April 20th Newsletter

Newsletter to Parents
20th April 2020

Dear Parents,

On behalf of our teachers SNAs and all those working hard to facilitate the continuing education of our children, I welcome you as we commence the third and final term of the 2019-2020 school year. Sadly, we are continuing to operate the school remotely until we get some indication of when things will return to some semblance of normality. Although May 4th has been mentioned as when the restrictions will be eased, I’m fairly sure that this will be extended until at least beyond the June Bank Holiday weekend. We will be informed by advice issued by the HSE. In the meantime I would like to bring the following notices to your attention.

Online Learning.
The school staff is looking at ways in which to make our online learning a two way process which will allow the children to have their work corrected and to receive feedback from their teachers. Initially we will continue to upload work to the Google folder as before but we will give parents/children access to the teachers’ school emails. This will allow the children to forward completed work to their teachers for correction as completed and will also help the teachers to look at areas to be revised or revisited. The children should take a photograph of the completed work from their copies and forward this as an attachment to the relevant email address. The email address should also be used by parents to make direct contact with their child’s teacher should there be any issues or difficulties with the work. This is a very positive move as it will allow us to introduce new topics and concepts to the children in subjects such as maths. Either way the children should continue to log into the Khan Academy and to ReadTheory as these are being closely monitored by the teachers on an ongoing basis. Regarding Khan Academy it is important that the children log into the assignments section as this is where the work prescribed by the teacher is found. All other work will be uploaded to the Covid19 folder.
It has been noted that a number of pupils have not engaged with the work set to date. I thank those who have contacted the school to explain where there have been difficulties and in virtually all cases teachers have worked through the problems to allow the children affected to engage meaningfully with their schoolwork. I would encourage any parents experiencing difficulties to contact me on the school email or the teacher directly on the teachers school email address which can be found on the school website in the contacts tab. For those instances where pupils have not participated to date I strongly suggest that this should be rectified as a matter of urgency.

First Holy Communion.
We are very mindful of the fact that children who were due to receive their First Communion on May 19th will now not be able to do so due to the restrictions around social distancing and the prohibiting of gatherings of people. I have held a meeting with Fr Stephen to discuss alternatives where the children and their families won’t be deprived of their ‘big day’. We explored a number of options but were in agreement that the best course of action would be to reschedule the First Communion to Saturday September 16th. This of course is a provisional date and we will be guided by HSE advice and recommendations but as this date is a number of months away we will hopefully be able to proceed.

Television Learning.
A reminder to parents that RTE continues to broadcast its schoolroom programme daily at 11 a.m. In addition to this TG4 is commencing an Irish schoolroom programme at 10:30 a.m. daily which should be useful in assisting the children with their learning in Gaeilge.

I will be in touch again very soon with a further update.
In the meantime, please keep safe and continue to observe social distancing and at all times adhere to HSE advice. If we all pull together we will defeat this virus and will return to normal in the very near future.
Kenneth Dennedy
On behalf of all staff of Scoil Íosa