Bishop Shanahan National School

Letter from Principal to parents on 28/08/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

I am delighted to be able to report to you that Bishop Shanahan NS will be reopening its doors next Tuesday 1st September to welcome back all our pupils. The staff of the school has been very busy planning and preparing for this long awaited day.
Reopening the school safely is being done in line with current guidelines and recommendations as set out by the Department of Education.We look forward to cooperating with the school community to ensure that the reopening 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. 
The nurturing of the children in our care is our primary focus.
The Department of Education and Skills Covid-19 Response Plan for the Sustainable Reopening of Primary and Special Schools and the Bishop Shanahan NS Covid-19 Policy Statement are available on our school website. These documents, along with Risk Assessment and Risk Minimisation documents were approved by the Board of Management on August 13th 2020.
The classrooms and school grounds have seen some changes, not all of which were Covid-19 related, over the summer months. 
  • The lighting in the entire school was replaced under the Emergency Works Scheme.
  • All classrooms are now fitted with hygienic Marmoleum flooring.
  • The school is proud to be opening a class for children with ASD. This room has been fully kitted out.
  • One courtyard has been fitted with a soft play surface as a safe play space for children with sensory needs.
  • Playgrounds have markings with buffer lines, family spots and directional arrows to assist with drop off and collection.
  • The exterior of the school has been painted.
  • Extensive planting has been done around the perimeter of the new building.
  • Classrooms have been decluttered of excess furniture and unwashable toys and materials.
  • Hand sanitisers have been fitted in each classroom. The children will use these on entry and reentry to the classroom throughout the day.
  • Each classroom has been arranged to accommodate 4 or 5 pods. A pod is a group of children (max 6) who will sit together. Each class will be part of a bubble of 2 or 3 classes. There will be minimum movement of pupils or staff between one bubble and another at all times to include yard times. 
  • Each child will be provided with a box to store books, worksheets, stationary and personal belongings. The contents of this box will be kept in school.
No written homework will be assigned for the month of September.
Important points to note:
  • Children who have travelled from countries not on the Green List should not attend school during the 14-day self-isolation period.
  • While all children will be welcome back to school, we wish to remind parents that, where children are displaying cold, cough or flu like symptoms , they should not be sent to school. Children who display such symptoms in school will be brought to the isolation area and parents will be asked to collect them from school.
  • Teachers will help children acquire good hygiene habits regarding hand washing and etiquette related to sneezing and coughing. We would be grateful if you could emphasise safe behaviour in this regard to your children at home as part of the preparation for returning to school.
  • We regret that no adults apart from staff members will be permitted to enter the school building.We respect that there may be valid reasons for meeting your child's teacher but kindly request that all visits to the school are by appointment  only. This can be arranged by phoning the office at 014508449 or by emailing
Please be patient as we endeavour to imbed these necessary precautionary and protective practices at the beginning of the school year. 
Finally, I wish to thank you for the many kind messages of support you have sent us since the sudden closure in March. We may be facing into a very different school year but we do so with great hope and optimism that while parents and staff adopt new practices, the children will be freed of such cares and can blossom once again in a happy school environment surrounded by their friends. 
By working together we wish to reopen in as safe a manner as possible for all. 
Kind regards
Ann Nolan, Principal
28th September 2020

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