Letter from the Board of Management

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well in these exceptional times and are not finding things too stressful.

Ms. Pigott, our school principal, has kept the Board of Management aware of the work that the teachers and SNAs have been doing, to assist your children to continue their learning despite the school being closed and of the huge efforts you, the parents, are making to support this.

The Board greatly appreciates the work being done by everyone and wishes to congratulate you all on the tremendous work undertaken throughout this time.

Re-opening of school

You will be aware that the current Government advice is that schools will remain closed until the Autumn. Our plan is to re-open the school for the new school year on Tuesday 1st September. This will, of course, be subject to it being safe to do so!

The Board of Management, the teachers and our school staff are very keen to be able to return safely on 1st September. We have already began to look at what a return will look like in light of Public Health advice, social distancing etc. and trying to anticipate what arrangements we will have to make and any measures we may need to put in place to ensure we can open.

Board members and staff have watched webinars on re-opening schools and have began to put measures in place for our return.

We are also aware that the Department of Education and Science in consultation with the education partners and public health experts are considering what the “new normal” will be when the schools re-open. We expect to receive further guidance from the Department on this in the next few weeks and this will assist our own planning.

I want to assure you at this stage that the Board, the teachers and the staff are very anxious to get back to school as soon as possible and we are fully committed to doing everything possible to achieve this.

We will keep you informed of progress as we go on. Our objective is to achieve normality or as close to it as possible.

Bereavements

The Board of Management has learned that a number of families have suffered bereavements since the closure of the school. Unfortunately, we have been unable to offer support and sympathy in the usual way so I take this opportunity, on behalf of the whole school community, to offer our condolences to those who have been bereaved during this time.

First Communion, Confirmation, Graduation

Unfortunately, it has not been possible to celebrate any of these important and always joyful events as we had planned. The diocese and the school are committed to celebrating the Sacraments when it is possible to do so.

It will not be possible to celebrate the 6th class graduation in the normal way either. We are aware that some schools are holding a virtual graduation ceremony on Zoom or other platforms. The Board and the teachers have considered this and we feel that a virtual celebration is not a satisfactory substitute for the usual graduation mass and celebration in the Stage Room. Particularly given the sad loss of Fr. Fleming during this time. We feel it is preferable to wait until we can have a proper graduation ceremony and we are committed to arranging this as soon as it is possible. We are considering whether it might be possible to arrange a less formal get together of the girls and boys before 1st September, within Public Health guidelines – possibly sometime in August.

Conclusion

Finally I want, on behalf of the Board of Management, to thank you for your help and support for the school and the staff throughout these extraordinary times.

Enjoy the summer holidays!

We look forward to seeing you all when we re-open.

Úna McGillycuddy

Chairperson

Board of Management

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 Glounaguillagh National School 2021

Caragh Lake, Killorglin, Co. Kerry

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