8th January, 2021
I hope this email finds you and your families well and that you had a restful and enjoyable Christmas holiday. It is very disappointing that we will not be returning to school as planned but hopefully this closure will not be for too long and that we will back in our classrooms on Monday, February 1st. However, it is still very important that we all stay safe and do our utmost to reduce the threat of this virus to the health of our families and community.
Firstly, I am very happy that since our return to school in September, that pupils have completed four great months of work. Over the coming weeks we will use our remote learning programme to build upon these great foundations. Secondly, we, as a school, have learned a great deal from our previous remote learning programme and are in a better position to provide a more developed and improved experience to our pupils over the coming weeks.
Today, our in-school management team met by Zoom to discuss the roll out of this programme and teachers will be meeting on Monday to finalise plans for their class programmes. Pupils will receive their first communication from their class teachers on Tuesday morning. Over the coming days and weeks we will be constantly reviewing pupils’ engagement and the content of the lessons. With this in mind, I would be grateful if you take note of the following:
- Seesaw App: The Seesaw app will be the platform by which class and learning support teachers will be communicating with pupils. Teachers have sent out access codes for the app recently and it is important that families check that their children can access the platform. If you have any difficulties with Seesaw, please contact the school on firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Daily Routines: Teachers will upload assignments on Seesaw for each school day. For classes from Third to Sixth, pupils will be expected to engage for approximately two hours each day, while approximately an hour a day will be sufficient for pupils in classes from Junior Infants to Second. It will be important that pupils establish a good daily routine of school time and that they are encouraged to give their best effort.
- Engagement: Pupils will be expected to return work to their class teacher regularly and we are grateful for the support of parents to ensure that their children work conscientiously. However, we do understand that some of our families may be affected by Covid-19 or may find the home schooling experience very stressful. With this in mind we would ask these families to contact the class teacher or the school so that we may find ways of giving them some additional support.
- Pupils with Additional Needs: Learning support teachers will contact parents of pupils with additional needs early next week. It will be important that there is a continuation of the work commenced in the first term and that an appropriate programme of support is put in place.
- Technology: We are aware that there are a small number of our pupils who may have difficulty accessing technology or may have broadband availability problems. If this is the case for your family, please contact the school so that we may help you resolve any issues.
In conclusion, it may not be the ideal start to 2021 for our school, but I am confident that working together we can make the very most of the situation. In anticipation, I would like to thank our teachers for all their work in making our remote learning a success and to you, our parents, for your continued support. I would like to encourage our pupils to do their very best over the coming weeks and to ensure them that there will be better times ahead and a warm welcome when we get back to the school and classroom. Please feel free to contact the school if you have any concerns as we are anxious to ensure that all of our pupils get the most out of these few weeks. Finally, please stay safe and let’s look forward to better times ahead.
Ambrose Mc Ginnity