Thursday Note 25th MarchMarch 25th, 2021
I hope this finds you well. Our news this week is as follows
- Our 6th class pupils have started a Transition to Secondary school programme here in the school. This is being delivered by Ms Fitzsimons and Ms Kelleher. This will be a great help to the pupils particularly this year as they did not get the opportunity to visit the secondary schools in person. We wish them well as they begin their preparation for moving on.
- Our Parents’ Association have kindly donated an Easter egg for each class to be raffled tomorrow. Good luck to everyone and thanks to our P.A for this generous gesture.
- While we are confident that everyone will return to school on Monday 12th April class teachers will send books home with pupils just in case. The COVID situation is rapidly evolving and in the event that schools are instructed to remain closed for a while everyone will have necessary text books for remote learning. We all fervently hope that we will return on 12th April to in person learning. It has been wonderful to have everyone back on site for the past two weeks. I would ask that all families adhere to the COVID guidelines during the Easter holidays to prevent transmission of the virus.
- I would like to thank all parents/guardians for your wonderful support this term. We know that for some families remote learning has been a challenge and all the staff really appreciate the efforts of parents/guardians during lockdown. I would also like to thank all parents/guardians for your adherence to the necessary COVID measures such as wearing facemasks, social distancing in the yard and not calling to the school in person since we returned to school. We really appreciate all your efforts in this regard.
- I would like to thank all our staff for their tremendous efforts this term also. Staff have been very diligent, hardworking and conscientious both during school closure and since we returned to school. The adherence to all Covid measures by staff here in the school has been excellent all while keeping school life as normal and as pleasant as possible for our pupils.
- St. Tolas will close for the Easter holidays tomorrow Friday 26th March at 12p.m. We will re-open on Monday 12th April at 9a.m. I wish all pupils, parents/guardians and staff a safe and relaxing break. I hope you all get to enjoy some fresh air and exercise over the break. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all on 12th April.
Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal
Thursday Note 18th MarchMarch 19th, 2021
We hope you are well this week and enjoyed St Patrick’s day even if it was different to usual. Our news is as follows
- Thank you to 2nd class who completed lovely St. Patrick’s Day pictures as requested by our local Gardai. These pictures are displayed in Shannon Garda Station, the fire station, the Town hall and Insomnia coffee shop. Well done to 2nd class. You did St. Tola’s proud.
- Now that everyone is back at school can I please ask that parents/guardians take extra care when dropping off and collecting in the car park. Some drivers are just stopping in the middle of the car park and causing an obstruction. Cars are backing up onto the road. If there is no space to pull in and you want to accompany your child in to the school please park on the road in a safe manner. Shannon Gardai have informed us that it is ok to do so as long as you do not cause an obstruction. Please do NOT block the two disabled parking spaces as these are needed by pupils. We thank you for your co-operation in this very important matter. We all want that our pupils to be safe coming to and going home from school.
- We were delighted that the pupils in the playschool paraded through the yard last Tuesday to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. They were showing off their flags and badges they made. Well done to 6th class, 4th class and 2nd class who gave them a great welcome.
- Just a reminder that we are a nut free school. Please make sure that your child does not bring items containing nuts in their lunchboxes. We have several pupils with severe nut allergies in the school. We thank you for your co-operation in this matter. Please ensure that your child has enough drinks to last the day also. With the weather improving (hopefully!) pupils may need a second drink. We are not in a position to supply drinks for pupils.
- In line with Department of Education guidelines class windows will be opened regularly throughout the day to ensure that there is regular circulation of fresh air. Please ensure that your child is dressed appropriately and also that they bring a coat. We will be going outside at breaktimes even if it is a little drizzly so a coat is a good idea.
Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal
Thursday Note 11th MarchMarch 19th, 2021
We hope you are well this week. Our news is as follows
- We are delighted that the Department of Education confirmed this week that all pupils from 3rd-6th classes will return to in person learning here in St Tolas next Monday 15th March. We have missed both the pupils and our colleagues over the past two weeks and it will be great to have everyone back together again. We are aware that for some pupils it will take a little time to transition back to school and teachers and staff will be very aware of this in the weeks ahead.
- We ask that all parents/guardians adhere to the guidance laid out in our updated COVID 19 Response plan in relation to social distancing and wearing facemasks while on school grounds. We would also greatly appreciate your support in reminding the pupils in 3rd -6th class for the necessity of staying in their pods in the classroom to minimise interactions between pupils. We know this can be a challenge for some students but it is vital in minimising the spread of infection. While outside in the yard the public health guidance states that pupils do not need to remain in their pods but must stay with their class bubble. The pupils were excellent at this in term 1 and I have every faith that this will be the case now also.
- The Department of Education requires that all parents/guardians of pupils in 3rd -6th classes must complete a declaration that their child is free from infection (including COVID 19) before returning to school. This form will be on Aladdin Connect but will NOT be live until 3p.m. on Sunday next 14th March. We will send a text reminder on Sunday re this form. If your child is unwell they need to stay at home until they have recovered.
- We are delighted that our class for pupils with Autism was sanctioned last week. Ms Noreen Vaughan has been appointed as this special class teacher and Sinead Duff has been assigned as the Special Needs Assistant in the class. The class has six pupils enrolled and the pupils will transition into the class in the next few weeks. We wish both Noreen and Sinead every success in their new roles.
- We welcome Ms Lisa Hanlon to St Tolas. Ms Hanlon has been appointed as the 4th class teacher and began working with the class on Monday last. We also welcome Sinead Lenihan to the school. Sinead is working as a Special Needs Assistant in Senior Infants. We hope that both of these new staff members will enjoy their time with us here in St Tolas.
Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal
Thursday Note 4th March 2021March 4th, 2021
We hope this finds you well. Our news this week is as follows
- We are delighted to have our Juniors, Seniors 1st and 2nd classes back to in person learning here in the school this week. It was lovely to see all the smiling faces on Monday morning and to see how delighted everyone was to meet their friends and teachers again. Thank you to all our parents/guardians for your co-operation with our COVID control measures. We appreciate you wearing your facemasks when on the school grounds and maintaining 2m distance from others.
- 2nd class are working so hard and are enjoying being back at school. Today they told me that the best things about being back are seeing your friends, playing in the yard, doing your work, seeing your teacher and NOT doing online work or arguing about it. They also told me that they believe they learn more in school and it is easier to do your work. Keep up the great work 2nd class!
- Seniors went on their Signs of Spring walk yesterday. They saw buds on trees, snowdrops, daffodils and even one purple crocus. They even saw a Dad but we don’t think that is a sign of Spring?!! Seniors are working hard on their narrative story writing too. Well done Seniors!
- Juniors are also loving being back. This week Juniors got to use the playschool outdoor playspace as the playschool isn’t back until next week. Juniors had so much fun doing the obstacle course, playing in the sand and going on the swings. They loved helping each other too in the playspace!
- 1st class are learning how to do explanation writing this week. They are going to write all about eggs and what happens when you cook them. 1st class are enjoying seeing all their friends again and playing in the astro turf.
- Today is World Book day. At 10.15 a.m. here in school all four classes are going to DROP EVERYTHING AND READ for 10 minutes. All the pupils are also designing a book cover. Why don’t you try and read with your child today or chat to then about a book they have enjoyed. To celebrate World Book day 3rd classes are going to dress up as a favourite character from a book on their Zoom link up this week.
- We miss all our pupils and staff from 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th classes. We know they are working hard. We would like to encourage all our senior pupils to keep trying your best. Please let your teacher know if you are having any difficulty. We all hope that you will be back with us here in the building on 15th March. We will have our Cruinniu tomorrow for all pupils. The link will go out to the 3rd-6th class pupils with this newsletter.
Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal
Thursday Note 25th FebMarch 1st, 2021
We hope you are well this week as we come to the end of February. Our news this week is as follows
- As announced on Tuesday evening we will partially return to school from next Monday 1st March. Pupils in Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 1st and 2nd classes will return to in person learning at school. Ms Hackett, Ms Burke, Ms Riordan and Ms o’ Neill will return to work in the school. All our SNAs and SET teachers will also return to work in the school.
- Pupils in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th classes will remain at home and will be supported remotely by their class teacher and SET teachers ( if applicable). These pupils will continue to use the seesaw platform with activities and instructional material provided by their class teacher along with feedback on work submitted. These pupils will continue to have their weekly ZOOM live checkins. Parents can still contact these class teachers on their dedicated emails if you have any question or query. We expect that these pupils will return to in person learning here in St Tolas by the middle of March. As soon as the date is confirmed we will let you know.
- As we are beginning the return to school we will update our COVID 19 Response Plan this week in line with updated guidance from the Department of Education, the HSE and other bodies. This wil be published on the school webite and all families informed. I have also attached a useful advice leaflet for parents along with this newsletter.
- Preparations are well underway for the return to school. The school has been thoroughly cleaned by our wonderful cleaner Rima over the past few weeks. All classrooms and common areas including touchpoints have been treated with Zoono. Zoono has been proven to kill all viruses on surfaces for up to 30 days. We are also grateful to Cleanwell who have offered to come into the school and carry out fogging before pupils and staff return to give us extra peace of mind.
- For this week we will have Cruinniu for all pupils tomorrow Friday 26th Feb at 10a.m. The link will be emailed out with this letter.
- We are delighted to announce that Maja Kusko in 5th class is a finalist in Shannon Groups Sustainability Garden competition. We are asking all parents to please click on the link below and vote for Maja’s art. Link to vote in competition is : https://www.shannongroup.ie/community-environment/sustainability/shannon-biodiversity-garden/shannon-biodiversity-garden-competition
- Finally we have some exciting and wonderful news for all in our school community. The Department of Education confirmed last week that they have approved the building of a 2 clsasroom Special Education Base as an addition to our school building. We will be opening two special classes here in St Tolas. One class will be for pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorder ( ASD) and the other will be for pupils with Multiple Disabilities. We expect to get the go ahead to open the ASD class before the end of the current school year and hope to open the Multiple Disabilities class in September.
Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal