As you are all aware, schools will open next Monday, 1st March, for Junior Infants, Senior Infants, First Class and Second Class. The plan is that the rest of the classes will return on March 15th.
We are looking forward to being back in the school again and we will continue to implement safety procedures to help prevent the spread of Covid 19.
While in school these are some of the measures we will take:
• Wash and sanitize our hands at regular intervals and as required.
• Wipe down tables before eating.
• Children will only mix with children from their own bubble (classroom).
• Staff will wear masks at all times in the classroom and maintain social distance as much as is possible.
• Windows will be kept open all day in line with government recommendations on ventilation. (Children can wear extra layers to keep warm)
• The school will be cleaned to a high standard every evening.
We will need co-operation from staff and families on the following:
• Fill in a ‘Return to Work’ form or a ‘Return to Educational Facility’ form prior to returning to school.
• Do not attend school if you have any signs or symptoms of Covid 19 and please contact your doctor to arrange a test.
• Do not attend school if you live with someone who has symptoms of the virus (suspected case).
• Do not attend school if you have been identified by the HSE as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 .
• Do not attend school if you have travelled outside of Ireland in the past two weeks; in such instances please consult and follow latest Government advice in relation to foreign travel.
• Please do not congregate in the school car park any longer than is necessary. Please wear a mask if leaving your car and maintain social distance between others when collecting children.
• At Infant home time please enter the ramp from Danny Barry’s side and exit on the other side.
Thank you to the parents and staff for all the hard work you have put in over the past seven weeks. I’m sure everyone wants to get back to some sense of normality at this stage so let’s try our best to follow the guidelines, and hopefully we will all be back together on March 15th.
As we approach the re-opening date for Junior Infants to Second Class, there are just a few more things to address.
1. Opening times:
Morning drop off time: 8.50-9.10am
Junior & Senior Infants: 1.50pm
First and Second Class: 2.50pm
(We will return to staggered collection times when all senior classes return, we will remind families which time they have been assigned)
2. Symptoms of Covid 19:
I have been made aware of a few cases of Covid 19 involving children. Although every case is different, these cases started off with mild stomach upset which developed into severe stomach cramps with a temperature. It is important that your child remains at home if they appear unwell, even if they don't display the initial typical symptoms.
If your child has any of the following symptoms of Covid-19, do not send them to school and contact your GP:
• A temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or more
• A new cough
• Loss or changed sense of taste or smell
• Shortness of breath
• Other less common symptoms of Covid-19, such as sore throat, headaches, fatigue, aches and pains and diarrhoea
Communication with the school must continue by phone or email only
While Third-Sixth Class continue to engage in remote learning the homework for Junior Infants-Second Class will be minimal. We hope this will allow families with older siblings to have some ‘school-free’ hours in the day.
5. Return to Educational Facility Parental Declaration form
This form must be signed and returned as stated in previous email this week
6. Useful links
• School Covid 19 Response Plan http://ballinacarriga-ns.ie/?cat=26
(Pay special attention to section 5: Control Measures)
• The Department of Education Wellbeing resources for parents are available here https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/af24b-wellbeing-guidance-documents-for-parents-students-and-schools/#parents-primary-schools
• The Department of Education ‘Back to school’ resources are available here https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/5572b-back-to-school-advice-for-parents-students-and-families/
We are looking forward to seeing Juniors Infants-Second Class on Monday and eagerly await welcoming our senior 4 classes back to the school building later in the month.
Please take time to read this letter if you have a child to enrol in our school in 2021 or in future years. The process for enrolling children in primary schools in Ireland has changed this year. Each school had to draw up an ‘Admissions Policy’ and make it available to the public on their website. This policy outlines very clearly the process involved in enrolling your child in our school and the ‘Admissions Notice’ which is published in line with the policy highlights important dates to be aware of when enrolling your child. Admissions forms are also available on the website.
The school can begin accepting admissions forms from this Friday, 5th of February. The closing date for accepting these forms is April 16th. If you have emailed the school to say you will be enrolling a child this year you still need to fill out this form. After the closing date the Board of Management will look at the forms received, they will send the long enrolment form out to you and look for a copy of your child’s long birth cert. These items must be returned to the school by May 14th.
The Admissions policy, Admissions notice and Admissions form are all available under the ‘Parents’ section of the website. I urge you to read through these new documents, especially if they relate to your family this year or in years to come.
Due to Covid 19 our annual enrolment day will not be held in February but we will endeavour to get the new children in at some point to show them the school and the classroom.
If you need any more information or wish to arrange a phone call with me please email firstname.lastname@example.org
As we are all aware, Covid 19 is prevalent in society. The government are adamant that schools remain open and we welcome this news but we must work together to ensure that our school remains a safe environment for everyone attending and all of our families.
I think it is a good time to remind everyone of the occasions when you should keep your child at home and I have taken the following directly from
which was updated on Fri 9th Oct 2020.
I have also included advice on what to do if your child is considered a close contact of a confirmed case, as it has come to our attention that there are a number of positive cases in our locality and this advice may be relevant at the moment.
Children who are close contacts of someone who has COVID-19
If your child has no symptoms but has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, they should:
• restrict their movements for 14 days - this includes not going to school
• get tested for COVID-19 - a contact tracer will arrange this when they call you
They should do this even if they feel well. Household members, such as siblings, do not need to restrict their movements as long as the child has no symptoms.
Children who have no symptoms but have had close contact with a case will have 2 tests for COVID-19. This is because it can take up to 14 days for the virus to show up in your system after you have been exposed to it.
The second test will be 7 days after their last contact with the person who has COVID-19. If this is close to when they had their first test, they will only have 1 test.
When to keep your child at home and phone your GP
Do not send your child to school or childcare if any of the following is true.
Your child has:
• a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or more
• any other common symptoms of COVID-19 - a new cough, loss or changed sense of taste or smell, or shortness of breath
• been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
• been living with someone who is unwell and may have COVID-19
• an existing breathing condition that has recently got worse
If your child has any of the common symptoms of COVID-19 you will need to:
1. Isolate your child from other people - this means keeping them at home and completely avoiding contact with other people, as much as possible. Read advice on self-isolation
2. Phone your GP - they will advise you if your child needs a COVID-19 test.
3. Everyone that your child lives with should also restrict their movements, at least until your child gets a diagnosis from their GP or a COVID-19 test result. This means not going to school, childcare or work.
4. Treat your child at home for their symptoms.
Your child should only leave your home to have a test or to see your GP.
If your child has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 but has no symptoms, follow the advice for children who are close contacts.
Please continue to follow these guidelines, they will help us all to stay safe at school.
As you know that we are closing for our Christmas holidays tomorrow. In order to avoid crowds at home time, families in Group A (usually collected at 2.40) can be collected at 11.45 and families in Group B can be collected at 12 noon. Children in Junior and Senior Infants who do not have older siblings can be collected at 11.45 also.
Tomorrow is a “no uniform day”.
The Parents Association have organised a special drive by visitor at 11am. Unfortunately, we cannot invite parents to this event this year. Please be assured that all class bubbles will be at a safe distance from each other for this occasion.
If any families are travelling abroad this Christmas, please do not send children back to school until they have restricted their movements for 14 days on return. The same rule applies to school staff.
We, as a staff have decided to take the precaution of sending home the children’s books for Christmas. We are only too aware that guidelines change very quickly and we would like to be prepared if they do change during the break. Please be assured that we have no inside information and hope that we will return to school as normal! Please leave the books in the schoolbag over the Christmas break and send them back in on Jan 6th all going according to plan.
Have a safe Christmas.
I just wanted to communicate a few things with you before the Halloween break.
Firstly, the following policies have been ratified by the Board of Management and are available to view on the school website:
• The Acceptable Use Policy
• The Remote Teaching and learning
Secondly, we, as a staff have decided to take the precaution of sending home the children’s books for mid-term. We are only too aware that guidelines change very quickly and we would like to be prepared if they do change during the break. Please be assured that we have no inside information and hope that we will return to school as normal! Please leave the books in the schoolbag over the midterm break and send them back in on Nov 2nd all going according to plan.
Lastly, just to remind you that Fri 23rd is a dress up day and there will be a donation bucket collecting funds for the Mercy Kids and Teens appeal. We hope to have a bit of Halloween fun on the day and sweets have kindly been donated to the school by The Hall Committee and the O’Riordan family. We will also be revealing the name of our new turtle so a very exciting day is in store!
Wishing you all a good rest over the mid-term break.
Happy October! I’m glad to say we have September under our belts and it was a successful one in many ways. Everyone returned to school, the handwashing and desk spraying routines have become our new normal and most classes are using seesaw in a new, more enjoyable way!
We had planned to have Tony Walsh doing football sessions in the back yard on Thursdays but unfortunately the GAA have put a halt to all of their activities so we will have to rearrange those sessions in the future. Tracksuits can be worn on Thursdays and Fridays going forward.
We have had a lovely addition to our school in the last two weeks, Trish Daly and family have donated a beautiful fish tank, complete with a turtle and a variety of fish. The fish tank is beautiful to look at and both children and staff are really enjoying observing this new habitat. We look forward to learning more about the various species in the tank and how to look after them. A very big thank you to Trish.
We have decided to take part in the Mercy Heroes Campaign on Friday 23rd of October. We will be asking the children to dress up in Halloween costumes coming to school and to make a donation, funds raised will go to the Mercy POONS Service – Paediatric Oncology Outreach Nursing Service.
We would like to welcome you all back to school, we are all delighted to be back in our familiar setting, and we hope that 2020 will be a successful school year. As you are aware, Mrs Hurley is expecting her second baby and as of the 31st of August I have been appointed the role of Acting Principal. I would like to thank Mrs. Hurley for all the hard work she carried out during the summer in preparation for re-opening. I would like to thank all parents and children also for co-operating with the procedures we have put in place. It is obviously a very different September with lots of new routines but I think there is a positive feeling among staff and pupils and hopefully when the routines become more established we will continue learning, interacting and enjoying our school environment in a new way.
1. If you wish to make contact with a teacher, please email them directly on the email addresses below or leave a message with Catherine on 023-8845944 in order to request a call back. Please email to explain absence rather than sending in notes.
• email@example.com Junior and Senior Infants
• firstname.lastname@example.org First and Second Class
• email@example.com Third and Fourth Class
• firstname.lastname@example.org Fifth and Sixth Class
• email@example.com Special Education Teacher
2. If you would like to order a new school tracksuit top for your child please respond to this email with the size and quantity you require by Friday 11th September. There will only be one opportunity to order hoodies as the supplier will not take small orders during the year. The sizes and prices are as follows:
• age 3-4: €18
• age 5-6: €18
• age 7-8: €18
• age 9-11: €18
• age 12-13: €22
• age 14-15: €22
3. A Bill for book rental, activities, hoodies, etc will be issued in due course.
4. We will be encouraging online payments of bills going forward and details of school BIC and IBan will follow in a separate email when bills are ready
5. Ger Wolfe will continue to teach the children music this year, but, in line with guidelines not to use wind instruments, ukuleles and xylophones will now be the instruments of choice. The school has very gratefully received sponsorship from local companies to help purchase a set of instruments (We will give details of the companies involved in the near future). Each child will be able to use the school instruments which will be sprayed and wiped clean between users. If anyone would prefer to use their own ukulele, we can store the instruments in school.
I will be in regular contact with you throughout the year.
Just a reminder that children cannot be dropped to school until 8.50am. The children are not insured to be on the school property before this time and on a more practical level, the teachers use this time to prepare for the day and we would really appreciate if you could respect this.
Parents, please find information and support that you may need to ensure your child makes the most of their time online and stays safe when interacting with others online. Also, it shows you how to set up parental control over your children's devices.