Covid 19 Updates

Please remember that we are going through a Pandemic. 

All safety measures we ask of you are to safeguard your children, the staff of our school and yourselves. 



* * * For the most up to date information for parents from the HSE and the Department of Education please click here * * *

School Policy – updated 28th February 2022

  1. If your child is not at school, for whatever reason, please complete an online absence form.  You will receive an absence notice by Komeer directing you to complete the absence form if they are absent.
  2. If your child has symptoms of Covid 19 it is really important that we all follow the advice of the HSE.  Please do not send your child to school.
  3. If your child has a positive Covid test (antigen or PCR), please upload it to the HSE portal and let the school office know ASAP by emailing and keep them off school for the 7 days of isolation, even if they are showing no symptoms.
  4. Siblings of positive cases may continue to attend school but please show due diligence and avail of antigen tests.
  5. Contact tracing for schools no longer takes place.  The school will however notify parents/guardians of any positive cases if they arise in your child’s class so you can be extra vigilant and take any necessary precautionary measures.
  6. Free Antigen tests for children who are are in the same class or household as a positive case, are available by calling Freephone number 1800 110 055. (Quote school Roll Number 20259G)
  7. In school we will continue to practice infection prevention by promoting good hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, enhanced ventilation and enhanced cleaning regimes.
  8. Face coverings are no longer mandatory for staff and for pupils in 3rd-6th classes.  However, the continued use of face coverings is optional for everyone.
  9. By appointment only, parents may now come in to school for face to face meetings with staff.


14th January 2021

New isolation rules

21st December 2021

COVID-19 vaccine information for parents of children aged 5-11

The HSE has published detailed information and guidance for parents about COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5-11. This aims to help parents and guardians of 5-11 year old children make an informed decision when it’s time for their child to be offered a COVID-19 vaccine.

Registration for the vaccine will open shortly, with priority being placed on children who are more at risk from COVID-19 or children who have a high-risk person in the family.

Parents and guardians can read this information on  or they can download this information booklets from

COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year olds: Important Information For Parents


1st December 2021

Letter to Parents regarding new Public Health Advice from Chief Medical Officer: CMO Letter to schools FINAL_


26th November 2021

Antigen Testing of asymptomatic children in primary school pods where a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified – please read latest information from the Department of Education HERE


29th September 2021

20th September 2021

Several local schools have reported positive cases of Covid-19 since the start of the new school term and have been forced to close pods and classes.

I am writing to you, as parents and guardians, to please redouble your efforts to encourage your family to adhere to all the HSE Covid-19 protocols and do not risk the spread of the virus in our school.

If your child displays any symptoms, DO NOT SEND THEM TO SCHOOL, but isolate your child from other people and arrange a test.

A few other reminders:

  • Ensure they always carry tissues and cover their mouth and nose with a tissue if they are coughing or sneezing
  • Encourage them to cough or sneeze into their bent elbow and then wash their hands, if they don’t have a tissue
  • Encourage them to bin used tissues, then wash their hands
  • Remind them not to share water bottles, cups, glasses or anything else they put into your mouth
  • Remind them not to touch their eyes or nose when unwell
  • Parents are encouraged to wear a face covering in public indoor spaces and at the school gate at drop off/pick up time
  • Let fresh air into your home by opening windows, doors and air vents as much as possible
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that other people touch
  • Remember to avoid close contact with anyone who you know has cold or flu symptoms
  • Make sure your child’s vaccines or immunisations are up to date.

This website page is regularly updated with information for parents and we urge you to read it, particularly this HSE Quick Guide for parents.

Covid-19 Quick Guide from HSE – for children over 3 months and under 13 years of age – September 2021

We cannot afford to be complacent and we must continue to work together to keep our school community safe.


Thank you for your co-operation.

Stay safe and kind regards

Oreena Lawless



30th August 2021

Back to School Videos for pupils


August 2021

Please click here for a copy of the  COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable operation of Primary and Special Schools

Click here for a copy of our school’s updated Covide Response Plan  St. Francis NS_Covid-19 Policy Statement 2021-2022


9th March 2021

Letter to parents of 3rd-6th Class pupils


26th February 2021

Thank you to all parents/guardians who have returned the required declaration stating that your child is free from illness and fit to return to school.  As I am sure you can appreciate, this is for the protection of all children and staff in school.

For those who have yet to do so, we urge you to complete this declaration as soon as possible please.  To make it easier for you, we have modified the online absence form on the school website and ask that you please click here to complete the short form.

When completing the form:
In the date of absence field put in Jan & Feb 2021
In the reason for absence field select School Closure
If you have any problems completing the form, please contact the school office by email on or phone 042 9366993.

Please also note the following:

Drop off for pupils with siblings is 8.45am. Drop off for all other pupils at 9.00am

Collection times:
Junior Infants A and Senior Infants A is 1.35pm
Junior Infants B and Senior Infants B is 1.40pm
1st and 2nd classes is 2.40pm

ONLY Junior and Senior Infants may bring school bags to carry all their needs. Pupils in other classes may NOT bring in schoolbags.

To clarify, due to lack of storage space, and the need to keep pupil pods as socially distant as possible, we do not have space for schoolbags to hang on the back of chairs, or alternative space to store them safely. 1st and 2nd class pupils are asked to bring back their schoolbooks in a paper or plastic bag which can be folded and put in their coat pocket. Many thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

Masks must be worn by parents/guardians when dropping off and collecting children

The HSA has informed us that short videos for parents from public health doctors will be circulated online to reaffirm the importance of keeping COVID-19 out of education facilities by keeping symptomatic children at home.

Parents should err on the side of caution in this respect and follow the school’s sickness policy
i.e. if your child shows any symptoms, please keep them safely at home.

There should be no congregation outside school during this phase or at any stage

Parents wishing to contact a staff member are requested to so so through the school email or by phone.

As always, I will keep you informed regarding any further updates or developments.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming your child safely back to school.

Your cooperation in the arrangements listed above will help greatly and is much appreciated.

Stay safe and well,



26th February 2021

Letter from DCMO to schools 260221 from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer




24th February 2021

Letter to parents and guardians 24 Feb from Norma Foley, Minister for Education


24th February 2021

To all parents of children returning to school on Monday 1st March (JI, SI, 1st and 2nd classes)

As part of the return to school protocols we need a declaration from parents to state that your child is free from illness and fit to return to school. As I am sure you can appreciate, this is for the protection of all children and staff in school.

To make it easier for you, we have modified the online absence form on the school website and ask that you please click here and complete the short form.

When completing the form:

In the date of absence field put in Jan & Feb 2021
In the reason for absence field select School Closure

If you have any problems completing the form, please contact the school office by email on or phone 042 9366993. I will be in the office during the day on Thursday and Friday to answer any queries.

Kind regards,

Brigitte Nelson
School Secretary


23rd February 2021

As I am sure you have heard, the Department of Education & Skills, and the partners in education have this evening announced plans for our return to school.  School will reopen on Monday, March 1st for all junior classes: Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 1st class and 2nd class pupils ONLY.

All other pupils (3rd – 6th class) will return to school on Monday, March 15th.

It has been a long road for parents, pupils and staff alike. My sincere thanks to all our teachers and Special Needs Assistants who have worked so hard from home over the past seven weeks, preparing work and engaging with our pupils online. Thanks to Brigitte our secretary, Mrs. Whately our ICT coordinator and Miss Twibill our Seesaw expert for coordinating and supporting this work behind the scenes. Thanks to our team of Support teachers who have worked alongside our class teachers – some supporting several classes.

And finally, thanks to you, our parents, who have stuck with the programme and supported your children’s learning at home. I’m sure there have been days when your family just didn’t want to engage. I’m sure there were struggles and arguments. I’m sure there were high days and low days too. I would like you to know that many of our staff also had those days 😀

Let’s hope that this return to school is safe. You can help by following all the procedures we practiced before lockdown. Only cars dropping infant pupils may enter the school grounds at drop off in the morning. Pupils with brothers or sisters (siblings) will be dropped off at 8.45am. All other pupils at 9.00am. Older pupils will walk into school from the gates.

Pick up times will remain as before this lockdown – Junior & Senior Infants A will be collected at the earlier time of 1.35pm, Junior and Senior Infants B will be collected at 1.40pm. Older pupils: siblings will be collected at 2.35pm and all other pupils at 2.40pm.

We are very much looking forward to meeting you and your children again. Please help us to keep one another safe 😀

Le gach dea mhéin,



12th January 2021

Letter to parents and guardians 12 Jan from Norma Foley, Minister for Education


12th January 2021
As per the Komeer message sent this morning.
The school will be open for the collection of books for pupils in the infant, 1st & 2nd classes as follows:
10.00am to 12.00pm Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th January
6.00pm to 7.00pm Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th January
For safety reasons, PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILDREN, just one parent/guardian/adult.
We ask that you remain in the entrance outside of the office while the members of staff on duty retrieve your child’s books.
Rental books for pupils in 3rd-6th classes will be available online via Seesaw.
Please ensure your child logs in to their Seesaw account daily.

7th January 2021

As you are now aware, our school will remain closed until the end of January – if it is safe then.
Following our return to school last Autumn, we shared our Distance Learning Plan on our website on October 14th, 2020.  See
Since then, teachers have been practising the use of our chosen online learning app, Seesaw, with their pupils. Login and user details have been sent home with all pupils.
St. Francis NS staff will meet on Monday January 11th to develop this plan further for each individual class, and will then communicate all necessary information to all our families.
The learning proposed will include activities on the Seesaw app, mixed with some teacher recordings. This blend will mean that families can access online learning at a time that suits them, and not according to a timetable which might overlap with parents work schedules.
Wishing you the best of health for you and your family for 2021.

4th January 2021

I hope this finds you all well.

As you are aware from news media, all schools are not now due to reopen until Monday January 11th, and not Wednesday January 6th as previously advised.<
We have no further information. Covid numbers are rising, and we will let you know as soon as possible if there is any change to our reopening date of January 11th.
If you feel we should be made aware of any covid related information regarding your family, please let me know by emailing Any information received will be treated in the strictest confidence according to GDPR regulations.

There are a number of resources which are available for free online this week if anyone is interested- Twinkl Go! (A version of the popular app Twinkl which allows resources to be downloaded) and Starcamp (An online version of a popular summer camp promoted by Keith Barry which can be accessed here:

These are challenging times. We want to reassure you that whatever decisions are made at Government level this week, the staff of St. Francis NS will do our very best to ensure your child/our pupil is supported to the best of our ability.

I will be in touch with further information as it becomes available.


What if my child presents with Covid-19 symptoms?

Common symptoms of Covid-19 include:

  • Fever – 38 degrees celcius or above
  • Cough (usually dry)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lost or changed sense of smell or taste
  • Fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat (sometimes)
  • Runny or stuffy nose (sometimes)

Parents should not send their child to school if displaying any of the symptoms listed above.

If a child falls ill at school, parents or guardians will be contacted immediately and their child isolated from others as they await collection.

This Letter will be given to parents when collecting their child.

The guidelines note that “the virus is spread by droplets and is not airborne so physical separation is enough to reduce the risk of spread to others even if they are in the same room.”

The child will be provided with a mask and will be accompanied by a member of staff while maintaining social distancing.

Parents should take their child home immediately and inform their general practitioner by phone of their child’s symptoms.

At no point will the identity of any child with symptoms or with a positive test be released by the school.

The response to confirmed cases or outbreaks of Covid-19 in the community or in a school is the responsibility of and will be led and managed by Public Health HSE.

All decisions as to appropriate actions following a confirmed case or outbreak will be made by their teams in the context of a full Public Health Risk Assessment procedure.

*** If your child is returning to school having been off sick with Covid symptons please complete the ONLINE ABSENCE FORM for our records. ***


The ISOLATION QUICK GUIDE (printed below) from the HSE Protection Surveillance Centre is a very useful guide to isolating and restricted movements.

Return to School: Wednesday 26th August

The school will re-opened to pupils on Wednesday 26th August.

Thank you to everyone for you co-operation with the new staggered times as we re-opened.

We were all a little nervous about starting back to school last week, and wondering how the children would manage without their parents walking them to the inner gate.

Thankfully. it all worked out pretty well – with the odd hiccup here and there as we might expect.
Thank you especially to you, our parents and guardians, who not only had the children very well prepared for coming back to school, but also patiently cooperated with the staff to make the drop off and pick up work so well.
Only cars carrying infants may enter the main gate. No parent/guardian may leave their car except to assist an infant out of the vehicle.
All other pupils must walk from the main gate to the inner gate. Siblings may enter the school grounds at 8.45am, all others at 9.00am. No pupils may enter through the main (centre) gate. They must wait until the side gate is opened at 8.45am.
Pupils may not enter the school grounds until 8.45am.
Junior Infants will continue to finish at 11.45 (JIA) and 12.00 (JIB until Friday 4th September
From Monday 7th September they will finish at the regular times and continue for the rest of the year.  1.35pm JIA and 1.45pm JIB


Summary of New Protocols

  • Parents will may not enter the school building
  • Meetings must be by prior appointment arranged via email
  • DROP AND GO – Only cars carrying Infants and SEN pupils to enter the gate please
  • Perhaps allow your child to independently walk or cycle to school (perhaps you could stay at home . . . .)
  • Park and Stride (Gort na Glaise, Gort na Mara, Sextons, etc) or even drop off your children and let them walk the short distance alone?
  • No schoolbags – home things stay at home, school things stay in school
  • Let your child know that there will be no sharing of personal items
  • Bring lunch and water bottle and coats only
  • No homework for September
  • Arrival: Staggered arrival between 8.45am and 9.15am. Children go directly to classrooms.
  • Hometime:   Junior and Senior Infants A finish at 1.35pm (from Monday September 7th), Junior and Senior Infants B at 1.45pm  (from Monday September 7th), First to Sixth Class – Siblings will leave at 2.30pm; all other pupils at 2.45pm.
  • There will be NO homework club, after school infant care or after school activities until further notice
  • Playtime: classes (bubbles) will not mix – children will only play within their own class
  • Practice correct handwashing, use of sanitizer, and coughing into their elbow with your child
  • Contact details – we need as many as you can supply if your child is unwell
  • Your child’s learning – we will pick up where we left off in March, particularly key concepts in maths.


Wellbeing:  We will work hard on creating a happy, calm learning environment for your children. Thank you for your cooperation in helping us to do this. 


Links to the DESS, HSE and other Government publications

  1. Advice and Resources for parents
  2. Video from the Irish Independent which gives a brief idea of some of the changes in store for the new school year.
  3. Re-opening our Primary Schools from
  4. Roadmap for the Full Return to School.
  5. Age Friendly Louth: Message from our Older People’s Forum on Grandchildren returning to school.

School documentation relating to Return to School.

The following letters have been sent to parents via Komeer.

If you have not received the Komeer message, please ensure you have the most up to date version of the Komeer App.  (see here for more information.)

  1. Drop Off and Collection Routines 17Aug2020
  2. Physical Distancing and Safe School Attendance 11Aug2020
  3. Letter for the Principal 06Aug2020
  4. Covid Return To School Plan 18Aug2020
  5. Letter to Parents 240820
  6. Covid-19 Policy Statement Aug 2020
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