Dear Parent / Guardians,
Starting from early next week we will be moving into a period of remote learning as per government guidelines due to the ongoing public health situation.
Outlined in this message are some details about how we intend on facilitating remote learning. As we move through the week’s, practices may evolve and develop further. To get started initially teachers will draw upon their experiences from last spring and use practices that worked well for their class groupings and the parents / guardians involved.
Books / Material
Before Christmas we made a decision on a whole school level to send home all necessary books / equipment that the children may need in the event that we would not return to school. This decision was taken as a precaution, and not in confidence that we would find ourselves once more in the distance learning domain. We acknowledge that children who were absent in the days leading up to Christmas do not have their books / equipment that they will need in the coming weeks, so arrangements are being put in place to organise a collection of said books / equipment belonging to those children in the early days of next week. We will be in contact with further details in due course.
Teachers had previously prepared menus of work for their classes in the event of a sudden school closure. These menus will be our starting point in the early days of next week and they are not meant to be prescriptive. Teachers will make contact with their respective class groupings in the early days of next week and outline their expectations around engagement and how to return completed work.
Special Education Teachers will continue to work in parallel to the mainstream teachers and will be on hand to communicate with and support the children whom they teach every week.
Communication with School
We are here to support you and your child during the period of this school closure. Class teachers and SET’s will be in regular contact over the coming weeks and will be available to support you during normal school hours. I had previously sent a message around communication with teachers in the absence of a school journal. I would ask that over the coming weeks you would continue to adhere to the guidance set out in that message. (See Attached)
If you would like to communicate with management / office over the coming weeks please do so via email [email protected], as our phone messages will not be monitored as frequently.
As was the case during the last school closure we are happy to lend some of our I.T. equipment; namely laptop computers and iPads if needs be, to our pupils who do not have access to these resources at home. If you would like to borrow I.T. equipment over the coming weeks please email [email protected].
Levels of Engagement / Wellbeing
At this time the wellbeing of our entire school community is the most important thing. We would ask that you and your families place a strong emphasis on maintaining your own sense of personal wellbeing during the coming weeks. It is important to maintain perspective about the ongoing public health situation. School will reopen again in the not too distant future, and when it does your child will continue to progress. Over the coming weeks we would like you to engage with the distance learning material when you can, and we certainly do not want it to become a source of stress or a burden on any household. Keep in mind that research tells us 30 minutes of regular shared reading with your child can have significant educational benefits. Again we want each household to do what they can when they can.
Finally, on behalf of the teachers and myself we want to say that we will miss welcoming you to our school each morning over the coming weeks. Hopefully in the not too distant future we will once again welcome you back to St John’s National School to continue your learning journey. In the meantime, stay safe and take care.
Le gach dea-ghuí
Mr. Barry O’Leary