hands in appropriate locations.
Staff & Students shall:
• ensure they are familiar with and follow hand hygiene guidance and advice.
• wash their hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub regularly and in particular:
o after coughing and sneezing,
o before and after eating,
o before and after preparing food,
o if in contact with someone who is displaying any COVID-19
o before and after being on public transport (if using it),
o before and after being in a crowd,
o when arriving and leaving school,
o when hands are dirty,
o after toilet use.
o avoid touching their eyes, mouth, or nose.
• use hand sanitiser/hand wipes/hand washing facilities frequently.
• not share objects that touch their mouth, for example, bottles or cups.
• use own pens for signing in.
• adhere to a no hand shaking policy;
Use of Sanitiser
Hand sanitiser is suitable for use for hand hygiene when hands are not visibly soiled (look clean).The targeted use of sanitisers is a critical measure limiting the spread of Covid-19. The school will provide the required materials in the required locations and we all depend on each other to use them appropriately and advise when any refills are required. The areas where hand sanitiser is provided and required to be used are as follows:
• At Entrances / Exits – must be used when entering and leaving the building.
• Inside each teacher’s toilet block– must be used going into and out of the toilets.
• Outside the staff room door – must be used entering the staff room.
• Inside the staff room – should be used after washing hands.
• In each classroom – to be used regularly.
• In all meeting areas – used before meetings when handling paperwork.
- Outside the main office
Sanitising spray / sanitising wipes located:
• At each teacher’s desk – to clean down the desk, computer keyboard/mouse and phone before and after daily use.
• In the staff room – for everyone to clean surfaces before and after preparing and consuming food/beverages.
• In the toilets – to clean surfaces such as door handles.
- At the secretary’s desk – – to clean down the desk computer keyboard/mouse and phone before and after daily use.
- At school phone points – for wiping down phones after use
20. Respiratory Hygiene
In addition to hand hygiene, good respiratory hygiene and etiquette is also necessary. Portlaoise ETNS will provide tissues as well as bins/bags for their disposal. Bins will be emptied at regular intervals.
Staff & students shall:
• adopt good respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette i.e. using a tissue or a bent elbow to avoid dispersing droplets into the air.
• Those who fail to practice good respiratory hygiene practices i.e. coughing, sneezing or spitting at another person in the school will be subject to the school’s code of behaviour.
21. Prevention of Cross Contamination
The potential for cross contamination is higher at school building(s) entry and exit points and where there are high levels of surface contact points such as in welfare areas, corridors, hallways, stairs access etc.
The following measures are in place:
• School entry is now limited to staff & students. Visitors are only permitted to attend the school by appointment only. Appropriate signage will be posted at the front door of our school.
• Sanitising stations are in position at all building entrance/exits as well as in each classroom, outside toilet blocks & staff room.
• Each morning and directly before school ends, entrances will be held open to allow for the free flow of staff / students from the school building. Multiple entry points will allow for large numbers to come and go in the school.
• The use of Google Meet / Zoom will be considered when communicating with large groups.
• Common contact surfaces in classrooms, offices, photocopying areas, staff rooms etc. are cleaned at least once daily by cleaning staff.
• Staff are asked to clean down shared tabletops, desks, computers, shared laptops, school landlines, using the sanitising wipes provided.
• Deliveries to the school will only be accepted when it is related to the operation of the school. Deliveries of personal items to the school will not be signed for and will be returned to the courier.
• All persons entering school shall be directed to sanitise their hands
• Social distancing of 2 metres must be maintained on corridors through the use of a one way system to the greatest extent possible. Corridors will only be used for travel between classes / at break times and never for accommodation i.e. sitting and congregation. Suitable floor signage will be laid down. Those on Supervision at break times should monitor the use of the system. Those not adhering to the measures will be subject to the school’s Code of Behaviour.
22. Entry & Exit (Students & Staff)
The potential for cross contamination is high at entry points.
Arrangements for Entry/Exit are as follows:
• Multiple entrance / exit points into the school building will be utilised.
- All children will go immediately to their designated entry point on arrival to school. Children will enter the building from 8.20 – 8.40 and go directly to their classroom.
- Chairs, benches, notice boards are removed from all hallways / corridors to maximise the available space in these areas.
- A one way system is in operation please follow signage.
- Corridors will only be used for travel between classes / at break times and never for accommodation i.e. sitting and congregation.
- Suitable floor signage will be laid down.
- Those on Supervision at break times should monitor the use of the system.
- Those not adhering to the measures will be subject to the school’s Code of Behaviour.
Staggered Home Times –
Infants – collection from infant yard. Parents to maintain social distancing at all times and only arrive at designated time and leave immediately upon collection of child
- 1.00pm Junior Infants (Teachers Ann and Elaine)
- 1.10pm Senior Infants (Teachers Sheena and Hazel)
Children in 1st – 6th collection from side gate or set down – no adults beyond set down. Remain outside side-gate
- All children using buses – exit building first just before 2pm
- 2.00pm Children in Group 1 (Surname beginning with letters A – H)
- 2.05pm Children in Group 2 (Surname beginning with I – P)
- 2.10pm Children in Group 3 (Surname beginning with Q – Z)
The potential for cross contamination is high in classrooms.
Arrangements for Classrooms are as follows:
• All rooms will be cleared out to maximise the available space for social distancing i.e. all non-essential equipment, furniture, and other items.
• The classroom shall be reconfigured to maximise physical distancing in line with the “Illustrative Classroom Layouts referenced in the Framework to maintain Physical Distancing in the Classroom in Primary Schools with a full return of all Students for the 2020/2021 School Year “.
• Classrooms laid out to ensure physical distancing as per public health guidance of 1 metre between individual desks in Senior Classes (3rd to 6th). Floor Tape will be used to mark out location of desks.
• Dedicated seating plans will be established so far as is reasonably practicable.
• The teacher’s desk will be placed at least 1 metre and where possible 2 metres from student’s desks.
• Sanitising stations are in position in each classroom and will be used by students under the direct supervision of the teacher.
• Common contact surfaces in classrooms are cleaned at least once daily by cleaning staff.
• Staff are asked to clean down their table tops, desks, computers, shared laptops, using the sanitising wipes provided. This should be done at the start and end of each day.
• Where staff are using a room not normally their own, they are asked to clean down table tops, desks, computers, shared laptops, using the PPE provided i.e. sanitising wipes. This should be done at the start and end of each day.
• Where possible staff should maintain a minimum of 1m distance and where possible 2m in Senior Classes.
• Staff should take measures to avoid close contact at face to face level such as remaining standing rather than sitting beside/crouching down.
• Situations that require people to sit or stand in direct physical contact with other people should in particular be avoided.
• Sharing of items, pens etc. should be avoided to the greatest extent possible. Where equipment is shared between students outside of their pod, then this should be sanitised before and after use.
• Windows / doors where possible to be kept open to ensure good ventilation into the classroom.
• Posters / Illustrations of 2 metre spacing shall be posted to clearly demonstrate social distancing.
• Good respiratory etiquette throughout the meeting i.e. coughing / sneezing into a tissue or the back of the elbow.
• All rubbish to be disposed in a suitable bin.
• Teachers will be responsible for coordinating / staggering those students leaving classrooms in areas that may lead to unnecessary congestion.
24. Additional Needs and Le Chéile (our Special Classes for children with Autism)
For children with special educational needs (SEN) maintaining physical distancing in many instances will not be practical or reasonable to implement. The focus of our plan is therefore on emphasising that parents/guardians should have a heightened awareness of signs, symptoms or changes in baseline which might suggest illness/COVID-19 infection and where symptoms are present, children should not attend school / Le Chéile
Similarly, staff are instructed not to attend school if they develop signs or symptoms of respiratory illness.
• Staff who work with children with medical needs in the school environment should apply Standard Precautions, as per usual practice.
• Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette to be maintained at all times.
• Cleaning schedules will be increased in all areas of the school including resource rooms and Le Chéile.
• The use of a face covering will conceal facial expression and can make communication difficult and as such may not be practical however the wearing of a visor as an alternative to a facial covering will be considered where there is a concern that physical distancing cannot be maintained or where there will be prolonged close contact and/or that exposure to fluid/respiratory droplets is likely.
• Children who are unable to wash their hands by themselves should be assisted to clean their hands using either soap and water or a hand sanitiser (if their hands are visibly clean) as outlined previously.
• Equipment used to deliver care shall be maintained and be visibly clean in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations (generally achieved using a general purpose detergent and warm water.
• Equipment that is used on different children shall be cleaned and, if required, disinfected immediately after use and before use by another child.
• If equipment is soiled with body fluids, First clean thoroughly with detergent and water. Then disinfect by wiping with a freshly prepared solution of disinfectant. Rinse with water and dry.
• Classes will operate as separate pods with separate areas for breaks
• Each pod will have dedicated set of learning materials & equipment for any given week and will be appropriately sanitised before moving to the other pod.
• dedicated times for use of external common areas.
• Non-essential Soft Furnishings to the greatest extent possible should be taken out of the SNU.
• Staff will where possible work with the same students throughout the week and will avoid moving between pods to the greatest extent possible.
• The sharing of food, tools, equipment, or supplies between students is not permitted.
- Integration with other classes will be explored in line with advice from DoES.
25. Visitors to the school i.e. Parents, Guardians etc.
The potential for cross contamination is higher at entry and exit points and where there are high levels of surface contact points such as in welfare areas, walkways, stairs access etc.
Arrangements for Visitor Meetings on the school premises are as follows:
• School Entrances will be locked at all times with the exception of before school begins and ends.
• Visitors will be informed of the requirement to make an appointment before attending the school.
• All visitors will have to complete and submit a self-declaration form 3 days in advance of coming to the school for an appointment.
• Advice on COVID-19 measures will be visible to ensure that visitors are also adhering to the latest public health guidelines..
• All visitors will be directed to wait outside and call reception for direction.
• Once the person for whom the visitor is attending is ready and at reception – only then will the visitor be permitted to enter the building.
• Sanitising stations in position at all school entry points and the visitor / member of staff are expected to use it.
• Member of staff should use the nearest available meeting room giving due consideration to the size of the room, and the those likely to attend.
• Meetings should be kept to a maximum of 40 minutes.
• Meeting Room signage will be posted on each door to advise the maximum number that should be in attendance.
• Windows and door (where practicable) to be kept open to ensure good ventilation into the meeting area.
• 2 metre social distancing must be maintained throughout the meeting between all attendees.
• Drop box available at school door for drop offs (lunches, coats etc.).
26. Management Of Deliveries to the School (School Office Supplies, Stationery, Furniture etc.)
Arrangements for deliveries at our premises:
• Deliveries to the school will only be accepted when it is related to the operation of the school. Deliveries of personal items to the school will not be signed for and will be returned to the courier.
• Signage is in place externally advising delivery personnel to contact reception before attempting to enter the building.
• Delivery Drivers to the school will be advised to wait outside and call the number provided on the signage.
• Over the phone, they will then be advised to drop any delivery in the reception porch. School personnel will then come out to collect.
• All collections should be managed in the same reverse order.
• All deliveries will be done through paperless delivery acceptance and acknowledgements with suppliers to ensure materials management and material reconciliations are accurate.
• Appropriate sanitising arrangements are in place at points of school access, egress and set down areas.
27. Main Office
As the central location in the school for staff and students the following measures are necessary to safeguard the school community.
• Visitors to the school will be by appointment only i.e. main entrance will be locked during class times.
• Office Door will be closed during the day – staff and students are not permitted in the office.
• A screen will be used to protect those in the main office.
• PPE Pack will be available in the main office.
• Messages for staff will be delivered via email or intercom
• School secretary shall be responsible for keeping workstation surfaces clear and clean i.e. wipe with sanitiser regularly throughout the working day.
• School secretary shall be positioned so there is always a social distance of 2 metres between themselves and others
• Windows will be opened to ensure good ventilation in the area.
• Visitor Books and Sign in / Sign out books will be filled out by those in the office and not by students / parents signing the student out.
• Cash payments will be strongly discouraged. Any Cash Payments will be quarantined for 72 hours before handling / depositing.
• Parents / students will be advised to ensure that they bring all items that are needed for a given school day. A drop off area will be placed at the main school entrance for forgotten lunches, etc.
• Hot Water will be provided for in all toilet blocks.
• Hand sanitiser dispensers will be located at the exit / entrances to each of the toilet blocks to ensure that hand hygiene is maintained.
• Those using the facilities shall adhere to physical distancing as much as is reasonably possible.
• Windows in / or adjacent to the toilet block should be opened to ensure good ventilation and fresh air circulation.
• Those using the facilities should practice good respiratory etiquette i.e. coughing / sneezing into a tissue or the back of the elbow.
• Congregation is not permitted in the toilet blocks.
• Soap and hand washing pictorial guides provided.
• Cleaning regime frequency will be increased for toilet facilities particularly door handles, locks and the toilet flush handle. In addition regular checks of soap dispensers will be conducted.
• Suitable and sufficient pedal bins for waste paper are provided with regular removal and disposal.
29. Student Breaks / Outdoor Learning
• Breaks will be staggered to maximise on space
• There will be 2 breaks both lasting 20 minutes
• We will be outdoors in most weather conditions
• We will prioritise outdoor learning where possible.
• Children should have wet gear, wellies and a change of clothes in school
• PETNS will have access to the shared campus facilities (pitch, green area across from set down) on Mondays and Wednesdays.
30. Staff Room
• Disinfection wipes & Hand sanitiser dispensers will be located at the exit / entrances to the staff room to ensure that hand hygiene is maintained.
- One door for entry( on end by the sofas), one for exit( by the sink)-staffroom doors left open and windows left open-recommended by HSE.
• Those using the staff room shall adhere to the current physical distancing guidance of 2 metres.
• Congregation of staff in morning, throughout day and evenings-will be unable to happen. Staff take breaks/lunch as per their allocated time in their staff bubble. Staff however can access staffroom in morning/afternoon to use burco and go.
• Those using the staff room should practice good respiratory etiquette at all times i.e. coughing / sneezing into a tissue or the back of the elbow.
• Staff will be allocated seating. Seating arrangements will be modified to ensure that staff sit 2 metres apart whilst eating and avoid all physical contact with co-staff. Each bubble to organise their allocated seats.
• Posters / Illustrations of 2 metre spacing shall be posted to clearly demonstrate social distancing.
• Seating areas will be clearly marked with signage indicating areas where seating is not permitted.
• Those attending staff rooms are advised to bring a packed lunch and flask and to store this in their own room.
• Fridges, dishwasher, microwaves, sugar, tea & coffee will not be available etc. Nor will cubby holes. All communication via email. Letters etc to be placed in plastic post box outside individual rooms.
• Staff are also advised to bring their own cutlery etc to school each day. Delph will be unavailable.
• Staff may choose to use the burco to access boiling water. They must bring own tea /coffee etc. The burco lever must be sanitised before and after each use using the sanitiser placed beside burco.
• Windows and doors will be kept open to ensure good ventilation in the area.
• All rubbish shall be disposed of in a suitable bin, where possible staff should bring home any wrappers etc that they brought into school
• Tables shall be cleared when finished eating.
• Staff are required to clean / sanitise tables used during the break with the supplied sanitising wipes.
• Only staff members permitted into the staffroom
Staff checklist for a healthy, covid free staffroom-Suggestions are cutlery, cup, thermos for milk, easy pick up and go lunch/break food, no food items for the fridge, plastic bag for your face covering, bring all your rubbish home, “cool” lunch bag, bottle of water, sanitiser wipes for wiping in case wipes/towels are gone and hand sanitiser.
31. Management of Meetings
Where meetings necessitate face-to-face discussion, the numbers attending will be kept to a minimum so as to ensure the mandatory 2 metres distancing is maintained. These meetings shall be kept as brief as possible.
Face to Face Meeting Considerations
• Only ‘absolutely necessary’ face to face meeting shall be facilitated i.e.
• In that case the following will apply:
o Attendees shall adhere to the current physical distancing
guidance of 2 metres from each other for the duration of the meeting. Where this cannot be achieved, then the meeting should be suspended, moved to a larger meeting room (where one is available) or online i.e. G-Suite for Education.
o Windows / doors should be opened to ensure good ventilation
and fresh air circulation.
o Meeting room tables, projectors etc. should be cleaned down before and after use using the sanitising gel provided in the PPE Pack.
o Attendees should practice good respiratory etiquette throughout the meeting i.e. coughing sneezing into a tissue or the back of the elbow.
o Ideally meetings should be kept to a maximum of 40 minutes.
o Individuals may if they wish wear suitable face coverings.
32. School hall / library
Arrangements for the students use of the school library/hall:
- The school library will not be used by classes at the start of the school year. It will be a designated SET room. Teachers may take a block of books at the start of the year for their class. Classes may swap books once the covers have been sterilised and left for 72 hours before swapping.
- The school hall will not be used for PE at the start of the school year.
- Teachers are encouraged to use the outside grounds for P.E. at designated times
- The following will be considered ahead of any planned reopening of the Hall for students:
- Latest Public Health Guidance from Government / Sporting Bodies.
- Physical distancing of 2 metres must be maintained at all times during the use of the area.
- Sanitising stations are in position at entrance/exits as well as in and around the Sports Facilities.
- All persons entering school shall be directed to sanitise / wash their hands and additional hand washing stations shall be provided where possible.
- Common contact surfaces to be cleaned at least once daily by cleaning staff.
- Teachers shall organise individuals into small groups or pods that remain together and work through stations, rather than switching groups or mixing groups.
- Portlaoise ETNS will avoid the contact aspect of the sport and instead focus on fitness and skills, which can allow maintenance of social distancing during practices.
- Students will be reminded of coughing and sneezing etiquette.
- Any unnecessary physical contact will be discouraged, such as high fives, handshakes, fist bumps, hugs or huddles and ensure that celebrations or greetings don’t involve contact.
- The teacher supervising will communicate any concerns they have during the class to ensure issues can be addressed quickly.
- Personal equipment should only be shared with people from the same household.
- Good ventilation must be maintained in all areas i.e. windows / doors opened.
33. Rental of School Facilities
The potential for cross contamination is higher when third parties are renting the school facilities.
Arrangements for those renting School Facilities e.g. Sherpa Childcare:
Each organisation will be required to submit their Covid-19 Response Plan in line with their National Body’s Protocols as applicable. The plan should include arrangements such as (not exhaustive):
- Appointment of a Covid-19 Officer(s);
- Attendance Sheets for all sessions held should be kept for contact tracing purposes.
- All Sherpa parents should be notified of precautions that will be put in place on arrival and for duration of sessions and to ensure that they are fully aware of all symptoms of COVID-19.
- Ensure that relevant adjustments are made to risk assessments and safety plans to incorporate COVID-19 safety measures.
- Inform Parents that they are not permitted to enter the building without having completed the Portlaoise ETNS visitor protocol.
- Ensure students enter via designated entry route.
- Identify shared spaces such as play areas / staff canteen as not Available.
- Measures in place to access first aid equipment.
- First Aid kits updated to include additional face masks, surgical gloves and sanitisers.
- Cleaning and disinfection of all equipment prior to use, between users and after session.
- Provisions for hand washing, hand sanitising facilities and equipment cleaning supplies
- Requirement to maintain social distancing of 2 meters between
- Organise the collection of students in such a way that maintains 2 metre social distancing and avoids congregation of parents at collection points.
- Procedure to deal with a Suspected Case of Covid-19.
34. Evacuation Procedures
Physical distancing also needs to be maintained when evacuating the school.
• Assembly Point Signage will be spaced out to minimise the congregation of students in one fixed area i.e. around the perimeter of the basketball court and inside the basketball court
, signage has been positioned in such a way so as to keep class groups as far apart as possible in the event of an evacuation.
For the moment individual classes will practise fire drills
35. School Bus Escorts (Le Chéile)
The potential for cross contamination when using the school bus.
Arrangements for use of School bus escorts are as follows:
• PPE will be provided to the bus escorts
• Bus Escorts should ensure windows are kept open throughout the journey.
• Good respiratory etiquette throughout the trip i.e. coughing / sneezing into a tissue or the back of the elbow.
36. School Travel
School trips shall be reduced to the absolute minimum with none taking place in Term 1. As far as is reasonably practicable, technological alternatives shall be made available (e.g., telephone or video conferencing).
For necessary work-related trips the following the following shall be considered by all: • Arrangements around student travel on buses will be subject to DES circulars
• School tours and trips will not take place in the first term and will be reviewed in line with Public Health advice in the 2nd term of the year.
• Where staff are travelling for a work related event the use of the same vehicles by multiple staff is not encouraged. The number of staff who share a vehicle – simultaneously or consecutively – shall be kept to a minimum as far is as reasonably practicable
• Staff are advised to consider to travel alone if using their personal cars to travel to work or at a maximum be accompanied by one passenger who shall be seated in adherence with physical distancing guidance. Of course some staff may walk or cycle)
• Where staff are returning from an international trip, they will be instructed to isolate at home for 14 days as per public health advice.
• These protocols may not be in place / practiced when travelling internationally but staff should maintain the same etiquette regarding physical distancing, respiratory & hand hygiene.
37. Contractors on site
Contractors may from time to time be required in the school to carry essential work for the continuance of school activities.
For necessary construction work in the school:
• Contractors on the school premises where there are restrictions arising from the risk of COVID-19 shall follow the infection prevention and control measures and take into account public health advice around preventing the spread of COVID-19.
• Contractors will be requested to submit their Covid-19 Response Plan, Health & Safety Statement, Risk Assessment & Method Statements which will take into account the requirements of the Return to Work Protocol.
• All contractors will sign the “Visitor Self Declaration Form”.
• A system for recording visits to the school(s) by contractors is in place.
• The school’s measures i.e. physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette must be maintained by all contractors in the school.
38. Personal Protective Equipment
While correctly using PPE can help prevent some exposures, it shall not take the place of other preventative measures as outlined above.
PPE will be required to be worn within schools according to current occupational and public health guidance i.e. Face Masks / visors/face shields. However, for a limited number of staff, additional PPE will need to be used occasionally or constantly due to the nature of certain work activities. These might include roles such as:
• Performing intimate care;
• Where a suspected case of COVID-19 is identified while the school is in operation;
• Where staff are particularly vulnerable to infection but are not in the list of those categorised as people in very high risk groups, or may be living with people who are in a very high risk category.
Appropriate PPE will be available for dealing with suspected COVID-19 cases, intimate care needs and for first aid. Where staff provide healthcare to children with medical needs in the school environment they should apply standard precautions as per usual practice.
Classroom PPE Stations will comprise of:
• 5 Face Masks (standard of facemask as per department guidelines)
• 10 No. Pairs of gloves.
• 2 No. 500ml Alcohol based hand sanitiser – 70% or
• Sanitising Wipes x 1 pack.
Isolation Room PPE will comprise of:
• 5 No. Face Shields.
• 5 No. Enclosed Eye Protection.
• 5 No. Box of Plastic disposable gowns.
• 5 No. Box of FFP2 Face masks.
• 6 No. Drums of Sanitising Wipes (Min. Quantity of 200
• wipes per drum).
• 6 No. 1 litre Alcohol based hand gel – 70% or greater.
39. Contact Tracing
The prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a crucial step in protecting staff, students and the wider school community.
Portlaoise ETNS shall:
• Use the attendance module on Aladdin for the purposes of tracing the whereabouts of staff / students in any given week for the specific purpose of contact tracing.
• Staff must keep their own log of meetings held and who was in attendance – this should be done by the meeting organiser.
• Where logs are kept electronically these will need to be emailed to the Principal on request.
• The visitor sign-in book and contact tracing log (when the school reopens to visitors) will also be used for the purposes of contact tracing.
• The sign in / sign out book will also be utilised for tracing students.
Should staff be identified as coming into contact with someone suspected of having Covid-19 they shall:
• make themselves aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and monitor their own wellbeing.
• self-isolate at home and contact their GP promptly for further advice if they display any signs or symptoms.
• report to the Principal immediately if any symptoms develop during their working day.
40. First Aid Responder Guidance
COVID-19 infects people through contact with the mucous membranes. First Aid Responders must think of these as being the mouth, nose and eyes. It does not infect through the skin. The key interventions to manage this risk are to minimise hand contamination, avoid touching your face and clean your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand gel.
There is also a significant risk of direct transfer of the virus on to mucous membranes by droplet transmission, that is, by direct impact of larger infectious virus droplets generated from the person’s respiratory tract landing directly in your eyes, nose or mouth. This risk is managed by use of appropriate PPE (mask and eye protection) and by providing the ill person with a mask to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing (respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette).
If, as a First Aid Responder, you can avoid close contact with a person who may require some level of first aid, do so. This, of course, will not be possible in the event of having to provide emergency lifesaving measures such as an incident of cardiac arrest, heart attack, choking, stroke. First Aid Responders shall familiarise yourself with the symptoms of COVID-19 i.e. Fever or chills, Cough, Shortness of breath, Fatigue, Aches and pains.
Key Control Measures when administering First Aid
• Standard infection control precautions are applicable when responding to any first aid incident in the school. Hand washing with warm water and soap or an alcohol-based hand gel must be performed before and after providing any first aid treatment.
• Any person presenting with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should be treated as a suspected case. In such cases, move individual to the G21 – Breakfast Room (Primary Isolation Room) or the G16 – Storage Room (Secondary Isolation Room) to minimise risk of infection to others. Only one First Aid Responder to provide support, where practical. Additional PPE (enclosed eye protection and FFP3 mask if available) shall be worn by First Aid Responders when responding to all first aid incidents where close contact cannot be avoided.
• The school has included a number of masks in each of the classroom PPE Packs i.e. to give a mask to a student / staff member if they are displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in order to limit droplet dispersion.
• If you suspect a person has experienced a cardiac arrest a person in cardiac arrest shall have compression only CPR applied.
• Persons with minor injuries (cuts, abrasions, minor burns) – where practical, a First Aid Responder shall avoid close contact and advise the injured party what steps to take in treating their injury.
• No reusable equipment shall be returned to service without being cleaned/disinfected appropriately.
• PPE available to First Aiders include:
o Disposable gloves (nitrile/latex); o FFP3 or FFp2 Face masks; o Disposable plastic aprons; o Enclosed eye protection; o Full Face Shields;
• First Aid Responders must ensure that the mask covers both the mouth and nose and is fitted correctly to create an adequate seal to the face. Following first aid treatment, disposable PPE and any waste shall be disposed of appropriately and reusable PPE cleaned/disinfected thoroughly.
• Portlaoise ETNS shall replenish PPE stock as appropriate.
- All staff will be provided with a bumbag with basic first aid materials as well as face mask, gloves, mini-hand sanitiser etc. It is each staff member’s responsibility to replenish their own bumbag
41. COVID-19 Suspect / Confirmed Cases
Suspect Covid-19 Case in Portlaoise ETNS
The Principal / Deputy Principal will be responsible for the management of a suspected case of Covid-19. Staff / students with symptoms / suspected symptoms will be isolated initially in the Meeting Room. This isolation area will be well ventilated and be stocked with a PPE Pack i.e. appropriate tissues, hand sanitiser, disinfectant and/or wipes, gloves, masks, & clinical waste bags will be available in the immediate vicinity of this area.
Our secondary isolation room will be a Support Room
If someone displays symptoms of COVID-19, the school shall:
1. Isolate the person i.e. the teacher will accompany the individual to the designated isolation area – this will be the Meeting room, keeping at least away from the symptomatic person and also making sure that others maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from the symptomatic person at all times.
2. The Principal / Deputy Principal will be called and shall attend the
classroom / primary isolation room ensuring that they too wear the required PPE.
3. Where it is a member of staff, assess whether the unwell individual can
immediately be directed to go home and call their doctor and continue self-isolation at home.
4. Where it is a student, assess whether the unwell individual can
immediately be collected by a parent / guardian and call their doctor and continue self-isolation at home. Public transport of any kind should not be used.
5. Facilitate the person presenting with symptoms remaining in isolation if they cannot immediately go home. Staff shall avoid touching people, surfaces and objects. Public transport of any kind should not be used.
6. Advice shall be given to the person presenting with symptoms to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the waste bag provided.
7. Carry out an assessment of the incident which will form part of determining follow-up actions and recovery.
8. Arrange for appropriate cleaning of the isolation area and work areas involved. If during the day the caretaker will be called. If at end of school day the cleaners will be called.
9. Provide advice and assistance if contacted by the HSE.
Closure of the school is not recommended. The school will be contacted by the HSE to discuss the case and identify people who have been in contact with the suspected case of Covid-19 and advise on any actions or precautions that shall be taken.
A risk assessment of each setting will be undertaken by HSE with the Principal. Advice on the management of staff and members of the public will be based on this assessment. The HSE will also be in contact with the case directly to advise on isolation and identifying other contacts and will be in touch with any contacts of the case to provide them with appropriate advice.
Advice on cleaning of communal areas such as offices or toilets is outlined later in this document.
Confirmed COVID-19 Case in Portlaoise ETNS
If a confirmed case is identified in Portlaoise ETNS, the HSE will provide the Principal and anyone potentially affected with advice. This may include:
• staff or student(s) in close face-to-face or touching contact.
• talking with or being coughed on for any length of time while the staff or student(s) was symptomatic.
• anyone who has cleaned up any bodily fluids.
• close friendship groups or workgroups.
• Staff or student(s) living in the same household as a confirmed case.
• Contacts are not considered cases and if they are well, they are very unlikely to have spread the infection to others.
Those who have had close contact will be asked to stay at home for 14 days from the last time they had contact with the confirmed case and follow the home isolation information sheet provided by the HSE. They will be actively followed up by the HSE if they develop new symptoms or their existing symptoms worsen within their 14-day observation period they shall call their doctor for reassessment if:
• If they become unwell with cough and/or fever they will be tested for COVID-19.
• If they are unwell at any time within their 14-day Observation period and they test positive for COVID-19 they will become a confirmed case.
Staff / student(s) who have not had close contact with the original confirmed case do not need to take any precautions and can continue to attend school. Note: Close contact is defined by the HSE as spending more than 15 minutes face-to- face contact within 2 metres of an infected person / living in the same house or shared accommodation as an infected person.
42. Reporting Requirements Under Occupational Health And Safety Legislation
There is no requirement for Portlaoise ETNS to notify the Health and Safety Authority if a member of staff contracts COVID-19. Diseases are not reportable under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Reporting of Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 370 of 2016).
COVID-19 is however reportable under the Infectious Diseases (Amendment) Regulations 2020 by a medical practitioner who becomes aware of or suspects an instance of such disease. Such a report shall be sent to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) in the HSE by the medical practitioner.
43. Cleaning Spaces with Suspected / Confirmed Cases
• It is recommended cleaning an area with normal household disinfectant after a suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) case has left will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
• For cleaning purposes, cleaners will wear a face mask, disposable or washing up gloves. Following use, these items shall be double-bagged, then stored securely for 72 hours then thrown away in the regular rubbish after cleaning is finished.
• Using a disposable cloth, first clean hard surfaces with warm soapy water. Then disinfect these surfaces with the cleaning products you normally use. Pay particular attention to frequently touched areas and surfaces, such as bathrooms, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells and door handles.
• If an area has been heavily contaminated, such as with visible bodily fluids, from a person with coronavirus (COVID-19), eye protection / face shield is required as well as wearing gloves and an apron.
• Wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, and after removing gloves, aprons and other protection used while cleaning.
Cleaning & Disinfection
Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time, such as corridors, canteens etc. but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids should be cleaned thoroughly. All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected, including:
• objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids;
• all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilet blocks, door handles, handrails in corridors and stairwells.
• Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings, following one of the options below:
o use either a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution
of 1,000 parts per million available chlorine or, o a household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm av.cl.). Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants or o if an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation, this shall be checked and ensure that it is effective against enveloped viruses.
• Those cleaning these areas should avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning.
• Any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and shall be put into waste bags.
• When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example, upholstered furniture, then steam cleaning shall be used.
• Any items that are heavily contaminated with body fluids and cannot be cleaned by washing shall be disposed of.
• If possible, keep the area closed off and secure for 72 hours. After this time the amount of virus contamination will have decreased substantially, and you can clean as normal with your usual products.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
• The minimum PPE to be worn for cleaning an area where a person with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) is disposable gloves and an apron. Hands shall be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds after all PPE has been removed. We recommend also wearing eye protection / face shield
• If an area has been heavily contaminated, such as with visible bodily fluids, from a person with coronavirus (COVID-19), eye protection / face shield is required as well as wearing gloves and an apron.
Laundry Wash items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an unwell person can be washed with other people’s items.
Do not shake dirty laundry, this minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air. Clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with your usual products, in line with the cleaning guidance above.
Waste Management Waste from possible cases and cleaning of areas where possible cases have been (including disposable cloths and tissues):
• Shall be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.
• The plastic bag shall then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. It shall be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known.
Waste shall be stored safely and kept away from children. You shall not put your waste in communal waste areas until negative test results are known or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.
• If the individual tests negative, this can be put in with the normal waste;
• If the individual tests positive, then store it for at least 72 hours and put in with the normal waste.
44. Return To School Process
In the event of a member of staff / student either being a suspected/confirmed case of COVID-19 or a known “close contact” with a confirmed or suspected case, the following protocol must be followed to ensure they are fit to return to work by means of self-declaration.
Fitness for Work shall be considered from two perspectives:
1. Does their illness pose a risk to the individual themselves in a school setting?
2. Does their illness pose a risk to others in the school?
The following steps shall be followed, in line with current public health advice in Ireland:
• Any staff /student(s) who display symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must stay home, self-isolate and contact their GP by phone as part of the triage process.
• They must also notify the school of their suspected illness.
• An individual will be classified as either a suspected or confirmed case, based on outcome of test.
• An individual who is a known close contact with a confirmed or suspected case will be contacted by the HSE through its contact tracing process. Advice regarding
self-isolation for a period of 14 days since their last “close contact” with a confirmed/suspected case must be followed.
An individual must only return to school if deemed fit to do so and upon approval of their GP and having coordinated with the Principal. When an individual is symptom-free and are deemed fit to return to work, the key criteria are:
1. It’s been 14 days since their last “close contact” with a confirmed/suspected case and they have not
developed symptoms in that time, or 14 days since the onset of their symptoms and 5 days since their last fever (high temperature), or 2. They have been advised by a GP / healthcare provider to return to work and have been given a “Fitness to Return” Certificate. The school shall confirm the relevant criteria above with the individual and write down their responses.
45. Return to School Safely Induction Form – Staff
Name: ____________________ Date of Return to Work: __________
• Out of an abundance of caution, the Board of Management set forth new measures designed to minimise of risk of Covid-19 in the school.
• Covid-19 Response Plan is available to all staff and has been developed to address the risk of Covid-19. It outlines the measures Portlaoise ETNS are committed to implementing in addressing these risks.
• Symptoms of Covid-19 include but are not limited to: Fever or Chills, Cough, Shortness of breath, Fatigue, Aches and Pains
• “Stay at home if unwell” Policy is in operation at the school. This means that if staff feel unwell / displaying symptoms of Covid-19 you should stay at home.
• Lead Worker Representatives will monitor the application of the “Covid-19 Response Plan” to ensure the measures identified are implemented.
• Contact Tracing Log – is in operation for the detection and isolation of close contacts of a suspected / confirmed case of Covid-19. Aladdin will be the primary tool used for retrospectively tracing movements of staff and students. Meeting organisers will be responsible for taking attendance at meetings for the purposes of contact tracing.
• Social Distancing – You should maintain a minimum of 1m distance and where possible 2m in the 3rd / 4th / 5th / 6th classrooms. You should take measures to avoid close contact at face to face level. 2m social distancing should be maintained outside the classroom.
• Classrooms – have been laid out in line with the “Illustrative Classroom Layouts referenced in the Framework to maintain Physical Distancing in the Classroom in Primary Schools with a full return of all Students for the 2020/2021 School Year “. Please adhere to the plan and the floor markings set out should be maintained throughout the coming school years.
• Blended Learning Plan – as the Covid-19 crisis continues to evolve, Portlaoise ETNS will follow public health advice. This may see a return to a blended learning environment using G-Suite for Education and other agreed learning platforms..
• Only authorised personnel allowed in the building i.e. those who have filled out the Covid-19 Self Declaration Form. Visitors to the school are now by appointment only.
• PPE Packs – will be available in each classroom comprising of Hand Sanitiser, Disposable Gloves & Face Masks. It is the responsibility of each member of staff to notify the Assistant Principal should stocks run low.
• Cleaning – Portlaoise ETNS will see enhanced cleaning schedules from the start of the new school year. 2 Cleaners will now be on site daily from approx 2pm and will focus on sanitising touch points around the school i.e. handrails, door handles, photocopiers etc. in addition to our normal schedule of cleaning. Our caretaker will focus on sanitising touch points around the school during the school day.
• Hand Sanitising Stations are located as follows – Student & Staff entrances, Outside the staff room door, Inside the staff room at wash areas, In each classroom, In all meeting areas, Additional drums of sanitising wipes shall be located in rooms i.e. to ensure desks, tables, equipment etc. are cleaned down at the start and end of each day. Additional drums of sanitising wipes to be placed with the laptop trolleys. To be used thoroughly and out of an abundance of caution.
• Hygiene – Staff are expected to wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds using hot water and soap at various points throughout the school day. Staff are reminded to cover their nose and mouth when sneezing / coughing. Used tissues should be discarded immediately in the nearest available waste bin. Cups, bottles, cutlery & pens are not to be shared.
• Staff Room –Those attending staff rooms are advised to bring a packed lunch and flask. Burcos, microwaves, sugar, tea & coffee will not be available etc. This measure will help minimise the transmission of the virus.
• Rooms for essential meetings– Each meeting room is now marked with signage indicating the maximum number of occupants per meeting and the safety measures that need to be adopted by each attendee. Other measures include washing / sanitising hands, opening windows, ensuring physical distancing of 2 metres at all times and a time limit to conclude meetings.
• Use of PPE – we will follow the Public Health Advice regarding use of Face Masks in Portlaoise ETNS. Visors will also be provided
• If you or a student develops Covid-19 Symptoms in school the procedure is as follows:
• Provide the suspected case with a mask and disposable gloves from the PPE Pack in each classroom. Suspected Case shall wear the mask at all times up until they leave the school premises.
• Accompany the suspected case to the Meeting Room (the primary isolation room) or where already occupied the Room (the secondary isolation room) keeping at least 2 metres distance at all times.
• Arrange transport home or to hospital for medical assessment. Public transport of any kind should not be used.
• Suspected Case shall avoid touching people, surfaces and objects so far as is reasonably possible.
• Suspected Case should cover their mouth and nose with disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the waste bag provided.
• Once the suspected case has left the premises, appropriate cleaning of the isolation area and classrooms will take place.
• Portlaoise ETNS will provide assistance if contacted by the HSE.
SIGNATURE: ………………… DATE COMPLETED: …………………………
46. Return to School Safely Induction Form – Students
COVID-19 RETURN TO SCHOOL SAFELY INDUCTION FOR STUDENTS
Name:________________________________ Date of Return to School: _______________
• Out of an abundance of caution, the Board of Management at Portlaoise ETNS set forth new measures designed to minimise of risk of Covid-19 in the school.
Covid-19 Response Plan is available to all parents / guardians and has been developed to address the risk of Covid-19. It outlines the measures we are committed to implementing in addressing these risks.
• Parents / Guardian and Students need to familiarise themselves with the Symptoms of Covid-19 i.e. Fever or Chills, Cough, Shortness of breath, Fatigue, Aches and Pains. See the latest public health guidance below.
• “Stay at home if unwell” Policy is in operation at Portlaoise ETNS. This means that if any student displays symptoms of Covid-19 they should stay at home. Should a student display symptoms in class, they will be immediately isolated on the school premises and the parent /guardian will be contacted to collect the student.
• Class Bubbles are in operation i.e. Students will be kept in their class bubble throughout the school day and will not be permitted to interact with students from other class bubbles. Class bubbles may use shared entrances into the school but will occupy dedicated areas for break times.
• Cleaning – Portlaoise ETNS will see increased cleaning schedules from the start of the new school year. During the school day our school caretaker will focus on sanitising touch points around the school i.e. handrails, door handles, photocopiers etc. 2 Cleaners will now be on site after school & will focus on sanitising touch points around the school, in addition to our normal schedule of cleaning.
• Hygiene – Students are expected to wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds using hot water and soap at various points throughout the school day i.e. before and after each break.
• PPE Packs – will be available in each classroom comprising of Hand Sanitiser and their use will be supervised by the teacher.
• Hand Sanitising Stations are located as follows – All Student Entrances, Outside the staff room door, In each classroom, In all meeting areas, Additional drums of sanitising wipes are located in each classroom i.e. to ensure desks, tables, equipment etc. are cleaned down at the start and end of each day.
• Respiratory Etiquette – Students are reminded to cover their nose and mouth when sneezing / coughing. Used tissues should be discarded immediately in the nearest available waste bin. Cups, bottles, pens are not to be shared.
• Contact Tracing Log – is in operation for the detection and isolation of close contacts of a suspected / confirmed case of Covid-19. Aladdin will be the primary tool used for retrospectively tracing movements of students.
• Only authorised personnel allowed in the building i.e. those who have filled out the Covid-19 Self Declaration Form. Visitors to the school are now by appointment only. Please ensure that your student brings everything they need with them to school each morning to avoid having to come to the school.
• Visitors by appointment only is in operation – this means that you will have to make an appointment with the Principal to enter the school. Parents /guardians are not permitted to enter the school building without appointment regardless of the duration of the visit. A Covid-19 Self Declaration Form will be required from all those attending the school 3 days in advance of your appointment.
• Social Distancing is important – Maintain at least 2 metres between you and anyone else where at all possible. Parents / guardians must observe social distancing when collecting students also.
• Water – Students are expected to bring their own water to school each day.
• Blended Learning Plan – as the situation continues to evolve, Portlaoise ETNS will take appropriate steps to safeguard our school community. This may see a return to distance learning / blended learning environment using G-Suite for Education, Aladdin and other technologies.
• If a student develops Covid-19 Symptoms in school the procedure is as follows:
• The student will be escorted to the Primary Isolation Room in the school.
• The parent / guardian will be contacted and asked to collect the student immediately.
• The use of public transport of any kind should not be used.
• The student will be coached to avoid touching people, surfaces and objects so far as is reasonably possible.
• Student will be coached to cover their mouth and nose with disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the waste bag provided.
• Once the student has left the premises, appropriate cleaning of the isolation area and classrooms will take place.
• Portlaoise ETNS will provide assistance if contacted by the HSE.