St Clare’s N.S. Ballyjamesduff

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Covid 19 Info

Covid 19 School Re-opening Details

(Please see below details of recent emails to parents regarding the reopening of our school)


Re: Attention of Parents/Guardians of Pupils in Senior Infants-6th Class

Dear Parents/Guardians,

With just over a week to go before our return to school I would like to draw your attention to the following operational changes which will be in effect in St. Clare’s N.S. from 26th August.

1) Drop-off and Collection of Pupils

From the 26th August there will be three designated arrival times for pupils and three designated departure times.

This is to ensure the safety of all pupils and to minimise congestion at points of entry and exit to the school.

The designated arrival times are as follows:

5th and 6th Class


2nd/3rd/4th Class


Senior Infants/1st Class


The designated departure times are as follows:

Senior Infants


5th and 6th Class


2nd/3rd/4th Class


1st Class


We would ask parents to familiarise themselves with the above drop-off and collection times. It is vital that your child/ren arrive punctually at the designated time only. We realise that families may have children across different times, we have kept the times very tight with 5 min intervals so parents have minimum waiting time. We ask for your support here rather than requesting individual concessions or exceptions.

Please be patient with us as we endeavour to have a system to protect our pupils and school community.

From 26th August there will be no assembly in the school yard or on school premises before school or at collection times.  This applies to both pupils and parents.

Your child/ren will be dropped off at the set-down area at the front of the school (gate area) and proceed straight into the building and their classroom at their designated time only. The same procedure will apply when the children are dismissed at the end of the day. Their class teacher will accompany the children to the set-down area (gate) at the end of each day where parents can collect their child/ren. Parents are asked not to congregate at the school gate during drop-off or collection times and the 2m social distance needs to be respected at all times. Cars are NOT to be parked in the set-down area.

2) Collection of Children during the school day

Where possible please inform your child/ren’s teacher by sending a note or placing a note in the homework journal should you need to collect them during the school day. When a parent/designated adult comes to collect the child/ren they should phone the school or use the intercom at the front door to inform the school they have arrived. Once the child/ren is/are ready to leave then and only then will the parent be called into the reception area to sign the child/ren out. No unauthorised adults will be permitted to enter the school building unless invited to do so.

3) Communication with your child/ren’s teacher

Urgent messages can be communicated to your child/ren’s teacher by note, or note in their homework journal. Alternatively you can email the teacher. Most of our communication going forward will be via email and telephone. Your child’s teacher will respond via email or give you a call if necessary.

4) School Uniform

Children will be required to wear their school uniform as per the guidelines issued. We are suggesting that the school uniform is worn on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The school tracksuit can be worn on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It won’t affect PE if your child is wearing their uniform.

5) Children who have travelled 

We would like to remind families who may have travelled during the summer and have recently returned to Ballyjamesduff that the following guidelines apply: If you travelled to a country not on the “Green List” you should not attend school during the 14 day self-isolation period. If this applies you must inform the school by email so we can document the self-isolation timeframe.

6) Children who are ill

As per the guidelines, we remind parents that where children are displaying cold/flu-like symptoms (cough, temperature, sneeze etc.) they should not attend school. We respectfully ask parents to abide by this directive for the safety of your child/ren and that of all our pupils.

7) Hand Hygiene and Sanitiser 

Our staff will make children aware of the proper hygiene procedures and the etiquette related to coughing, sneezing etc. We would encourage you as parents to assist us in this regard by reinforcing the procedures with your child/ren at home.

Each classroom is equipped with a sanitising station, as are our points of entry/exit, our GP room, reception area etc. Paper towels will be provided for all hand washing by our pupils going forward. Should your child/ren wish to take a small bottle of sanitisier for their own personal use and a small hand towel to school, we ask that these are placed in a plastic freezer/zippy bag and your child/ren keep these in their possession at all times.


8) Homework


We will be reviewing our homework policy for the coming term at our staff meeting next week. We will issue guidance on it once we have a formal decision. We will be aiming to minimise movement of books from school to home.

9) Book Rental

Book rental will be facilitated at the start of the school year. Ms. Murphy will be in contact with parents in relation to the details once we get up and running next Wednesday!

Our aim is to re-open St. Clare’s N.S. in an orderly and safe manner, while ensuring our pupils are safe, happy and well looked after.  This will be achieved by everyone (staff, parents, pupils) working together.  I’m sure we will have your support in this regard.

Le meas,

Mr. Mc Cartin






Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope this email finds you all safe and well. I trust that you have had some time to enjoy the summer holidays.

As you are aware schools will reopen over the coming weeks. We are scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, 26th August.

Reopening the school safely is going to be a mammoth task and much time and consideration have gone into the preparation over the last number of weeks.

School life, our classrooms, operations and logistics will all have to change and this will demand a great deal of flexibility, teamwork and patience from all of us (parents, staff and pupils).

We are really looking forward to welcoming our pupils back to school and I’m sure they are excited about their return.

In advance of the return, your child/rens teacher will be emailing the boys and girls to formally introduce themselves and explain that the classroom and lessons will look a little different for the moment. This will hopefully help the children prepare for the “new normal” and break the ice so to speak about the return to school.

Our Board of Management like many school boards have had to implement changes and operational changes and these will be outlined in future emails over the coming days. Again, I stress the importance of your cooperation with these changes. We cannot reopen our school and follow all the guidelines proposed if we do not have parents support.

When the children return to school we will be following the Dept. of Education and Skills guidelines. Classes will be referred to as bubbles and within a bubble, we will have a number of pods (a small group of children seated together). As per guidelines, social distancing is not a prerequisite for our classes from Junior Infants-2nd, including The Orchard, however, the bubble and pod structure will be applied to these classes and social distancing where logistics permit will be encouraged. Our senior classes 3rd-6th will also follow the class bubble and pod structure but social distancing guidelines will be implemented as practical as possible.

A further email will issue next week with information on arrival and dismissal of pupils, access to the school building,  lunchtime, curriculum, uniforms, handwashing, sanitation etc.

Many parents have emailed requesting their child/rens booklist. I’ll remind parents that the booklist was emailed to all parents in June and they are also available on our website. The details of where to find them on the website, along with the password for access was issued on the Summer Newsletter which was also sent to all parents.

I look forward to working with you to ensure a safe return for our pupils.

Let’s hope the school year 2020/21 is a safe and happy one for our entire school community. I will be in contact with you all again over the coming days.

Le meas,

Mr. Mc Cartin



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