Thursday Note 16th December 2021December 16th, 2021
We hope you are well as we head towards the end of the first term of the current school year. Our news this week is as follows
- Juniors and Seniors made lovely Christmas cards recently for the Senior Citizens of Shannon. They did a great job and no doubt these will bring Christmas cheer to our elderly. These were collected last Monday by members of Shannon Gardai. The Guards brought a lollipop for every child to say thank you. The pupils in Solas and Aoibhneas classes got to meet the Gardai also and they brought the pupils out to their van to show them the sirens and lights. The pupils were very excited!
- Thank you to all classes who have decorated the school hall with their wonderful art work. It is so cheery and bright as we all pass through the hall on the way out to the yard.
- All classes are busy putting together a short performance for Christmas at the moment. Due to Covid restrictions we cannot have parents/guardians in the building at present. These performances will be recorded and shared with you.
- We will hold a virtual Carol service next Wednesday here in the school with all classes joining from their own room. Each class will share a song or a poem. This year we will record the Carol service also and share the link with you afterwards. This is always a special event and even though we have to have social distancing hopefully it will be uplifting and joyous too!
- St. Tola’s will close on Wednesday next 22nd December at 12p.m. for all pupils and staff. This term has been difficult due to Covid but I would like to thank all parents/guardians for your co-operation and support with all Covid measures. It is greatly appreciated. I would also like to say a huge thank you to every staff member for their dedication, hard work and good humour. Even though we are living through a global pandemic our wonderful staff come in every day and are positive and affirming to our pupils and have gone the extra mile to make sure that school life continues in a safe way. Finally, I would like to thank our pupils for their co-operation with all Covid measures and for the way they too have got on with school life. I especially salute and thank our pupils in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th classes for their maturity and the way they have conducted themselves since the introduction of face masks for this age cohort. I hope that every family gets to enjoy a well deserved break over the coming weeks.
- St. Tolas will re-open to all staff and pupils on Thursday 6th January 2022 at 9a.m. Nollaig faoi mhéin is faoi mhaise daoibh go léir.
Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal
Thursday Note 9th December 2021December 16th, 2021
We hope you are well. Our news this week is as follows
- As you are aware St Tolas was closed on Tuesday and Wednesday this week due to Storm Barra. Thankfully there was no damage done to the school and we are all back today Thursday 9th December. Thank you for your co-operation in relation to the storm.
- The Christmas annuals have arrived at the school and will be distributed to those who ordered them this week. We hope the children enjoy them.
- Thank you to all pupils in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th classes who are wearing their masks in school. I am so proud of the pupils and how well they are doing. The Department of Education issued further guidance this week in relation to this matter. Pupils do not wear masks outside in the yard. They do not wear masks for P.E or while eating. I have instructed class teachers to take regular mask breaks throughout the day when the class go outside for a couple of minutes to get some fresh air. I would like to thank all parents/guardians also for your co-operation. We all hope this is a temporary measure and there will be no requirement to wear them after the review in February. We all hope the numbers contracting COVID 19 will reduce in the coming weeks. As you are aware the number of primary aged children, including here in St Tolas who have contracted Covid 19 in the past few weeks has been high. Wearing masks is one measure to slow down the transmission of Covid 19.
- The construction of the prefab for our multiple disability class is continuing. Good progress has been made in the past few weeks and we hope this will be completed very shortly. This will be a great space for our Aoibhneas class and I know the pupils and staff are looking forward to getting into their new room!
- 3rd class are working hard on their tin whistle. I had the pleasure of hearing a few bars today! Well done 3rd class – keep up the good work.
- 4th class were making Christmas hats today also. These are turning out really well. All the pupils were really enjoying this. I can’t wait to see the finished hats!
Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal
Thursday Note 2nd DecemberDecember 3rd, 2021
We hope you are well as we begin the final month of 2021! Our news this week is as follows
- From last Monday 29th November the free antigen programme has been rolled out for primary schools. If your child tests positive for COVID 19 you are required to let the school know. You can do this by emailing email@example.com or ringing 061 362894. We will then contact the parents of the other pupils in your child’s pod with details on how to apply for free antigen tests. We will not be identifying any pupil who has tested positive. 5 tests will be delivered and parents will be asked to administer tests on day 0,2 and 4. If the child is well, symptom free and receives a negative antigen test they continue to attend school. Parents do not have to administer antigen tests if they so wish and the child can continue to attend school as long as they are symptom free. If the antigen test is positive they restrict their movements and parents need to book a PCR test. If the antigen test is negative and the child has any symptoms parents need to book a PCR test and the child remains at home until they receive the results of the PCR test. I would like to thank all the parents who have co-operated with this new programme this week.
- As you are aware the government announced on Tuesday evening last that all pupils from 3rd-6th classes in primary schools are now required to wear masks. There are some exceptions to this including pupils who have medical conditions and pupils with certain categories of additional needs. We are aware that an adjustment period will be needed for pupils to get used to wearing masks and all staff will be sensitive to the needs of the pupils at this time. I was so impressed by the pupils yesterday when I visited 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th classes to chat about this new requirement. Many of the pupils were wearing masks from yesterday and they had some insightful and interesting questions for me. Further clarifications may be received by schools in the coming days on this issue and I will communicate them when I receive them. This is a temporary measure and we all hope that numbers being infected by COVID 19 nationwide decrease in the coming weeks and this requirement for our pupils will be lifted.
- All classes are busy preparing a short song/poem/performance for Christmas. This will be shared on Seesaw with parents before the end of term. It will not be possible to have parents attend in person this year due to Covid restrictions.
- We will have our annual Carol Service on Wednesday 22nd December at 10a.m. and it will take place via Zoom. The Zoom link will be shared with parents/guardians closer to the time but you may want to mark the date and time in your diary.
Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal
Thursday Note 25th NovemberDecember 3rd, 2021
We hope you are keeping well. Our news this week is as follows
- Unfortunately we still have positive Covid cases in our school community. From next Monday 29th November parents/guardians are required to inform the school if your child tests positive for Covid 19 and they would remain at home for the time directed by the HSE. We will be informing the parents of the pupils in the child’s pod of a positive case in the pod but not identifying the child concerned. Parents of pupils in the affected pod will be able to access antigen tests to check their child. If two pupils test positive in different pods antigen tests will be made available to all the pupils in the class. At present the Department of Education or the HSE have NOT informed schools how these tests will be made available to families. As soon as this information is made available to us we will let you know. At present the information we have received on this scheme has come through media channels only with no detail given.
- Once again we are extremely grateful to the families who have informed us to date if their child tests positive. This has allowed us to communicate with the parents of all the pupils in the class so that they can be alert to any signs or symptoms of Covid. We are also very grateful to the families who have kept their child at home if they have any symptoms and in many cases got a PCR test to check and it turned out to be negative. I am also thankful to the staff members who have remained at home if they have any signs and symptoms and who have got PCR tests. We all have to be extremely vigilant and work together on this. All classes are reinforcing the message on the importance of washing and sanitising hands regularly throughout the day, keeping our distance and staying in our pods during the day, ventilating classrooms regularly throughout the day by opening windows and doors at breaktimes and during the day and staying in our class bubbles at breaktimes. Let’s hope the level of virus circulating at present will drop in the weeks ahead.
- As we are going outside as much as possible for breaks and lunch please ensure your child has a warm coat and hat and gloves if necessary. The temperature has dropped this week and coats are necessary particularly for the early break.
- Christmas/Winter Annuals – This year we are going with educate.ie for our Christmas Annuals & orders can be done online by parents via the link below. If you wish to order an annual for your child click on the link and this takes you to the order system & select class level and annual you want to order. Cost is 2euro per annual and all orders will be delivered to the school in the first week of December and distributed to any pupil who has ordered one. Orders need to be placed by tomorrow Friday 26th November @ 5pm or alternatively your child can bring in 2euro tomorrow to class teacher and one will be ordered for them. Link to order via online system is https://annualorders.educate.ie/19552U/tracey
- Our 4th class pupils have started up a penpal correspondence with a school in Adamstown in Dublin. Our pupils wrote the first letter and there was great excitement this week when they got their first replies. They are learning all about the pupils in another school and are finding out that there are many similarities with things they like. Our 4th class are now beginning to draft their replies. Well done 4th class!
- Due to Covid restrictions we will not be in a position to invite parents/guardians into the school at the end of term for our annual Christmas concert. Each class will prepare a short poem/song and send it home via Seesaw . We will hold our annual Carol service on zoom again this year and we will invite all parents/guardians to attend virtually. This will take place on 22nd Dec and more information will follow closer to the time.
Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal