Newsletter - Castlebridge NS

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      September 22, 2015

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We welcome you back to another year and look forward to working closely with you.  It’s great to see all the children back in school after the Summer holidays.  We extend a Céad Míle Fáilte to all our new pupils and parents and hope that their time here in St Ibars will be an enriching and enjoyable experience for them.
This year we have 30 pupils in Junior Infants and 233 on the rolls altogether.

The school will be continuing the policy of children lining up in the morning; it has proved very successful since its introduction.  The children will line up and be collected from their lines at 9.20am.  The school will be open at 9.20am to receive pupils.  There is limited supervision in the school grounds between 9.10am and 9.20am to accommodate parents.  The school can accept no responsibility for pupils arriving before that time – your co-operation in this regard would be greatly appreciated.  The previous system of opening will continue to operate on bad weather days.  The school finishes at three o’clock with the exception of Junior and Senior Infants at two o’clock – and the school cannot accept responsibility for taking care of children after that time.

To comply with the Education Act 2000 we require a note of explanation from parents/guardians when their child is absent from school – this note should be given to the class teacher.  These notes will be kept on file.  If a child is absent for more that 20 days during a school year the school is obliged to notify the National Education Welfare Board.  If a child is going to be late on a particular day, please inform the teacher the day before if at all possible as with the On-line Roll system now it is not possible to change once it has been completed.

School Safety is a primary concern at our school thus we need to be mindful of safety at all times especially at the entrance to the school.  The teachers’ car park and the visitors’ car park are not set down areas.  We would appreciate it if all parents would use the set down area at the cemetery side of the school.  A No Entry sign will be placed in front of the visitors and teachers car park to remind parents, in the interest of your child’s safety.  The School’s Fire alarm system has been completely replaced and there will be one Fire Drill per term.

Book Rental Scheme.  The Book Rental Scheme has proved to be a huge success with a 70% take up.  We forsee that there will be no increase in the cost to parents for the next two years at least.  Many thanks to Ms Orla O’Shea, Mrs Regina Kehoe and Ms Emma Dempsey for assistance in administering the scheme.

Medical Issues.  On the enrolment form, we ask if any child has medical issues, should this change at any time, please contact the school.

All pupils are expected to wear full school uniform.  Mobile phones are allowed as long as they are placed in the schoolbag and switched off.  Game boys and Nintendo’s DS’s are not allowed in the school.

The School Calendar with closures for the academic year was issued in June.  If you have mislaid same, please contact the Office.  If there are any changes to the set calendar, we will contact you via textaparent.

At any stage during the year if you have any queries or anxieties regarding your child, please do not hesitate to contact the relevant class teacher.  If you wish to meet a teacher, please make an appointment at the Office.

“Textaparent” which informs the school community of important school information is now well established.  If you have changed your contact details, please contact the Office as soon as possible so these changes can be updated.  Since last year the Parents Council make an annual contribution to this service in order to keep parents informed of their work and their support to the school.  All communications from the Parents Council will have Brendan O’Sullivan, Chairperson of the Parents Council as the sender.  

The school plans and policies.  All the school plans and policies are available to view by prior appointment with the Principal.

Extra Curricular Activities
The school organizes extra curricular activities during the year e.g. Rackard League etc.  We also organize activities based around the curriculum during the school year, e.g. Dance, Gymnastics.  There is sometimes a small charge for these activities which are part funded also by the Board of Management and the Parents Council.  The first of these activities commences next Monday 21st September, Traditional Irish Singing Workshops which are run by the Heritage Council of Ireland.  The charge for this activity is €1 per child, €2 per family.  All these extra curricular personnel have Garda Vetting.

Child Protection  The school conforms to the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary Schools’.

School Raffle  As you are aware the school does not look for a local contribution and your support for the Raffle is greatly appreciated and has remained very robust all through the recession.  Many thanks and keep up the great support.

Pupil Personal Accident Insurance forms will available shortly.  Please return by 29th September to the school office, if interested.

When visiting our school, please do not bring dogs/pets with you.

Be aware that school grounds are a smoke free zone and if you have chewing gum, please dispose of it properly.

Green Schools.  As part of our Green Schools policy we are continually trying to keep rubbish to a minimum and we therefore would ask that all children bring home any rubbish they have from their lunches.

Bike Shelter.  We now have our bike shelter in full operation and anyone bringing a bike to school can leave it there.  Mrs Kavanagh will go around to the classes to remind them about the proper use of the shelter.
Junior & Senior Infants children are finished regular school each day at 2pm.  However, if parents need to have them stay until 3pm, this can be accommodated.  Trish Cox supervises this extra hour at a cost of €2 per child per day (payable on the day(s) as needed).  

I look forward to working with you, as partners in your child’s education during the school year.
Mise le Meas,

Edward Lyons,
School Principal.

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