Newsletter September 2015
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Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome back to you all. We are all nicely settled back to school and its time now to give you some information about the next coming weeks and about other school protocols.
Ireland 2016: Centenary of the Easter Rising in 1916. Tuesday 15th September: Next year Ireland marks the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, a key moment on Ireland’s path to independence. Ireland 2016 is an open invitation to everyone, of all ages, both here in Ireland and overseas, to join in a year of commemoration, conversation and exploration – through the arts, through historical research and exposition, through the Irish language, through education and children’s events – from which a new and more expansive sense of Irish identity can emerge. You will be hearing much more about this over the course of this school year. The first marking for us of the celebrations takes place here in the school on Tuesday 15th September when two uniformed members of the Irish Defence Forces (The Air Corps) will come to the school to present an Irish flag to the school community and to read the Proclamation of 1916. This same process is taking place in every primary and post primary school in the country. We are asking the children to wear green (or green, white and orange) on Tuesday if at all possible. More information on the centenary can be found on www.ireland.ie
Supervision: Please note that your children are supervised in the yard from 9:10 am, ten minutes before school starts. Please do not drop your children here before that time as they will be unsupervised. We take responsibility for your children from 9:10 only, when the side gate is opened.
New Junior Infants: From Monday 14th school day 9:20am to 2:00 pm: Our new Junior Infants will be accepted into the yard from 9:10 am with all the older children from Monday 14th September. They will be receiving their school lunches from that day and will also be beginning their long day on leaving school at 2:00pm for the rest of the school year. They will be very tired for the next couple of weeks but they will get used to it quite quickly. Curricular meetings for new Junior Infant parents will take place on October 7th at 7:30 in the evening during which class teachers will outline what goes on in school during the infant day and how you can help with your child’s education, homework etc. Very important meeting- put it in your diary.
Road Safety: I would particularly like to remind all parents of their responsibility for safe driving in and around the school, both at the main entrance and at the Castle Road entrance. Be mindful at all times that there are 430 children coming and going in this school. Please be extremely careful to ensure your own child’s safety and the safety of all the children in this school. Be careful also of the children who are attending other schools on Castle Road. As parents we have responsibility to all children, not just to our own. Be sensible and be courteous at all times to other parents who are also driving the children to school. Try using the Castle Road entrance. It is much freer in the morning and in the afternoons.
School enrolments: New LCES system: We no longer have a first-come-first-served policy. Our new common enrolment policy is available for you to read on our website. Going forward, enrolments are only taken for the next school year. Enrolments for 2016 only will be taken in the school office after October 1st. If you have a child that you wish to start school in September 2016, come to the school any Wednesday morning after October 1st between 10:00 and 12;00 to sign a pre-enrolment form. Pre-enrolments are accepted for the first round of offers from October 1st until 15th January. There is no advantage to come into the school immediately on October 1st but do not miss the January deadline for the first round.
Absences & Punctuality: If you child is absent for any reason please can you send a note in the following day letting us know the reason. We encourage you to take any family holidays during the school breaks and not during term time. If a child is absent 20 days or more we are required by law to inform TUSLA, the child and family agency and educational welfare services.
Birthdays, celebrations and invitations: Here at Esker ETNS we have a heathy eating policy. We always encourage healthy food in school. We ask that you do not send in birthday cakes to school. There are certain children with allergies, other children who do not eat certain items for religious reasons and it is too difficult for the class teacher to organise distribution of cake or sweets during an already packed school day. The class teacher will make sure that your child has a special day and that their birthday is appropriately celebrated without extra sweets, cakes etc. from home. If you are having a party for your child, please could you give the invitations directly to the parents outside rather than bringing them into the class to avoid upsetting children who have not been invited.
Adult Classes and Parental Involvement: There are plenty of activities happening in the school that we would love you to take part in. English lessons are starting on Tuesday 22nd of September. We have an Art class for adults coming soon also. We will be recruiting parents of the younger children to take part in the C.L.O.V.E.R project (children learn on very early reading). We will teach you the joy of reading and how to get the most out of books. We will provide books to you and be bringing parents into the class in small groups. This is a great way to meet each other and to support your child’s learning. Maths for Fun and other parental involvement initiatives will be coming up during the school year and Gemma will be looking for your support. Contact Gemma at 0860261061 for further information.
Chronic Health Issues and Change of Personal details
If your child has a chronic health issue please ensure that the class teacher is aware of it. If you change address or phone number please can you let Suzanne in the office know as soon possible.
PTA: The PTA (Parent Teacher Association) is very active in the school, and meets once a month. They take charge of fundraisers to buy equipment for the school and different charities. They support the school in many other ways, organising tea and coffee for parent meetings, organising fun activities and visitors for the school, organising some of our extra-curricular activities and much more. Aoife Linnane is our chairperson. They will be having their Annual General Meeting shortly. Look out for further information. They are always looking for new members!
‘No make-up’ rule and appropriate dress: You are aware that as an Educate Together school that we do not have a uniform. However, we do have a policy that children do not wear make-up. We have noticed over the past number of years that some senior children come to school wearing mascara and lipstick. We, as a staff, consider that this is inappropriate for children. All pupils of primary school age are still children. Please inform your children that they are not allowed wear make-up to school and that they will be asked to remove it if they do. Furthermore, it has come to our attention that some children come to school wearing clothes that we feel are inappropriate for primary school children. Please ensure that what your child wears to school is appropriate. We expect our parents to ensure that this is the case.
Many thanks for reading this long letter. I look forward to talking with you further. Look out for further monthly newsletter from myself and best wishes for the new school year,