Return FAQs

We hope this page will serve as a reservoir of information that will support the successful and safe re opening of our school. Please note that guidelines and recommendations are changing all the time so information provided here is correct at the time but is subject to change. Guidelines are available for review a here

We are working through these guidelines and planning accordingly looking at putting measures in place to ensure the safety of all. We thank you for your patience and support and look forward to welcoming our new students to post primary and our current students back to GCC in the coming weeks.

Updates: 25/8/20

FAQ

Q: How do I keep up to date with changes and information about school?

Contact details:

Please ensure that we have correct contact details for parents/guardians/carer in case your son/daughter becomes ill. Please email any changes to your details email/phone/address, to info@griffeencc.ie

Q: If my son/daughter has been in a non – green list country or if they are in contact with someone in a non-green list country, can they come to school?

Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, continues to advise against nonessential travel overseas for everyone. Anyone who is returning to Ireland from abroad must follow the HSE advice, at the time of their return to Ireland, for travellers from that country.

At time of writing, it is a requirement for anyone coming into Ireland, from locations other than those with a rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this includes school staff, parents and children or other students coming from abroad to attend school in Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible.(https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/e4ea6-travelling-abroad-from-ireland/).

If the college has reasonable grounds for believing that its duty of care towards its staff and pupils is being undermined in circumstances where a person has not observed the mandatory requirement to self-isolate for 14 days following return from a non-green list country, the DES has stated that the school can refuse access to said person for that period.

Please email us at info@griffeencc.ie if there will be a delay with your child returning to school for any reason, so that we hold your child’s place on our roll-book.

It is essential for the health and safety of the school community that families adhere to this advice.

Q: When is my child due back in school?

Return to school times and dates.

Thursday 27th August - Staff only

Friday 28th August

9.30am-11.30 am – Induction for all 3rd years (Ash/Elm)

Monday 31st August

9.30am -11.30am; Induction for all 1st years.

Tuesday 1st September

9.30-11.30am; Induction for all 2nd years

Wednesday 2nd September

8.20-11.15am; TY & 3rd Years

Thursday 3rd September

All students from 8.20- 12.00pm

Friday 4th September

All students from 8.20- 12.00pm

All students will be on normal full timetable from Monday 7th SeptemberQ: What is the Calendar for the year?

The school year Calendar as it stands can be found on our website here

Q: What is the purpose of student induction morning?

Student induction mornings will allow us to return each year group to the school, to explain our plans for minimising the risk of introduction of Covid-19 into the school community and allow time for tutors to reconnect with their class groups to prepare for the term ahead.

Q: What are school times when we are fully up and running?

School times will be as follows:

Start Time: 08:20am Everyday

Finish time: 14:45pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

Finish time Friday: 12:55pm Friday

Q: If my child forgets something for school, can I drop it into the office for collection?

Forgotten items: Items may not be dropped into school if they have been forgotten. Please encourage your child to remain fully organised and ready for school each day.

Q: How can I support my son/daughter to prepare for the return to school?

The return to school may be challenging for some students given that school was closed since last March.

The following actions would be helpful for you to engage in with your son/daughter:

    • Ask your child/children what they are looking forward to about returning to school and discuss anything that they may be worried about. Sometimes just chatting about your feelings or having a simple plan in place to manage anxiety or worry can help to manage these feelings. Listen, empathise and reassure as much as you can.
    • Make sure that your son/daughter knows or can find out which staff members are their ‘go-to people’ if they need to talk to someone including SNAs (where appropriate) tutor, year-head, deputy principal. The student induction days will remind students of which staff are in these pastoral care and student support roles.
    • Prepare a student hygiene pack clearly labelled with student name. This consists of a closable plastic bag or small bag containing:
    • small bottle of hand-gel sanitiser,
    • reusable washable face-covering/mask and plastic bag to hold it when not in use (face-mask design must be appropriate for a school setting – use common sense please!)
    • small packet of tissues.

This should be brought into school every day with a fresh face-covering/mask and towel.

Q: Where can I access videos that will explain how to follow good practice?

We ask parents and students to view the videos or read the information provided in these links and discuss how students will ensure to follow good practice in school regarding:

    1. Corona virus HSE hygiene video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JYhm9oa-DM

    1. Hand-washing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsgLivAD2FE

    1. Respiratory hygiene (coughing/sneezing) and social distancing

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/protect-yourself-and-others.html

    1. Using a face covering/Mask

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/face-masks-disposablegloves.html

    1. Student wellbeing advice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=bM8lPJ8bQm4&feature=emb_logo

Q: What will happen during the school day?

Break times:

Each student should bring a packed-lunch. Students may eat during tutorial, at 11:00 am, and will also be able to eat lunch in phases between 12:15 and 12:45, both, while sitting in their base classrooms. Students will be given time to go outside during the longer break.

Outdoor spaces:

We will have colour coded signs to signify year group locations outside. Year groups will remain in their ‘Pods’ while outside and face masks will be worn where two metres social distancing cannot be maintained.

Uniform:

Full school uniform is expected at all times. Details on our website. On the day when PE is on the timetable the full PE uniform should be worn for that day. No access to the changing rooms will be provided. Please ensure that all items of your child’s uniform and PE gear are labelled in the event that items are misplaced.

Resources:

Students should have purchased all of their resources before returning to school. Resource lists are on our website – see the ‘Parent’ Tab.

Toilets:

In order to adhere to social distancing guidelines, no more than two students at a time will be permitted in the toilets at any one time. As usual students will ask teachers to access a toilet. Students should bring anything they need from their hygiene pack with them. Notices will be placed at bathroom areas with strict instructions to have no queues inside toilet areas and to leave the area as quickly as possible. Ongoing supervision will enforce this, but students will need to take personal responsibility. Hands should be properly washed using soap and water in the bathrooms (see handwashing video) and hand sanitisers must be used after visiting a bathroom.

Label everything:

We will try to return all lost items promptly to students but if lost items are not identifiable, they will be disposed. This applies to bottles of water, lunch boxes, and uniform.

Code of Behaviour:

We are updating our code to include: “As per our ready, respectful, safe policy, students will follow Covid-19 arrangements and protocols that are implemented for the health and safety of all.” Please discuss what this means for your student.

Journal:

We will distribute the journal to students during their induction session. Students should use the journal as usual to record homework/notes/announcements. Parents should sign the journal weekly as normal.

VSware:

Use the school VSware system to keep an eye on any notes about your student’s progress as paper journals will be used much less frequently by teachers this year. If you do not yet have or have forgotten your VSware access username and password this will be reissued to students when they return.

Lockers:

Students will not have access to lockers for the foreseeable future.

Mobile phone:

If your student owns a smart phone we advise every student to download the National Covid Tracker and to bring their phone into school, keep Bluetooth switched on, keep the phone on but on silent (not vibrate). Parents can, if they wish, give their under-16 year old students permission to download this app as the digital age of consent is 16. Please decide what is in the best interests of your child. As usual, mobile phones must be kept in bags on silent at all times. Mobile phones that are observed or used by students without a teacher’s permission will be confiscated.

Cleaning personal spaces:

All school personnel including students will need to develop a habit of using the disinfectant wipes provided to wipe down their work area before and after use. This includes the student desk and any part of the chair that is a touch point (top of back of chair and sides of chair).

Q: Should my child stay at home if they are feeling unwell?

If a student is experiencing one or more symptoms of Covid-19 while at home

(https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/symptoms.html) you must contact your GP and the student should NOT attend school.

The HSE guidelines for self-isolation must be followed:

(https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/self-isolation.html).

A student is not to attend school if they have been identified by the HSE as a close contact for a person with COVID-19 and to follow the HSE advice on restriction of movement:

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/if-you-live-withsomeone-who-has-coronavirus.html

If your son/daughter or a family member has an underlying health condition and you are concerned about their return to school during the pandemic, please let us know.

Please note that a letter from your GP must be sent to the school if your GP has advised you that your son’s/daughter’s health condition puts them in the seriously at-risk (or vulnerable) category and they should not attend school. The school will provide online learning resources for student.

Q: I am wondering if a student has to isolate can they access work online as before? I don’t want my child to fall behind especially in exam year

A: Individual students who are required to stay at home due to becoming ill can engage in the learning through MS TEAMs - by accessing and completing work set by their teachers. Please see Distance Learning Policy on our Website.

Q: Will parents be notified if there is a Covid-19 case in the school? What are the guidelines on this?

A: In accordance with the government guidelines and contact tracing measures, all parents and staff will be informed if there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the school. Please see the Returning to School Covid-19 document on our website for additional details.

Q: What happens if a student develops Covid-19 symptoms in school?

If a student feels unwell in school, they should inform their teacher as usual. If the student is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 in school this will be brought to the attention of the Principal/Deputy Principal promptly. They will be brought to the isolation room set up for this purpose, given specific PPE equipment to wear and use and a parent will receive a phone call and asked to collect their son/daughter as soon as possible. You must thencontact your GP for health advice and confirm with the school if a positive test is recorded.

Q: Are windows and doors going to be open to allow for ventilation?

A: All classroom windows can be opened to ensure the flow of air through the rooms. Internal doors will also be left open where feasible to reduce the amount of possible contamination touch points and to allow for ventilation.

Q: Can students choose to wear a mask for the duration of the school day?

A:

Screen Shot 2020-09-20 at 16.58.15.png

Reopening our post primary school gov.ie website

As advised by the HSE all staff, students and visitors to the school are required to wear a face-covering/mask. Anyone who for medical reasons is advised by a GP not to wear a face-covering must contact the school in advance of attending, so that alternative arrangements can be made for the health and safety of all.

Students must clean their mask and visor every day. Students will carry a plastic zip lock bag for storage of their face mask. Students will be reminded of how to put on and take off their face mask.

Q: Will students be given mask breaks throughout the day?

Mask breaks will be timetabled into classes and break times.

Q: Will students remain in base classes for the duration of the school day while the teachers move from class to class?

A: Students will be required to sanitise their hands and put on their face mask. Students must also sanitise their hands again upon entry to their classroom. It is recommended that students bring a hand cream with them to school to avoid irritation of the skin.

Where practically possible students will remain in their base class. However, due to the nature of post primary school, students will have to continue to move from class to class for options and different levels in subjects.

Before leaving a classroom, students are required to clean and sanitise their workspace. They will be provided with cleaning materials in order to do this and they will be shown what they need to do on their first day back.

Q: Will there be substitute teachers in the case that a teacher must take leave due to Covid-19?

A: When possible a substitute teacher will be available to take over the teacher’s role in the event of illness.

Q: How will the day differ to before?

A: Students will enter the building through the main Kishoge entrance. They will exit via the side door of the building.

Students will not have access to the GP area in the mornings.

Students will not have access to lockers for the foreseeable future and therefore they must go straight to their base class room in the morning.

At break time, students will have their tutorial with their tutor in their base classroom and they may also eat at this time. There will be a mask break at these times.

Q: What resources will my child need for lessons?

Resources for each year group are available on our website:

1st year here

2nd year here

3rd year here

TY here

Q: What other changes can we look out for?

Students school day will continue as normal as possible with additional safety and hygiene measures in place.

However….

Code of Behaviour:

Updating our Code of Behaviour to include: “Students will comply with Covid-19 arrangements and protocols that are implemented for the health and safety of all.” If any aspect of the procedures in place prove to be a challenge for a student to comply with we expect that you as a parent will contact the school prior to your child returning so that we can discuss special arrangements if possible. Issues that arise will be dealt with sensitively, but we ask you to understand that we must err on the side of ensuring the health and safety of all. We are expecting further additions to the code of behaviour to be issued by the Department of Education. This rule will not be included in our student journal which is already printed, so we ask you to ensure that your son/daughter is aware of this.Failure to follow staff instructions, whereby students pose a risk to the health and safety of others, may result in students being asked to go home

Teaching and learning:

Our initial phase of teaching and learning will focus strongly on Wellbeing and on settling the students back into school routines and good learning practises, reviewing aspects of courses from last year, building student confidence and growing strong relationships. The Department of Education is reviewing courses and assessment/examination structures (especially for 3rd) and teachers will communicate this to students as more details emerge. Homework practices may be different for this first term and teachers will work within their subject teams to outline what is expected. Specific wellbeing sessions will be organised through the SPHE/CPSE programme. Changes to requirements for each subject at Junior Certificate may be found here

Going Digital:

We will be using Microsoft 365 Teams to a greater extent this year. Previously we only had access to the video function however, we now have access to the ‘Assignments’ function for students, so we will be able to upload work there, and students will be able to send and receive feedback on work via the same system.

It is vitally important that students access all of their classes on Teams. We will provide training for all students to ensure they can make best use of the suite of apps available through Office 365. Teachers will be avoiding collecting copies/workbooks etc. for now and there may be an increase of work assigned and collected digitally.

Teachers may ask students to use the Teams app on their iPad during class time while everybody gets used to the system. All work can be backed up on the ‘cloud’ to avoid using up storage on the iPad.

If full or partial school closure is required at any stage in the future, we will be using Teams as the main digital resource to continue teaching and learning.

Base classrooms:

We will be changing our room allocation so that groups of students remain in classrooms and teachers move to them. This will reduce the movement of students around the school and will allow year groups to be grouped in certain areas of the school as much as possible. Movement will still be necessary to access practical classrooms. Students much ensure they follow the one-way system and keep socially distanced at all times. Corridors have been clearly marked and there are posters providing clear information for following safety measures for all.

Clearing out rooms:

We have been removing all non-essential items from classrooms so that additional space is available for students and staff to practise social distancing. Students will be seated at a distance of 1m shoulder to shoulder and staff seats will be placed at a distance of 2m from students as outlined in the DES guidelines. All available space in the school is being used for increasing social distance between students. Maintaining a physical distance of 2m is advisable where possible and especially as people move around the school.

Q: What responsibilities do you as a student have?

We are planning our school environment and practices to try to ensure the safety of all – you our students, our staff, visitors to the school and our wider community. As we are doing our best to keep you safe, we ask you, our students, to do everything in your power to keep other students and staff members safe too including:

    • Practise our values of Ready, Respectful, Safe.
    • Wear a face covering/Mask. Designed must be appropriate for a school setting.
    • Practise appropriate hand hygiene by washing hands with soapy water regularly or using hand sanitiser.
    • Practise social distancing at all times.
    • Watch the videos at the links we have provided in these FAQs in relation to the above items.
    • Put steps in place to mind your wellbeing – this is a challenging situation and everyone can benefit from having tips and ideas for staying calm, being kind (to yourself and others) and gently remind each other about the special arrangements in place.
    • Know the names of your key support staff members such as tutors, yearhead, SEN teachers and talk to them if you have concerns about anything. We really want to listen to any concerns you have so that we can help you settle back successfully into a school routine.
    • Follow our code of behaviour including our new rule about Covid-19 measures
    • Timetables will be available on VSware. If you do not have your logon details you can get them when you return to school.
    • Please arrive on time for school – if you are late go directly to your assigned classroom and offer your explanation to your teacher who will mark you present/late on the electronic system. We will not be using the late stamp system this year.
    • Bring a packed lunch and follow instructions explained by your tutor.
    • Use the outside area assigned to your year group during lunch time.
    • Enter and exit through the door specified and use the usual one-way system.
    • Ensure you have your own labelled, reusuable water bottle.
    • Chewing gum is not allowed in the school and using chewing gum or disposing inappropriately of chewing gum will be considered a serious issue due to increased health concerns. Spitting is also as an unhygienic activity and carries increased health concerns in current times.
    • Please ensure that you follow induction lessons carefully and bring a notebook/copy and penyouripad with you for the induction classes.
    • Return to school with a positive outlook, ready to meet your classmates, your teachers and other staff and ready to do your best to get back into good learning habits.

Some recent questions and current responses 6/8/20

Will students stay in one class for core subjects and only move for options etc?

The guidelines recommend that the least amount of movement as possible takes place in schools. Therefore where possible students will remain in base classes in designated classrooms for core subjects. For options that require specialist rooms they will move. This movement will be managed and procedures around the safety of all once agreed and finalised will be shared with the school community.

Will the children will be required to wear masks?

It is now recommended that teachers and secondary school students wear face coverings, similar to those worn in shops or on public transport, when a physical distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained.

The size of the classrooms in Kishoge CC allows us to fit 24 students , one teacher and 1 SNA in a classroom. This allows for 1 metre social distancing of students apart as per guidelines (Teacher is at 2 metre distance).

Will the children return to school at the proposed date?

As per the calendar shared with the school community in June (also on website) the proposed dates for the return to school are what we are working towards. They may be subject to change if measures are outstanding to allow the safe return of staff and students. We will update you nearer the time.

Do you have a facility for donations of old uniforms for students?

We welcome any donations to the school. As per guidelines they have to be cleaned and prepared in a certain way and will be donated to one student only. Please contact the school if you have items you would like to donate.

Supervision of students:

Additional hours and teachers are being allocated by the Department of Education to assist with supervision.

Transition’s between classes will be kept to a minimum and all of these measures will be considered over the coming weeks as per the Department of Education Guidelines that all schools are working through.

Interactions within the school community:

Mixing between year groups is being discouraged by the Department of Education to ensure safety of all. That means base classes will be the main group students engage with on a daily basis.

Classroom size:

Social distancing will be adhered to as per guidelines from the Department of Education.

Griffeen CC is very fortunate that Kishoge CC is a newer school with larger classrooms and stairwells that both meet the recommended guidelines for social distancing.

Griffeen CC is currently reviewing staggered start/end/locker times and will advise the school community as soon as these details are confirmed.

Specialist rooms:

Department of Education Guidelines need to be followed and the provision of PPE and the non-sharing of equipment and strict cleaning protocols (by teachers & cleaning staff) will be adhered to. Details will follow requiring the use of specialist equipment / tools/ etc.

Emergency evacuations:

As per the Department of Education guidelines emergency situations will be considered and planned for as part of the schools Covid 19 Response Plan.

This is currently being considered and worked on and is a requirement for all schools.

School breaks:

Breaktimes between Kishoge and Griffeen do not overlap and we are working at keeping this arrangement in place.

Transition from Primary:

We have been working on this continuously, as is every other school, and will make every effort to ensure the calm and safe transition to post primary for our new students. A virtual tour was shared with students in June and we will begin connecting with this new cohort of students in the coming weeks.

Uniforms:

The only part of the uniform that is not generic currently is the school jumper/ tie. Every other item of clothing can be purchased in any Dept store. We have taken the decision to keep the TY uniform the same so as to avoid additional costs.

We hope to collaborate with students in the coming months to look at affordable options for TY e.g. maybe a school zip top. We are also looking at allowing students to wear their PE uniforms to school.

New Modular buildings
We have verbal confirmation that occupancy should be the start of Nov 2020.



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c/o Kishoge Community College,
Ninth Lock Road,
Lucan
Co Dublin
Ireland

01 621 2392


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