September 2015 Newsletter

Dear Parents / Guardians,                                                                                     14th September 2015

It’s a new school year again!!   Despite the weather, I hope you all had a very enjoyable summer and have managed to get back into the school routine.

This school year we welcome back Mr Reilly from his career break. We would also like to congratulate Ms O’Brien on the birth of her son, Rian and to welcome Mr O’Connell who will be teaching the class until her return from maternity leave. We also welcome back Ms McGrane from maternity leave and Ms Hayes who is now teaching sixth class and Sr Veronica who continues to give of her time to Learning Support.

It is with a mixture of sadness and happiness that we announce the departure of Mrs Kernan who has been appointed Principal of our Lady’s Grove NS in Clonskeagh. As you know Mrs Kernan was an integral part of the school here for a good number of years and was a member of the schools ‘In School Management Team’. Always to the forefront when volunteering for activities and projects, Mrs Kernan will be missed by children, staff and parents in the Divine Word NS.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish her well in her new position and to thank her for all the years of dedication to the school.

We would also like to welcome Ms Casey to the school. Ms Casey replaces Mrs Kernan and has been teaching for a number of years in Tallaght.   I know you will all make her feel very welcome here in Marley Grange.

We would like to welcome all our new Junior Infants to the school and we also wish our past pupils from 6th class all the best as they commence secondary school. Congratulations to all our past pupils for the wonderful results achieved in the Leaving and Junior Certificate examinations.

Special Education:

Last term the school took part in a Pilot Whole School Evaluation in Special Education Needs Provision (SEN). The final Report from the Department of Education & Skills Inspectorate was excellent.   Quotes from the Report include… “Culture of inclusion is in evidence”…..”Impressive school leadership and highly committed and effective teaching” “Highly commendable and very effective organisational arrangements in place” “All parents agree that their child with special educational needs feels safe and is well looked after in the school”.   Congratulations to all the staff for such a wonderful Report but especially to the Special Ed Team lead by our SEN Co-ordinator Ms Fagan.

A thank you also to those parents who completed questionnaires.

ePayments:

We are presently in the process of setting up an ePayments system for the annual payment of swimming, art and craft, insurance etc.. (Junior Infants have already paid for books, art/craft etc.) This is a safer and easier method of payment and a very user friendly way for making this annual payment to the school. A further letter of explanation will follow in the next few weeks.

The West Wing:

No!! It’s not the TV series … But our new building. We have finally said a farewell to the Prefabs and have 4 new classrooms and 4 resource rooms. There are still a few snags to be completed but I’m sure you will agree it is a great asset to the school. We would ask however that if you are collecting a child from the new building or need to see the teacher that you report to the school reception first.   NB: We are inviting everyone to come along to view the ‘West Wing’ –

Please see attached invitation.

 

Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)

As you know from previous newsletters it is important that you inform the class teacher in writing of any absences. We, as a school, are also bound by law to report absences totalling 20 days or more to the TUSLA – the Child and Family Agency.

School Security:

As you may be aware, we had two burglaries in the school during the first week of the term. Some damage was done to the internal doors/windows and alarm/light systems. If you noticed any suspicious activities outside of school hours during the week of August 31st – September 4th please contact the school.   We would also ask that parents report to the school reception before entering any part of the new or old buildings.

Congregating in School Yard:

We would ask that once children have been admitted to school that you please leave the school premises. This is for insurance purposes and groups of parents standing in the playground during school time can be a distraction to children in their classrooms. If you bring your child to school we ask you to escort your child to their class and then leave the school grounds. If you are collecting your child from school we ask you to leave the school grounds once you have done so. We appreciate your co-operation in this matter.

SCHOOL CLOSURES:

Please note that the school opens at 8.50am and finishes at 2.30pm (1.30pm for Infants).

School Calendar 2015 – 2016
October Mid-term: October 26th – 30th October (Inclusive)
Christmas Holidays: 23rd December – 5th January re-open Wed, 6th January 2016
February Mid-term: Thursday, February 18th & Friday, February 19th
St Patrick’s Day Thursday, 17th March
Easter Holidays: 18th March to 1st April – re-open Monday 4th April
May Mid-Term: Monday, May 2nd – 6th May (Inclusive)
June Public Holiday: Monday 6th June
Summer Holidays: Closing, Tuesday June 28th

School Uniform:

As you are aware we have a policy regarding the school uniform and we would ask that you adhere to this. The school uniform and tracksuit can be purchased from Pat O’Farrell Schoolwear Ltd, Stillorgan Shopping Centre. The class teachers have already informed the children of their PE days, when they should wear their school tracksuit. The school tie is also a part of our uniform and can be purchased in the school office for €5.00. If you wish to purchase your own school jumper/cardigan you may do so. ‘Sew on’ school crests are also available for €5.00 in the school office. Please note that our elasticated ties are currently out of stock but a new batch has been ordered.

Child Protection Policy:

We would like to make you aware of our Child Protection Policy which is available to read on our website (www.divinewordns.ie). A hard copy of the Policy is available in the school foyer. The Designated Liaison person for Child Protection in the school is the Principal, Mr Williams and the Deputy Liaison person is Ms Ní Threasaigh.

Lost Property:

We have at least 3 large containers of lost property here in the school. If you are missing any item please contact our school caretaker to retrieve it. We would also ask that you label your child’s clothes, particularly jumpers, coats and tracksuit tops.

Text-A-Parent:

This year again we will be using our Text-A-Parent service to inform you of special events and closures. The Board of Management will fund this service for the school year. Forms indicating family name and mobile number for Junior Infants with no siblings have been sent home. Please ensure that any changes to your mobile numbers, emergency numbers or address are notified to the school office immediately.

Mobile Phones:

Our school policy on mobile phones is that they should be turned off once children enter the school grounds. If a pupil is found using a mobile phone or the phone is in the “On” position it will be taken from them and we would ask that parents then collect it from the school office. We welcome your continuous co-operation and support with this school policy.

Healthy Lunches:

Thank you once again for all your help and support with our Healthy Lunch Policy. Our school policy, as you are aware, deems fizzy drinks, chewing gum, crisps, cakes, biscuits and sweets as being unsuitable for consumption as school lunches. We also have to exclude yogurts, yops and frubes as these can be a health and safety issue if split. We will however continue to provide treats from time to time and these will be allowed on Fridays and on special occasions.

We would also like to remind you that we provide a 5 minute fruit break each day so we would encourage you to put a piece of fruit in your child’s lunchbox.

Pupil Insurance:

Please note that the Allianz Pupil Personal Accident Insurance cover (€7) as on the List of Extra Requirements, (will go out on epayment in due course) now covers pupils for 24 hours.

Parents’ Association:

I would like to take this opportunity to wish our Chairperson, Hazel Mander, and all her team the best for this coming school year and to thank them for all the fundraising and help they have provided for the school over the past year. The PA’s main fundraiser this year will be a Sponsored Walk which will take place during the first week of October (weather permitting). Sponsor cards will be going out. We appreciate your support.

Traffic and Parking:

We would ask that you adhere to speed limits on all approaches to the school and ask not to obstruct residents’ driveways or park on grass verges. Our local community Garda, Niall Russell will be doing spot checks throughout the school year. Please note that bicycles are not to be used on our disability ramp at school entrance or in the school yard. Garda Russell has also provided us with an email address for resident to complain about illegal parking.

School Website:

Please visit our school website on www.divinewordns.ie for up-to-date information and details of all our P.A. activities. We have recently developed a new Website funded by the Parents’ Association. A special thanks also to Ms McGrane and Ms Murphy for their help and advice with this site.

Signing in/out

We would ask that if your child is leaving the school during the day that you would sign him/her out in the book outside the Secretary’s office. If he/she returns during the day, please also enter the time of return in the book.

Office Hours:      8.50am – 10.30am:   –   10.50am –12 noon:     –       12.30pm – 2.30pm

I hope that your child has an enjoyable, interesting, educational and fun time in the Divine Word School. If at any time you need to discuss your child’s progress or have any concerns please feel free to make an appointment with his/her teacher.

Yours sincerely

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John Williams

Principal