Archive for December, 2010

Message to school community on the sudden bereavement of Roisin

It is with the greatest sadness and sense of loss that I wish to make it known to all of our school community and the wider communities of Balbriggan and Educate-Together of the untimely death of Roisin Connolly, our loved teacher and colleague. Roisin lost her young life in a tragic car accident in the early hours of this morning outside Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan which also claimed two other lives. Her husband, Stephen, has been badly injured. Roisin’s and Stephen’ unborn baby, Catherine, perished along with her mother.

I wish to express our community’s sympathy to the Langan (Fanad, Co Donegal) and Connolly ( Portarlington, Co Laois) families at this moment of unfathomable grief.

I welcome those of our school community  and from the wider public, who wish to do so, to express their condolences through the comment facility attached to this message. I will ensure to print out and pass on all the condolences messages to Stephen and the Connolly and Langan families. In response to the huge uptake of this facility we will keep this ‘book of condolences’ open until mid-January. I wish to express my own gratitude to those staff, parents, children, members of the wider Educate-Together community and members of the public who have done so to date.  Your comments will assuredly bring some solace and peace to Catherine (mother), Eileen ( sister) and Stephen ( husband).

Over the coming week the teachers and school management  will draw up and deliver an appropriate response and strategy for when the children return  on Monday 11th. I wish to reassure parents that this response will be appropriate to the age of the children and our religous and cultural diversity.  We have consulted with support agencies and will bring our highest sense of professionalism to the weeks and months ahead. Our ‘guidelines’ to teachers will be made available in the school office to any concerned parent to peruse, and I will be available anytime to discuss any emerging issues; the office door is always open. Similarly, I would ask that all our parents take the time to talk about  Roisin’ s death with your own children in advance of returning to school.

2nd Cold Snap Thursday 23rd December

The school will be closed on Thursday 23rd December. This decision has been made by the school’s Board of Management in due regard for its Health and Safety responsibilities. The school will reopen on Monday 10th January at 8.45am.

It is with great regret that we cannot proceed with the Winter Concerts on the assigned day, and we acknowledge the disappointment that the whole school community: teachers, principal, parents and children alike, will feel about this. The Winter Concerts will proceed from 11.30am to 2.30pm on Friday 14th January, a parent newsletter nearer the time will set out the details.

In the meantime, on behalf of the school board I wish all of our school community a happy holiday. It has been a magnificent term with huge strides made in the children’s learning and in the achievement of the school’s 2nd Five Year Plan. I wish to thank all parents for their support and generosity of spirit throughout the term. I also wish to thank all the school staff for their committment , generosity and professionalism throughout the term. Here’s looking forward to a prosperous and successful 2011.

2nd Cold Snap Wednesday 22nd

The school will be closed on Wednesday December 22nd.

We wil not make a call on what will happen on Thursday 23rd until tomorow ( Wednesday ) evening in the hope that there may be some improvement in conditions, though we cannot be optimistic at this stage.

We all share the sense of deflation and frustration at being closed at what is normally one of our happiest and busiest times in the school year.

Please feel free to leave a comment on the comment facility of this Blog, and thanks to those who already have.

Message to teachers/staff: If the school can open on Thursday do you think your class’s Winter Concert is at the stage of readiness/rehersal where you could proceed with it? An alternative would be to conduct the Winter Concerts on the Friday( Jan 14th, from 11.30 to 2.30)? Please text me your views on my work-mobile.

2nd Cold Snap Tuesday 21st

The school will be closed on Tuesday 21st.

The snow that has fallen to date (Monday) coupled with the predictions in the six-one-news weather forecast for continued snow showers, freezing overnight temperatures, further snow early tomorrow and no thaw tomorrow means that the BOM consider it unwise to open from a Health and Safety perspective. We regret the inconvenience this causes and thank you for your continued support and patience.

Teachers are reminded of end of term deadlines for termly records, monthly records, short-term planning schema, long-term planning schema, assessment files and policy/practice evaluations.

We really hope that we will be able to open Wednesday and Thursday and proceed with our Winter Concerts as planned. Please continue to check out this blog.

Presents for Teachers?

I was taken aback recently by not one, but two, parents asking me what was our school policy on parents/children buying presents for teachers (or any school staff). I am delighted to state that though we have 74policy documents covering all aspects of school life not one of them is a Policy on this issue. Our Policy is that we do not have a policy.

Cold Snap Thursday 9th Urgent Update

The school will open Thursday 9th BUT there will be no cars permitted into the school campus ( only the pedestrian gates to the school will be open). Parents are asked to park their cars in the public spaces in the vicinity of the school and to accompany their children to the school as pedestrians. Staff are asked to park their cars in public spaces in the vicinity of the school. We regret the inconvenience this causes to all and warn that this situation may prevail for a number of days. Parents are reminded that the School Traffic Warden service is not to be relied upon at the moment as Fingal County Council have failed to replace our regular warden who is on sick-leave. Parents are asked not to drop off children at the school gates itself as this is not safe for all children and will cause traffic problems for the wider public. Once inside the school gates parents/children must use the desingated footpath which has been treated. Apologies again for this inconvenience, please feel free to leave a comment in the comment facility.

Cold Snap Wednesday 8th

The school will open tomorrow Wednesday 8th. Parents are asked to refer to this Blog, however, in case there is a deterioration in the weather overnight that has not been predicted in this evening’s RTE 9.30pm weather forecast. School will operate normal hours ( 8.45am to 1.25pm/2.25pm), and breakfast, homework and all indoor after-school clubs will proceed as normal ( oudoor after-school clubs are cancelled). The school traffic warden, Ann, has told us that she will nt be present for the foreseeable future due to illness, and Fingal County Concil have not indicated as to whether they will be replacing her. The school recomends that parents preume that this service will not be available.
Glanmore foods have indicated that they expect to be able to deliver the children’s lunches.
Parents are reminded that it is their own prerogative and judgement call as to whether they feel it is safe to transport their children to and from the school. To facilitate parents with great concern in this regard the school’s Board of Management are suggesting that parents may, if they wish , avail of a later opening time of 10am which may have allowed for a further thaw on the roads and footpaths, and will have allowed the early morning traffic rush to have died down.
Teachers are asked, too, to make their own judgement call on their own safety in travelling to and from work according to their own local conditions , the availability of public transport etc.
I wish to thank all parents for their patience and understanding of the difficulties presented by these conditions. Please feel free to make a comment ot his Blg by using the attached comment facility.

Cold Snap Wednesday 8th Early Warnings

It is not possible to call yet whether the will or will not open on Wednesday 8th.
There appears to be a thaw on all of the roads around Balbriggan/Swords/Drogheda/Skerries, but if this freezes tonight the roads and footpaths will be exceptionally dangerous for drivers and pedestrians alike.
I will wait to make a call until c10pm tonight when we should be able to know whether the thaw is continuing ( in which case we will open) or whether there will be a big-freeze ( in which case we will close).
Many thanks for your patience.
I would be very happy for people to have their say, so feel free to use the comment faclility attached to this posting.
The text-a-parent service to which we subscribe broke down last night, apologies for any inconvenience caused by this, so just in case this happens again please ensure to consult this Blog as the most up-to-date source of information, and if you know any member of our school community who does not have access to a computer please pass on the information.

Cold Snap Tuesday 7th Update

The school is now closed for Tuesday 7th following a deterioration in conditions and forecast for further deterioration of the conditions in the Balbrigan area. We regret and any inconvenience this causes.

There appears to be a problem with our text-a-paret and text-a-teacher service so please let anybody who might not have computer facilities know, thanks.

Please consult this Blog tomorrow around 4pm for update for Wednesday 8th

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Cold Snap Tuesday 7th

The school will be open on Tuesday 7th. We will run with the ‘breakfast-, ‘homework- and ‘after-school clubs as normal ( with the exception of the outdoor clubs).

I acknowledge and welcome the critical comments attaching to yesterday’s posting ( see Cold Snap Monday 6th) but all things duly considered it is the decision of the school’s BOM to open the school. It remains , however, a parent’s prerogative to keep their child home from school if they are fearful for the Health and Safety of their child when either travelling to/from school or where there are genuine concerns with regard to the care of the child while in the school. To this end it would be normal practice for the teachers to ensure that each child is facilitated to ‘catch up’ with the remainder of the class if he/she has missed out on any curriculum while remaining at home for these reasons.

The lunch-delivery people are doing trojan work and have succeeded in delivering to the school every day so far, so at this stage we are confident that your children’s lunches will be here.

It is the intention of the school to run with all off-campus trips and visits to galleries, concerts, Ark etc. scheduled for last Week once the current Cold Snap is over.

In the meantime, please refer to this Blog if there is any deterioration in the weather between now and Tuesday morning, and again tomorrow for an update for Wednesday 8th.

Let’s hope the budget doesn’t add further to our gloom!


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