Return to school – important information

Dear Students and Parents/Guardians,

I sincerely hope that you and your family are well and have enjoyed some of the recent good weather in advance of the return to school. You have probably been following closely much of what has been going on in the media around return to schools and wondering what it will be like in Carrigaline Community School for 2020-21. It is our express aim to have all students back in school but there are still challenges to be overcome to achieve this. 

The recently released roadmap regarding the Return to School will present huge challenges for all schools. On the instruction of the Dept of Education, the roadmap means that we have to introduce a number of significant changes to how we will operate as a school. These changes will mean education will look very different, however, please rest assured we will do our utmost to do our best, while also striving to keep everyone in our school community safe. I would encourage you to sit down and discuss the return to school with your son/daughter. This letter provides details of some of the changes we have had to make, but given the uncertainty of all matters currently, there will possibly be more updates to come. All of this information will be explained to students during their induction. 

Return to School Dates & Year Head details:

All students will receive induction and training, including specific Covid-19 safety measures, so as to help them to adjust to their new environment. Students will be supported by their Year Head along with the student support team and each base class will have a class teacher. Students should bring a copy or refill pad on the first day, along with €10 for the school journal. Students should not bring any books to school.  

School Reopening Schedule:  August 2020

Date Year Groups Time
Friday August 28th Staff planning day
Monday August 31st     Induction for students transferring into CCS from 2nd to 6th year.  10.00-11.00
Tuesday September 1st Years 3 & 6 incl. LCA2 9.00–11.00
Wednesday September 2nd Years 2 & 5 incl. LCA1 11.15-13.15.
Thursday September 3rd Year 1
Year  6 (incl. LCA2)
09.30-11.00  09.00–11.00
Friday September 4th Year 4 (Transition Year)
Years 1 & 3
09.00-11.00 09.00-12.35

Monday September 7th
Years 1,2, 3, 5 & 6
incl. LCA1 & LCA2
Tuesday September 8th All students timetabled classes 09.00-12.35
Wednesday September 9th All students timetabled classes 09.00-13.15
Thursday September 10th All students timetabled classes 09.00-16.00
Friday September 11th All students timetabled classes 09.00-12.35
Full timetabled classes for all from Monday September 14th.

Reopening our School 2020:

  • For the 2020/21 Academic Year, the school building will open for students from 8.35am and students will be required to use designated areas for entry before class commences:
    • 1st years – G area entrance  
    • 2nd years –  Music room entrance
    • 3rd years – Link corridor
    • TY’s – Link corridor
    • 5th Years – C area entrance
    • 6th Years – D area entrance
  • Each year group will be allocated a pod of Base Classrooms where students in that year will take the majority of their non-practical subjects.
  • We have a new Split Timetable which facilitates physical distancing during break and lunchtimes. Years 1, 4 and 6 will take break from 10.20 to 10.35 and lunch from 12.35 to 13.15, while Years 2,3 and 5 will take break from 11.00 to 11.15 and lunch from 13.15 to 13.55.
  • Lunch areas will be restricted in order to reduce mixing between year groups. We will encourage students to use the outdoor spaces during break and lunchtimes on all dry days. Students will be required to bring their own snacks for break time, however the school shop will operate at lunchtime.
  • All areas of the school have undergone extensive deep cleaning during the summer. Every possible attempt has been made to reduce class sizes and to ensure adequate physical distancing both in classrooms and recreational spaces. Having created a full new arrangement of the timetable and rooming allocations in recent weeks we believe that we have done the very best with the resources and capacity that we have. 
  • For at least the first term, students will not have any access to their lockers. Students will be required to bring in only the copies they need each day (maximum 9 copies) and to carry these in their school bags. Teachers will be using specific strategies which promote the blended use of textbooks for homework and skills development in the classroom. We will liaise with students and teachers regarding how this is working throughout the year. It will be important that students have access to their books at home. 
  • All classrooms will be set up for physical distancing of 1 metre between students/staff and one another. The guidance from the Department of Education is that where 2 metres distance cannot be maintained students and teachers should wear face coverings. In spite of various strategies being introduced to ease the flow of ‘traffic’ in the school, it is a requirement in Carrigaline Community School that all students and teachers will wear a face covering.  
  • Access to IT at home: while we are preparing for a return to school we also need to be prepared for home schooling, therefore we will be training all students in the use of the online learning platforms.

Covid-19 Specific Information:

  • It is imperative that you contact the school if your child is in a high risk category in relation to COVID19 prior to the reopening of school.
  • Just a reminder if your son/daughter travels abroad to a country that is not on the green list he/she must self-isolate for 14 days on return and should under no circumstances return to the school building. Please follow government guidelines for up-to-date information in relation to travel

Our focus has been on ensuring that the doors of the school reopen for the 2020/21 academic year.  There is a huge responsibility being placed on us both as educators and parents and we do have a collective duty to look after the educational, emotional, mental and social wellbeing of our students. We will no doubt need to tweak and modify our routines further once students arrive back in the building and see what improvements can be made on our current plans. The year will present many challenges for our school community and it will be important that we are understanding and patient with each other. 

This will be a challenge and school will be different but together we achieve. 

Kind regards,

Mr. Paul Burke