Welcome Back to School
The school staff is all very much looking forward to welcoming all our pupils back to school for the 2021/2022 school year on Monday, 30th August.
Below is a letter from Principal Eimear O Rourke with all the Return to School information. Thanks to Sean Herlihy for translating this letter into ISL.
Letter from Principal Eimear O Rourke
Dear Parent or Guardian,
I hope you and your family are safe and well and enjoyed a lovely summer break. We look forward to welcoming your son or daughter back to school next week.
Please note the different return to school dates:
Monday 30th 1st Year and 6th Year post-primary pupils only
Tuesday 31st All other pupils primary and post-primary pupils
Early Intervention: Tuesday 31st unless a different date has been agreed with Co-ordinator Ger Lewis.
School Calendar 2921/22
A copy of the school calendar 2021/22 is attached.
You will be contacted in late August (usually the week before the new term starts) by your child’s bus/taxi driver with details. Students who are travelling to school via public transport i.e. train or Bus Eireann intercity services will be issued with either a bus or train pass.
Please note it is parent’s responsibility to inform bus/taxi drivers of their son or daughter’s return to school date and if they are not availing of the service on any particular day due to illness, appointments etc.
A Safe Return
As per directives from the Department of Education, our current Covid protocols remain in place. Our Covid 19 Policy Statement and Response Plan will be updated for the current school year and published on our website.
Re-opening the school safely will require the continued co-operation of all members of our School Community – Board of Management, School Leadership, Staff, Parents, and Pupils.
General School Measures
- NO CHILD, STAFF MEMBER OR PARENT SHOULD ATTEND OUR SCHOOL IF UNWELL OR IF ANY MEMBERS OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD ARE UNWELL WITH SYMPTOMS CONSISTENT WITH COVID-19.
- Visitors to our school building will be limited to essential visits only and should be made by prior arrangement.
- Parents wishing to collect their son or daughter for an appointment should contact the office prior to arrival at the school.
- Sanitising stations will be available at school entry/exit points and in all classrooms.
- School will be cleaned every day in line with public health recommendations.
- Guidelines around social distancing of 2m between adults, hand hygiene and correct cough etiquette should be adhered to at all times.
- Newsletters and updates will be shared with parents through emails, school mobile and the school websiteto reduce paper sharing between school and home.
- All payments if possible should be made using bank transfer to avoid cash handling and potential spread of infection. Please phone the school office if you need assistance
- We will continue to apply physical distancing in a practical and sensible way, recognising that the learning environment cannot be controlled in a way that is not effective for learning.
- Face Masks : it is still mandatory for all staff and post primary level pupils to wear face coverings. Special schools have an exemption for some pupils who find this a difficulty. We will provide all staff and pupils with visors that are Deaf friendly and have the approval of the Deaf Community.
- Face coverings worn on school transport must not be worn in school.
Arrival to School
Pupils travelling on school transport should remain in the car/bus until the school doors are open at 8.50 am (post Primary) and 9.00am (Primary and Early Intervention)
Students should attend in the required school uniform every day unless otherwise directed.
In the Classroom
- Contact between class groups (bubbles) will be kept to a minimum.
- Coats, phones etc. should be kept to a minimum and will be kept in pupils’ lockers to limit contact as much as possible.
- Shared resources such as tablets, laptops, etc. will be cleaned after use.
- Students MUST have their own materials for class as sharing of materials will not be permitted. Please ensure your son/daughter has adequate pens, pencils, ruler etc
Students MUST bring their own lunch to school. Please note there will be no facilities for heating food so please do not send in food that needs to be toasted /microwaved etc as these facilities will not be available. The school shop will be closed.
To meet ongoing school expenses, it is also necessary to ask for your continued support in the running costs of the school.
To cover the cost of Insurance, Art, Photocopying, Post & IT, Work Shops & Interpreting the following Parental Contributions Apply:
Early Intervention €85
Post Primary €100
For parents of two or more children, the cost per child is €80.
A letter regarding additional fees for post-primary pupils studying Home Economics, Woodwork, Metal Work, and Construction Studies and swimming fees for Primary pupils will be sent to you in due course.
Parents and guardians have the option of spreading costs by monthly standing order over the course of the year, to cover all subjects and school activities. For parents and guardians who avail of this option, and we confirm we will not look for any additional payments throughout the year, this includes the subject and swimming fees. This applies to pupils in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th years. Transition Year may have additional costs that it is not possible to cover in this way.
As a parent, you must let the school know if your child is absent and the reason why. It is school policy that reasons must be given in writing. You can use the school diary which has dedicated pages for your notes. The school will notify the National Educational Welfare Board if a child is absent without reason for 20 days or more or where the absence gives rise to concern.
If your child is sick or is absent for other good reasons, no action will be taken by the NEWB. However, if there is concern about your child’s attendance at school or about the reasons given, you may be visited by an Educational Welfare Officer who will discuss your child’s education with you. The Officer will work with you and take full account of the circumstances of the child and the family before deciding what further action is necessary to ensure that the child receives his/her entitlement to an education.
Further information concerning the new service and about school attendance matters generally can be obtained from the national Lo-Call Education Helpline (Telephone 1890 36 36 66) which is staffed by an Educational Welfare Officer.
Audiology support will continue to be provided to all students following all necessary safety measures. Please ensure that your son/daughter arrives at school with a working hearing aid/cochlear implant and other assistive technology (FM system) if applicable. Students should have spare hearing aid/cochlear implant batteries and be encouraged to change these themselves where possible. As always assistance will be provided to students when required. Spare batteries are available in school as usual at a cost of 50 cents per battery.
- As already stated, NO CHILD, STAFF MEMBER OR PARENT SHOULD ATTEND OUR SCHOOL IF UNWELL OR IF ANY MEMBERS OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD ARE UNWELL WITH SYMPTOMS CONSISTENT WITH COVID-19.
Please note procedures put in place will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and as updated advice is published by the Department of Education and Skills
See gov.ie – Back to School (www.gov.ie) for advice on the return to school Autumn 2021
Mobile Phones: The use of mobile phones is not permitted during the school day. For security, phones should be switched off and stored in the students’ locker or the school office before 9am. If pupils need to make a call during the school day, they can do so from the school office.
Well-being & Counselling
The well-being of all our pupils is central to our mission. Our School Counsellor Ms. Katrina Connolly is available on request on 01 8380058 if you need assistance in dealing with any concerns you might have in relation to your son or daughter.
Class teachers and SNAs
I would like to thank SNAs Mrs Philomena Massey and Ms Mary Brazil for their many years of dedicated service and wish them every happiness in their retirement. I also wish teacher Ms Patricia Henry every success as she leaves Holy Family for pastures new. I would like to welcome Mr Raymond Watson and Mrs AnneMarie Guinane to the school SNA team. Two new teacher appointments for Early Intervention and Primary are currently pending.
I wish to thank you for entrusting Holy Family with the education of your son/daughter, as we continuing to work with you throughout their time with us in Holy Family.
An ISL translation of this letter will be available on our website shortly.
Enjoy the last few days of the school holidays.
Eimear O’Rourke M.Ed