News Update 18th June

All pupils should bring in their bags next week; there may be stuff to bring home on various days.

Weather permitting we will be having a picnic on Monday as part of our celebrations to mark Ms. Cotter’s retirement. Your child should bring their lunch (hopefully to eat outside) and a small treat.

Virtual Zim Day
This is a cause close to Ms. Cotter’s heart and we encourage you to make any donation you can. Click to learn more. You’re welcome to share on social media.

Thank you all.

Newsletter 10th June

Virus Update
Thank you for your continuing cooperation with public health measures. We are almost at the end of a very difficult school year for everybody. We expect that some measures will remain in place in September, but we may not know what they will be until nearer the time.

Tracksuit Orders
School tracksuit orders are now being taken online. Orders must be placed by Friday June 18th. There is no payment required at this point.  Place your order.

School Reports
Reports will be made available as we approach the end of the school year. The Department of Education required that standardised tests be carried out as normal and this has been done recently. Given the extraordinary disruption during this and last year, it will not be too surprising if the children’s test scores have fallen a little. Your child’s teacher may be in contact with you if they think there is a particular concern, but if schools can have a more normal year in the coming year, we expect that any ground lost can be recovered over time.

2021 Home Based Summer Programme
This programme is aimed at all students in special schools and special classes as well as students in mainstream classes in primary schools who are accessing the highest level of the continuum of support (Student Support Plus/for a few). This includes students with Autism, Down syndrome, sensory impairments, and other disabilities who were identified for the supplementary programme earlier this year.

Please contact the school if you think your child may be eligible and we can provide the necessary documentation and endeavour to put you in touch with a teacher who is available to carry out the programme.

More information.

6th Class Graduation
This will take place on the evening of 23rd June with Covid restrictions applying. Details will be issued to parents of 6th Classes next week.

Cúl Camp
Please note this will take place in Ballylinan GAA Club from 19th – 23rd July. Register here.

Our condolences to Mrs. Donnelly on the recent death of her father, Jimmy Farrell. May he rest in peace.

Newsletter 26th May

Covid Update
Vaccinations are progressing well which is great news. Unfortunately the pandemic is not over and the risk of transmission and disruption in the school community remains. There are currently three primary schools in the Carlow area with classrooms closed because of the virus. Please continue to follow public health guidelines at all times. Thank you all.

Bishop Denis Nulty has requested that in line with public health advice, there be no Communion or Confirmation ceremonies held this school year. While not unexpected, it still disappointing news. Arles Parish will monitor the situation with a view to organising these ceremonies as soon as is practicable, perhaps holding Confirmation in late summer and Communion before Halloween. This is a tentative plan and of course it is subject to change.

Reducing Anxiety in Children aged 4-14 Years
Free Zoom Webinar for Parents

Laois Education Centre in partnership with the Triple P Parenting Programme are delivering a Fear-Less webinar which will offer Parents of children 4 – 14 years of age tips and strategies to help their children manage their anxiety and provide practical evidence-based tips for parents and carers in these uncertain times.

Parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic is a unique challenge for all parents, caregivers and families. Children and parents are anxious, and families are under pressure like never before. Being a parent to a child/teenager who is experiencing anxiety can be tough.

Tuesday 29th June 2021
Facilitator: Deirdre Dowling, Triple P Practitioner
Click to Register

Supporting Transitions from Primary School to Post-Primary School
This information webinar in collaboration with the National Parents Council will explore some of the key elements in preparing your child for post-primary school. For first time parents, the session will give you an understanding of what secondary school is like. We’ll look at ways in which parents can support their child through this time bearing in mind that going to First Year also coincides with adolescence for a young person.

The session will also give a brief overview of the Junior Cert and provide some website links where parents can keep on top of developments as their child moves forward. Furthermore, we will briefly look at the structure of parent/teacher meetings, home school communication and people your child might meet in post primary school.

Wednesday 2nd June 2021
7.30 – 9pm
Facilitator: Helen Mortimer, National Parents Council
Click to Register

As some of you already know, Ms. Claire Cotter (Deputy Principal) will be retiring at the end of June after 42 years in Ballylinan. Her huge contribution to the life of the school will be recognised in the coming weeks. The Board of Management has appointed Mrs. Aileen Hurley to take up the position of Deputy Principal when Ms. Cotter retires.

Please remind your child to take care if they are walking on the footpath from the school to the church. This can be very busy and it is all too easy for a child to step onto the road into the path of a car. Please take care. Thank you for your support as always.

Newsletter 10th May

Covid Update
Please continue to adhere to public health guidelines and thank you for your cooperation. A Department of Education inspection last week found that we are doing everything we can to reduce the risk of transmission within the school. There is steady progress being made on the vaccine front and our grandparents and older fmaily members are being protected. Think for a moment however about all the pupils, their parents and the school staff (roughly 500 people). Almost none has been vaccinated yet. While the risks of serious health consequences are lower in younger age groups, the risk of disruption to the school (through enforced absences) remains. We have come so far this year with minimal disruption; let’s see it through to the end of the school year. Thanks again.

It feels like the school has been running in black and white this year. So much of our time and energy continues to be focused on just keeping things running safely. A little colour is returning with rugby and football coaching resuming for some classes. We are hoping to resume swimming and many other activities in the autumn if we continue to suppress the virus.

Unfortunately it looks like First Communion will not take place until the autumn. There is an outside chance of Confirmation taking place in June, but it is unlikely. If there is any update we will let you know immediately.

Táimid fós ag déanamh iarracht níos mó Gaeilge a úsáid i rith an lae. We’re trying to use a little more Irish during the day. Listen to some of our efforts. Bainigí triail as!

Enrolments are completed for next year. If you know of anyone who hasn’t contacted us or may be moving to the area, please let us know immediately, thank you.

Smart Devices
A reminder that phones, tablets etc. are not necessary for children during the day. In exceptional circumstances if they need to be brought, they must be turned off and handed to the class teacher in the morning.

Orders will soon be taken for September, we aim to organise it online. Details to follow.

Newsletter 12th March

On Tuesday next (16th March), pupils may wear something green if they wish. Schools will be closed on Wednesday for St. Patrick’s Day.

We are pleased that the rest of our classes will be returning to school next week. Unfortunately, the main variant of the virus is more transmissable, including among children. Currently there are four classrooms closed due to Covid in the diocese of Kildare & Leighlin (and this is before older children have returned). To ensure that schools can stay open, we need to do everything we can to lower the risks of transmission. If community transmission is high, schools will be affected and will have to return to remote learning again. This is why it’s so important to follow public health guidelines in the community generally.

Please tick the ‘Return to School’ declaration on the Aladdin app when it becomes available from 3 p.m. on Sunday. We are all working together to create a positive and safe environment for teaching and learning in the particular context of Covid-19. The control measures in place are consistent with current advice from the HSE, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, the Health & Safety Authority and the Department of Education and this includes the signing of the Return to School declaration.

Start and finish times will be as normal; school starts at 9:15 (children may enter the building from 9 o’clock) and finishes for infants at 2 p.m. with remaining classes finishing at 3 p.m. We will use the same entrances and exits as before Christmas.

If your child is able to get out of the car with their belongings unaided, please use the drop off area. Please do not delay or get out of your car for any reason. Drop and go! It is preferable that the children make their way without you; it will reduce the risk of adults coming into contact. Public health advice is that adults use face masks if they can’t maintain physical distancing.

It is essential that you remind your child re. washing their hands and cough/sneeze etiquette.

Face coverings will be worn by school staff in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Department guidelines state that face coverings for children are not required. If you wish your child to wear one and s/he can manage successfully, that is quite acceptable.

3rd – 6th Class children will need to bring their bags on Monday because they will be returning books. Please sanitise these today and put them away for the weekend so they can be brought safely to school on Monday morning.

Please sanitise your child’s lunchbox when they get home in the evenings and take off their uniform. It would be great if you could air it outside if at all possible. Because there will be a couple of dozen bodies in the one room for an extended period during the school day, anything at all that we can do to reduce the risk of transmission will be helpful. Thank you so much.

We won’t have any homework for 3rd – 6th Classes next week. There has been plenty of ‘home’ work recently and maybe people need a break from that!

You must not send your child to school if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, if they are close contacts of a person with Covid-19 or are awaiting a test. You need to be prepared for the eventuality of your child needing to leave the school at short notice. You also need to be prepared for the closing of the school or your child’s class at short notice.

If the school has reason to believe that a pupil is displaying Covid symptoms, your child will need to be moved to an isolation area in the building and you will be contacted. It is crucial that we have a working phone number for you. Your child will need to be brought home and you will need to call your doctor who will advise on what to do next.

Please note that a legal requirement to quarantine has been introduced for all travellers (except if your journey originates in Northern Ireland) – with very limited exceptions. If you have arrived in Ireland recently please check government advice .

We are in this together. In school, our safe behaviour helps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus through the children to the adults that they have close contact with. Your safe behaviour means the school can reopen and stay open. It is essential that we all follow public health advice in relation to physical distancing, hygiene and mask-wearing.

I would like to thank all parents and the whole school community for being careful and cautious in relation to the virus. We have received regular phone calls from parents with relevant information (suspected cases in their family, close contacts, waiting on test results etc.). Parents are being very responsible and this is a great help. We need this to continue. Please get in touch with us if you have any concerns at all. By being open and honest with each other we can limit the number of cases in the school and help to keep us all protected.

We are all thoroughly fed up with these restrictions but if we can stick with it our schools can stay open and better times can come more quickly. There is light ahead. Thank you all for your support.