Return to School Plan 2020

Return to School Plan


Staggered Drop Off and Collection Times:

To help with reducing the amount of traffic around the school gates, children are asked to walk/cycle to school if it is at all possible.


All children will enter and leave the building through their assigned door.

Front Door Left Sixth Class

Second Class

Front Door Right Senior Infants

Fourth/Fifth Class (Ms. Haran)

Third Class

Back Door Junior Infants

First Class

Fourth/Fifth Class (Ms. O’ Flaherty)



  • All class teachers will be in their classrooms by 9.10am.
  • A strict “drop & go” policy will be in operation. No parking will be allowed.

Parents are asked not to enter the school grounds.

  • Pupils with surname A – L can arrive between 9.10am and 9.20am.  Pupils with surname M – Z to arrive between 9.20am and 9.30am.
  • The one way system from Stella Maris (top entrance)will be in operation.
  • Children will go directly to their classrooms on arrival.
  • Other staff members (including Special Education Teachers, S.N.A.’s and the Principal) will be available outside and inside the building to receive the children and to help them to their classrooms.
  • A one-way system will operate on the yard to access the correct door.


  • Junior Infants will go home at 12.30 for the first two weeks of the school year.

From 14th September onwards:

  • 1.50 pm Class teacher will bring Junior Infants to the gate at the back of the school.   Parents/minders are asked to “pick up & go” until 2.00pm.

From 31st August onwards:

  • 2.00pm Class teacher will bring Senior Infants to the gate at the front of the school. Parents/minders are asked to “pick up and go” until 2.10pm.
  • 2.45pm  Class teacher will bring First Class to the gate at the back of the school.
  • Second and Third class pupils to the gate at the front of the school.
  • Parents are asked to “pick up and go” until 2.55pm.
  • Siblings from fourth, fifth and sixth classes are collected at this time also. They exit the building through their designated door and use exit gate of younger family members
  • 2.55pm class teachers will bring pupils from Sixth and Ms. Haran’s fourth/fifth to the front gate. Ms O. Flaherty’s fourth/fifth class will be brought to the back gate.

Parents are asked to “pick up and go”. Supervision will be provided until 3.10pm.  As many of our older children walk home by themselves, there should not be as many cars arriving for pickups at this time.

Parents/minders who walk to the school to collect children are asked to wear a mask and maintain a social distance outside the school gate.


Summarised Timetable for Drop Off and Pick Up.

9.10am   All staff to be present to support arrival of pupils.

Class teachers to be in their classrooms.

S.E.T, S.N.A’s and Principal to support arrival of pupils.

9.10 – 9.30  Arrival of pupils – Stop, Drop, Go system. No adults to enter the school yard.  Children go straight to their classroom on arrival.

1.50pm –  Pick up and go  – Junior Infants (Back Gate)

2.00pm  – Pick up and go – Senior Infants (Front Gate)

2.45pm  –  Pick up and go  – First Class (Back Gate)

Second & Third (Front Gate)

Brothers and sisters from Fourth/Fifth/Sixth collected at this time also.

2.55pm  – Pick up and go  – Sixth, Fourth/Fifth Ms. Haran (Front Gate)

Fourth/Fifth Ms. O’ Flaherty (Back Gate)

Uniform:-         Monday, Wednesday, Friday –  P.E. Tracksuit

Tuesday, Thursday  – Blue school uniform.

  • Velcro shoes to be worn if children cannot tie school laces as teachers/S.N.A.’s will be unable to do this.
  • Please ensure your child’s uniform is clean and washed regularly.
  • Please ensure your child has a healthy lunch in school every day.
  • Lunches should be packed in a plastic lunch box & washed thoroughly every day.


  • Children will have 2 x 20 minute breaks.

Each class will be allocated a play area in the lower playground

  • Class groups or “bubbles” will not be allowed mix.

In Class:

  • Children from Junior – Second will operate as class bubbles.
  • 3rd to 6th Class will operate as class bubbles and will be seated in pods.
  • There will be no sharing of belongings.
  • Windows will be open for ventilation during break/lunchtime.
  • Masks for children allowed (parental decision) as masks are not mandatory for U-13 year olds.


  • Greater time will be given to Maths, Language, S.P.H.E, and P.E as per Department of Education guidelines.
  • P.E. will be outdoors only with weather permitting (emphasis on strands conducive to outdoor space)
  • In keeping with our Special Education Policy, learning support will be provided in a blended approach of in class support and withdrawal. Tables and chairs in S.E.T. rooms will be wiped clean between different pupils/groups.

Supporting Students at “very high risk” of Covid 19.

Students in the “very high risk” category who are unable to return to school should contact the Principal via email ddillon@stjohnsballisodare to make arrangements for alternative educational support.


  • No written homework for the month of September. (To be reviewed from October.)
  • No transfer of books/copies/pencil cases etc., between home and school (lunch box and drink bottle only)


  • Hand operated sanitizing facilities in each classroom and at each entrance.
  • Handwashing facilities with warm water and disposable towels in all classrooms.


  • All classrooms and children’s toilets will be cleaned daily.
  • A deep clean of all rooms has been completed.
  • Fogging machines ordered (all rooms will be done daily after cleaning)

Covid 19 Signage:

  • Signage will be at entrances, on the paths and play areas and also in corridors and classrooms.


  • We have a designated room for use as an isolation area.
  • Procedures for its operation are in place.

Documentation & Online Training:

Children returning from holidays abroad:

  • Anyone returning from a red list country will have to quarantine for 14 days, before returning to school. (proof in the form of a return boarding pass may be required)
  • Anyone returning from a green list country will not have to quarantine.

Visitor Policy:

  • St. John’s N.S. will operate a strict No Visitor Policy in order to reduce the footfall within the school.
  • Parents must contact the school office on 9167639 or school mobile 086 1531599 if they wish to speak to the Principal or to make arrangements to arrange a phone call with a teacher.
  • Appointments for follow up telephone calls will be made if necessary.
  • If parents wish to collect their child early they must ring the school office, remain in the car and we will organize the handover of the student.

Please Note:

This plan was devised to facilitate the smooth re-opening of our school, it is subject to change and we may have to make adaptations when we evaluate how it is working.