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February Newsletter 2013

Welcome to February's school newsletter. February may well be the shortest month in the year but it was certainly one of our busiest ones. Thanks to all the parents and guardians who came to their Parent Teacher Meetings this month. I hope you found them informative. For families that didn't make it to their meetings, please visit your class teacher to arrange a suitable time. At Carlow Educate Together, parental involvement is key to our school. This month, you'll be noticing some posters around the school with "Love CETNS" logos on them. The posters will give some ideas and thoughts about parental involvement and how we can all work together. We are also lucky to have a fantastic parents' council who have been working on some fantastic initiatives throughout the year and they have some great plans for the remainder of the year. Next month, they will be leading our school in the St. Patrick's Day parade so it will be great to see as many of you as possible there on the 17th. The Parents Council will also be working with out new Students' Council (who are currently in the process of being recruited) for our annual cake sale. They will also be doing some very interesting things for Friendship Week next week so keep your eyes peeled! Speaking of which, we're all looking forward to Friendship Week this year. Our wonderful teachers are preparing an exciting week where children are encouraged to be good friends and help each other in the school. I want to take the opportunity to thank a couple of parents who have helped the school out this month. I know they won't want their names mentioned but whenever we've had a broken window or a problem with a piece of equipment, I can always count on being able to ask them for help. We also have a number of parents and guardians running after school clubs and I'm delighted to annoucne that 3rd-6th class will have the opportunity to start First Aid classes next week. The spring break is reasonably early this year so we have a short month of March too. I look forward to seeing a many of you as possible throughout our events next month and if you have any ideas or would like to help out in the school in any way, please come in to talk to me. Until next month, keep happy, safe and learning, Simon.


New School Building Update
We're delighted to officially announce that the Department of Education has now fully sanctioned the contract to commence on our new school building! Building has already started and the date of completion is set to be the end of August. As time draws closer, we'll be asking for help with the big move so if you know anyone who has a lorry or even a load of cardboard boxes, we'd love to talk to you. The Board of Management will be meeting the architect soon to get more details on the building.

New ASD Class
We are also happy to announce that the new school has been sanctioned a second special class for children with autism. This will expand our classes to 12 children. This is a very exciting and well needed opportunity for our community and we are in talks with the NCSE on how this will progress.

Parent Teacher Meetings
Parent Teacher Meetings went well this year. Our online sign up sheet was used by 64% of parents, which is a fantastic number. Anyone who missed their meeting should contact their class teacher directly.

Friendship Week
Friendship Week will take place on the week starting 4th March. There are great things coming up including:
  • Time Capsule- the parent's council will begin work on a Time Capsule which will be buried on the grounds of our new school.
  • The new student's council will be announced. 
  • Friendship displays around school. 
Photography Project
Currently 12 photographers are working on a photography project around Ireland offering free  15 minute photo shoots to families with children with Autism.  They have set up a Facebook page to help raise awareness in the community. Facebook link

Peace Prom
Michael's class will be representing our school in the Peace Prom in Kilkenny on 2nd March. Tickets are available on the Peace Proms web site:

Erin, Teresa and Angela will be representing the school on our Comenius project. They will be going to Germany to present on our project: Interactive Journey of Learning. They will also learn about UK and German schools. We wish them the best of luck on their trip.

Anti-Bullying Forum
The Anti-Bullying Forum have come up with their recommendations and many of our submission details we sent on are on the document. The most important of these is a recommendation to redefine the term, "bullying", as the 1991 definition used by schools needs updating. Thanks to the parents who were involved in drawing up the recommendations.

Student Council
Last week our first ever Student Council had their final meeting. The Student Council term runs from February to February each year and we are getting ready to select a new Student Council. The current council have been an excellent resource for the school and for their fellow peers. They led a fantastic Yard Games Initiative, held a super cake sale, monitored issues throughout the school and acted as a voice for their fellow peers on a variety of issues.Samantha would like to thank them for their hard work and commend them on their skills of co-operation, conversation and debate. Samantha looks forward to introducing our new Student Council in the next few weeks. Interviews will take place the week after next!

Some Safety Announcements
The following health and safety announcement need to be highlighted to parents and guardians.
  • School starts at 8:50am. The front door of the school must close at 9am. The front door will open for parents at 1:25pm and 2:25pm respectively to collect children.
  • A small number of parents wait from 1:30pm to 2:30pm in the school while waiting for older siblings to be collected. While we enjoy having parents in the school and welcome them into the parents/staff room while it's not in use for school events, we would ask you respectfully to ensure that children are supervised AT ALL TIMES in the room. There have been a number of occasions where children have been left unsupervised and have been found running around the foyer, knocking on teachers' doors while they are teaching, climbing the stairs and dropping into their own teacher's classrooms while they are working. We would also ask for parents to bring their own toys/books for their children as they cannot be taken from classrooms.
  • If you are using the parents/staffroom, please ensure that the room is left in the manner that it was found. Recently, we have found a number of crusts and bits of food on the floor of the room as well as throughout the school foyer. As hygiene is of paramount importance, please ensure that you clean up after placing any mugs, plates, etc. into the dishwasher. If the dishwasher is running, please wash your dishes and leave them back in the cupboard.
  • While parents are welcome to have a cup of tea or coffee in our staff/parents room, we would ask parents and their children not to eat the food in our staffroom. The fruit basket in the staffroom is paid for by staff members as are other food items in the cupboards. Please feel free to eat any of the remaining food from the school lunches, which are left in the foyer each day.

Classroom News

Junior & Senior Infants
The fire service came to talk to Erin and Adrian's class this month. They learned lots about fire safety.

1st Class
Vicki's class were pretending to be shopping to practise our Gaeilge!

2nd Class
Rain didn’t stop the fun in second class today as they had a floor picnic!

3rd / 4th Class
This morning, the children in 3rd and 4th class created a selection of Stone Age tools and weapons using clay. Initially, the children were asked to design a tool or weapon that could have been used by Stone Age people in their daily lives. The children used their design ide

as to create their master piece …

5th/6th Class

This month we transferred our germinated seeds from the propagator into small individual pots. The nasturtiums are doing very well. When we are sure that there will be no more frost we hope to plant them in a bigger pot outside. The exotic blue plant and the decorative grass have also shown promise. We are happy with our plants so far.

We also sent tweets to the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting the Earth! Chris Hadfield is currently on the ISS and is tweeting as he orbits our world at 5 miles per second! He is sending beautiful pictures of our world as seen from space. He even tweets as Gaeilge! Follow him on Twitter @Cmdr_Hadfield or check out this website for more information.

Derek's Class
Making Pancakes in Derek's class for Pancake Tuesday

We're looking for ideas and ways to keep being proud of our school, especially when we move to our new building. There are many ways in which we can help care for our school. You might have a talent or skill that you'd like to share with your child's class. You might be able to help out if something isn't working in the school - anything from a broken lightbulb to a weed-filled garden! You can also help us by simply keeping our school a safe environment or taking part in activities that go on in the school, such as adult learning courses or reading together projects. Perhaps you have some ideas for our new school building and we'd love to hear them. You're going to be seeing a number of signs around the school over the few months with ideas and thoughts and we'd love for you to add them. If you have an idea, please drop in or send the school an email. We'd love for you to help us out.