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                                                                                                 Newsletter

                             Holy Family National  School 

                        Rathmore, Co. Kerry

                        Tel. 064/7758492

                        e-mail hfnsrathmorekerry@gmail.com

                                                                http://hfnsrathmorekerry.blogspot.ie/

                                                                                 22nd   September 2020                    

Dear Parents,

We welcome everybody back from their summer holidays and pray that the children in our care will be happy and that they will grow in knowledge and understanding during the year ahead. I would like to sincerely thank all the staff for their efforts to ensure we got the school open safely and on time. Many parents helped in a variety of ways and offered help in the lead up to reopening and that is much appreciated also.

In order to ensure that the school remains open in these difficult circumstances, it is imperative that parents do not send children to school if they are showing symptoms of any illness whatsoever. We have created an isolation room in the school that should only be used in the event of a pupil developing symptoms. Any child who is sick will have to be sent home immediately as outlined in Covid 19 Guidelines. In addition, children should also not attend school if they have been identified by the HSE as a contact for a person with COVID-19 and to follow the HSE advice on restriction of movement.  Restriction of movement also applies to children who have been out of the country. Please seek advice from your GP or ring  HSE Helpline at 021-4927601 if you have any queries.

·                     It is vital that parents/guardians are contactable at all times throughout the school day in case of children becoming ill. If you haven’t already done so Please return the updated emergency contact form to your child’s class teacher.  If you have mislaid form(s) for your child(ren) please ask your child to get one from their teacher(s) and return as soon as possible.

·                     Please find note on last page of Newsletter to guide you when writing an absence note for your child.  This wording is to be used when your child returns after any absence.

·                     We would ask that children do not bring any additional equipment to school such as footballs, toys, hand sanitiser, etc. It is the responsibility of the entire school community to ensure schools remain open and I wish to thank you for your continued co-operation.

DROP-OFF AND COLLECTION ROUTINES

Children are to be dropped off in the set down area in the morning where staff will be available to direct them to the correct entrance.

·         We ask that children are dropped off between 8.55 a.m. and 9.10 a.m. Children should not be dropped to the school before these times.

·         The following are the entrance and exit doors for each class:

o   Junior Infants- Front Door

o   Senior Infants- Staff Door (On the left of the building near the staff car park)

o   First Class- Back Door (Follow the footpath beside the staff door to the rear entrance)

o   Second Class- Front Door

o   Third Class- Front Door

o   Fourth Class- Back Door

o   Fifth Class- Back Door

o   Sixth Class- Staff Door

·         Parents who wish to accompany infants to their assigned door should park in the lower car park.

·         Parents are to treat the roundabout as a drop off area only and should not obstruct traffic by leaving their vehicles.

·         Parents are asked to maintain a distance of 2m from other people at all times in the school grounds.

Home time collection:

·         Junior Infants will always be collected at the front door at 1.50 p.m.

·         Senior Infants are collected at 1.50 pm. Children are brought to the staff entrance where their parents can collect them.

·         For Junior and Senior Infant collection time parents are asked to form socially distanced queues using the queuing system provided.

·         First, fourth and fifth classes exit via the rear entrance under the supervision of their teachers and proceed in their class bubble to their transport.

·         Second and third classes exit via the front entrance under the supervision of their teachers and proceed in their class bubble to their transport.

·         Sixth class exit via the staff entrance under the supervision of their teacher and proceed in their class bubble to their transport.

·         All lines are be supervised by staff until they reach the lower car park to maintain social distancing.

·         In the interest of health and safety children should not congregate in the car park.

·       During school hours the road in front of the school is a one way system.

·       Please note that cars must not park on the bus route and cars must never be abandoned   where they could obstruct other traffic.  Please ensure the route is clear for the bus  which arrives at 2:40 pm

·       We have speed ramps installed to remind drivers to drive slowly and carefully at all  times on the school grounds. 

·       We are asking parents of pupils in first and second classes (where possible) to drive up to the school to collect your children in an effort to reduce congestion on the main road.

 

VISITING THE SCHOOL

All visitors including parents will have to make a prior appointment before entering the school premises. This can be arranged by contacting the school office by phone or email. All adults who enter will have to fill out a contact tracing form which will be available at the front door. All adults must wear a mask and use hand sanitiser when entering the school. If you need to drop off any item for your child such as a forgotten lunch etc. just come to the front porch and it will be taken by the secretary in the office.

If collecting someone come to the front door to sign the sign in/out book and the child will be brought to the appropriate exit door to meet you. If returning your child after an appointment, please come to the front door to sign the sign in/out book and then bring your child to the appropriate entrance door. If your child has to leave school for part of the day, please send in a note informing the class teacher of his/her absence on the previous day.

 

Hand Washing and Using Hand Sanitiser:

Hand washing, use of hand sanitiser and coughing etiquette are key elements of keeping safe. It would be beneficial if you could go through the procedures of these with your children. Please see the HSE links on the school blog for more information on hand hygiene, hand sanitising and respiratory etiquette.

Children are asked to use hand sanitiser on entering the school in the morning. There are hand sanitiser dispensers at all entrance doors. Children also use hand sanitiser when entering the school after breaks. There are signs in each toilet in each classroom encouraging hand washing. Paper towels are available outside the bathrooms. Hand washing and hand sanitising before and after eating are also be a part of our daily routine.

 

UNIFORMS

Thank you to parents for purchasing the proper school uniform including black leather shoes. Our normal school crested uniform is still required. Some parents were concerned that uniforms and track suits might have to be washed every day but Department guidelines do not state this.  However, as our tracksuit legs are worn with our school jumpers, should you wish to purchase additional generic navy tops (unlabeled, round neck sweatshirts - available from numerous outlets in the area) these can be worn with the school crested tracksuit on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to allow for additional washing if you wish. Please see an example of these on the school blog. Full crested uniform should be worn on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The school uniform should be worn to school only and taken off in the evening immediately after school. Lighter raincoat style jackets that can be stored in the pupil’s bags should be worn as cloakroom areas are normally very congested. From time to time children mislay their jumpers, cardigans and jackets during the school day.  To ensure that they find their own item of clothing please ensure that jumpers, cardigans and jackets are marked with child’s name.

 

HEALTHY LUNCHES

We are encouraging a healthy lunch. Chewing gum, fizzy drinks, chocolate, sweets and crisps, are forbidden.  We also ask that children in Junior Infants do not bring yogurts or yogurt products in their lunch boxes.

Our aim is to continue with the good work of the Food Dudes Programme, which began in our school, to increase and maintain children’s consumption of fruit and vegetables. We  have a number of pupils in the school with severe nut allergies. It is very important that pupils do not bring items to school that contain nuts.  We ask parents and children to be vigilant as some products contain traces of nuts. Thank you for your co-operation in this matter.

Children should have a separate pencil case for home and school. (lunch boxes and drink bottles should be washed daily).

 

ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICINE

Parents of any child who uses prescribed medication should request an Administration of Medicine Form from the class teacher.  The teachers store all medicine securely and children should not have any medicine in their bags.

                                         PUPIL PERSONAL ACCIDENT INSURANCE

Pupil Personal Accident Insurance forms attached for your child(ren). The cost per child is €6 for school activities only and €9 for 24 hour cover 365 days a year. E-payment requests have been sent by text to all families.  We would appreciate it if you could use your debit/credit card.  If you have to use cash for these payments, please put in an envelope and label it and give to class teacher.  If you are purchasing insurance for your child(ren) you must complete a form for each child and return to the class teacher   People are free to avail of it if they wish and it has proven to be a very worthwhile investment for families.

E-PAYMENT SYSTEM

The ePayment system is up and running.  This year we would appreciate it if you could use your debit/credit card for all payments to the school.  Payment requests will be sent by text to your phones.  If you have to use cash for these payments, please put in an envelope and label it and give to class teacher. If you have any difficulty with payments please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Horan.

CLOTHES COLLECTION

The Parents Committee will hold a clothes collection and all bags will be collected on Thursday October 1st.   With no Sponsored Walk last June, no Church Gate Collection and no Bingo taking place this term it may be our main fundraiser for the First Term. Your support would be much appreciated.

Acceptable items for the clothes collection are: * Men’s, Women’s and children’s clean clothes *Paired shoes * Handbags * Belts * Curtains * Bed linen  Not acceptable items include Dirty or wet clothes, duvets, pillows, carpets, rugs.

We ask you to drop off the bags next week which will be the week of the collection i.e. from Monday 28th September to Thursday Morning 1st October.  Please bring them to the staff door which is opposite the teachers car park.  So let’s do our Autumn Clean out and tell family and neighbours as well.  Thank you.

 

LEE STRAND

We are very grateful to Lee Strand who have provided free homework journals to our school for the past 6 years and also this year even though we hadn’t the required amount of tokens collected.    The tokens to be collected are only found on the 100% renewable Lee Strand 1 litre milk carton. Ten tokens are required for each homework journal.  It is a whole school effort and we are asking you to start collecting the tokens from the 1 litre Lee Strand Milk carton so that we can avail of free homework journals for all pupils next year.  We would also like to collect extra this year so that we can send on some for the journals we received this year. As you collect the tokens you can send them in with your child/children.  Thank you. 

TEAM TEACHING

Team teaching may involve withdrawal of groups of pupils from class and we do not ask for permission slips for this whereas if a child is withdrawn from class for SEN teaching we do require parents to sign a permission slip.  It is important that parents understand that if a child is being withdrawn for team teaching, it is not the same as being withdrawn for Special Education.  If you have any concerns please contact the Principal.

 

PARENTS COMMITTEE ELECTION

We will be electing new parent representatives for Junior Infants, First, Third and Fifth classes.  Ballot papers will be issued to these classes shortly.

The work done by the Parents Committee at HFNS should never be underestimated. The members of our Parents Committee require your help from time to time and I would encourage everyone to help out if at all possible. “Ní neart go cur le Chéile” Unity is strength, when parents volunteer to help out with the work of the Parents Committee it is much appreciated. Last year the Parents Committee funded Drama Lessons, Music Lessons, Gymnastics and subsidised swimming lessons.  In the past they have also subsidised the Book Rental Scheme.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”. (Helen Keller)

 

MUSIC/DRAMA LESSONS/GYMNASTICS/IRISH DANCING

Our children benefitted from all these lovely activities last year which were funded by the Parents Committee fundraisers. Unfortunately they are currently paused and we will return to them when it is safe to do so.

 

FIRST COMMUNION AND CONFIRMATION 2020

First Communion for Holy Family N.S. took place on Sunday 13th September. It was a beautiful day for the boys and girls and I wish to thank all school staff who put so much effort into making it a very special occasion. Thanks also to Maura O’Leary for help with the music and Fr. Pat for making it a very memorable day.

The Communion and Confirmation dates have not been confirmed for the coming year yet and we will be in touch when the Parish has made arrangements.

 

LIBRARY

The Mobile Library is not visiting schools currently.

 

CHANGE OF ADDRESS, TEL. NO

If any of your child/childrens’ details have changed e.g. address, contact details, illness, etc. please contact the school as soon as possible.   Thank You.

 

MOBILE PHONE NUMBERS

We have a facility for texting parents. This is very important now that we have set up the e-Payment system.  If you have not received any text message from Holy Family N.S. please let us know.  The text automatically goes to the mother’s mobile phone unless we have been instructed otherwise.  Thank you.

 

NATIONAL EDUCATION WELFARE BOARD

Please remember that schools are now legally bound to notify the National Education Welfare board if pupils are absent from school in excess of twenty days.

 Please note we require a written note on each occasion your child is absent explaining the reason for absence. Again, please include the wording relating to Covid 19 in all absence notes.  The note should be written on a separate piece of paper so that it can be kept in the pupil’s file. 

 

SCHOOL BLOG

On the blog there is information for parents in the “Parent Zone” e.g. Internet Safety tips, how to help your children with homework, etc.  For the children there are useful links to websites in the Maths and English section.  Click the “latest posts” for most recent entries on the blog.  Pictures of recent class activities will be posted from time to time.

Also any new updates on Covid-19 or any review or changes to our procedures will also be posted on the blog.

This newsletter will be available under “Current Newsletter” to read on our blog.    http://hfnsrathmorekerry.blogspot.ie/ or google holyfamilynsrathmorekerry blog

 

BOOK RENTAL

Our scheme works very well and significantly reduces the cost of buying school books for families.  It is important to remember that children are not allowed write on or mark book rental books.

Please  note that I will be taking two weeks paternity leave from Monday 28th September and

Mr. Dineen will assume the role of Principal in my absence. Ms Elaine Murphy will be teaching sixth class.  Paul Horan

                                 Dates to Remember 2020 – 2021

                            

School opens Monday 31st August, 2020

Clothes Collection - Thursday 1st October

Closed Monday 26th October to Friday 30th October

Closed Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th December

Closing Tuesday 22nd December

Closed Wednesday 23rd December to Tuesday day 5th January, 2021

 

Re-opening Wednesday 6th January, 2021

Closed Thursday 18th and Friday 19th February (Mid-Term)

Closed Wednesday 17th March (Public Holiday)

Closed Monday 29th March to Friday 9th April (Easter Holidays)

 

Re-opening Monday 12th April, 2021

Closed Monday 3rd May (Public Holiday)

Closed Monday 7th June (Public Holiday)

Closing Friday 25th June for Summer Holidays 















































 

 We are all really looking forward to welcoming you to Holy Family N.S on Monday. See you all bright and early. 




 

Drop off and Collection Routines

The Board of Management, the In-School Management Team and the staff have been working to ensure a safe return to school for all on the 31st August. Please note that we have made some changes to classroom arrangements.  In order to create adequate space for physical distancing we have decided to relocate sixth class to the G.P. Hall for the coming year and First Class will occupy this classroom.  This has allowed us to place the two Senior Infant classes in adjacent classrooms. Below are some of the guidelines relating to drop-off and collection. If would be helpful if you discussed these with your child prior to re-opening.

 

·       Children are to be dropped off in the set down area in the morning where staff will be available to direct them to the correct entrance.

·       We ask that children are dropped off between 8.55 a.m. and 9.10 a.m. Children should not be dropped to the school before these times.

·       Parents dropping off Junior Infants will receive a separate information note from Ms.O Connor. They will be assigned a time between 9.15 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. for the first morning.

·       The following are the entrance and exit doors for each class:

o   Junior Infants- Front Door

o   Senior Infants- Staff Door (On the left of the building near the staff car park)

o   First Class- Back Door (Follow the footpath beside the staff door to the rear entrance)

o   Second Class- Front Door

o   Third Class- Front Door

o   Fourth Class- Back Door

o   Fifth Class- Back Door

o   Sixth Class- Staff Door

 

·       Parents who wish to accompany infants to their assigned door should park in the lower car park.

·       Parents are to treat the roundabout as a drop off area only and should not obstruct traffic by leaving their vehicles.

·       Parents are asked to maintain a distance of 2m from other people at all times in the school grounds.

Home time collection:

·       Junior Infants will always be collected at the front door at 1.50 p.m. (Collection time for the first two weeks is 12 pm).

·       Senior Infants will go home at 1.50 pm as usual. Children will be brought to the staff entrance where their parents can collect them.

·       For Junior and Senior Infant collection time parents will be asked to form socially distanced queues using the queuing system provided.

·       First, fourth and fifth classes will exit via the rear entrance under the supervision of their teachers and proceed in their class bubble to their transport.

·       Second and third classes will exit via the front entrance under the supervision of their teachers and proceed in their class bubble to their transport.

·       Sixth class will exit via the staff entrance under the supervision of their teacher and proceed in their class bubble to their transport.

·       All lines will be supervised by staff until they reach the lower car park to maintain social distancing.

·       In the interest of health and safety children should not congregate in the car park.



 

Holy Family National School
Rathmore, Co. Kerry
Tel. 064/7758492 Mobile: 086/1806018
e-mail hfnsrathmorekerry@gmail.com
http://hfnsrathmorekerry.blogspot.ie/

28th August, 2020

Dear Parent(s),

We are all set for welcoming the children back to school on Monday and really looking forward to seeing them. Please familiarise yourselves and the children with the different materials available on the school blog.  Our Covid 19 Response Plan for the Safe Reopening of Schools is also available on the blog. I would like to thank all staff, parents and members of the community who helped us prepare for this challenge. Our new additional play area is completed and provides much needed all year round space and the first phase of our roof works is expected to be completed by September 7th.

In order to ensure that the school remains open in these difficult circumstances, it is imperative that parents do not send children to school if they are showing symptoms of any illness whatsoever. We have created an isolation room in the school that should only be used in the event of a pupil developing symptoms. Any child who is sick will have to be sent home immediately as outlined in Covid 19 Guidelines. In addition, children should also not attend school if they have been identified by the HSE as a contact for a person with COVID-19 and to follow the HSE advice on restriction of movement.  Restriction of movement also applies to children who have been out of the country.  They can return to school 14 days after they arrive in Ireland.

·       It is vital that parents/guardians are contactable at all times throughout the school day in case of children becoming ill. Please return the updated emergency contact list in full to your child’s class teacher on 31st August.  This has been sent to you by post.

·       For payments of Book Rental for each child and Photocopying Arts/Crafts for each family we would appreciate it if you could use your debit/credit card for these payments.  Payment requests have already been sent to each family.  If you have to use cash for these payments, please put in an envelope and label it.

·       We would ask that children do not bring any additional equipment to school such as footballs, toys, hand sanitiser, etc.

·       All our procedures are under constant review so there may be updates or changes to any of the above and we would appreciate your patience as we navigate this process. We will text you to notify you of any updates which will be available on the school blog.

I would like to update you on a number of staffing arrangements for the coming year. Below is a list of the Mainstream Class Teachers.

 

·       Junior Infants – Ms Máiread O’Connor

·       Senior Infants – Ms Mary McMahon

·       Senior Infants – Mr John Moynihan

·       First Class – Ms Maura Kelly

·       Second Class – Ms Julie O’Mahony

·       Third Class – Mr Denis O’Sullivan

·       Fourth Class – Ms Sarah Riordan

·       Fifth Class – Mr Cormac McCarthy

·       Sixth Class – Mr Paudie Dineen

 

 

Thank you for your continued co-operation.

 

Paul Horan,

Principal.

 

Holy Family National School
Rathmore, Co. Kerry
Tel. 064/7758492 Mobile: 086/1806018
e-mail hfnsrathmorekerry@gmail.com
http://hfnsrathmorekerry.blogspot.ie/

                                                                                                        

                                                      27th August, 2020

Dear Parent,

We are looking forward to welcoming the new Junior Infants on Monday 31st of August. Each class will be a ‘bubble’. Contact between bubbles will be very limited. Classes will be divided into groups or ‘pods’. Children can line up in their pods for the first morning. These children will sit, work and play together in the classroom. They will stay in the same pod for a number of weeks. There will be four pods in Junior Infants. Children will play in their bubble at break times on the yard.

The First Day at School

As it is the Junior Infants first day of school we will start a little later than the other classes. Please see the following timetable.

Red Pod

9:20am

Orange  Pod

9:25am

Blue Pod

9:35am

Yellow Pod

9:40am

Alicja

Hanna

Antoni

Katie

Emily

Ben

Ross

 

Omar

Umm

Christian

Noah

Sofia

Lily

Kamil

Samuel

Aoibhinn

Maria

Caelan

Shayna

Ultan

Ema

Dariusz

Dylan

Pádraig

Evie

Zoe

Micheál

 

There will be pod markings outside the main entrance door (near the office) for the Junior Infants. If you are in the red pod you can stand on a red dot. Unfortunately, parents will not be permitted to enter the school building with their child on the first day of school (or subsequent days). We ask that only one parent accompany each child to the main door to allow for social distancing. Mr. Horan will be there to meet you on your first day. I will collect each pod of students outside the main door and walk them to their classroom. They will place their school bag and lunchbox under their pod table and wash their hands. (Children can line up on their dots at the main entrance at 9:00am on subsequent days.)

 

What You Can Do to Prepare

Please practice washing hands properly, with soap, for 20 seconds. Make sure that your child also knows how to dry their hands thoroughly. Children could also practice how to use hand-sanitizer correctly and that it should not be ingested. Please remind your child of the correct sneeze etiquette – cough or sneeze into a tissue, or into your elbow if you do not have a tissue. Put the tissue in the bin and wash or sanitize your hands.  It would be a great help if your child can independently open and close their lunchbox and bottle, their coat and their shoes. Of course, staff will help where needed. Staff will try to maintain physical distance from children where possible and will wear face coverings and other PPE when needed.

Play

The number one priority of our first few weeks at school will be children’s well-being. Books, toys and resources will be cleaned regularly or quarantined for 72 hours before being reused.

Communication with Class Teacher

Parents will not be permitted to enter the school building. This does not mean that you will not be able to communicate with the class teacher. Appointments may be made through the school phone to visit the school for essential purposes. You can also request a return call or place a note in your child’s school bag.

Home Time

Junior Infants will go home at 12 noon for the first two weeks of school. Children will be collected at the main entrance door (near the office). There will be a queuing system in place to help with social distancing. The class teacher will call your child’s name and your child will walk out to meet you. Home time will be 1:50pm from Monday 14th of September.

 

Looking forward to seeing you all and a fun filled school year.

Kind Regards,

Mairéad O’Connor

Junior Infant Substitute Teacher