21st  August 2020


Dear Parents / Guardians

I hope you are well. At this point I want to reassure you that we are on track for the children to return to school on Tuesday 1st September. There has been a lot of preparatory work carried out by staff for the return of the children. I am confident that we will have the necessary resources and plans in place for the 1st September. Please keep up to date with our plans by checking out the school website.

Return to School Form

A return to school form for pupils is available on the school website. We will also post a copy to you shortly. This must be returned to school on the 1st September.

Bus Transport
I expect that you will be contacted shortly by Bus Eireann or indeed the Taxi Driver themselves to discuss the arrangements regarding the bus transport service. Queries regarding school transport should be addressed to: School Transport Section, Department of Education & Skills, Portlaoise Road, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Phone No. 057 9325466/7.

If you are aware of any reason why your child may have come into contact with Covid 19 or is presenting with any of the symptoms associated with Covid 19 please DO NOT allow your child to travel to school. Any pupils with ANY seasonal illness (not including any medical conditions) are requested to stay home and must not attend when unwell.

Drop-off and pick-up at school:

  • In order to avoid crowds at the start and end of the school day, all students other than those using school transport, will have staggered drop-off and pick up times. If this effects your child, please contact me through the school email address info@stpaulsspecialschool.ie
  • Please note children cannot be dropped off early in the morning nor can they remain in the school building after 2:40pm.


Access for Parents and Guardians to the School Grounds or Building

  • Access to the school building and grounds will be by appointment only.

Children’s Clothing 

  • We will be encouraging as much outside learning and play as possible so children will need to come to school dressed for all types of weather.
  • Teachers will be encouraged to keep windows open in classrooms to ensure good ventilation. Children might need an extra layer of clothing when the seasons change.
  • Uniforms should be worn; however they should be regularly washed to reduce any  chance of Covid 19 spreading on them. To accommodate this, regular clothes can be worn when uniforms are being washed.
  • Also remember to apply sunscreen on those warmer, sunnier days too!


General Belongings 

  • Lunch boxes, water bottles, cutlery, etc must be labelled. The school will not be able to provide cups, drinking bottles etc.
  • Hats, scarves, coats etc. must also be clearly labelled.
  • Children are discouraged from bringing items from home. A coat, a packed lunch, and any prescribed medicines and Respite bags are all children are required to bring with them to St Paul’s.


As had been the case during the Summer Programme, staff will wear PPE during the school day. This is to comply with current best practice and advice. We expect that most children will be comfortable with this as many have experience of parents and the general public wearing similar PPE items.

Social Programmes

Social Programmes will not fully operate during the month of September. This will provide the School Management Team with time to fully assess the options available and to develop an appropriate plan. There will inevitably be changes to timetables to ensure that we minimise the risk of pupils and staff contracting Covid 19. Class teachers will communicate these changes with you once school has reopened.


Please Note:

Any child who becomes unwell during the day or presents with any symptoms associated with Covid 19 must be collected by a parent or guardian right away. They will not be permitted to travel on the school transport serviceIf contacted by the school staff, parents / guardians must make the necessary arrangements to collect their child without delay.

I am confident that by working together, we will make this transition back to school as safe and smooth as possible for everyone in St Paul’s. Taking all precautions detailed above, we will minimise the risks associated with Covid 19 in a school environment and will give St Paul’s Special School the best possible chance of remaining open throughout the duration of the 2020 / 2021 School Year.

Looking forward to seeing the pupils in St Paul’s once more on 1st September.

Kindest Regards

Adrian Harkin