Letter to Parents – RE: Reopening

12th August 2020

Dear Parents,

RE: Drop-off and Collection Routines

The BoM and the School Leadership Team have been working to ensure a safe return to school for all pupils and staff in two weeks’ time. We have now finalised our plans for drop-off and collection of the children every day. 

St.Mary’s NS appreciates your support as we try to safely reopen the school building. If at all possible we request you not to come onto the school grounds or into the school building unless it is essential. We appreciate that dropping off the Junior & Senior Infant pupils to their line in the yard is essential, but for the older pupils a drop off at the school gate is desirable. Working together we hope to be able to progress the reopening in as safe a manner as possible for all.

We would ask all parents to familiarise themselves with the following drop-off and collection routines for the safe delivery and collection of pupils from school.  Please be patient as we endeavour to embed these necessary precautionary and protective practices at the beginning of the school year.

It is imperative that

  • adults do not come within 2m of each other
  • Parents do not try to have meetings with members of staff in the school at drop-off and collection times – meetings between parents and teachers can only take place by prior arrangement. (This may have to be more restrictive depending on guidance – it is quite possible that the recommendation will be for remote meetings/telephonic communications.)
  • all parents adhere to the drop-off and collection plans as outlined below

Drop-off Plan

Congregation of people at the front entrance to the school is discouraged. Students are asked to enter the school in the following manner.

  • Pupils from Junior Infants – 2nd class will enter the school in the mornings in the usual way, through the side gate of the school directly into the school yard. A teacher and SNA will be there to greet and supervise students as they assemble. (alternative arrangements for the Junior Infant students have been made for the first 2/3 weeks of schools, which has been communicated to relevant parents in a separate letter)
  • Pupils from 3rd– 6th class will enter the PE Hall at the fire escape to the front of the school building where they will be asked to maintain physical distance of 1m and remain in their class bubbles as they assemble.
  • On wet days pupils from Junior Infants – 2nd class will enter the PE Hall fire escape door as they did last year where they will be supervised by a teacher and SNA. They will be asked to remain in their class bubbles as they assemble.
  • On wet days pupils from 3rd-6th class will go directly to their classrooms via the fire escape doors at the side of the building leading them directly into their classrooms where their teacher will greet and supervise them.
  • Students attending Ms. Martin’s classroom will enter the school building in the usual way, through the main entrance to the school and go directly to their classroom where their teacher will greet and supervise them.

       School Collection Plan

  • When infant children are being collected at 2pm they will exit the school building in the usual way through the main entrance/exit to the school. Parents are requested NOT to congregate at the entrance and to promptly return to the vehicles once your child has been collected.
  • At 3pm students in 3rd-6th class will exit the school via the fire escape doors in their classrooms. They will be asked to go directly to their buses, or parent’s cars. Congregation at the bus stops will not be encouraged.
  • At 3pm students in 1st/2nd class will exit the school via the PE Hall fire escape door and will be asked to go directly to their buses or parent’s cars.
  • At 3pm students from Ms. Martin’s classroom will exit the building in the manner to which they are most familiar with, through the main entrance to the school accompanied with an SNA.

Yours sincerely,

Amy Kidd (Chairperson of Board of Management)

Kathy McGeeney (Principal)

Reopening St.Mary’s NS

August 11th 2020

Dear Parent / Guardian,

RE: Re-opening of St.Mary’s NS

I hope you and your families are keeping well.

As you are aware, our school has now been closed since 12th March due to the COVID-19 situation.  We are now hoping to re-open our school safely, in line with current guidance and recommendations.

Re-opening the school safely will require the co-operation of all members of our School Community – BoM, School Leadership, Staff, Parents and Pupils. We will all be called on to play our part in ensuring that re-opening of the school is done in a safe manner which prevents the spread of the virus and allows the vital work of Teaching and Learning to proceed with as little disruption as possible.

We have been working on our plan for the safe reopening of the school for some weeks now and our DES COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools is available on request to principal.stmarysnsbagenalstown@gmail.com. The Response Plan gives details of

  • Physical preparation, hand sanitiser stations,
  • Advice, procedures and training for the safe return to working in the school for all school staff and pupils
  • General and specific advice on how all pupils, staff, parents and visitors will prevent the spread of the virus

We have also published our COVID-19 Policy Statement on the school website. Our BoM will keep you informed as to the progress of our re-opening plans and provide you with the information required by you to play your part in safely re-opening the school.

We are really looking forward to welcoming our children back to school and will be doing all that we can to ensure that the return to school is a safe and enjoyable experience for the children. We will be in touch with you again before school re-opens.

Yours sincerely,

Kathy McGeeney (Principal)

The following websites provide further information on COVID-19 and on government advice and recommendations regarding the re-opening of schools: –

Covid19 – Policy Statement

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Attached is St.Mary’s Covid19 Policy Statement which was recently signed at a Board of Management meeting. This outlines our commitment to keeping all students and staff safe as we all return to our school and to our workplace.

St.Mary’s Covid19 Response Plan, which outlines what logisitcal plans we have in place for the return to school is available on request to principal.stmarysnsbagenalstown@gmail.com

The Covid19 Response Plan will be an ever changing document, that will adapt and change as we need it to throughout the school year.

St.Mary’s Board of Management endeavor to make the return to school as familiar as possible for all our students and staff, while taking all the necessary precautions and adhering at all times to Public Health Advise.

A letter to parents outlining how the return to school will take place will be sent within the next week. Please forward your queries to principal.stmarysnsbagenalstown@gmail.com

Healthy Kidz!

Well done to all our students who are partaking in the Healthy Kidz events for our Virtual Sports Day. Many activities require little equipment.

Joshua here shows us all how it can be done with a fantastic egg & spoon race! A video clip of his long jump preparations was also shared but unfortunately technical issues prevented it being uploaded. Well done Joshua! Keep it up! Our leaderboards show many more of our students doing brilliantly with all the activities.

Please send in your photos of how you’re preparing for this Virtual Sports Day. We’d love to see how you’re all getting on!

A Special message to 6th class

President Michael D.Higgins has released a message to the nation’s 6th class students. You can watch his message to you all below.

This final term of school is an important milestone for our 6th class students. We have not forgotten you during this time of school closure. Your teacher Ms.Watchorn will be in touch with plans for how we’ll celebrate all your achievements and mark this special milestone for you during this final term of Primary School.

President Higgins