New Video Message

I hope everyone enjoyed the extra long weekend. The weather certainly cooperated! We are in the final innings, with less than four weeks to go until the Summer Break and the end of the school year. Many thanks for all the parents, children and teachers for continuing to engage with learning activities. Below is the latest video message

Home Learning Activities

Our collection of home learning activities has been growing on our website. Please visit www.ketns.ie/home-learningactivities. A big thank you to the pupils and their parents who created videos. There are two new baking videos and a Spanish lesson from Lucía. More will follow this week. If there is anyone who is interested in creating a video, please get back to Matt. Also, if you try any of the activities, send a photo to Matt and we’ll add it to the website.

Exchange of Reading Books

The school will be open on Thursday (4th June) from 10-12 to bring back any reading books you have and get new ones. Parents are welcome to collect any remaining school books as well. We’d be happy to print anything required, and also we do have laptops to loan to families to support distance learning.

School Expenses for the Next Academic Year

Regarding school expenses, the amount will remain the same for next year, €90 for the infant classes and €100 for all other classes. This money is used to purchase all school books, pupil stationery, photocopying expenses, arts and crafts materials, pupil accident insurance and the annual Educate Together subscription as well as the use of books on loan from the school. We are deferring asking for this payment until September this year.

Voluntary Contribution

In the past, we would normally ask families to consider making a voluntary contribution to the school in the spring of each year. Voluntary contributions have helped use keep costs down for parents and support special activities. For example, we have paid for transport for all excursions, purchase new equipment, maintain our new school building and support the learning experience of the children in our school. Circumstances are very different for many families at present, and we understand that making a contribution this year may not be possible as many families are facing financial insecurity. If you happen to be in the position to support the school with a contribution, you are welcome to make a bank transfer using the account details below.

Account Name: Knocknacarra Educate Together NS

Bank and Branch: Bank of Ireland, Salthill

Sort Code: 903840

Account Number: 69960923

BIC: BOFIIE2D

IBAN: IE70BOFI90384069960923

Online Classes with Miss Laurie

Miss Laurie is running classes live on Zoom throughout June and July for the whole family! Jitterbugs, TippyToeBallet and SuperHeroTraining!

Have a look at the website and contact her on 0863542041 for details! https://suda.ie/products/miss-laurie-onlineclasses?variant=29020793339926

Knocknacarra Educate Together NS – Board of Management Meeting – 21st May 2020, 20.00 (Google Meet)

Present: Maggie Hall (patron nominee), Liz Daly (female parent nominee nominee), Aneil Rawat (male parent nominee), Paul Adams (chairperson and patron nominee), Elaine Keane (community nominee), Louise Shields (community nominee), Vivienne Kelly (teacher nominee) and Matt Wallen (principal and secretary) Paul chaired the meeting.

Principal’s Report :

Enrolment

o There are currently 157 pupils enrolled in six classes.

o Offers have been sent out and some acceptances received for the senior classes. Our projected enrolment is 190.

Staffing

o Weekly staff meetings continue to be held online.

o Two developing posts for the new academic year have been approved.

o Our SNA allocation will remain unchanged for the coming academic year as all of the allocations have been frozen.

Health and Safety

o The school will remain closed, though staff now have permission to enter the school for essential reasons.

Curriculum Development

o The goal remains to have the Arts Curriculum Plan complete before the next meeting, and that will leave just the Learn Together Curriculum Plan to be written in the new year.

Building

o The tender report for the pipes replacement is complete. Once the Board is satisfied, we can appoint the contractor. The amount is significantly under the grant amount.

o We are on target to replace the doors in July.

o We will look to replace the blinds. Quotes have been received, and one is significantly less than others. This provider will come to the school in June to take measurements.

o We will arrange for roof repairs over the summer as soon as it is possible. Policies

o The staff reviewed five policies connected to distance learning. The five policies are Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy, Child Safeguarding Statement, Data Protection Policy, Internet Acceptable Use Policy and Social Media and Website Policy. Misc.

Events/Information

o Newsletters continue to be sent out on a weekly basis. They all include a video message as well as examples of work from children.

o Three special activities are up on the website for home learning for all classes. Several more will follow this week and then more over the coming weeks.

o All classes are either using Seesaw or Google Classroom to improve teacher-pupil communication and feedback.

o The school was opened this week to distribute school books and reading books to parents.

o Teachers are all working on preparing End-of-Year reports to be sent home at the end of June.

Voluntary Contribution

It was agreed that we would ask parents who wish to make a contribution that they may do so in the newsletter, acknowledging that many families’ financial situation is precarious. We will defer asking parents for any payment towards school expenses (school books, stationery, personal pupil accident insurance, arts/crafts materials, etc.) until September.

Distance Learning

Matt shared the results of the survey to parents. 68 responses were received. 57.4% said they were engaged every day. An additional 38% said they were engaging regularly. When asked about communication and support from the
school, just under 80% said they agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied with the level of communication and support from the school. There were desires expressed for greater interaction between teachers and pupils.

The staff, in response to the survey, did research on several different tools to promote interaction. Five of the classes are using Seesaw which allows for voice and video communication between teachers and children. 4th Class continues to use Google Classroom and Google Meets. Some classes are trialing occasional virtual assemblies. Special focus, as requested in the survey, has been placed on teaching Irish, particularly in the older classes. Both Seesaw and Google Classroom have allowed for more project work. Teachers are also endeavoring to integrate Learn Together objectives in activities.

In addition, a dedicated part of the website has been created to provide a range of home learning activities for children of all ages. These videos will be made by staff, guest coaches, children and parents.

To support distance learning, parents collected school books and reading books. We will offer computers on loan to support families.

The Board expressed gratitude to the staff for their hard work and engagement over the past few weeks and are very pleased with the excellent work they are doing to promote engagement between children, parents and teachers.

Policy Revisions

The following policies were reviewed and ratified to support distance learning: Child Safeguarding Statement, Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy, Internet Acceptable Use Policy, Data Protection Policy and Social Media and Website Policy.