February 2020

Springing into Spring!

The shortest month of the year had an extra day this year and we made the most of it in Carlow Educate Together! February was a fun-filled month with loads going on including one of our highlights of the school year - Friendship Week. While most of you would have been familiar with our Street Food Festival on the Thursday where we sampled food from all over the world, the week was filled with lots of other activities including our Day of Play on the Friday and lots of friendship activities all week.

As you also know, Ireland had its first confirmed case of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The school is following all the advice given by the HSE as it gets it. Ultimately, as soon as we get any instruction, we will make sure to let you know, but besides the advice given on https://www.hse.ie, we will not be panicking. We will talk to the children about the virus and we think that it is a very good idea, virus or not, to use the opportunity to talk about good hygiene, i.e. washing hands, using a tissue if you sneeze, and so on.

Marching on to March, Seachtain na Gaeilge is coming soon and we will be continuing our Caife Gaeilge with every class. You'll get an email when each Caife Gaeilge is on, and we'd love to see you there. It's fantastic to see parents in our school and it's great for children to see their families involved. That said, I want to take this opportunity to thank Tavi who has been volunteering in our library over the last few months. He will be returning to Romania this month and we will miss him greatly. If you fancy volunteering in the school, we'd love to have you on board. We have a fantastic Parents' Association and Library Committee.

That's about it from me! Keep happy, safe and learning!

News

Surveys

We are engaging with parents regarding a number of items. You will have already received 2 surveys last week - one about our future enrollment policy and one about energy use. We will be surveying you this month about Project Homework and School Lunches. We'd appreciate your help with this so we can be sure to be providing the best for your children.

Enrollment Changes

Due to the enactment on the Admissions' Bill, all schools in the country must update their Enrollment Policy (Admissions' Policy.) Changes to Educate Together schools mean an end to a strict First Come, First Served Model. Schools will not be allowed to have waiting lists longer than 11 months before a child begins school. However, schools are allowed to introduce a Siblings' Rule and some schools might use a Catchment Area rule. We have surveyed families and the overwhelming majority of families believe all primary schools in Carlow should have a common enrollment time to avoid overlapping of enrollments in schools. Simon will be proposing this to the principals of Carlow Town and its environs. In our school, we will be proposing that siblings will get priority of enrollment in the school if the sibling is currently in the school. We will not be introducing a Catchment Area Rule as we are the only Educate Together school in Co. Carlow. The rules for prioritising enrollments are very restrictive but we hope to have a draft policy ready for input soon.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Communication

Please ensure that the school has all the correct details for you on our system. To check, please download the Aladdin App and log in to your child's profile. If the app is not working, you need to first ensure that you have some security on your phone - e.g. a PIN or finger swipe code. If this doesn't work, drop into Simon and he'll get it working.

Gaelbhreatach

Alswyn from Gaelinn dropped in to see how we are getting on with our work for the Ghaelbhratach. She was very pleased with our efforts so far. After Easter we will have another visit when we will be assessed for our first Gaelbhratach (flag). We have to keep up the good work, but we are very hopeful. As ever Tricia and I were an-bhroduil as an gcoiste (very proud!). Alswyn could see all the work being done around the school. Maith sibh!

Traffic and Parking Reminder

Things are going reasonably smoothly with traffic at 1:30pm and 2:30pm. However, there are a couple of ways you can help us to make traffic even more smoothly.

  1. If you are in the Set Down Area, please make sure to be ready in/at your car when the children come out. While you might be having a conversation with someone else, we need people to move as quickly as possible and any car that is stationary blocks the flow of traffic.
  2. If your child has forgotten to come out and has gone to after school and you are in the Set Down Area, please ask a member of staff for help. They will direct you either to the basketball courts or to the front of the school and will get your child for you.
  3. Please never park in staff parking in the morning. We need every space. Furthermore, reversing into oncoming traffic is dangerous.
  4. Please never park in the Bus Areas between 1pm and 1:35pm or 2pm and 2:35pm. Even if there are no buses in these areas, it is the only place where an ambulance or fire engine can set down if the need arises.