Sanitising Products and Return to School
1st November 2020
Dear Staff, Students and Parents,
During the mid-term break, the Department of Education and Skills removed several sanitising products from the approved list for schools.
Before we return to school tomorrow, I wish to reassure all members of the school community that our hand sanitiser, wipes and the spray used to wipe down the tables, are not on the list of recalled products.
I want to thank all members of the school community for your efforts to date. The students have been fantastic. It is difficult for us all to wear our masks for the entire day but the students have done so without complaint and quickly adapted to the new routine of desk cleaning and sanitising.
I wish to commend the parents for keeping the lines of communication open and letting us know if their daughter or a member of the household has gone for testing. This has allowed us to keep one step ahead of the HSE.
Thank you to the teachers for your hard work in the classroom and your vigilance in the corridors. I want to thank Ms. Walsh, Ms. Cullen and Mr. Whelan for the work they are doing in their roles, behind the scenes, to keep us all safe.
When we return to school we must once again focus on the fundamentals of handwashing, sanitising, mask wearing and keeping apart while we carry on with the daily business of teaching and learning.
As parents/guardians we are asking that you ensure that your daughter has her mask every day. It is important that it fits properly and covers her nose and mouth to prevent the spread of droplets.
We ask the students to continue to maintain their distance especially during break periods when eating prevents mask wearing. Students should try to get outside for fresh air during break and lunchtime if at all possible.
I look forward to the return of staff and students to school tomorrow and to the busy term ahead.
Clarification on the Use of Face Coverings in Post Primary Schools – 18th September 2020
Thank you to all members of our school community for your cooperation during these difficult times. The one-way system, locker rota, base class rooms and outside seating areas are all working well. Thanks to all for wearing the mask, sanitising your hands and helping with the cleaning.
The Department of Education and Skills have issued the following clarification regarding the Use of Face Covering in Post Primary Schools. You can download their advice here.
Latest update from Ms. Murphy – 25th August 2020
I hope this letter finds you all well. We are looking forward to welcoming our students back to Loreto College at the end of the week and early next week. We are looking forward to a full reopening of our school. I know that all of our teachers and students are also looking forward to returning to the familiar daily routine of school. I wish to acknowledge all the work that has been done by Mr. Whelan, Ms. Walsh, Alan, our caretaker
and Alison, our secretary throughout the month of August in making this full return possible. It has been a mammoth task.
We are very conscious that it will be almost six months since students have been in school and it has been an unprecedented time for us all. Many families are dealing with significant and life changing events. The Guidance Counsellor, school chaplain, learning support team, Year Heads and all the teachers will do their very best to support your daughter on her return to school.
It will be a big adjustment for everyone as there are many changes to the school day. Please note our opening year arrangements on our school website.
I ask you to discuss all the information below with your daughter. These measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of Covid 19 when students return to lessons this August. We are working towards an environment that will provide safety for all stakeholders.
All teachers will incorporate IT into their teaching. All students will be set up with a school e-mail address and will be taught how to get up and running with Microsoft Teams. This will ensure that all students can access the curriculum and continue to learn in the event of further school closures. There are timetabled classes for IT in first, second, third and fourth year.
Students will sit in single desks in class with 1 metre between them. There will be no group work. The teacher will remain 2 m apart from students at all times.
The girls will see changes in room use and new purposes for some classrooms. The three first year classes have been given base class rooms in the new Mary Ward building. They will remain there for most of their classes to minimise movement on the corridors.
The Oratory and the Prayer Room for
Muslim students will not be available this year as we have had to use these rooms for storing excess furniture.
The library has been turned into a class room.
The desks in Art rooms and the Home Economics Rooms have been replaced with small individual desks to maximise the
use of space.
STUDENTS WITH UNDERLYING HEALTH ISSUES
If you believe that your child is in a high risk category i.e. with underlying health concerns, please seek medical
advice and contact the school so that we can plan for your child and put additional supports in place.
All lockers have been cleared. Many belongings remained in the lockers. These have been placed in a labelled bag
and your daughter must take her belongings home with her when she returns to school for her assembly.
The lockers have been spaced out and redistributed throughout the building to ensure social distancing. A system will be put in place so that students will be able to access their locker in an orderly fashion.
We ask that students do not congregate at the lockers and wait their turn where necessary.
Students should not attend school if they are displaying any signs of illness.
All students and staff must have a clean face mask with them in school.
All students must wear a mask when moving through the corridor as our corridors are narrow.
Some students may be unable to wear a mask because of an underlying health condition or special educational need. Please let us know if your daughter falls into this category.
Cloth coverings are advised as these can be washed daily. We recommend that you have a number of masks to rotate throughout the week.
Each student will also need a freezer zip lock plastic bag/other suitable bag or case to carry their mask when not being worn. This small bag must include:
- a spare mask
- hand sanitizer
Our Response Plan involves minimising movement in the building. Students must follow the one-way system when moving from room to room. Additional doors will be open in the morning and in the evening to ease congestion in the main reception
A one way system is in place. Stickers on the floor will mark out the direction to travel in and this will be explained at assembly.
We are encouraging students to bring a packed lunch if at all possible. The dining hall will be open but not all year groups will be allowed in. All first years and sixth year prefects will go to the dining hall for lunch.
Two trolleys with food will be brought over to the school. One will be located in the concert hall and one in Marian House.
Students can queue to get food at these points.
The menu will change and more sandwiches and rolls will be served. These will be served in paper wrappings.
GREEN LIST COUNTRY STUDENTS
returning from abroad (from a non-green list country) cannot return to school until their 14 day isolation is complete.
AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES/TRIPS
There will be no sport, debating or trips for
the moment. This will be reviewed as
the term progresses.
LEAVING CERTIFICATE APPLIED
will be no work experience for the LCAs.
They will attend school on Wednesdays.
We will look at scheduling a two week block of work experience in the second
term after Christmas, if this is in keeping with the latest public health
advice and guidelines from the Department of Education and Skills.
Choirs and group singing is seen as a high risk activity. It is recommended that if and when any group singing activity takes place, there should be minimum 2.5 metres distance between participants and the activity
takes place outside or in a well ventilated area. For this reason, the annual Transition Year
musical has been postponed. We will review the situation as the term progresses.
experience has been scheduled for a two week block in the second term. We encourage students to look for a work
placement. We will review the situation as time progresses taking the latest NPHET advice and Department of Education
and Skills guidelines.
Students should have their own materials for each class. The teacher will no longer be able to distribute markers, colouring pencils and shared materials.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION (PE) and UNIFORM
Students are expected to attend classes in full uniform with the exception of days when student has PE. There will be no access to changing rooms. Junior students can come to school in their PE tracksuits on PE day only and remain in PE gear for the day. Alternative changing facilities will be made for 4th, 5th and 6th year students.
TRAVELLING TO AND FROM SCHOOL
Students who live near the school are advised to walk or cycle to school.
STUDENTS WITH COVID SYMPTOMS
Students and staff who are unwell should not attend school.
If your daughter develops Covid 19 symptoms during the day, she will be moved to a dedicated isolation room. Parents/Guardians must be available to come to school immediately to bring the student home. Students who have Covid symptoms must not use public transport to travel home.
RECEPTION AND OFFICE
Visitors to our school reception is by appointment and prior arrangement only. Parents can no longer call to the school without appointment to drop in lunches or forgotten items. If you need to contact us, please contact us on our school e mail address or via your son / daughter. All visitors to the school must sign the contract tracing form.
CODE OF BEHAVIOUR
All students must follow the Code of Behaviour. Students must follow instructions, move through the corridors quickly and form orderly queues when told to do so. Students will have to patiently wait their turn to access lockers and food at lunch and break time. We are all in this together and we expect full cooperation from our students at all times in our effort to keep the school open.
COMMUNICATION WITH HOME.
Please ensure that you let us know if you have changed your address or phone number.
Please note all communication with parents will be through the school app and the school website. It is important
that all parents download the app. If you are having trouble, please phone Unique Publishing, the app company and
they will help you. The number is 01 8603477.
Ms Dillon, the Home School Liaison teacher’s number is 087 1624105
The school office number is 01 4542380
The school e-mail address is secretary
Our Management team will continue to evaluate
our response plan on a regular basis.
It will be important that everyone plays their
part so we can ensure a successful and safe reopening of school.
This involves students, parents and staff familiarising
themselves with the DES and NPHET guidelines and strictly adhering to these