Covid 19 Plan: Re-opening of School: 2020


This plan has been formulated and agreed upon by the Principal, staff, BOM and parents of St Johns NS, Ballybrack.

All parties have agreed to abide by the policies and regulations as set out in this document.

This document outlines the following:


  • School Policy Statement
  • Covid 19 Team.
  • Covid 19 Induction Training
  • Pre-Return to Work Training Questionnaire
  • The protocol for entrance and exits for each class
  • The agreed one way system for moving about in the school.
  • The layout of each classroom.
  • Hygiene in the School
  • Intimate Care Needs
  • The storage and effective management of equipment in the classroom/shared resources.
  • The planned agreement on homework.
  • Yard schedule and layout.
  • Yard supervision.
  • SET timetable.
  • SNA timetable
  • Staff room timetable
  • Teacher Absences
  • Symptoms
  • Effective dealing of a suspected Covid 19 case.
  • Isolation Room.
  • Risk Assessment
  • Cleaning duties; during day/after school.
  • Visitors Log and Meetings
  • Fire Drill



        COVID-19 Policy Statement

St John’s NS is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our 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. We will:

  • 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
  • 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.

Signed: ____________________ (Principal)Date: _____________________

Signed: ____________________ (Chairperson)Date: _____________________








Covid 19 Team:

The team responsible for the implementation and ensuring smooth running of the plan will be as follows:

Catherine Coady – Principal –                   In charge of day to day implementation and

isolation room. Final say in isolation cases

Katrina Guiney – Deputy Principal –         In charge of day to day implementation and

isolation room. Final say in isolation cases

Lead Worker – Fiona Davitt –                   will oversee any problems and bring them to the

attention of Principal/Deputy. Liaise with staff

Assistant Lead Worker – Rachel      support lead worker and liaise with staff.

Secretary –                                            Ensure visitor log is completed for every visitor and all contact is by appointment only.

Caretaker/Cleaners –               Ensure that every classroom, child and staff member

have access to soap, hand towels and sanitizer at

all times.


The Covid team will also be responsible for making sure that all staff have access to

disinfectant, cloths, face masks and other PPE equipment that they feel necessary. All

teachers will be provided with a mask and/or visor.


All staff members will have a responsibility to ensure the safety and cleanliness of their own classrooms and the pupils within their bubbles.





All Staff will complete the Covid 19 Induction Training course that is set out by the government prior to returning to school.



All staff will complete a questionnaire a minimum of 3 days before returning to work. This will be completed after any holiday period and after any period of absence due to sickness or holiday.























Pre-Return to Work Questionnaire COVID-19

This questionnaire must be completed by staff at least 3 days in advance of returning to work.

If the answer is Yes to any of the below questions, you are advised to seek medical advice before returning to work.


Name:_ _______________________

Name of School:  _____________________

Name of Principal: ______________________Date: 26/8/20____

  ●        Questions YES NO




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?




Have you been diagnosed with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection in the last 14 days?    


Have you been advised by the HSE that you are you a close contact of a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?    



Have you been advised by a doctor to self-isolate at this time?    



Have you been advised by a doctor to cocoon at this time?    

Have you been advised by your doctor that you are in the very high risk group?

If yes, please liaise with Principal re return to work and follow the agreed DES arrangements for very high risk groups



I confirm, to the best of my knowledge that I have no symptoms of COVID-19, am not self-isolating or awaiting results of a COVID-19 test and have not been advised to restrict my movements.

Please note:  The school is collecting this sensitive personal data for the purposes of maintaining safety within the workplace in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The legal basis for collecting this data is based on vital public health interests and maintaining occupational health and this data will be held securely in line with our retention policy.


Signed: _ _____________________________






Entrances and Exits:

The school does not intend to stagger the start and finish time for children as this would be difficult for some of our parents to manage. However, there will now be different areas in the yard designated to the classes. These areas are designed to allow the easiest access to the child’s classroom. These areas will be clearly labelled and signs will enable the children to maintain social distancing while they are waiting in their lines. Classes will enter and exit through these areas at all times.


The designated areas are as follows:

Junior and Senior Infants will be asked to line up in the small top yard. These classes will be entering through the top porch door.

1st and 2nd Class will be asked to line up in the middle of the yard, also known as the 1st and 2nd class play area. These children will be entering through the fire exit, close to the 1st class classroom (formally Early Start).

3rd and 4th Class will be asked to line up in the Junior end of the yard. These classes will be entering through the main reception door and will be walking through the school following the one way system.

5th and 6th Class will be asked to line up by the gate entering the garden. These classes will be walking through the garden entering the school through the fire exit, next to their classrooms.

We would appreciate it if parents of children from 3rd class up could please leave their children at the gate, to minimize the parents in the yard and encourage social distancing.

Those parents in Junior Infants to 2nd Class, who would prefer to stay with their child until the teacher collects them must ensure that they stay with their child in the allotted space and ensure that social distancing is adhered to. We would ask all adults to wear a mask.

To ensure the safety of your children and the importance of sticking to our designated areas we would ask all parents to ensure their children are in their lines on time.

If a child arrives late to school, please allow the child to come to the main reception area and wait until they are escorted up to the class, regardless of the class. An appointed staff member will be called to escort children.

No parents will be allowed to enter the school unless they have made a prior appointment.

To limit the stress of our Early Start, Seedlings, Acorns and Oaks classes, we will be staggering their starting time to 9:00am. We would ask that these children be brought to the door leading into the hall, they will be collected by the class teacher and SNA’s and escorted to their classroom. Children that come to school by bus will be met by the SNA’s and will enter the school through the hall door.



There will now be a one-way system operating in the school. The administration area of the school, including the hall, will have a one way system, please follow the arrows to ensure you follow the correct path.

Stairs and the upper corridor will have a two way system in place but all people will be asked to keep to their left. Again arrows will be in place to help support this.

The AS corridor will be the only corridor without a one way system to allow for the children, SNA’s and teachers to move freely.

Entrances and Exits will be used as above at all times where possible.

Plenty of signage will be visible around the school to support this.



Layout of Classes:

The Early Start; Seedlings; Acorns and Oaks are naturally in small pods and will remain this way. These classes will operate in these pods throughout the day and will not mix with other classes in any way for any reason. Staff within these pods will also remain within the pod and will not be asked to work with other children from another class.

Junior Infants to 2nd Class:

These classes will operate as a bubble with small pods within the bubble. Each pod within the class will have no more than 6 children. It will not be possible to socially distance within these pods but the pods will be socially distanced from each other within the class.

The pods will operate as a unit, they will work together during aistear, literacy and numeracy groups. All equipment used within a pod will be disinfected before it is moved on to another pod within the classroom.

These classes will be able to bring a small school bag to school every day to help with carrying their lunches.

The pods will share a table, they will play together, eat together, line up together etc. They will not mix with the other pods.

From 3rd class to 6th class the classes will be laid out individually. Each student will have a space at a table with a meter apart from other children. There will be no seat swapping, no pair or group work within these classes. Each child will be asked to remain seated throughout the day unless they are requested to move by the teacher. Limited movement will be encouraged in the classroom to avoid the spread of any infection.

Each child in the school will be given a box with a lid on to store all their school equipment, books, pencils, parers, art equipment etc.

It is requested that every child comes fully prepared to school as they will no longer be able to borrow or share from each other.

To ensure a minimum chance of cross contamination, we are stipulating that all equipment remain in school at all times. No books or pencil etc. will be taken home.

There is, therefore, no reason for any child to have a schoolbag in school. It is essential that we limit as much as possible the equipment the child brings into the school on a daily basis.

School lunches are provided but if you wish to send your child in with an extra/alternative lunch please use a small lunch box.

Coats will need to be kept with the student at all times so please ensure that they bring their coat home with them every day






Hand sanitizers will be placed at every entrance to the school and children will be asked to use it as they enter the school in the morning and after every yard break.

Each classroom will be equipped with water temperature suitable for washing hands and all children will be required to wash hands throughout the day.

Frequency of Hand Hygiene:

Pupils and staff should perform hand hygiene:

  • On arrival at school
  • Before eating and drinking
  • After using the toilet
  • When their hands are physically dirty
  • When they cough or sneeze.

All visitors will be required to use hand sanitizer before they enter the school building.

Respiratory Hygiene:

We need to make sure that all of us, and the people around us, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze.

If a child is sneezing a zip lock bag will be provided to them for the safe disposal of the tissue. The child will be required to wash hands immediately afterwards as well.

Classrooms will be sanitized throughout the day. Special focus will be placed on door handles and sink areas.



PPE equipment will be worn by all staff when attending to the intimate care needs of a child. This includes first aid being provided. This PPE includes the use of an apron, gloves and mask.









Equipment, such as math and science, used in the classroom, will be provided to each child within their own sterilized bag as a set, the child will be asked to return it to the bag after use and it will be disinfected before it can be used again.

P.E. and music equipment will also be used, where possible, as individual equipment and will be disinfected after each use.

P.M. readers are to be used by Senior Infants, 1st h

2nd  Class only. Each group are to take their books for the week. On a Friday they are all to be collected in, left for the weekend and swapped on a Monday.

I-pads will still be used in the classroom, but they will be used individually and again, will be wiped down between each use with sterilized wipes.




Homework, where possible will be sent home via the See-saw app. The following apps will be used to support this homework, especially in the Senior Classes, IXl, Spellings for Me, and Google Classroom.




























Break times will be staggered to ensure that each class bubble has plenty of space to maintain social distancing. No equipment will be allowed onto the yard for September but we will review this on a regular basis. Yard will be fully supervised at all times by both SNA’s and teachers.

The following timetable will be adhered to:

Break 1: 10:30-10:40am

Break 2: 10:40-10:50a.m.

Lunch 1: 12:00-12:30p.m.

Lunch 2: 12:30-1:00p.m.

The following yard areas will be used:

Junior Infant area (outside Infant classrooms) Used by Junior Infants (2)

Used by Seedlings (1)

Senior Infant area Used by Acorns/Oaks (divided in 2) (2)

Used by Senior infants (1)

1st/2nd Class area Used by 1st class (1)

Used by 2nd Class (2)

3rd/4th Class area (basketball)Used by 3rd Class (1)

Used by 4th Class (2)

5th/6th Class area (football)Used by 5th Class (1)

Used by 6th Class (2)







  8:50a.m. – 11:20a.m 11:25a.m. – 2:30p.m
Ms. Manning Senior Infants 1st Class
Ms. Tuohy 2nd Class 3rd Class
Mr Hogan 4th Class 5th Class
Ms Jordan/ 6th Class 6th Class





  8:50a.m.-11:20a.m. 11:25a.m.-2:30p.m.
Junior Infants Rachel  
Senior Infants Belinda Belinda
1st Class Kathleen Kathleen
2nd Class Karen Karen
3rd Class Alex  
4th Class   Alex
5th Class Olivia Olivia
6th Class   Rachel



Staff Room:

It is advised by the government that teachers use their own cups and plates etc. and keep them separate at all times. I would like all staff to either pick a cup from the staff or bring in their own and label it. It is also advised that you keep it with you at all times so please wash your own crockery and keep it with you at all times. Staff room will be limited to 10 people at any one time, each person will be asked to wipe down their own area and chair on leaving, ready for the next person.

It is also not advisable to store any food items in the school overnight. Fridges and cupboards may be used during the day but please take it home with you in the evening.

While there will be some movement allowed the following timetable gives an indication of how the staff room will be utilized to keep everyone safe:

Staff Room












No more than 8 people per sitting    





Teacher Absences:


Early Start


Anne Marie Yvonne Tracy
Junior Infants


Ms Bennet Rachel Catherine/Anne Marie
Senior Infants


Emma Kane Belinda Alice
1st Class


Katrina Kathleen Alice
2nd Class


Emma/Leah Karen Breda
3rd Class


Eileen Alex Breda
4th Class


Sean Alex Tony
5th Class


Joanne Olivia Tony
6th Class


Fiona G Rachel Catherine/Shared Teacher



It is important to be aware of the symptoms of Covid 19.

In order to prevent the spread of Covid 19 it is important to know and recognize the symptoms. They are:

  • High Temperature
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Loss of Smell, of Taste or Disorientation of Taste.


Effective Handling of a Suspected Covid 19 Case:

If a child or a member of staff becomes unwell during the day and displays symptoms of Covid 19 they will discreetly be removed from their classroom and placed in the isolation room. Please see below.

The child’s temperature will be taken at this stage and the child’s parents will be notified immediately.

It is essential that up to date telephone numbers and emergency contacts are up to date for this purpose.

If a child shows symptoms of Covid 19, the parent will be advised, upon pick up, that the child will not be able to return to school unless tested negative or until 2 week isolation is passed.

Advice will be sought from the HSE immediately and a risk assessment will be carried out in conjunction with the school and the HSE. From this risk assessment the school will follow the advice given.

We also advise any parent who have travelled abroad to countries outside the green list to self -isolate for 2 weeks. This is for the safety of everyone so please adhere to it.

It is paramount that discretion is employed if a suspected case of Covid 19 is suspected in order to ensure that no one person feels victimized.

If a child has a known allergy or condition that presents as similar to that of Covid it is essential that the school is notified and that the symptoms are carefully monitored.

If a child has a cold or sneezes, a ziplock bag will be provided for them to put the dirty tissues into. Once sealed this can be disposed of appropriately.

Spot check temperatures may take place from time to time in the school to ensure the safety of all. We will ensure that this is in no way intrusive or isolating for the children.

As children with additional needs are not as equipped to tell us if they are unwell, we especially, request the parents keep a very close eye on their children and, if in doubt, please keep them out.

If your child is given nurofen or calpol for any reason before school they cannot come into school for the day, as this may disguise a possible temperature.

Those children travelling to school by bus will have their temperature taken before they are allowed on to the bus in the morning.


The isolation room will be located in the Parents Room. It will only be used if there is a suspected case of Covid 19 in the school. The child will be asked to sit at least 2 meters away from the staff member with them and the staff member will be equipped with an apron, plastic gloves, face mask and visor.

The child’s temperature using a non-contact thermometer will be taken and the child will remain in isolation until they are collected by the parents. It is envisaged that this waiting period be kept to a minimum.

The isolation room may also be used by staff if they are feeling unwell and require someone to pick them up.

The isolation room will be thoroughly disinfected after use and any protective wear worn by the teacher will be discarded appropriately.

Where possible the teacher that enters the room will be Ms. Coady (Principal) or Ms. Guiney (Deputy Principal).

Where it is a child with additional needs the SNA allocated to support that child may be required to enter the room also.

If there is a suspected case of Covid 19 in the classroom, wherever possible the teacher/SNA will be asked to disinfect the area where the person was sitting as quickly as possible, within reason. (DISCRETION IS KEY IN THIS AREA).


Cleaning/Disinfecting rooms where a pupil/staff member with suspected COVID-19 was present

The room should be cleaned as soon as practicably possible.

Once the room is vacated the room should not be reused until the room has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and all surfaces are dry.

Windows are to be opened and the room is to be aired for a minimum of 20mins after vacation.

Disinfection only works on things that are clean. When disinfection is required it is always as well as cleaning.

Person assigned to cleaning should avoid touching their face while they are cleaning and should wear household gloves and a plastic apron.

Clean the environment and furniture using disposable cleaning cloths and a household detergent followed by disinfection with a chlorine based product (household bleach).

Pay special attention to frequently touched surfaces, the back of chairs, couches, door handles and any surfaces that are visibly soiled with body fluids.

Once the room has been cleaned and disinfected and all surfaces are dry, the room can be reused.

If a pupil or staff diagnosed with COVID-19 spent time in a communal area like a canteen, play area or if they used the toilet or bathroom facilities, then the areas should be cleaned with household detergent followed by a disinfectant (as outlined in the HPSC interim health advice) as soon as is practically possible.


A risk assessment must take place in the school after any suspected case of Covid 19. The Principal, Deputy Principal and Lead Worker will be responsible for the assessment being carried out.






























Teachers and SNA’s:

Each classroom will be equipped with disinfectant and cloths and it is expected that every teacher/SNA will wipe down sink areas and door handles at each break throughout the day.

The teacher will be expected to wipe down laptop, interactive whiteboard and associated pens etc., Wipes will be allocated for this purpose.

It will also be expected that class tables be wiped down at the end of each day and that each child can then place their chair on top of the table and their box on top of the table to facilitate the cleaning at the end of day.

Teacher’s desks will be the responsibility of the teacher.

If there is a suspected case of Covid 19 in the classroom, wherever possible the teacher/SNA will be asked to disinfect the area where the person was sitting as quickly as possible, within reason. (DISCRETION IS KEY IN THIS AREA).



A list of duties will be placed in each classroom for the cleaners to follow. This list will consist of the following to be done on a daily basis:

Toilets to be bleached

Seats and backs of toilets will be disinfected,

Sinks will be disinfected.

Toilet roll and hand towel holders will be wiped down.

Floors will be mopped.

Door handles will be disinfected.


All surfaces will be disinfected.

Classroom sinks will be washed down and disinfected.

All furniture around the classroom will be disinfected, whether in use or not.

Floor will be hoovered and the wet section mopped.

All boxes, chairs and tables will be disinfected. Chairs and boxes will be left on the floor at the end of cleaning.

All blind cords will be wiped down

All windowsills will be washed.

All door handles will be wiped down.

All corridors will be mopped and, where necessary, all window sills in corridors will be wiped down.




The floor will be swept and mopped.

The windowsills will be wiped down

Blinds cords will be wiped down.

All door handles will be wiped down.


Photocopiers, telephones, shredders etc. will all be wiped down.

Keypads will be wiped down


Staff room and Kitchen.

All surfaces and appliances will be wiped down

All door handles will be wiped down.



















The visitors log book will be used for contact tracing if the need arises so it is essential that it is complied with.

Meetings will only take place by appointment for the foreseeable future so we would appreciate it if these could be for matters that are urgent and cannot be dealt with over the phone.

All appointments are to be made through Tracy.

If you have an appointment it is essential that you present yourself in the office to sign in the visitors log first and then you will be escorted to your meeting.

Any contractors or visiting teachers will also need to sign into the visiting log book.

If a parent has been requested to pick up a sick child, it is essential that the parent report to the office and sign in to the log book. The child will be escorted to the office to meet the parent.

If a parent needs to pick up a child early from school, they must report to the office and sign in to the log book. The child will be escorted to the office to meet the parent.





It is still essential that Fire drills can operate within the safety parameters of Covid 19. With this in mind the drill will now take place on the main yard at the bottom wall. Each class will be allocated a new spot which will be clearly labelled.

If a fire drill is called, wherever possible the children will exit through their entrances at the beginning of the day.

Children in 3rd class can use the Junior/ Senior infant door.

Children in 4th Class can use the 5th/6th Class exit.

Children in 2nd Class can use the main reception door.







St. John's National School © 2021