Covid Response: Reopening Plan

Reopening Coláiste Mhuire, Johnstown [Covid response plans]

Open letter to schools from Acting Chief Medical Officer
Click the above link to open the letter in PDF format.

The management of Coláiste Mhuire would like to reassure our students and their parents/guardians that we are using the recently published government guidelines to plan for the safe & full reopening of Coláiste Mhuire at the end of August, in line with our school calendar that was posted out.

We fully appreciate that the prolonged closure has taken its toll on all in our school community and there may be mixed feelings about returning to school; happiness & excitement alongside anxiety & concerns.

Our plan for reopening the school will follow all the necessary advice and guidelines for keeping all in our school community as safe as possible, while still being an enjoyable place for teaching & learning. Our teachers, classroom assistants, administration & caretaking staff will all receive training around the guidelines & practices needed to keep schools as safe possible for all our students, while still being an enjoyable place for teaching & learning to happen.

Parents will be texted when our full Covid-Response Plan is available on our school website in the coming weeks. []

Some of the key aspects of the plan include:

  • A plan to base students in classrooms as much as possible, where they will be physically distanced.
  • Students will be given clear guidance on hygiene & social distancing practices during the school day.
  • Sanitising equipment will be available in every classroom & in common areas throughout the school.
  • We are sourcing the necessary PPE students and teachers will need for classes e.g. visors, screens
  • A one-way system will be in operation when staff & students are moving around the school.
  • Lockers will not be used in the opening weeks; students will work from their school bag only, teachers will keep the resources needed for class to a minimum.
  • Staggered break & lunch times to reduce the numbers of students circulating, and allow social distancing.
  • Lunchtime will be shortened by 10 minutes to reduce the demands on supervision. This will mean that school will finish at 3.50pm Monday-Thursday. Friday finish time remains at 1.10pm
  • A restricted menu will be in operation in the canteen initially [sandwiches, rolls, wraps that can be individually wrapped and require no utensils to eat]. Student queueing & seating in the canteen will be planned to ensure physical distancing. Our school gym will be used to provide additional seating for students during breaks.
  • Students will do PE but will not need PE gear for the first week, they will be told by their teacher what they need when they meet them as changing rooms are not being used.
  • Students will be given guidelines on what to do if they feel unwell during the school day.

In the meantime, students and their parents can prepare for the new school year by doing the following:

Parents/guardians please instil in your son/daughter that they must be responsible to:

  • Practice social distancing at all times when moving around the school and during breaks.
  • Practice good hand hygiene & coughing/sneezing etiquette at all times.
    • Labelling all your uniform items and your school bag.

We only permit our official school jacket to be worn once the weather gets colder so have this ordered, labelled & ready.

  • Have your name on your pencil case and make sure it is stocked with pens, pencils, a ruler, rubber, pencil sharpener and a small box of colouring pencils [as students will not be able to borrow or share these items]
  • Put your name on all other personal items e.g. calculator, water bottle
  • Have a 2-3 face coverings in your school bag: students will need them for buses & some classes or if they are feeling unwell. Keep them in a small plastic bag & wash thoroughly each evening. Also have a small packet of tissues in your school bag.
  • A few days before starting school try to get back to “school bedtimes” and “get-up” times.


It will take a few weeks to get used to new routines but, in time, they will become the new normal and you will have plenty of advice, help & support from your teachers.

The motto throughout the pandemic has been “We are all in this together” and we have proven that when we work together and follow the guidelines it keeps the virus at bay.

Keep checking our website for updates! Looking forward to seeing you soon.

If you have any concerns please email the school

Yours sincerely,
The managment & staff of Coláiste Mhuire, Johnstown