FIRST HOLY COMMUNION

As of today, 6/10/20, both First Holy Communion services scheduled for  the 10th and 17th October are still expected to take place. Naturally this is assessed on a daily basis as the health and well being of every pupil and member of staff is our paramount concern. We have no control over community transmission of Covid 19 but we are doing everything within our power to keep our school a safe place of learning.

To date one pupil and one staff member have tested positive for Coronavirus. A very small number of other staff and pupils are isolating at home under PHA regulations following “close contact” or negative results.

Fortunately, the one positive pupil was not at school for several days prior to showing symptoms and being tested. Accordingly, the PHA said their considerable absence from school ruled out the possibility of transmission. However staff took the precautionary measure of deep cleaning their classroom as well as toilets, cloakrooms and the Main Hall.

One member of staff, who had limited direct contact with a small number of pupils also tested positive at the weekend, again this followed an absence from school for a number of days. Under PHA guidance  the parents of those pupils involved were directly contacted yesterday and informed of the situation and are subsequently following the regulatory advice to self isolate.

Pupils and Staff have been and continue to work in “class bubbles”. They avoid entering other classrooms and are undertaking daily additional cleaning of their work areas. We have taken direction from the EA cleaning services and have had an onsite visit from their consultant cleaning officer who further advised on every aspect of contact management.

Some parents have informed us of the decision to keep their own children at home due to concerns over rising cases in the community, or indeed due to someone in the family testing positive and we thank them for keeping us fully aware of all developments.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected and we wish our pupils and colleagues a safe return to school when the full isolation period has been exceeded.

As yet, Primary 5 remains unaffected, and 44 children are pinning their hopes on two momentous occasions being able to take place very soon. We ask our patrons to keep assumptions and speculation at an all time low to spare these families undue stress on the lead up to these dates. Please keep checking our school website where information will be posted as soon as anything changes and /or contact  the school directly to speak to Miss Mulkerns or Mrs Murphy if you have further questions.

We will continue to keep the situation under daily review and update you if there are any changes in circumstances.

Stay safe, and help keep each other safe. We really are in this together.

Calendar for the Year 2020/21

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Please see our calendar of holidays for this school year 2020/21. Red, brown or blue indicate dates pupils are not in school, green indicates dates pupils are in attendance.

Next Monday, 5th of October pupils are not in attendance, this is an annual School Development Day.

I have attached the calendar below as a pdf for anyone wishing to print it off and keep. Can I remind those Parents who have not as yet given an email address to please do so, having current email addresses would allow us to complete email groups for distribution of this and similar information. If you don’t have an email address can you please let the Office Staff know.

Thank you

P Mc Donnell

pmcdonnell667@c2ken.net

Holidays 20-21

 

Covid Testing

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Before a child can return to school following they or a household member having had a Covid test please email a picture or screen shot of the confirmation of the negative result to my email address as given below.

Thank you for your co-operation in this matter, as we try to keep our school Covid free.

P Mc Donnell

pmcdonnell667@c2ken.net

 

After School Care

Dear Parent/Guardian,

In order to maintain the After School Club in St. Mary’s, it is imperative that the facility pays for itself. Therefore from Monday 28th of September, any Nursery, P1, P2 or P3 Pupils who stay on in school after their designated pick up times or who remain on to 3 pm for the school bus must pay a fee of £1.50/half hour after their pick up time e.g.

1:30 pm to 2 pm- £1.50

1:30 pm to 2.30 pm £3

1:30 pm to 3 pm £4.50

The facility is open to 4:30 pm for any Parents/Guardians wishing to avail of the service.

P Mc Donnell

Home Times + Emails

Dear Parent/Guardian,

The home times currently in place, will remain unchanged until at least the end of October, ( all providing we remain infection free).

Thank you to those Parents/Guardians who have been in contact and provided an e-mail address.  We need these to communicate important information with you and also to enable you to access online platforms in the event of any future closures. I therefore ask all Parents/Guardians who have not as yet emailed me at the address below, to please do so ASAP.

Thank you,

P Mc Donnell

pmcdonnell667@c2ken.net

Absences

Dear Parent/Guardian,

To prevent the spread of  Coronavirus within our school please follow the advice given above, from the Department of Education and Public Health Agency, NI.  It states that children should not attend school if they or anyone else in the household displays symptoms or tests positive for Covid. I would ask that you air on the side of caution if your child feels unwell and keep them at home but, please do contact me by phone or email, to inform me as to the reason(s) for any absences. Only by working together can we hope to continue to keep everyone safe.

Thank you for your co-operation,

P McDonnell

pmcdonnell667@c2ken.net

Reminder to Parents

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Thank you to everyone who has returned their PHA Parental Consent Slip, (pictured above), can I ask anyone who has not, to please do so as soon as possible.

For the purpose of updating our contact details with email addresses, I invited all Parents to send a “test email” to me at the address below. Thank you to all those who have done this.  However, there are still a number of families for whom we have no email contact, can I ask you to supply this ASAP please .

Thank you for your co-operation with these matters,

P Mc Donnell (Principal)

pmcdonnell667@c2ken.net

Healthy Lunches

Dear Parent/Guardian,

See above information regarding a free Zoom Workshop for Parents/Guardians about Healthy Eating and in particular Healthy Lunch Box ideas for school children. This is free and there is no need to pre-register, further information is available on the Public Health Agency Social Media sites.

Here is a link to a useful booklet to download with ideas for packed lunches.

https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/are-you-packing-healthy-lunch-english-and-irish-translation

See also letter sent to school Principals, from Judith Hanvey, Regional Food in Schools Co-ordinator.

Kind Regards,

P Mulkerns


Below is a link to their website on which you will find a downloadable booklet with more information about Healthy Lunches.

P Mulkerns