Newsletter to Parents 10th November 2022

Dear Parents,

We welcome back our pupils after the mid term holiday and hope that everybody has had a relaxing break. The second half of the term will be a very busy one indeed with parent teacher meetings, after school activities and preparations for the festive season among others. As such I would like to bring the following to your attention:

Parent/Teacher Meetings.

The parent teacher meetings will take place on Thursday November 24th and on Friday November 25th. The meetings will commence at 1:00 p.m. on each of the days. The teachers are currently finalising the timings of appointments and these will be forwarded to parents early next week. If for any reason you are unable to attend at the allocated time, please make an alternative arrangement with your childs teacher.

After School Activities.

Our after school activities programme commenced on Monday last, November 7th. These activities are free for the children and are financed under the DEIS scheme. These activities form a very important part of our DEIS programme in that as well as the recreation aspect, they form a great opportunity for the children to improve their English conversational skills in a semi formal setting. Where possible we tried to give evry pupil their first choice of activity but given limits on numbers in each session this has not been possible for all children. As stated in the application form the places were operated on a first come, first served basis. We hope to run further activities early in term 2. 

School Dinners.

As you are aware, we commenced the school meals programme on Monday last. While there have been some minor teething problems, in the main, the whocle programme has worked out smoothly and we are very pleased with the quality of the food and the general standard of service received. We do realise that some children have not yet received their food to date but understand that in quite a few cases the choices weren’t returned before the October 31st deadline. We have tried in all cases to ensure that those children who require a meal have received one if at all possible. If parents are satisfied with their choice of food this will roll over from week to week. Where you wish to change the choice of food please ensure that this is done before 5pm on Wednesday to allow the change to be made for the following week. Our sincere thanks to Mr Henry for organising the supply and distribution of the meals and for dealing with any teething problems which may have occurred.

School Attendance

Thanks to our parents for their cooperation in helping to improve our school attendance statistics over the duration of the term to date. We have seen a marked improvement in general attendance and where absences are unavoidable, the school has been informed on the day or has received the necessary medical certs. We earnestly request that parents remain vigilant and that you make every effort to get the children to school every day. Please be aware that the school has a legal obligation to inform TUSLA of absences in excess of 20 days in any school year. To keep children informed it is now school policy to alert parents where their children have missed 15 days as this is a point at which extra vigilance is required around attendance.

Home/School Community Liaison (HSCL)

Ms. Sheena Flanagan has been appointed to the position of HSCL for Scoil Íosa. This is a new position which has come into place due to our DEIS status. The primary role of the HSCL is to strengthen the link between parents and the school for the benefit of the children. This involves Ms. Flanagan carrying out home visits, primarily to form a relationship with parents where there are issues with attendance and to provide practical help in dealing with any school related issues of concern to parents. Please note that this is not the primary role of the HSCL. Ms Flanagan’s role is in no way to act as the school’s ‚policeman‘ or enforcer!! More importantly, the role involves providing classes and courses for parents to help them with integration into the school community and to keep parents informed of aspects of school life. Ms. Flanagan in coperation with Ms. Olive Lyons (HSCL Ballyhaunis Community School) Ms. Geraldine Glackin (TUSLA Meitheal Worker) and Ms. TracyMcDermott of Ballyhaunis FRC has to date, worked hard to organise informal coffee mornings for parents from various sectors of our school community in order to receive feedback on their understanding of school life and more importantly to gain an insight from parents as to what courses/classes they may find useful. The aim of the role is primarily one of communication which as we well know is a two way process. We hope that parents engage with the role and that going forward we can further enhance the vital home/school relationships.

Security Warning.

We have received information around a spate of petty thefts in Ballyhaunis. We ask that all parents to be extra vigilant and not to leave valuables, wallets, phones or money visible in cars. If possible, keep cars locked while parked in town.Thanks for your attention to this.


Swimming lessons have commenced for the children in fifth class. All of our fifth classes will attend Claremorris pool on every Monday for a Seven week period. The lessons are free to the childre with tuition and transport being provided under the DEIS scheme. We ask that all children participate unless there is a certified medical reason where the children cannot safely participate. Aquatics is an integral part of the school curriculum and swimming is a very important life skill which will be of benefit to all during their lifetime.

Athletics Coaching.

Each of our second classes will take part in a three week Athletics programme provided by Axsom Sports at Claremorris Athletics facility. This is also covered under the DEIS scheme and fulfils the Athletics strand facet of the PE Curriculum.

Anti Bullying Week

Anti Bullying week runs from Monday 14th November to Friday 18th November. Over the course of the week, the school has organised a number of events to highligh the scourge of bullying. Among these will be an Odd Socks Day on Thursday next, November 17th. We will issue a specific newsletter to parents on Anti Bullying Week.

School Calendar.

Thursday 24th and Friday 25th November : Parent/Teacher Meetings. Children finish at 12:30p.m.on these days

Wednesday 21st December: Final Day of Term. School Finishes at 12:30p.m.

Thursday 5th January: School reopens. First day of term 2.

Monday 6th February: Bank Holiday.

Thursday 16th & Friday 17th February: Mid Term Break.

Friday March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day

Friday 31st March: Final day of Term.

Monday 17th April: School reopens. First day of Term 3


With Thanks,

K. Dennedy