Newsletter March/April 2014
Dear Parents: This has been a very difficult term for all of us, staff and children, with the sad death of our colleague and teacher, Paul Kilgarriff. As the term comes to a close, I want to thank you, the parent body, once again for your support to us over this sad time. In spite of our sadness, the busy life of a school continues and I want to tell you of some of the initiatives that have taken place and will take place next term and fill you in on other news.
The New Building: Work is progressing nicely and we are assured that we will be in our new building for our new school year in September. We have seen more detailed plans and are satisfied that all is going along as it should. We are due to get the keys at the end of July and we plan to do the ‘big move’ in late August, ready for the children to start on Monday, September 1st 2014. We may need some help from our parents during the last week in August- more about that later. It will be a very exciting time (if exhausting) for the school community.
ICT Grant. €71,000: We have been awarded the great sum of €71,000 (with a promise of a further €9,000 in the next two years) to further equip our school with Computer technology. That is very exciting for us as we have already in place interactive whiteboards in 15 of our classrooms and have already purchased a bank of 16 tablets and a charging trolley. This grant is a considerable amount of money to augment a decent amount of equipment already in place. Rob and some members of the Board of Management will investigate the best way to use this grant to maximise ICT provision in the school.
Per cent for Art Grant €38,000: It is probable that a grant of €38,000 will be also awarded to us to allow the school to purchase a major piece of art work designed to enhance our new school building. The Board of Management will put out for tender for projects when we move to our new building. Google “Per cent for Art scheme” for further information.
RSE: There was a good turn-out for our parent meetings on RSE and second level schools last Wednesday night in the school. Thank you to those parents from 3rd to 6th who turned up at the meeting. RSE classes run by Accord for 5th and 6th took place in the school on Monday 7th. 4th class teachers will hold their final sessions this Thursday. Permission slips have gone out to parents in 4th class.
Second Level Schools: Thank you to Tom who spoke to the parents in 3rd class to 6th class at the same meeting about the transition to second level schools and enrolment procedures etc. We have a high levels of priority in Adamstown Community College and Kishogue Community College and we will let parents know the closing dates for enrolment in each of these schools, which happens when the children are in 5th class. If parents wish to enrol their children in other schools inside or outside of Lucan they need to follow up these dates themselves by checking on the website of their chosen school. Some schools begin to take names as early as 3rd class.
Adamstown Community College: We have always had high priority status (level c) on the enrolment criteria for Adamstown Community College and the majority of our children have moved on to Adamstown CC from here. We were due to lose this priority when we moved out of Adamstown to Esker Lane. However, following negotiations between our Board and the Board of Adamstown Community College, I am delighted to report that we will retain the same level of priority that we always enjoyed. This is very reassuring for our parents.
Anti-Bullying Information Evening Thursday 10th April, 7 pm in Lucan East ETNS. Esker ETNS is in the process of revising its Anti Bullying policy in line with the Department of Education’s Anti-Bullying Action Plan. The first step is to highlight the issue with staff, parents and pupils. The Student Council have already spent a day in training along with children from other schools in Skerries Educate Together and were trained to become “Anti-bullying Ambassadors”. The staff have been involved in the revising our current policy and will continue to explore the issue at our staff meetings, next term.
We intend to involve you the parents next term through the PTA to help with the review and final revision of the policy. In order to give parents as much information as possible, Lucan East and ourselves are hosting a speaker from the National Parents Council who have developed an Anti-Bullying Programme for parents of primary and post primary children. This programme will enable you to support your child regarding issues of bullying and will also inform you about the new Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary schools. This meeting for parents of both schools will take place on Thursday 10th April at 7pm. .Please note that this meeting will be held in Lucan East Educate Together and not Esker Educate Together
PTA Book and Treat sale: PTA ran a very successful book and treat sale last week. Thanks to all who sent in donations of wonderful cakes and treat as well as lots and lots of books. Sinead will let you all know shortly how much was raised.
PTA Clothes collection: PTA are continuing their bid to raise funds with a further clothes collection. Any donations can be sent in this week and the week after Easter. Further information to follow from the PTA.
Esker Loves Books Day: Friday 11th April: This year the focus is on Roald Dahl and the children from 1st to 6th have been reading and working on novels written by this famous children’s writer. Children are invited to dress up as Characters from Roald Dahl books (1st to 6th). Junior Infants and Senior Infants have been concentrating on Nursery Rhymes and they are invited to dress up as nursery rhyme characters. Prizes of books for one ‘best’ costume in each class.
‘Remembering Paul’ Assembly: We had a very poignant and moving ceremony here in the school for Paul’s family, partner and friends on Friday 28th March. The children in 3rd, 4th and 6th classes ran a beautiful ceremony with memories, art work and songs which proved to be very emotional for Paul’s family and for ourselves. 3rd class Red sang a song My Favourite Things which Paul had taught them. There were presentations from the Green School Committee, the Pupils Council and the choir performed some suitable songs. The family were very grateful for the opportunity to get to meet the children in Paul’s class and in our school and to see the place where Paul had been so happy in the last seven years of his life. I was extremely proud of all the children and staff on this very emotional day, as I know that you would have been.
Paul Kilgarriff “Croí na Scoile” Award: Recipient-Reem Awad Hussein 6th Class
This new ‘school spirit’ award, inaugurated in Paul’s memory, was awarded to Reem Awad Hussein (6th Class) by Paul’s mother and father, Marguerite and Sean on March 28th. Congratulations to Reem, a well-deserved recipient. This award will be presented to a sixth class child each year at our annual graduation ceremony.
School website www.eskeretns.ie : Please see school website for further information on Esker Loves Books and other items. I try to keep the home page up to date with information for parents and children. Back copies of Newsletters are also available on the site.