Thank You Thank you to everyone for making the most of a challenging situation over the last few months. Firstly, I’d like to express my gratitude to the staff who have worked so hard to upskill themselves and remain in contact with children and families to support their learning. Secondly, a sincere thanks to all the parents and caregivers who supported children during this unprecedented situation. On behalf of the teachers, we are grateful for all your collaboration and effort. Finally, a big thank you and congratulations to all the children of our learning community. It was amazing and inspiring to see how you managed the situation with humour, creativity and perseverence. We now will look to a return to a well-deserved break before a return to school in the autumn. Here is the final video message of the year from me to the school community.
Home Learning Activities
A number of new videos have been added to the website including a great football lesson with Ronan and Enda, an aerobic exercise lesson with Matt, a method for creating stop-motion animations and two further Spanish lessons from Lucía. Visit the website to access these activities (www.ketns.ie/home-learning-activities). There are also some short videos to keep you active and fit over the summer thanks to Ciara, Ronan, Vivienne, Margaret, Megan and Niamh. So if you’re looking for an engaging activity to try over the summer, take a look at the website. Also, thank you to those who sent images of yourself trying the activities. We’re delighted to add them to the website if you send them on to us.
Return of Reading Books and Computers
The school will be open from on Friday, 3rd July and Monday, 6th July from 10am to 1pm for the return of reading books, laptops that were loaned and any book rental books (reading books as well as school book that were not written in for older classes). It is necessary to get all these materials back now so we can take inventory and be sure we don’t need to replace anything before we return to school this autumn. If you are unable to return the items during these times, please email Matt to make an alternative arrangement.
Enrolment for the New Academic Year
We ask parents to kindly let us know if your child will not be returning to the school this autumn as soon as possible. This will help us regarding planning for next year’s enrolment.
Events for Our Last Week
A big thank you to everyone who participated in the online virtual assemblies during the last week of school. A special thanks to Mayor Mike Cubbard who met with 4th Class on Monday, 22nd June. He answered questions and listened to their suggestions on how to improve our city.
The End-of-Year Reports are available via Aladdin Connect. If you are having any difficulty accessing your child’s report, please reply to this email. We are happy to print a hard copy at the school during the hours above. You may also request a copy of the report posted to you.
Knocknacarra Educate Together NS – Board of Management Meeting – 15th June 2020, 20.00 (Google Meet)
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.
o There are currently 157 pupils enrolled in six classes.
o We hope to organise visits for new pupils and their parents to the school in August.
o At present we have only a couple of vacancies in two classes. Enrolment prediction is approximately 190.
o Weekly staff meetings continue to be held online.
o The main panel has been cleared. We are awaiting the release of the supplementary panel. This is delaying the start of the recruitment process. o Regarding cleaning, it is proposed that it would be safe for Florence to return to work from the beginning of July onwards.
o Claudia has asked to return to school two days per week. She will work the remainder from home.
Health and Safety
o The school will remain closed, though staff have permission to enter the school for essential reasons. o It is difficult to begin planning for a return to school in the Autumn as the guidelines are not clear. The Department seems to be awaiting a response from NPHET regarding the social distancing requirements for primary schools. At the very least, some measures related to enchanced cleaning and hand hygiene will be implemented. Reasonable ways to reduce the sharing of items will be considered, in line with any recommendations the Department provides.
o While the Arts Curriculum Plan is nearly complete, there are some outstanding decisions to be made. Therefore, it will be completed over the summer break and should be ready for the next Board meeting.
o We are awaiting a reply from the Department, who have made some queries, regarding the tender report related to repairing the system.
o We are on target to replace the doors over the summer. They are in production, and we should have delivery soon.
o The blinds will be measured and the order placed next week.
o We will make roof repairs over the summer as soon as it is possible.
o Furniture for the new 5th class have been ordered. Over the summer we will need arrange that classroom, which will be easier once the storage room can be used again. The Afterschool will begin to use the prefab.
o Teachers have written end-of-year reports, and they will be sent electronically to parents.
o All teachers continue to send out learning plans and using Google Classroom and Seesaw to send videos and provide feedback. The feedback to Seesaw and Google Classroom has been positive.
o More videos will be added in the next 10 days to the school website for home learning activities created by children, parents and staff members.
o Parents continue to have the option of collecting reading books on a weekly basis. The books are set aside for one week before returned to circulation.
o Ten laptops have been loaned to families to support distance learning.
o Books and pupil stationery will be ordered over the next few weeks.
o Additional iPads and a charging trolley have been purchased using the technology grant we received.
The Board reviewed the spending year-to-date. It is acknowledged that both income and expenditure are lower than budgeted. Income is down due to the cancellation of the fundraiser and no rental income for the final term. While expenditure is down due to the closure of the school, there are significant expenses to be incurred over the summer related to roof repairs, preparing for the new classroom, purchase and installation of blinds, purchase of IT equipment, planned purchase of sports equipment and other expenses. The budget for the coming year will be reviewed at the next meeting.
Calendar for 2020-2021 School Year
The draft calendar was agreed by the Board. The school, subject to public health advice, will re-open on Monday, 31st August. The other notable variation to the standardized school year is a one-day closure at the end of September and a full-week closure for the May Mid-term in the final term.