Letter/update April 19th 2020 – All Parents & Students
I hope you and your family have had a nice Easter break and that you are all keeping safe and well in these challenging times. We appreciate how challenging the current Covid-19 crisis has been for families, and we are working hard to support all students and parents/guardians in our school community as the crisis evolves. We know from feedback from our staff and interactions with students, that all are missing the normality of school life as we now adjust to new routines. The past few weeks have presented many challenges, but the collective effort of our entire school community (students, staff and parents/guardians) in adapting to these new ways of working with remote learning is truly admirable. We are very proud that so many students and our staff worked very hard before Easter to minimise disruption to learning. Everyone in the school community has embraced the new term called ‘Distance Learning’ in an effort to fulfil a continuity of learning. All of our teaching staff are working hard to ensure that learning continues, as we start a new term we are once again appealing for the engagement of all of our students in this remote learning process; your support as parents and guardians in ensuring student engagement is very important.
As you are aware, schools have remained closed to students since 13 March 2020. The current health advice is that all schools will remain closed to students until Tuesday, 5 May 2020 (after the May Bank Holiday weekend).
We have listened carefully to feedback from students, staff and parents prior to Easter. We want to ensure to continue with our efforts for the next two weeks with a focus on teaching, learning and the provision of effective feedback to students.
To facilitate the implementation of a coherent teaching plan for the weeks ahead, we plan on holding an on-line staff meeting and subject planning meetings on Monday, 20 April 2020. This time will facilitate planning at teacher level, department level and facilitate school wide planning that is critical to the success of this term. Students are asked to revise subjects as per their regular timetable on Monday, 20 April 2020.
Students in Sixth Year and Third Year
We are especially mindful of the decision that affects students in Sixth Year and Third Year regarding the Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate examinations.
As you are aware, the Leaving Certificate has been postponed to late July/early August. The key priority for us as a school is that we will continue to help, guide and support Leaving Certificate students during this demanding time. We will continue to support our students through our pastoral supports over the weeks and months ahead in these uncertain times.
It is also important to note that Junior Certificate examinations have also been postponed to September and are now replaced with school-based exams and assessments early in the new school year.
Information on exam and assessment schedules, including the Leaving Certificate Applied and the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme is available on the website of the State Examinations Commission: www.examinations.ie/misc-doc/BI-SE-67826275.pdf
The Department of Education and Skills and the State Examinations Commission are making every effort to support all students through this challenging time.
Students facing examinations have been asked to keep focused and to keep working in preparation for the exams which are now scheduled for July. More details will be forthcoming in the near future regarding the Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate examinations and we will bring this information to your attention without delay.
The support of our school Leadership team, Form 6 Dean, Guidance Department, Home School Community Liaison, School Completion Worker and individual teachers are available for all form 6 students now preparing for examinations in the weeks ahead. There are contact details for all of these support contacts on our school website homepage, www.cco.ie.
Transition Year/Senior Cycle information evening
We are currently considering a format for facilitating our parent information evening for Transition year and/or progression to Form 5. We will Provide further details in relation to this in coming days.
Transition Year/Form 5 Options
A process of surveying student in relation to finalising Transition year options for students progressing to Form 5 will begin in coming days, we will be in touch with specific detail for parents and students concerned.
As always, please be assured that we are working as hard as we can to ensure continuity of quality education and systems of support for our students. If you have queries, suggestions or have any issues that we can assist you with just ask.
As a parent you can assist in the current situation by establishing a routine, supporting student learning and reinforcing the importance of social distancing. If you have suggestions or feel there is more that can be done, please email me.
There are further items of included below.
Keep up to date by visiting our school website: www.cco.ie
Thanking you for your continued support, Stay Safe.
State Exams – Latest Update
The State Examinations Commission have issued the following update regarding this years Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Applied and Junior Certificate Exams:
- Leaving Certificate written examinations postponed until late July/August.
- Junior Cycle examinations in June are replaced with school-based exams and assessments early in the new school year.
- As part of the wider public health measures, schools are closed until further notice.
- Practical examinations for Leaving Certificate students which were due to have been held in May are deferred. They will be rescheduled for late July/early August.
- The new Leaving Certificate exam timetable will be confirmed in early June.
- The admissions process for higher education, managed by the Central Applications Office (CAO), will operate as closely as possible to the usual time frame for offers and the entry date for first year students will be delayed.
Additional Information in relation to State Examinations.
A considerable number of announcements regarding schools and state examinations were made over the course of the Easter break. The main points are summarised below:
Statements and Information:
10 April 2020: Minister McHugh Announces Postponement of State Examinations
Temporary reassignment of SNAs
Currently, SNA personnel are being reassigned to assist with efforts to support front-line health workers. We will make every effort to ensure that students who have access to an SNA are receiving supports throughout the next two weeks.
Contacting the School during Closure
Supports for Students including Internet Connections and Data Bundles on Mobile Providers
Supports for Students including Internet Connections and Data Bundles on Mobile Providers
The Department of Education and Skills has been working closely with the tertiary education sector to address issues raised in relation to accessing online provision including broadband issues.
Thankfully, we are seeing progress in some ways to help students with connectivity and data issues.
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton T.D. announced on Wednesday, 15 of April 2020 that all major telecoms providers have committed to a number of measures to help people stay in touch and work from home during Covid-19. All major providers have signed up, including BT Ireland, eir, Pure Telecom, Sky Ireland, Tesco Mobile Ireland, Three Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland and Vodafone.
These commitments will be implemented by operators as soon as possible. Each service provider will provide details and implementation updates on their own website. The commitments will remain available to consumers until 30 June 2020 and will be reviewed in advance of that date if needed.
The Covid-19 Consumer Commitments are as follows:
- Any fixed broadband customers who do not have unlimited usage already as standard will be given the opportunity, if they require, to upgrade their package (which may be on a temporary basis), with their current service provider
- Any customer who does not have fixed broadband and who relies solely on mobile access to the Internet will have the opportunity to avail of affordable unlimited mobile data access/package from their service provider
- Fair usage policies will not be automatically applied to unlimited fixed and mobile data packages
- Service providers may implement appropriate permitted traffic management measures to avoid network congestion
- Access to healthcare and educational resource websites identified by the Government will be zero-rated for all customers where technically feasible
Customers experiencing issues should contact their service provider in the first instance, before contacting ComReg’s Consumer Care Team at email@example.com or 01 8049668 (from 8.00am to 8.00pm Monday to Friday and 9.00am to 1.00pm on Saturday, excluding public holidays.
Wellbeing including physical activity
NEPS, the Department’s National Educational Psychological Service, has developed advice and resources for keeping Children and Young People well during Covid-19. These resources aim to support children and young people’s learning and wellbeing at this time.
In the context of wellbeing, NEPS has included a reference in its advice for young people and for parents of young children for the need for physical activity as part of everyone’s daily routine while schools are closed.
For information, the relevant text can be found at the following links:
Supporting Students with Additional Education Needs
The National Council for Special Education has developed resources for parents of children with additional needs who may benefit from specific advice during the period of school closure. All resources are available on the NCSE website and publicised through education partners and Twitter. The NCSE visiting teacher service continues to provide direct telephone/skype support to families and students. The NCSE resources can be accessed at: www.ncse.ie/online-resources and include;
- resources for parents and teachers such as class\age level activities
- practical advice on how to take care of Assistive Technology in the Home and a suite of Occupational Therapy and
- Speech and Language Therapy resources (including a social story animation on attending a Covid-19 test Centre prepared by the HSE).
In the meantime, please follow the advice of the HSE and the Government;
Everyone needs to stay at home to help slow the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
You should only leave your home to:
- shop for essential food and household goods
- attend medical appointments, collect medicine or other health products
- care for children, older people or other vulnerable people – this excludes social family visits
- exercise outdoors, within 2 kilometres of your home and only with people from your own household – keeping 2 metres between you and other people
travel to work if you provide an essential service – be sure to practice physical distancing
News - School Updates
In addition to our school website, please follow our school updates and activities on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
High Street, Croom, Co. Limerick
Tel: +00 353 61 397700
The contents of Coláiste Chiaráin's web pages are provided as an information guide only.