FAQs2020-09-17T16:44:14+01:00

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

What measures have you put in place to ensure I can attend safely?2020-09-17T15:51:38+01:00

We are following the suite of guidelines from the SOLAS, ETBI and the Department of Education (DES), developed by the DES in close consultation with experts in the HSE, to facilitate the safe reopening of schools.

These measures include making sure that:

  • students with symptoms of COVID-19 do not attend Institute
  • there is rapid identification and appropriate management of students who develop symptoms of COVID-19 while in Institute
  • there is physical distancing between students and staff (for example: the reconfiguration of classrooms)
  • sanitiser is available in every teaching and learning space, you will be required to
    • sanitise your hands on entry to the teaching spaces
    • sanitise your desk, chair equipment after use
    • we provide this sanitising equipment in each classroom for this purpose
  • there is strict adherence to hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene (including the provision of handwashing facilities and hand sanitiser . Please also bring your own personal hand sanitiser for your own use

This information includes the following:

  • ETBI SOLAS – Implementation Guidelines for Public Health Measures in ETB Further Education and Training Institutions (FET) V.1.
  • the Roadmap for the full return to school
  • COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of post primary schools
  • curriculum guidance
  • wellbeing resources

These resources are designed to guide us in the correct implementation of public health measures to:

  • reduce the risk of introduction of COVID-19 to the Institute
  • reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the school if it is introduced into the Institute
Will I have to complete a COVID Declaration before I come to the Institute for Induction?2020-09-17T15:54:49+01:00

Yes – we will also send you a COVID Declaration where you state that they are free from COVID symptoms before you of enter the Institute building. This form will be sent to you with your Induction invitation. You will need to download and complete this before you arrive at the Institute. You will be asked to submit the completed declaration at Induction.

Will I have to wear a face covering or other PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) at the Institute?2020-09-17T15:55:33+01:00

Yes – all students are required to wear masks inside the Institute buildings. We will provide you with a mask and a face visor at Induction, and you will need to have your own supply of spare masks. Some courses have PPE requirements, such as safety shoes, clothing – you will have been advised of these requirements at interview. You are asked to co-operate will all Carlow Institute guidelines in relation to the wearing of face masks and other PPE.

What do I do if I feel unwell?2020-09-17T15:57:14+01:00
  • If you are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19, please do not attend
  • Self-isolate at home and contact your GP immediately for further advice.
  • Do not return to Institute unless you have been advised that it is safe to do.

If a student develops or displays symptoms while at the Institute, our specific action plan for the management of students with Covid-19 symptoms will immediately be put into effect.

When will I know what days my course is on?2020-09-17T15:57:53+01:00

We always distribute timetables at Induction, as we find it helpful to explain these in person

When will classes commence for students?2020-09-17T16:07:04+01:00

Carlow Institute of Further Education and Training is commencing term for new first years on Monday, 21st September 2020. You will receive updates in the next couple of weeks with dates and times via your Enrol profile. You must be fully registered to be invited to attend Induction (see your Enrol profile for messages and advice about this, or call us if you are unsure).

Are Carlow Institute classes on campus or online?2020-09-17T16:08:38+01:00

All courses will involve a combination of on-campus classes and online classes. These will be organised by day – so for some days you will attend the Institute for classes in person, and for other days you will have classes online. This will be a whole-day approach – we won’t expect you to do in-person classes and online classes on the same day.

Why this combination approach?

We would much rather have all classes in person, but the guidelines for re-opening Institutes like ours are clear, and safety is our first priority. Therefore, we are reducing the total number of people in the Institute building at any one timeto maintain physical distancing. We can achieve this by delivering some classes online.

Why aren’t all classes online?

We have reviewed every course programme and we know that all courses require access to the fantastic professional facilities at the Institute, so we are ensuring that you will have access to these as much as possible. We know too that it is important to feel part of a group, and that in-person classes will help support you in your study. Remember that Carlow Institute staff will be here to help you – in person and online!

I’m worried about attending classes online – what can I do?2020-09-17T16:10:25+01:00

Don’t panic – we understand that this is new to many students. We will show you how to access classes, arrange access to the relevant software that you will need and support in every way we can. We have a fantastic team of teachers who will advise on you the systems we use, and you will find that with a little patience these systems are straight-forward to use.

I’m worried about attending classes in person – what can I do?2020-09-17T16:12:41+01:00

We understand that people can be anxious about being in groups. We are doing everything thing we can to ensure that our teaching, learning and assessment environments are safe, and will be monitoring this very carefully. We ask that you follow the guidelines and advice for your safety, and that of others. We will explain these guidelines to you when you start at the Institute. You will be familiar with many of these already – maintaining social distance, appropriate hand and respiratory hygiene, and wearing face coverings – and we will be there to advise too.

I’m concerned about access to IT equipment at home – what can I do?2020-09-17T16:13:28+01:00

At your Induction session we will advise you on the various types of device that are suitable for online classes. You will get a student email account, and we’ll explain how to access our online leaning platforms MS Teams, and Moodle. We’ll help you understand how these work at Induction and how to access support while you at college.

Do I need my own equipment?2020-09-17T16:14:25+01:00

This varies by course – you will certainly need regular items such as stationary (pens and writing materials). For certain courses you will need you own equipment – you will have been given details of this at your interview. Please do not share your equipment – this is for your own and others’ safety. Where you are using Institute equipment, please always follow the guidance of your teacher. This will include correct procedures to clean and sanitise equipment after you use it, and before anyone else does. Your full co-operation with this is expected at all times.

Will I attend an Induction, and do I need to bring anything?2020-09-17T16:16:40+01:00

Yes! Induction will be in person, and is organised – like everything else – in as safe a manner as possible. You will be sent details of the date and time of you Induction, and we will be there to greet you and get you started on your course. We will check that we have your contact details recorded correctly (this is especially important), and will ask you to bring ID too. We will send full details of what you need to bring with your Induction invitation. Induction start on the week commencing 21st September 2020 – you’ll get your date and time through ENROL.

Please bring all items listed in your induction invitation – we cannot complete your induction if you do not bring the items listed in the invitation.

Please wear a mask while you in the Institute – this is a requirement for all students

Please only attend on your induction day and time. Remember we’ll send this to you via ENROL

What is the advice for travelling to Carlow Institute?2020-09-17T16:18:11+01:00

Whatever mode of transport is used for travel to the Institute, the aim is to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by ensuring physical distancing, good hand hygiene, good respiratory hygiene and wearing of face coverings where appropriate.

  • walk or cycle to the Institute as much as possible, where safe and appropriate. If walking or cycling with people from other households, a distance of 2 metres between people should be maintained where possible
  • if driving to the Institute, wherever possible you should use your own private or family group vehicle and you should not arrange carpools
  • don’t offer or accept a lift from others
  • public transport should be avoided if possible. Where public transport must be used, strict adherence to physical distancing must be maintained and students aged 13 years and older should wear face coverings in line with national guidance
  • Parking (which is free!) for students is on a first-come, first served basis as always. Please respected reserved spaces which are clearly marked
What is meant when you hear about class bubbles and pods?2020-09-17T16:34:57+01:00

Physical distancing is a key measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In order to facilitate physical distancing at the Institute, we are working in course group ‘bubbles’. This is very different to how we work usually, but for safety we are seeking to avoid interaction between course groups as much as possible. Similarly, class groups will have fixed seating plans.

Within your course group, students may be further separated into small discrete groups or ‘Pods’, to the extent that this is practical. This will depend on the nature of the work – if you are required (for the qualification assessment) to undertake group work, you will remain in a fixed ‘pod’ with other students for this – always following social distance guidelines of course. We are limiting the number of rooms you will use on the days you are in to absolute minimum possible – again to minimise the potential the risk of spread.

We ask that all student co-operate with this.

Is there a canteen service at the Institute?2020-09-17T16:20:25+01:00

The current guidelines restrict what we can do, but we are aiming still to offer as much as we can. We will have a canteen service; however seating will be extremely limited. You are asked to maintain the appropriate distance of 2-metres in this space. If you are asked by any member of staff to adhere to distance and safety measures, please do so.

Breaks will be staggered, so different groups can access this service at different times. In addition to the canteen, we have vending machines and you can bring your own food too of course. Please note that due to safety guidelines, we cannot provide drinking water taps at present – please bring your own bottled water.

What about other services at the Institute?2020-09-17T16:21:31+01:00

For the present, our library resource centre has to remain shut. Support for learning is still very important to us, and we have many opportunities for you to engage with the wide range of learning support services on offer. We will explain how you can access this at Induction.

We apologise that we must restrict some of these services, but it is for essential safety and we ask for your co-operation at all times.

I have additional needs. How will this work in light of the new restrictions?2020-09-17T16:22:30+01:00

We have a dedicated SEN team who will meet with you at Induction and plan to support you through the year. Please make sure you have appropriate supporting documentation with you for this meeting. If you haven’t already mentioned your particular need to the Co-ordinator of the course, please do so at the point of Induction, and we will do what we can to help.

Will it be busy at the Institute?2020-09-17T16:23:34+01:00

We expect that the volume of people who will be in Institute at any given time will be very substantially reduced.

How will my assessments and examinations take place in 2020/2021?2020-09-17T16:25:06+01:00

We will be adhering to all relevant advice to keep our staff and students safe in all circumstances, including exams and assessments. Where this means conducting assessments through alternative and remote means, we will do so. These were the methods used successfully for our Summer 2020 assessments. We will be there to support with this too.

I’m trying to decide on accommodation for the year. Can you advise me?2020-09-17T16:26:26+01:00

We understand that decisions around programmes and accommodation this year will be influenced by timetables in a way that has not happened before. We are currently planning our delivery of course in response to the safety guidelines. Timetables will be available on the week beginning Monday 21stSeptember at Induction.

Carlow Institute does not operate its own accommodation, so our students stay with private providers. Please see the local papers (Carlow Nationalist and Carlow People) for rental accommodation that may be available.

What will my in-college experience be like?2020-09-17T16:27:52+01:00

We will be practicing social distancing at all Carlow Institute facilities, and the students shall follow the HSE general guidelines including, Social distancing, hand hygiene and wearing of masks

Students and staff attending Carlow Institute are required to wear a face covering whilst at college. You will receive a complimentary mask and visor at Induction, however you will need to have your own supply of additional masks.

Please note that special arrangements for social distancing will be in place for all practical classrooms – you will be advised of these at induction. In practical classrooms, we are following the recommendations of the guidelines for a minimum one-metre spacing, with appropriate face-coverings and relevant safety protocols at all times.

We are constantly reviewing these safety practices in response to guidelines that we receive which are subject to change. We ask that you help to keep everyone – you included – in our Institute community safe, by adhering to the guidelines at all times.

What do I do if I have any concerns?2020-09-17T16:30:02+01:00

If you have any general concerns, please speak to any member of staff. Your Class Teacher is also available to assist you and guide you.

We have made every effort to open safely and continue to be highly vigilant. If you notice anything that concerns you about how we are managing this, or how people are co-operating, please let a member of staff know immediately.

You can speak to any member of staff, email us on cife.info@kilkennycarlowetb.ie, or call us on 059 913 4230.

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