Return to School 2021/2022, #1 (Key Information Prior to Return)

 

Arriving to school 

If practicable, students are asked to walk or cycle to and from school each day. In order to reduce student interaction, students should not arrive to school earlier than 8.20a.m. Once in the building, students should go straight to their first form room or, on Wednesdays, their first classroom of the day. 

The Benamore Road/Rowanbyrn gate will continue to be open morning and evening to help reduce congestion at the beginning and end of the school day. In consideration of local residents, ongoing use of this gate is dependent on parents/guardians strictly adhering to guidelines in relation to drop offs in the Benamore Road vicinity. Do not enter Rowanbyrn estate under any circumstances; do not pull up/drop off on the two-lane section of Benamore Road. 

 

Classrooms & Base rooms 

Junior Cycle students (1st, 2nd and 3rd years) will be assigned base classrooms for their core subjects. To assist with contact tracing, assigned seats according to a seating plan will be used by all teachers for all year groups. 

 

Timetable 

All class periods are 60 minutes long. School will begin at 8:45 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with a 5 minute form group registration, with classes starting at 8:50. There will be no form time on Wednesday mornings, classes will begin at 8:50 and the registration will be taken by the class teacher.  

 

Leaving school 

All students in all year groups will finish school at 15.50 (13.10 on Wednesday). 

Students must leave school as soon as possible after classes have ended for the day and by 4.00 p.m. Where it makes sense for students to leave by the Benamore Road/Rowanbyrn gate, they should do so. 

Students must not congregate before or after school outside school gates, outside local shops or as far as practicable, at public transport stops. Students must endeavour to observe two metre distancing in these situations and to be mindful of our neighbours and our local community. 

 

Break and lunch times 

Break and lunch times will continue to be staggered to increase distancing and reduce the number of students circulating during breaks. 

First, third and sixth year will operate according to timetable ‘Grid 1’. Second, fourth and fifth years will operate according to timetable ‘Grid 2’. Please see ‘Timetable Grids, 2021/2022’ (attached to parent/guardian/student email) for more detail. 

Each year group will be assigned a specific area on campus for break and lunch times. 

The ‘Lunchbox’ will continue to operate the pre-order cashless meal scheme from the school kitchen. Key fobs will be available to students who wish to avail of this scheme, distributed during the first week. Please note that the Lunchbox service will be subject to a minimum number of sign-ups. Students not opting into this scheme are encouraged to bring packed lunches to school. 

 

VSware App 

We have now migrated to the VSware app and communications package. All parent/guardian notifications will now be sent via VSmail in the app. The VSware app allows parents/guardians to view their son/daughter’s timetable, attendance and behaviour records, school reports and submit online payments all from their device. The VSware app also provides a facility for submitting notes for absences and lates.  

We request that all parents/guardians download the VSware app before the start of the new school term. We would also ask that push notifications are turned on to ensure that you don’t miss any important notices. Further information on downloading and using the app can be found here.
 

Please note that the old Newpark app, provided by Unique, will no longer be in operation and may be deleted from your device. Student communication will continue via Microsoft Teams and Outlook.  

   

Library 

The library will continue to be used to accommodate larger class groups for timetabled classes. Students assigned to the library for certain class periods will be allocated to another supervised space. 

 

Uniform 

Junior Cycle students are required to wear their school t-shirt and hoodie in the normal way. Junior Cycle students are allowed to come to school in their PE gear, if they have PE that day. 

For all students, all items of clothing should be washed as often as possible.  

 

Supervised Evening Study 

The Supervised Evening Study programme will not be possible under the current guidelines. This will be reviewed in due course. 

 

Physical Education 

As far as possible, PE will be taught as normal to all year groups. Some interventions/restrictions may apply, in line with current guidance around use of the Sports Centre. Students will not be allowed to use shower facilities. Junior Cycle students are allowed to come to school in their PE gear, if they have PE that day. 

 

After-school activities 

After-school activities will continue in a similar manner to term three last year. Only outdoor clubs and societies will be facilitated initially. Students should note that re-entry to school buildings after extracurricular activities will not be possible. 

 

Hygiene 

Students must practice good hand and respiratory hygiene at all times. New external hand sanitizer stations will be available outside all main entrances/exits and must be used prior to entering the school buildings. Students will be required to sanitize their desk, chair and any shared equipment when they enter the classroom. 

Hand sanitizer and surface sanitizer will be provided in every classroom and in other key locations around the school. 

 

Face Coverings  

The Department of Education and Skills requires that students wear face coverings in the school building. Public Health Advice recommends that students wear face-coverings when a physical distance of two metres cannot be maintained, even outdoors. Accordingly, all students will be required to wear a clean reusable face covering every day in school. If a student forgets their mask, one can be purchased for €1 from the front office.  

If, on medical grounds, the requirement for your child to wear a mask isn’t possible, please make contact with the school nurses at nurses@newparkschool.ie 

 

Water Fountains 

For both hygiene and anti-congregating reasons the indoor water fountains will not be in use.  Where a student wishes to use a water bottle, they can be refilled using the outdoor, contactless bottle filler (located at the rear door of the school). 

 

Lockers 

Lockers will be provided for Junior Cycle students only. Distribution of lockers will happen during the first week of term. Senior Cycle students will need to carefully consider the list of books which they need to bring to school on a daily basis. Teachers will endeavour to assist in this. 

 

Laptop/Tablet Devices 

While Newpark does not require students to have a laptop/tablet, having access at home to a laptop or device with a keyboard makes it much easier for students to engage with digital learning and teaching. 

We intend continuing to embed our use of Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft apps in the forthcoming academic year. A new computer is not necessary; access to a basic device with a keyboard and internet access (shared with a sibling if necessary) is sufficient. 

 

When not to attend school 

In line with public health advice no person (student, teacher or parent) should attend the school if unwell with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Students who have been identified by the HSE as a contact of a person with COVID-19 must follow the HSE advice on restriction of movement. 

Should there be a suspected case of Covid-19 during the school day, as per guidelines, the person will be brought to, or report to, the isolation room. In the case of students, parents/guardians will be contacted, and arrangements made for the student to be collected. 

 

Visitors 

In line with guidance, visits to the school for any purpose are discouraged. Where absolutely necessary, visits to the school must be by prior arrangement only. Accordingly, parents are asked to avoid having to bring forgotten lunches, bags etc. to the school. 

 

Queries 

Queries to be addressed by the school office should not be made in person, but by email (office@newparkschool.ie) or telephone (01-2883724). 

 

Schedule for start of term 

Friday, 27th August         

10.00 – 12.20 Induction for first year students only. 

Monday, 30th August  

10.00 – 12.20 Induction all year groups 

Tuesday, 31st August 

8:45 – 13:10 Normal classes resume for 1st, 3rd and 6th years 

8:45 – 12:10 Normal classes resume for 2nd, 4th and 5th years 

Wednesday, 1st September 

8.50 – 13:10 Normal classes for all students 

Thursday, 2nd September 

8.45 – 15:50 Normal classes for all students 

Friday, 3rd September 

8:45 – 13:10 Normal classes for 1st, 3rd and 6th years 

8:45 – 12:10 Normal classes for 2nd, 4th and 5th years