Newsletter 23rd February

Dear Parents,

First Confession will take place in St. Anne’s Church, Ballylinan on Wednesday, 9th March at 7:30 p.m. Please remember there will be a parish programme mass in Ballylinan this Sunday 27th February at 11:30 a.m.

First Communion will take place on Saturday, 7th May at 11 a.m.

Confirmation (with Bishop Denis) will take place on Thursday, 28th April at 11 a.m.

Cumann na mBunscol
The postponed 2021 competitions are taking place during the month of March. We are delighted that our boys and girls will finally make a return to action! More details to follow.

We are planning on making a return to swimming lessons for as many classes as possible. Because our year has been very disrupted they may not take the same format as previously but we will include as many children as we can before the end of June.

Covid Update
From next Monday, 28th February masks will be voluntary for pupils and staff. This is also the case for parents on the school grounds. Some pupils, parents and staff have good reason to be cautious and we will be mindful and supportive of each other (as always) in that regard. Masks will be advised on bus journeys.

Anyone with Covid symptoms should not attend school. We will continue to require parents to complete a return to school declaration after their child has been absent, though we plan to cease this requirement after St. Patrick’s weekend.

Revised arrival and departure procedures (times, doors etc.) will continue for the time being.

Mid Term Break
School will be closed tomorrow and Friday 25th. A reminder that we have a longer break at St. Patrick’s weekend; closed 17th – 21st March inclusive.

Newsletter 8th February

Enrolments 2022/23
The window for enrolment for the coming school year has now closed. Applications from now on will be treated as late applications. Please contact the school immediately if you are aware of any other possible enrolments for the coming year.

Child Safeguarding
The schools’ child safeguarding and anti-bullying policies are available on the school website (click Policies and Procedures at the top of the page). The Board of Management welcomes comments and suggestions for improvement. If you wish to comment, please ring the school or email . Thank you.

Covid Update
To date this school year, we have been informed that 30% of our pupils have tested positive for Covid-19. Since Christmas alone out of the 52 pupils in Junior and Senior Infants, we have been made aware that 48% of them have tested positive. This is obviously a very high level of cases. Thankfully the illness seems to be mild in general, but it is having a very big impact on the life of the school. Absences are running at three or four times normal levels with consequent loss of education and disruption for those affected. These children may well have contact with older or more vulnerable people. The more cases there are, the more likely it is that there may be a case of serious illness. Quite a number of cases have had no symptoms and were picked up through antigen testing of close contacts. If you are concerned about Covid, we recommend that you use routine antigen tests if your child has no symptoms. If your child has symptoms, public health guidance remains that they must stay at home from school. You might also consider getting your child vaccinated, see information below. Thank you all again for your cooperation.

School Attendance
Due to the exceptional level of absences this year quite a few children have reached a total of 20 days or more, a level at which we are required to routinely report to Tusla. You may see an alert on the Aladdin app. If many of these days are Covid-related, there is no need to be concerned as these were unavoidable. If you have any queries, please contact the school. Thank you.

Covid-19 Vaccine for Children Aged 5 to 11 Years  (info from HSE)
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) recommends parents and guardians consider vaccinating their 5 to 11 year old children.
COVID-19 vaccine is particularly recommended if children:

  • Have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19
  • Live with a younger child or adult who is at risk of severe illness if they get COVID-19 e.g. another child with complex medical needs, or an immunocompromised adult. The vaccine that will be offered to children aged 5 to 11 years is Comirnaty® Children’s formulation. Children in this age group will be given a smaller dose of the vaccine than adults. Parents and guardians can register their child for their vaccine online. As part of this stage of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, information for people considering vaccinating their children including information about the benefits and risk of vaccination and information about how to get vaccinated. A cartoon strip has also been developed to help children understand what will happen when they go to a HSE clinic to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

Rugby and football coaching is ongoing for all classes in turn. We are hoping to resume swimming as the year goes on, with an emphasis on the older pupils first as they have fewer years left in our school. Hopefully things will fully return to normal in the coming years!

Due to 18th March being declared a public holiday, we have an extra holiday to take. The school will now be closed on Monday, 23rd May.
View the school calendar.