Updates for parents during the Covid-19 school closure

Friday, 1st May 2020
Dear Parent/Guardian,
We hope that all families are safe and healthy. This is an extremely difficult time. We are all missing what the school building provides…safety, structure, welcome, relationships, care, connection, communication and community. All our teachers and other staff  members miss our pupils and the personal interaction that is so fundamental to the classroom. We know from talking to some parents that our pupils are missing school too…something I’m sure they were surprised to realise themselves. We miss the daily interactions that are so central to the school community and look forward to a time when we can see each other again. We have no information when schools will reopen. We will immediately contact you when we have any information.

Distance Learning
While these times are uncertain, we want to maintain as much normality as possible. To that end, all of our teachers, including teachers of pupils with special educational needs, are regularly communicating and engaging with pupils to ensure that there is continuity in their learning. Where possible, we make every effort to engage with pupils on a daily basis. We aim for a balance between the assignment of independent work, whether written or practical, online learning and other tasks in accordance with the learning needs of pupils and the resources available to us and to you at home.
Remember that learning activities assigned by teachers are suggestions and not homework. We know that every house has its own unique challenges at this time. That said, it is very important to make sure that your child is doing some school assigned work every week. All of the teachers want to thank those pupils who are regularly submitting work. A big thank you also for continuing to take part in the Active Flag activities every week. We’re also delighted to get your photos and videos.

Please contact with your child’s teachers or myself if you have any questions or need help. Here again are the teachers’ email addresses. You can also phone the Michelle Igoe @086 793 0566. Michelle is our Home School Community Liaison person.
I have listed some school updates below for your information.

Kindest regards
Noel Loftus

School updates (some information may change depending on when schools are allowed to reopen)

School food boxes
During the school closure period FreshToday, our normal school lunch provider, delivers food boxes – one per pupil – every two to three weeks to the home address of every family. The next food box will be delivered shortly. For queries, contact Ken Horgan, FreshToday @ 087 444 4714. OR Michelle Igoe @086 793 0566.

Distance Learning
The school has devised a whole school approach to support our distance learning. Every teacher is clear about what they are doing to help your child’s learning. The policy will be available on the school website.

Health and Safety and other improvements underway in the school
The following work should be complete on our eventual return to school: painting of the corridors & stairs; replacement of school yard fence, installation of electric hand dryers in all toilet areas; provision of soap dispensers in all toilet areas and hand sanitisers throughout the building.

Enrolments to Junior Infants
We will be in contact shortly with all parents who have enrolled children in our junior infant class for September. For queries email Ms. Jennifer McCann jennifermccann@stattractasns.com

Annual Report Cards
We will forward you your son/daughter’s annual report card by the end of May. You will receive it by email. Standardised test scores will not be included on the report cards as the Department of Education and Skills has cancelled the testing for this year. For 6th class pupils, you will receive also receive information from us about your child’s Education Passport. The Education Passport is shared with the secondary school principal. It will include your child’s standardised test scores from 2nd , 4th and 5th class* (*in place of the 6th class score which is not available).

6th Class end-of year- farewell ceremony
In the event that schools may remain closed, we are making arrangements for an online 6th Class end-of year- farewell ceremony. We’ll share more information later. The Parents’ Association will organise the 6th Class hoodies.

Class Booklists
The class booklists for the new school year will be available by the end of May on the school website. We will let you know when the lists are there.

Book Rental Scheme
We have not yet decided how or when your child will return rented school books. We will be in contact with you with more details.

Teacher appointments
We will have an additional class teacher on our staff from September because of the growing pupil numbers in our school. The school will also have two temporary full-time classroom teacher vacancies to fill. We will share more information with you shortly.

Teachers for First Class
The teacher job share arrangement for First Class will continue for 2020/2021. Ms. Higgins will share the class with Ms. Corrigan. Ms. Corrigan was the Senior Infant Class teacher. When the school reopens, both teachers will meet with the parents of the children. We thank Ms. Carr for her great work with First Class during this year.

School’s Admission Policy
A redraft of our school’s new Admission’s Policy (formally known as the Enrolment Policy) and a totally new requirement for schools, an Annual Admission’s Notice is now complete. All schools were required to update the policy in light of new legislative changes. The policy will come into effect from 2021/22 onwards and will be shared on the school website.