Esker ETNS: Newsletter September 2013
Don’t forget: Payment of €95 per child for materials, insurance, book rental, Educate Together fee, photocopying etc. is now due. Please make your payment immediately to your child’s class teacher if you have not already done so. Thank you to those parents who have already sent their fee.
I would like to warmly welcome you and your children back to another year in Esker Educate Together National School. Your children have all grown during the summer months and all are now facing into the challenge of a new year with a new teacher and we wish them all the best for the next school year. They are all delighted and excited to be back with their friends. This is our last year in Adamstown as we expect to be in our beautiful new premises in September 2014. We can’t wait! There are a couple of important announcements that need to be made at the beginning of the school year to remind us all of safe and healthy practices for our children.
Safe practices at the school gate
We are very anxious to keep all the children and their parents safe at the school gate. Over the last number of years and last year in particular we have devised rules that were designed by the parents and the school Board of Management in consultation with South Dublin County Council and the Gardaí to make sure that safe practices are used by all. We have 370 children, 250 families to keep safe. Your co-operation is very much needed and appreciated.
· No parking in the corridor/lane marked out by cones. This is set aside for the three school buses which transport the vast majority of our children to the school. All parents are expected to co-operate with our caretaker and teachers on this very important rule.
· No double parking. You must park legally, not at an angle and no double parking. Travel up the road until you find a safe place to park. There is plenty of room around the corner if you can’t find a parking space at the school gate. If your children are small walk them down the path and through the school gate.
· No U-turns at or near the school gate. When you have safely dropped your children to school, drive to the top of the street and turn at the little circle at the top of the road or better still turn left at the top and left again out of Adamstown. Both practices are considered safe by South Dublin County Council and the Gardaí. This will help to keep traffic moving quickly and safely. Under no circumstances are U turns allowed anywhere on the road outside the school.
· No parking at the Dublin Bus stop.
· The car park is reserved for teachers and other school staff. Parents are asked not to park in the school car park unless they are visiting the school on official Board of Management or Parent Teacher Association business or at a prearranged meeting.
· Change of address/Phone number: Please make sure to inform Suzanne in the school office and your child’s class teacher if you have changed your phone number or your address. It is particularly important that we have one correct phone number for our text-a-parent information service. This is used to inform parents of important and sometimes urgent information.
Talk to your child regularly about safe practices on the bus. Remember that the children are not the responsibility of the school until they come through the school gates. Your child must have a ticket from Bus Eireann to be able to use the bus. If you haven’t got one yet you need to contact Bus Eireann immediately. Please treat this as urgent if you haven’t yet dealt with this.
Healthy Lunch Policy
Please remember the importance of sending your children into school with a healthy lunch. We believe that a healthy eating pattern encouraged at an early age will benefit the pupils of the school in the immediate future and will stay with them in their teenage and adult lives. In order to achieve this we ask for the co-operation of all pupils, parents and teachers. A healthy lunchbox includes a piece of food from the first three shelves of the food pyramid below (beginning at the bottom). The guidelines here are for daily intake, not just for school lunches. An example of a healthy lunch might be: a sandwich, a yogurt, some pieces of fruit and a drink of milk, juice or indeed water. Among the items which are not permitted in school are: fizzy drinks, bars, crisps, and other salted products, popcorn, sweets, and other sugary products.
The school lunches have now begun. We have a few comments to make about the process so far-
First of all for those Muslim families who are concerned about Halal, I have received a certificate from the company Carambola which certifies that that what they say is halal is in fact halal. Any parent who wishes may view this certificate in the office. But for absolute clarity, I would like you to know that the plain chicken is halal. To date the other chicken, 'chicken tikka' and 'chicken with stuffing' are not in fact halal. The turkey is not halal. Obviously the other choices, egg, cheese tuna etc are fine.
Secondly, this school lunch is designed for second break. It is the same size for infants as for Senior children. As a parent you may wish to send in something extra, particularly for the senior children. Your child will tell you if they need more or not. What we do not want is that parents send in a complete second lunch. Part of the reason for the free lunches is to ensure that children are not eating too much. Apparently, one out of four children in primary schools is overweight or obese.
Lastly. your child will be issued with his/her own pin number in the next couple of days. The child may (with your permission) change the lunch as often as he/she wants on a weekly basis. Your child can alter the menu for the following week. Once the menu is received online before Saturday night, it will be processed for the following week. If you do not go in and change the menu. The menu stays the same as you ordered for last week. One way or another, the lunches will keep coming. It is simply up to you whether and how often you wish to change it.
You will have all heard by now that Esker Educate Together has been included in the Free Healthy School Lunches scheme along with 100 other schools newly added to the list. We are delighted with the news and we know that it will be a great help to you as parents to have excellent quality school lunches provided for your children every school day of the year. As a school we have the freedom to choose which company will actually be the provider and the Board of Management has chosen the Carambola Kidz company. This is a very reputable company and is the preferred school lunch provider of the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN).
We invite you to look at their website www,carambola.ie and see for yourself the many reasons why we chose this company. There are three very good reasons. We have been assured that they are very reliable, that is the lunches will be here every day, rain , hail or snow. Secondly, they have a very wide range of choice so that your children need never get bored. Lastly and most importantly, their meals are prepared with the best nutritional advice ensuring that your children receive a healthy and balanced lunch every day.
The first day of delivery for school lunches will be Monday 4th November and every school day from that day forward. Make sure that you get your child's menu in to the class teacher immediately to ensure that they get their lunch next week.
When the system is up and running, you will be given a password so that you can change the menu for your child as often as you like. Further information about this will be forthcoming.
My favourite photo from last year, one of many from the Wizard of Oz celebration of literature. Two cowardly lions are ready to take on the world!!!Welcome back to school after a long and glorious summer. The school office is officially open from Monday 26th August for any queries or new applications. Teachers and auxiliary staff are working from Tuesday the 27th August and we expect to see all our pupils turn up for school at 9:10 am on Thursday the 29th August. This time next year we will be preparing to enter our new premises in Esker Lane. Having seen and studied the plans the Board of Management is very excited about our new school building as we are sure that all of you will be when you get the chance to examine the plans in some detail. See you on the 29th !