Covid Updates

20th of August 2021

 

Dear Parents

We are looking forward to welcoming back all our students next week. We hope everyone has enjoyed the summer and that everyone is well rested and ready for the year ahead. We have sent summer correspondence out via compass. Please make sure that you can log into compass. Summer correspondence can also be found at https://www.cmco.ie/summer-correspondence/ 

Please note that prior to returning to school you are asked to fill in the covid return to school form which can be found at https://www.cmco.ie/return-to-school-covid-forms/

Please note that if you have returned to Ireland from a country that is not on the COVID-19 travel advice list (green list) within the last two weeks, you are asked to contact the school prior to your child’s return.

We would like to thank you for your support last year in keeping your children safe and in supporting us to maximise their learning experience through a challenging year. Much of this information is similar to information shared last year and will be particularly helpful and important to parents of students who are new to the school. New students are encouraged to join the google classroom with the code ptj3np4 for useful information pertaining to Covid 19 measures in the school. 

We will be in touch again soon with more information but please be aware of the following arrangements to ensure the smooth return to school within Coivd 19 restrictions and guidelines. 

Entering School

School will not open until 8.40. Students who have pre-ordered breakfast packs will collect them. Students will go to their base rooms (students can log into compass to see where their roll call is being taken – this is a base room) and sit in assigned seats. Roll call will be in base rooms at 8.55. Please note that the school will be locked down from 9.00. Entrance to the school after 9.00 will be by appointment only. If a parent wishes to make an appointment please contact the office at 0504-21734.

Entering the school in the mornings and after breaks

1st years are to enter and exit the school through the main entrance

2nd years are to enter and exit via the PLC entrance

3rd years are to enter and exit via the entrance at the Science area

6th years and TYs are to enter via the Aonad/Practical Corridor Door (into that building)

5th years are to enter via the door leading from the practical corridor to the Aonad

At all other times students will have to enter via the main entrance by buzzing in to the secretaries office. 

For Health and Safety purposes students may not open locked doors for each other. 

 Timetable:

All classes next year will again be 58 minutes long. This will reduce movement in school and the interaction of various groups.  Break times will be staggered for classes,  with 15 mins for first break and 30 mins for 2nd break.

Please note that to facilitate social distancing break times are shortened and so the school day will finish earlier. The following are the finish times for the coming school year:

 

Days Finish time
Monday to Thursday 15.33
Friday 14.35

Paid supervised study will be run on Friday for 1 hour to facilitate students who wish to remain in school and Mr O Connell will be in touch to arrange this. 

Class sizes:

So far as is possible there will be base groups in 1st, 2nd and 3rd year. Extra class groups will also be created in 5th and 6th year.When students enter a room they will be required to sanitise their desks and chairs.

Covid 19

Social Distancing/hand hygiene/Cough etiquette and mask wearing are still the basic tools to fight Covid 19. Thus, all students will be expected to cooperate fully with these and all guidelines for the running of the school in a safe manner in this difficult time. 

Sanitising Protocols

All students will be asked to sanitise their hands on entry to the school building at all times. Students will also be expected to sanitise their hands as they enter each classroom. At the beginning of class where students have entered a room, each student will wipe down their desk and chair with materials provided. We have added the video on how to handwash in the Google classroom (code above) and on our website. Please ensure that your child is familiar with the correct hand washing and sanitising procedures as recommended by the HSE.

Face Masks

Students are required to wear face masks. We ask that students have 3 masks which they can change at each break, put into a ziplock bag, take home and  are washed each day. See https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/aac74c-guidance-on-safe-use-of-face-coverings/ for more information on face masks.

The school will provide hand sanitiser and paper towels in each room. However, students should have a small bottle of sanitiser and tissues with them.

Symptoms of Covid 19:

The guidelines are clear that students/staff self-isolate at home if any of the symptoms of Covid 19 are experienced. Ultimately the success of schools staying open is down to low community spread and good practices in school. HSE guidelines will be followed. The link to the HSE symptom poster is here. It is very important that you do not send a child who is sick to school. The full text of the Departments information on symptoms is in Appendix 1 of this letter. 

It is important that parents are available to collect students during the school day, if their child presents with Covid 19 symptoms. Please note that under no circumstances can students be brought home by staff.  In this scenario students will be taken care of in an isolation room and parents will be asked to collect them from an isolation area which has been set up. The guidelines recommend that students should wear a mask until they reach home and parents should call their GP, who will outline the next steps.

Please note that if a student is sent home because they have presented with Covid19 symptoms we will require parents to complete a form which gives assurances that the student has had advice from their GP or presented a negative Covid 19 test result. 

ICT

In the event that the school returns to blended learning ICT will play an important role. Some form of tablet/laptop/Ipad may be necessary for each student in this scenario.   All students are expected to have a device with them in school. Phones are not acceptable as a device. The Acceptable Use Policy is very important in this context and the school’s central value around respectful use of devices must be adhered to.

Lockers/School Equipment:

Students will not have access to lockers as social distancing cannot be maintained in these spaces. 58 minute classes will reduce the weight of the bag. Students should not bring textbooks to school (unless they have been expressly requested to do so by teachers), they will be used at home for study purposes. Students may bring a school bag. Students are not permitted to share any class materials or equipment. If any child has a particular health reason for not carrying textbooks and does not have an iPad please make an arrangement to inform the child’s year head so that arrangements can be put in place to support this. 

Breaktimes:

Students will have to go to designated areas for break times and spend as much time outdoors as possible.

Students will be required to use an online system to pre-order food. We will be in touch with information regarding an updated system soon.  If students do not pre-order online they will have to bring a packed lunch. We would like to thank Triona and her team who have come up with very inventive solutions to ensure that the canteen continues to operate. 

School Movement:

Movement between classes will be by means of a one-way system. Students/staff may have to circulate externally so a warm jacket next year will be a must.

Uniform:

Students are to wear their full uniform as normal. However, the tracksuit can be worn on the day of their PE class only.  This  was a successful change to school policy last year and applies only while Covid-19 restrictions are in place. The school tracksuit is a plain navy tracksuit bottoms (leggings/jeans/tight fitting bottoms are not allowed), a navy or white polo shirt and the school jumper or the school half zip and runners. The school half zip is available from Bourkes Sports and full detail of uniform is available at https://www.cmco.ie/information/uniform/

Warm waterproof coat

There will be occasions where, to allow for social distancing, students need to be outside during the school day. A warm waterproof coat is a must.

Compass

It is of vital importance that you have access to the compass app as you will use this to register absences, get updates from the school, view your child’s merits and demerits etc. Contact the office if you need to update your username and password. See https://www.cmco.ie/compass/ for more information on this.

Restricted Access:

Public Health guidelines state that schools must restrict access to the building for people outside of students and staff. Thus, next year we ask that only in very exceptional circumstances should students be collected from school during the day. Please try to make all appointments outside of school time.

If you wish to see a member of staff you MUST make an appointment. The guidelines are clear, any visitor to the school must be by prior appointment.

Students in high Risk category:

Please inform us if your son/daughter will not be returning to school at this time. Email colasitemhuire@tipperaryetb.ie  

Books:

Books will be issued to those who are on the book scheme and have paid their school book contribution, when students return to school. This will take a couple of weeks to organise so please bear with us while this is going on. 

I know many of us are anxious about what lies ahead but with everyone’s cooperation and support we will work towards getting all students safely back to school. Please rest assured we will be working hard to make the school as safe as possible and we will do everything in our power to keep things as normal as we can.  

Over the next month we will endeavor to keep you informed and update you on our progress at regular intervals through the school website.  

We appreciate that there is a lot of information in this briefing so in short some of the main points are:

  •   No mask – no school
  •   Full uniform every day except PE day. On PE days PE uniform must be    worn
  •   No lockers
  •   Bring a device
  •   Please do not send a sick child to school
  •   Students not to leave during school day
    ●           Meetings by appointment only

 

We wish you and your families well for the coming weeks. We hope you continue to stay safe and well as your children enjoy their break and prepare for the start of term in Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed

 

Denis Quinn                                                            Clare Wallace

Principal                                                                  Deputy Principal

 

 

Appendix 1

Taken from the Department of Educations Covid Response Plan for Secondary Schools – August 2021

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 it is important to know and recognise the symptoms. 

They are:  

  • High temperature 
    Cough 
    Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties 
    Loss of smell, of taste or distortion of taste Infection with the virus that causes 

 

COVID-19 can cause illness, ranging from mild to severe, and, in some cases, can be fatal. It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show. 

They can be similar to symptoms of cold and flu. Common symptoms of coronavirus include: 

a fever (high temperature – 38 degrees Celsius or above).  

a new cough – this can be any kind of cough, not just dry.  shortness of breath or breathing difficulties.  

loss or change in your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal 

If you have any common symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus), self-isolate (stay in your room) and phone your family doctor straight away to see if you need a free COVID-19 test. Getting an early diagnosis means, you can get the help you need and take steps to avoid spreading the virus, if you have it. 

For the complete list of symptoms, please refer to the HSE Website. If you do not have symptoms, you can get a free COVID-19 (coronavirus) test at a COVID-19 walk-in test centre.  

 

 

Letter sent on 30/4/21

30th of April, 2021

 

Dear parents

End of term finish dates Summary
Transition Year 21/5/21
All other years 28/5/21

We would like to thank you and your children for helping us to get safely to the last month of the school year.  This year Transition year will finish on the 21st of May and the last day for students in the first, second, third, fifth and sixth year is the 28th of May. This is to allow an administration week for the accredited grades process at the end of the month.

As you know we held a staff meeting yesterday and that was to reiterate the key points in our Covid Response plan. It is of vital importance that we continue to act with an abundance of caution at school for the next 4 weeks. Our main aim now is to get everyone out safely but to mind the Leaving Cert students especially. The vast majority of our Leaving cert students have opted to do exams in June but ensuring this happens and keeping everyone safe  is the responsibility of the whole school community.

While some Transition year trips activities will take place within the county but all other school trips are cancelled.

We are now asking parents for one final show of support. All through the year as a parent body you have responded to every call we made. You have supported us in difficult decisions regarding our Covid response and you have helped us to avoid class and school closures. We can only keep the school open if you can continue to help us by:

  1. Do not allow a child who is sick to attend school – please be uber cautious for the next couple of weeks. If your child has any symptom please keep them at home and seek GP advice. A reminder that common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
  1. Please encourage your child and regularly remind them to
    1. Wear a mask unless 2m apart
    2. Hand sanitise regularly
    3. Practice social distancing

 

Thank you again for your support though what has been a very challenging year. We have nearly come through together, let us not be defeated  now as we face the final hurdles. We will continue to do our part at school and we really appreciate your support.

 

Clare Wallace                                                                                                                       Denis Quinn

Information regarding wearing facemasks issued on 15th of April, 2021

Department of Education Clarification re Wearing of masks at Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed

“It is therefore a requirement that teachers, staff and students attending post primary schools wear a face covering when a physical distance of 2m from other staff or students cannot be maintained”.  (Covid-19 Response plan for the safe and sustainable operation of Post Primary Schools, Dept of Education, Mar 23rd , 2021)

To keep your children safe and to continue to keep our school covid free, and taking into account that the new strains of the virus are now infecting teenagers we must implement the above directive

  •         Due to student’s natural tendency to congregate in groups on breaks they must wear masks outside. However many students use our large grounds to take socially distanced walks and of course they can take the masks off once 2m is maintained
  •         Indoor P.E.- Due to the nature of games it is not possible to maintain 2m therefore masks are mandatory
  •         Outdoor P.E. – Where 2m can be maintained then masks can be removed

(In rounders for instance students wear mask while congregated at base but can pull it down when traversing the circuit)

We appreciate that coming back to school has been a readjustment for everyone. We applaud the efforts by you and your children. We are delighted at how well students have settled back and are enjoying being at school again. Please help us to fight covid by

  • Demonstrating what 2 meters looks like and reminding your child to maintain that distance from others for his/her safety
  • Making sure your child wears a mask
  • Reminding your child to sanitize their hands whenever they pass one of the 75 sanitising stations in the school. 

 

Letter to Parents on 12/2/2021

Dear Parents

We hope this letter finds you all safe and well. We are on midterm next week which means there will be no classes during the week of Monday the 15th of February to Friday the 19th of February.

Comhghairdeas ó croi/congratulations to your children on their continued engagement with remote learning. The roll calls and engagement reports (parents are reminded that you can access these on compass) tell us that students have really embraced this new experience. Again,  we thank you for the appreciation you have shown to the teachers and SNAs. The feedback on the wellbeing afternoon was very positive and we will continue to do this while remote learning continues. It will be for the last 2 classes on Wednesday the 24th of February.

We await clarity from the Department of Education and will be in touch with any students/parents directly affected by announcements when we return to school after the midterm.

We have posted our Spring Newsletter to your homes. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Miss Geaney and Miss D Ryan for such an excellent production. We also thank the students who contributed to such a superb record of what has proved to be a unique time in our educational history. Please encourage your child to participate in the competitions in the newsletter. The competitions are open to “children” of all ages – so feel free to distribute it to younger members of the household and to any friends who might be interested in a few activities for the midterm break. You might be interested in participating yourself!

This week was safer internet week and we sent several links to support you with this. Giving consideration to well being and internet use is more important than ever and we remind you about the page on our website which provides general pointers in this area https://www.cmco.ie/internet-safety/.

Finally we would like to congratulate the transition year students who were involved in the TY challenge. It was important to bring the spirit of TY into remote learning and we were genuinely heartened by their participation. Well done to all involved!

We hope that all have a happy and safe midterm break

 

Denis Quinn                                        Clare Wallace

Principal                                              Deputy Principal

 

 

 

Letter to Parents sent on the 29th of January, 2021

29/01/2021

Dear Parents and Students

We hope this letter finds everyone well. Once again we want to thank you for the help and support you are providing the school during this remote learning period. We have been overwhelmed by the positivity towards remote learning from parents and we are so grateful for the positive feedback. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to hold a staff meeting yesterday. We are planning for the next few weeks and hope that the following guidance will be helpful to everyone.

Wear headsets

We have asked that headsets be part of every student’s school bag for several years now. We are asking that students wear their headsets (headphones and mic) during lessons. This will help to focus students and will also allow them to be heard more clearly.

Being present at live classes

Students are asked to inform teachers if they need  to leave for some reason during the live part of a lesson. If their internet drops they need to send the teacher an email explaining that, at the first available opportunity.  If a student does not inform the teacher and the teacher calls on them and they are not there they will be marked as absent, even if they had attended the roll call.

Student Profile Pictures

There is zero tolerance of any inappropriate avatars (the picture attached to a students google profile) on the school emails. Please ensure that all student images are appropriate.

Monday and Student Wellbeing

We have already sent a text to inform you about the in-service day for teachers next Monday. Due to this, there will be no classes. Our year heads have also been speaking with students and they are reporting that they are overwhelmed with the amount of work they are being asked to do. We are also conscious that one of our Covid measures was to reduce lunch to a 30 minute slot. That means that students are getting very short breaks from screens. To allow students to get some fresh air, to “catch the light” and to give them a break from screens we are going to give students a free afternoon once a week. This will be on different days every week and we will let you know on a week to week basis.

Engagement reports

As remote learning is set to continue for a while yet, we have decided to postpone engagement reports until next week. That means they will be issued in the week beginning the 8th of February.

 

In short

Wear headsets

Once signed in – must stay in class to avoid being marked absent

Zero tolerance of inappropriate avatars

Introduction of half day for student wellbeing

Engagement reports will be issued Week of 8th of February

 

Yours sincerely

Denis Quinn                                                                                                          Clare Wallace
Principal                                                                                                                Deputy Principal

 

Letter to Parents sent on the 15th of January, 2021

15th of January, 2021

Dear Parents

We hope you are all well and that the first week of remote learning has been successful for you and your children. We hope everyone is safe and well. 

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our young scientists who represented us so well in the Bt Young Scientist Competition, Suzie Ryan’s project researched “Social media making us socially distant” and Kayleigh Cronin & Kaitlyn Ryan developed a well being app. To bring a highly commended prize home from this competition is some achievement. Well done to the girls and their families.

Teachers are reporting that students were engaging very well this week and we are all so grateful for the support of you, their parents, in making this happen. We appreciate that it is not easy.

Roll call is in a Google Classroom

Each tutor (the person who takes your child’s school registration roll call each morning) and class group are in a google classroom. The students join the google meet at 8.55 and that shows the tutor that they are online and ready for “school”. The tutor then uses compass to register their attendance. Parents can check their child’s attendance in compass. 

 What do I do if they are late?

If you child is late go into compass. Click on the Add an Attendance Note. Close (press the red x) on the attendance note editor and click on the Arrival/Departure Tab. There; add an arrival note. Alternatively, ask your child to email their class tutor.

Compass how to use it

There is a very comprehensive set of notes on compass at https://www.cmco.ie/compass/

Please email the school if you are still having difficulties/can’t find what you are looking for and we will have someone contact you.

Engagement reports

Engagements reports will go live on Monday morning. 

This will simply indicate if the students are fully engaging, partially engaging, not engaging (reason given),  not engaging.

We encourage parents to let us know if students have a valid reason for not engaging so that we can inform teachers and that this can be noted on the report i.e. not engaging (reason given) will be noted rather than not engaging. 

Support for using Google Classroom

During the last remote learning period we discovered that some parents were not aware of the support site which was set up to help students and parents to access and use google classroom this is at https://www.cmco.ie/google-classroom/. A group of TYs under the supervision of the Deputy Principal are also running a remote “Google Assistance Workshop” every Wednesday from 3.30 to 4.00pm. Students can access that by using the code dkz3ydl

 Student Wellbeing

The section of the website Covid Updates at www.cmco.ie also has information on wellbeing and correspondence.

Contacting the school

If you are having any difficulties please contact the year head, Deputy Principal or Principal or colaistemhuire@tipperaryetb.ie and your query will be directed to the relevant person. You will find more information on how to contact the school at https://www.cmco.ie/remote-learning-contact/

Call out for old laptops

We have issued a call out for old laptops. If anyone could donate them to the school we have left a box in the front porch. We will repurpose them as chrome books if possible. 

First Year options

First years will change their options next week. Mr Brennan will be in touch with you directly regarding the changes. Please ensure your child keeps an eye for emails which will be sent to them by their new teachers with google classroom codes. The swap is only happening on Monday so it will be a few days before that all settles down. 

Céim or chéim, step by step we are working through these few weeks together. Again, if you wish to contact us directly please do. 

Take care and we will be in touch again next week.

 

Denis Quinn                                                 Clare Wallace

Principal                                                       Deputy Principal

 

 

Letter to Parents sent on the 8th of January, 2021

8th of January 2021

Dear Parents / Guardians:

We wish to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a happy new year. We appreciate how challenging the Covid-19 crisis has been for families, and particularly students. Please rest assured that we are working hard to support all students and parents/guardians in our school community as the pandemic evolves. We have learned a lot since March 2020 and this will stand to us all as we work through the next few weeks.

Please see the attached document which outlines how remote learning will be delivered over the next three weeks.

As a summary of this document below please note:

  1. All years will be taught online, remotely, using google classroom as per their timetable.
  2. Roll call will be taken each morning at 8.55 at the beginning of each class
  3. Roll call will be taken in each individual class
  4. Engagement reports will issue at the end of the first week and each fortnight thereafter.
  5. We expect all students to engage from Monday the 11th

Checklist for Parents

Are you signed up for the compass app? If not please do so – details on https://www.cmco.ie/compass/ – this is our main way of communicating with parents.

Does your son/daughter have a device to access their google classroom? If not please contact your child’s year head – email colasitemhuire@tipperaryetb.ie and mark it FAO your child’s year head

Is your son/daughter logged in to a google classroom for each subject? If not please ensure that your child contacts their teacher on Monday for details.

If you need to help your child to get started we would recommend that you look at this page https://www.cmco.ie/remote-learning-where-to-start/

Have you read the Amended Acceptable Use policy which has been updated for remote learning. It is important that you share this with your child and that they are aware of the contents of this document. The Appendix which applies to the remote learning is at https://www.cmco.ie/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2021/01/AUP-remote-section-only-ws.pdf  but it is important to note that the code of behaviour and the full acceptable use policy will also still apply.

If you are having any difficulties please contact the yearhead, Deputy Principal or Principal or colaistemhuire@tipperaryetb.ie and your query will be directed to the relevant person. You will find more information on how to contact the school at https://www.cmco.ie/remote-learning-contact/

Tasks and learning experiences

 

The first week back (11th to 15th of January) will be an induction and teaching week. We expect that all students will engage from Monday the 11th.

·          Teachers will use the first week to inform students about google classroom codes, do google meets (50% of timetabled time i.e. half of the teaching time will  be live) so that students are familiar with the process.

·         Teachers will set out what learning will be taking place over the coming weeks.

·         Teachers will reinforce how to use google classroom to submit assignments, track work etc.

·         Engagement in the first week is vital. 

Year Heads and teachers will take a roll call as normal at 8.55. This will establish

through compass who is not engaging, and text messages will be automatically issued to parents for those who did not attend roll call.

Roll call will also be taken for each class. You will be able to view what classes your child has attended or missed through compass – see the section on daily attendance at  https://www.cmco.ie/compass/

All engagement will be at timetabled time.

Online classes – A minimum of 50% of a student timetabled time is spent on google meets.

The other 50% will be scheduled work to be done at the timetabled time. This scheduled work may involve explanations, videos etc to support student learning.

Parents and students are asked to make contact with teachers during school hours only.

Teachers will take a roll call and mark it on compass for each class.

Teachers will provide feedback on work submitted.

Teachers are encouraged to use the assignment feature of Google Classroom to set assignments (this will allow student and parental checking using the “TO DO” feature.

Teachers will encourage students to record assignments in their school journal. Students are asked to date assignments to encourage organisation.

Teachers are expected to engage with all subjects including SPHE, CSPE and PE.

Student Engagement in Online Learning

There will be engagement reports at the end of each of the first week and fortnightly thereafter which will be issued through compass. This will simply indicate if the students are fully engaging, partially engaging, not engaging (reason given),  not engaging.

We encourage parents to let us know if students have a valid reason for not engaging so that we can inform teachers and that this can be noted on the report i.e. not engaging (reason given) will be noted rather than not engaging. 

Supporting SEN students 

Support for SEN students will continue. Students will be assigned an individual “link” teacher by the 15th of January . This will ensure continuity and effectiveness of support provided. Contact will be made with parents in the coming days to inform them of who their child’s “link” person is via text or email. The “link” teacher will keep the SEN coordinator informed.

Structural supports for parent/Wellbeing

During the last remote learning period we discovered that some parents were not aware of the support site which was set up to help student and parents to access and use google classroom this is at https://www.cmco.ie/google-classroom/

 

The section of the website Covid Updates at www.cmco.ie also has information on wellbeing and correspondence.

 

If you are having any difficulties please contact the year head, Deputy Principal or Principal or colaistemhuire@tipperaryetb.ie and your query will be directed to the relevant person. You will find more information on how to contact the school at https://www.cmco.ie/remote-learning-contact/

Le gach dhea-ghuí

 

Denis Quinn                                                                                          Clare Wallace
Principal                                                                                                Deputy Principal

 

Letter to Parents sent on the 17th of December, 2020

Dear Parents

We hope this letter finds you all well. I am sure you are looking forward to the Christmas break. We are very much looking forward to 2021 and the returning to the “old normal”.  Please see below for your information. 

Christmas Holidays

5th and 6th years will finish on Monday evening. 1st, 2nd and 3rd years will have the merit award ceremony on Tuesday morning and will get their holidays at 11.30am on Tuesday the 22nd of December. Buses will leave at 12.00pm. The full list of holidays and days off due to professional development for the next term is at https://www.cmco.ie/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2020/12/202021calendarws.pdf 

Reports

Reports will issue on compass. Each year group will get a compass notification when the reports are live. For more information on compass or if you have any queries or questions please see https://www.cmco.ie/compass/ We urge you to look at the target grade and to compare it to their actual grade. The effort grade is also important as it paints a picture of how your child is working towards their target grades (Note that 1 is the best effort grade).  If target grades were not filled in please encourage your child to do it for the next academic tracking period. 

Student Support Team

It is customary that our Student Support team shares important numbers with parents. A list of support numbers can be found at https://www.cmco.ie/information/pastoral/student-support-2/

The Student Support team would like to wish all our families a very happy christmas and we thank you all for your support this year. 

Covid Update

Caroline O Shea from the Department of Education inspectorate was here on Monday to do a Covid Inspection. She was very impressed with what we have been doing in the school. It is testimony to the efforts of everyone that no class or group has been sent home for any period since September.  During our meetings with her we stressed that we would not be at this point without the support of our parents. You have been so understanding and cooperative about the changes that we felt were necessary to keep everyone safe. Parents have also been extremely supportive by not sending students who are sick to school. We aim to engage again in Extra Curricular activities in a safe environment after the Christmas holidays. 

We are attaching a letter from the Chief Medical Officer which urges us all to remember how important it is to maintain our high standards after Chrismtas. With that in mind we remind parents that if students are travelling overseas, over Christmas, they must quarantine per Department of Foregin affairs guidelines on their return. Please contact the school if students have been overseas over the holidays, before they return to school. 

 

Raths As Saothar – Success Through Effort

Our school, despite the Covid restrictions,  has enjoyed many successes during the term and this is down in no small part to the active role our students and parents play in creating a positive learning environment. 

I would like to highlight the SciFest Winners, the Young Entrepreneurs, The Girls Coding with Teenturn and all our first years who are “graduating” from our Belonging Plus programme tonight in a virtual awards ceremony.  The merit celebration is happening on Tuesday morning (if you are not in, you can’t win) and we have a surprise in store for our 5th and 6th years. The senior years deserve a special treat for the resilience they have shown over the last 12 months. 

I would especially like to thank our vibrant parents council for the support they give to the school – “Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine”. I wish the new officers well.  I am pleased to say that we are currently full in first year for September 2021 and are operating a waiting list. Our spring newsletter will issue shortly after the new year and you will find it on www.cmco.ie .

 

Wishing you a happy Christmas and New Year

Denis Quinn                                                                      Clare Wallace
Principal                                                                            Deputy Principal

 

Letter to parents 2nd of November

11/2/2020

Dear Parents

Welcome back to school, we hope everyone had a restful break. There is now seven weeks to Christmas and we all want to stay healthy and in school until then.

As part of the Covid response plan our school was deep cleaned over the midterm. We also happy to inform you that we were not affected by the PPE recall. This morning an assembly was held over the intercom. This was to reinforce the importance of the following:

  • Keep clean – wash hands
  • Keep apart – 2m when eating (mask off) and 1 m at all other times (mask on)
  • Keep covered – Wear your mask properly

As parents you have been very supportive of the Coivd response plan and we ask for you help now to reinforce this message with your child at home. Please remind your children also to dispose of rubbish correctly. This will help us to maintain the overall cleanliness of the school. We also ask that students might consider wearing base layers. It is a requirement to keep windows and door open to ensure proper ventilation. We continue to uphold a high standard of uniform and thank you for your support in this.

Denis Quinn                                                                       Clare Wallace
Principal                                                                               Deputy Principal

 

Letter to Parents 18th of September

 

18/9/2020

Dear Parents

We would like to thank you for your support and help with the reopening of Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed.  We have said this before but we need to repeat it again. Our students, your children have been AMAZING since they came back to school. The ways in which they live our core values of respect, cooperation, honesty and effort as they negotiate this difficult time for everyone is remarkable. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support at home in reinforcing our core messages about COVID

  • Keep covered
  • Keep hands clean
  • Stay apart

We have sent out several letters and are very grateful for the feedback we have received from you. 

We would like to address some of the following questions in this letter. 

What do I do if my child is sick?

The guidelines are clear that students/staff self-isolate at home if any of the symptoms of Covid 19 are experienced. Ultimately the success of schools staying open is down to low community spread and good practices in school. HSE guidelines should be followed. It is very important that you do not send a child who is sick to school. 

It is important that parents are available to collect students during the school day, if their child presents with Covid 19 symptoms. Please note that under no circumstances can students be brought home by staff.  In this scenario students will be escorted to an isolation room and parents must collect them from immediately. The guidelines recommend that students should wear a mask until they reach home and parents should call their GP, who will outline the next steps.

What happens if a student has a positive covid-19 test?

If a student were to test positive for Covid-19 the Public Health Department of the HSE would carry out a Public Health Risk Assessment and decide on the appropriate actions to be taken. The school would not have a direct role in this decision making process. 

The Public Health Risk Assessment may indicate that contact tracing is necessary. To facilitate this, the school may be asked to furnish the names and contact details for pupils (and their parents/guardians) who are close contacts of a confirmed case. We will also be required to provide their mode of transport to school.  If this information is requested by the Public Health Department of the HSE, the school will process the information in compliance with data protection regulations.It is important to know that it is the HSE, not the school, who will carry out any necessary contact tracing. 

Daily absences of students

We are asking parents to use compass to inform us about absences. You will find information about how to do this at https://www.cmco.ie/compass/ If you experience difficulties with this you may add a note in your child’s diary but your child must inform the class tutor that it is there.

Please note that we are obliged to report absences over 20 days to TUSLA so it is very important that records are maintained properly. Also note that the doors will lock at 9am so students must be on time and present at roll call.

How can I contact the school?

Email colaistemhuire@tipperaryetb.ie or phone 050421734. Contact with the school, in person, is strictly by appointment only. 

My child is in TY and I would like them to do work experience

We are not in a position to organise work experience this year. However, if a parent is in a position to get safe work experience with an employer who is willing to follow Covid 19 protocols, and if you as the parent are willing to supply evidence to the school that it is safe then we will allow students to undertake this. The weeks of the 14th to the 23rd of December and 22nd to the 26th of March have been identified for this purpose for TY. Please email colaistemhuire@tipperaryetb.ie if you intend to do this and we will liaise with you. Please do not feel under pressure to do this. This leeway is coming as a small number of parents have requested it as a concession. We will be running class during those weeks for TY as normal. 

Can TY parents please note that a separate letter has been sent home with your child today. Please note the contents and return the slip by Monday. 

Covid 19 Policy

Our Covid 19 Policy statement can be viewed at https://www.cmco.ie/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2020/09/policy-covid.pdf

Drop off/Pick up at school

For the safety of your child please do not drop off at the Teagasc office. Enter the school and use the one way system. Please follow the one way system (in at the Teagasc entrance, nearest the dome) out at the LIT exit. Drop the child and keep moving. Please do not drive up to the front door. On Exit left turn only toward the LIT roundabout.  Please use the LIT roundabout to filter back into town. Using this one way system will keep traffic moving and will show due respect to our neighbours.We would very much appreciate your cooperation in this matter. 

School Extra Curricular Activities

The Covid response team meets every week to try to keep the school safe for your children. As part of our response year groups have separate entrances, there are 3 breaks and lunches and where we could we have kept classes in their designated units. The current advice is to keep this up; the hope is that in the event of an outbreak the HSE would not have to send the whole school home to Remote Learning.  Our priority is to keep students at school so that their face to face learning can continue. We will continue to monitor the safety of extra curricular activities and will keep you updated. 

PE Uniform

Thank you for upholding our high standards of school uniform. The PE uniform is a Navy tracksuit bottoms (not tight fitting, not leggings, not jeans), navy or white polo shirt and School half zip or jumper. Mr Fahy sent a message last week to say that Bourkes Sports are now in a position to sell the school half zip to you directly. You can contact them at:

Name of Rep: Norma 

Email: norma.clancy@bourkesports.ie

Call or text: 0876800688

Remember, any of our previous Coláiste Mhuire half zips are acceptable. The school jumper is also acceptable. We note that in some families (where it works out) children are sharing tops. That is a great idea and cuts down on expense. 

The Parents Association

The officers of the PA have had remote meetings with the Principal and Deputy. They would like the parent body to know that they are there and will endeavor to keep you informed. If you would like to join the Parents WhatsApp group please contact Lisa at 0876150548 or Frank at 0868062770 or Lyndsey at 0872139533

Yours Sincerely

 

Denis Quinn Clare Wallace

Principal Deputy Principal

 

Letter to Parents 28th of August

Dear Parents
We hope this letter finds you well and that your child is looking forward to returning to school next
week. We had a remote staff meeting today and everyone is looking forward to seeing your children
next week. Can we take this opportunity to remind you that all previous correspondence as well as
letters from Pat Long Catering (NB no orders – no food from canteen) are at
https://www.cmco.ie/covid-19/

We have had a few additional questions which we will are happy to brief you on here.

School Bag
Your child can bring a bag and can have a packed lunch in the bag if they do not wish to pre-order
from the canteen. Apologies if there was confusion re this.

Warm waterproof coat
There will be occasions where, to allow for social distancing, students need to be outside during the
school day. A warm waterproof coat is a must.

School Times
School will not open until 8.40. School is finishing 20 mins earlier Monday to Thursday and this will
give ample time for students to get to busses. We urge you as parents to reinforce the importance of
social distancing as they make their way to school, home and to busses. We are arranging a
supervised study session until 3.40 pm on Fridays. This will be in the Dome (to allow for social
distancing) and will cost €50 per child until Christmas. If you wish to avail of this, please fill in this
form http://bit.ly/CMCOstudy20 and we will issue you with a Way to Pay link to secure your place.

First years
Mr Brennan has sent a separate letter to the incoming first year parents and we hope that this will
address any issues you may have.

Sanitising Protocols
All students will be asked to sanitise their hands on entry to the school building at all times. Students
will also be expected to sanitise their hands as they enter each classroom. At the beginning of class
where students have entered a room, each student will wipe down their desk and chair with
materials provided. We have added the video on how to handwash in the Google classroom and on
our website. Please ensure that your child is familiar with the correct handwashing and sanitising
procedures as recommends by the HSE.

Compass
It is of vital importance that you have access to the compass app as you will use this to register
absences, get updates from the school, view your child’s merits and demerits etc. Contact the office
if you need to update your username and password. See https://www.cmco.ie/compass/ for more
info on this.

Foreign travel
If have returned to Ireland from a country that is not on the COVID-19 travel advice list (green list)
within the last two weeks, you are asked to contact the school prior to your child’s return.

High Risk Conditions
Once again, we ask that if your child is in a high risk category you contact the school as soon as
possible to let us know.
Please keep in touch with us if you have any further questions

Link to letter from the Canteen (Pat Long Catering) sent on 27/8/20

Link to letter from Canteen (Pat Long Catering) sent on 24/8/20

Letter to parents on 21/08/2020

Dear Parents

We hope this letter finds you and your families well. We promised that we would update you again today and we thank individual parents, students and the Parents Association for your feedback and further questions which have informed the content of this letter.

I am sure that, like us, the most recent restrictions were difficult to hear about. We took some reassurance that what is deemed as Non-Essential activity is pausing so that Essential activity such as returning to school safely can happen. We are doing everything we can to make the best of the enormous changes we have had to make in school to ensure that school will return, as planned while also striving to keep everyone in our school community safe. Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed has a reputation as a warm, friendly learning environment which puts student care at the centre of our work. With everyone’s help students will continue to enjoy school during the coming year. We thank you for your support and please do get in touch with us or members of the Parents Association if you would like us to address anything further in next week’s letter.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank members of the parents association for their help with getting the school ready. If you would like to see what the school looks like we have posted a video on the google classroom we set up for your children.

Google Classroom

A reminder to ask your child to join the Google Classroom  code ptj3np4. Mr Quinn has added an address to students today and we have added a short video to show how we have rearranged the school to allow for social distancing. This is still work in progress as the video shows. This classroom will be our main communication portal with students so please ensure your child has joined using their school email and password. For information purposes only a small number of relevant documents have also been added to https://www.cmco.ie/covid-19-and-safe-school-reopening/

Evening study

Evening study will not run for the moment. We will review this at the end of September.

Face mask update

We have had several enquires about using Visors instead of face masks. It is important to remember that students are wearing face masks to protect themselves, each other,  all our families and communities. We have asked the Department of Education (DES)  for clarification on whether visors are acceptable. The following was issued by the DES at https://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Press-Releases/2020-press-releases/PR20-08-07.html  It is now recommended that teachers and secondary school students wear face masks, similar to those worn in shops or on public transport, when a physical distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. They point to the HSE guidelines https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/face-masks-disposable-gloves.html These guidelines recommend face masks not visors. Please read this for further clarification and contact the school if you have a medically certified condition which exempts your child from wearing face masks.

LCA work experience. 

Work experience is a component of Leaving Cert Applied. We are hoping that at some point during the year, we will return to the “old normal”.  We are leaving Wednesdays open for LCA students for this purpose. However, until it is safe to allow work experience, they will have access to remote learning on Wednesdays. We have scheduled the Programme Coordinator, Ms Conroy, for 2 hours on Wednesdays to coordinate this to ensure a quality experience for your children.

TY

The TY programme will be different this year. We have added extra Maths and English and other subjects to make up for lost time and to ensure greater preparation for Senior

Cycle. Students will be in 3 base classes to ensure social distancing requirements are met. We have reduced the cost of TY. Again, at the moment students will not be on work experience for the foreseeable future but Ms Conroy will be updating parents on this in due course. We all hope that trips etc can resume and they will be on a pay-as-you go basis.

Daily absences of students

We are asking parents to use compass to inform us about absences. You will find information about how to do this at https://www.cmco.ie/compass/ If you experience difficulties with this you may add a note in your child’s diary but your child must inform the class tutor that it is there.

Please note that we are obliged to report absences over 20 days to TUSLA so it is very important that records are maintained properly. Also note that the doors will lock at 9am so students must be on time and present at roll call.

Merits and Demerits on Compass

We are also moving the Merit/Demerit system to compass. This will allow you to use compass to view this information, which traditionally, was in the student diary. We will send more information about that in due course.

Compass

We will need all parents to log in to compass for communication purposes. If you do not have a username or password please contact the school office or see https://www.cmco.ie/compass/for more information.

Uniform

The department of education has not issued guidelines about how frequently uniforms should be washed. Please note that the PE uniform of Navy tracksuit bottoms, white or navy Polo shirt and SCHOOL half-zip or school jumper can only be worn on a day when the student has PE on their timetable. 

ASD programme

The ASD programme will continue to support students and if parents have queries about this they should contact Miss Delaney or Miss Ryan after the 28th of August through the school office.

What happens if there is a confirmed Covid 19 case in the school?

In event of a COVID 19 outbreak in a school, the HSE will determine what actions are to be taken.

 

We wish everyone well for the last few days of the holidays and we will be in touch with you again next week.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Denis Quinn                                                                            Clare Wallace

Principal                                                                                  Deputy Principal

 

Link to letter sent re fees and books on 14/8/20

The following Letter was sent on 14/8/2020

Safe Return to School Update 1

 

Dear parent/guardian,

We hope you and your family are well and enjoying the summer break.  We are currently working to put procedures in place so we can safely welcome back our students and teachers as planned from the end of this month.  We would like to update you on some recent developments concerning the reopening of our school.

 The Roadmap for the full return to school was published on 27th July 2020 by the Minister of Education and Skills, Norma Foley.  

The school has invested much time in reviewing the guidance by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and has already begun work to implement the DES recommendations.  We are also consulting with our Patron body, Tipperary ETB, to ensure that the school will be able to provide a safe teaching and learning environment for all our students and staff.

Tipperary ETB have issued the following statement which they would like us to share with you.  

Tipperary Education and Training Board’s Chief Executive welcomes the Government’s road map for full return to school and the enhanced measures and funding to support a safe return to school.   The re-opening of our schools is in the best interest of all in our school communities, however it will not be without its challenges.   

The role of Tipperary Education and Training Board’s supports is to add value to the individual services on the ground.  Since early March 2020 through our Business Continuity Team we are actively engaged with our network of eleven schools and one special school planning for the delivery of our essential services including teaching and learning, school meals and payments to staff and suppliers.  

The key challenge facing our front line services is to balance the need for a practical and sensible level of caution with the need to provide an environment where teachers feel able to engage with pupils in a way that supports their learning.   No interpersonal activity is without risk and this will involve doing everything practical to avoid the introduction of Covid-19 into a school community. 

We continue to work with our schools to support the implementation of the Government guidelines and Covid-19 implementation plans supporting risk assessment and management.  Each school has its own unique environment and are best placed to decide on physical reconfiguration with support from our administrative offices. 

Schools will operate in accordance with the Government’s Return to Work Protocol and the road map to full return to school in partnership with unions and lead worker representatives, parents, students, staff and Boards of Management across the various school sites. 

End of Statement

Our key priority is to ensure that safe systems and procedures are in place to support the best possible learning outcomes. Please see links below:

     https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/b264b-roadmap-for-the-full-return-to-school/

     https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/7a8d5-planning-and-preparing-for-return-to-schoolcovid-19-response-plan-for-safe-re-opening-of-primary-schools/

The link below is to Government guidelines that can help with managing wellbeing at this time: ➢ https://www.education.ie/covid19/wellbeing/

The following information may be of help as we begin planning for our return to school.  Further detailed updates will follow.

 Very important please ask your child to Join Google Classroom ptj3np4

We are requesting that all students use their school email and password to join the google classroom ptj3np4. This space will contain relevant materials for students and links for lunch bookings etc. It is important that students join this google classroom as it will be our main way to communicate with the student cohort.

 Before School:

Bus transport will run but students will be required to sit in the same seat (beside a sibling or a designated person from the students’ class) and wear a mask. 

Cycling and walking to and from school are recommended where possible.

School will not open until 8.40. Students who have pre-ordered breakfast packs will collect them. Students will go to their base rooms (details of this in the google classroom) and sit in assigned seats. Roll call will be in base rooms at 8.55. Please note that the school will be locked down from 9.00. Entrance to the school after 9.00 will be by appointment only.

 Entering the school in the mornings and after breaks

1st years are to enter and exit the school through the main entrance

2nd years are to enter and exit via the PLC entrance

3rd years are to enter and exit via the entrance at the Science area

6th years and TYs are to enter via the Aonad (into that building)

5th years are to enter via the door leading from the practical corridor to the Aonad

At all other times students will have to enter via the main entrance by buzzing in to the secretaries office. 

For Health and Safety purposes students may not open locked doors for each other. 

 

Timetable:

All classes next year will be 58 minutes. This will reduce movement in school and the interaction of various groups.  Break times will be staggered for classes,  with 15 mins for first break and 30 mins for 2nd break.

Class sizes:

There will be  base groups in 1st  , 2nd and 3rd year. Extra class groups will also be created in 5th and 6th year.

In so far as is possible (this is especially relevant in the Junior years) students will be in base classes. When students enter a room they will be required to sanitise their desks and chairs.

Social Distancing/hand hygiene/Cough etiquette are still the basic tools to fight Covid 19. Thus, all students will be expected to cooperate fully with these and all guidelines for the running of the school in a safe manner in this difficult time. The code of behaviour will be amended to reflect the seriousness of cooperation in this regard.

 Face Masks

Students are required to wear face masks. We ask that students have 3 masks which they can change at each break, put into a ziplock bag, take home and  are washed each day. See https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/aac74c-guidance-on-safe-use-of-face-coverings/ for more information on face masks.

The school will provide hand sanitiser and paper towels in each room. However, they should have sanitiser and tissues with them.

 ICT

In the event that the school returns to blended learning ICT will play an important role. Some form of tablet/laptop/Ipad may be necessary for each student in this scenario.   All students are expected to have a device with them in school. While we would prefer if that was not a phone, we will allow students to use phones if no other device is available. Students are asked to discuss this with year heads when they return to school. The Acceptable Use Policy is very important in this context and the school’s central value around respectful use of devices must be adhered to.

 Lockers/School Equipment:

Students will not have access to lockers as social distancing cannot be maintained in these spaces. 58 minute classes will reduce the weight of the bag. Students should not bring textbooks to school, they will be used at home for study purposes. To further reduce school bag weight they may wish to bring one note book and to file the notes each evening in folders at home. Pencil cases should be easy to clean (not cloth). Students are not permitted to share any class materials or equipment.

 Breaktimes:

Students will have to go to designated areas for break times and spend as much time outdoors as possible.

Cold prepacked food will be available. Students will be required to use an online system to pre-order food. If students do not pre-order online they will have to bring a packed lunch. We would like to thank Triona and her team who have come up with very inventive solutions to ensure that the canteen continues to operate. 

The code of behaviour will be amended to reflect the seriousness of not picking up pre-ordered food. Any student who changes their mind or is unavoidably absent is asked to contact Triona on 087-2928389 to let her know they will not be taking a booked lunch or break order. 

 School Movement:

Movement between classes will be by means of a one-way system. Students/staff may have to circulate externally so a warm jacket next year will be a must.

 Uniform:

Students are to wear their full uniform as normal. However, the tracksuit can be worn on the day of their PE class only.  This is a change to school policy and applies only while Covid-19 restrictions are in place. The school tracksuit is a plain navy tracksuit bottoms (leggings/jeans/tight fitting bottoms are not allowed), a navy or white polo shirt and the school jumper or the school half zip and runners. We will put in an order for the half zip tops in September.

 Symptoms:

The guidelines are clear that students/staff self-isolate at home if any of the symptoms of Covid 19 are experienced. Ultimately the success of schools staying open is down to low community spread and good practices in school. HSE guidelines will be followed. It is very important that you do not send a child who is sick to school. 

It is important that parents are available to collect students during the school day, if their child presents with Covid 19 symptoms. Please note that under no circumstances can students be brought home by staff.  In this scenario students will be taken care of in an isolation room and parents will be asked to collect them from an isolation area which has been set up. The guidelines recommend that students should wear a mask until they reach home and parents should call their GP, who will outline the next steps.

Please note that if a student is sent home because they have presented with Covid19 symptoms we will require a letter from their GP to say that they have visited the GP or presenta a negative Covid 19 test result. 

 Restricted Access:

Public Health guidelines state that schools must restrict access to building outside of students and staff. Thus, next year I ask that only in very exceptional circumstance should students be collected from school during the day. Please try to make all appointments outside of school time.

If you wish to see a member of staff you MUST make an appointment next year. The guidelines are clear, any visitor to the school must be by prior appointment.

 Students in high Risk category:

Please inform us if your son/daughter will not be returning to school at this time. Email colasitemhuire@tipperaryetb.ie  

 Return Dates:

Students return to school on the following dates. They stay for the full day and come to school each day thereafter.

Year Group Return Date
1st Year 2nd of September (Wednesday)
3rd and 6th year and 6 LCA 3rd of September (Thursday)
5th and 2nd Year 4th of September (Friday)
5th LCA 7th of September (Monday)
TY 8th of September (Tuesday)

 Please note that to facilitate social distancing break times are shortened and so the school day will finish earlier. The following are the finish times for the coming school year:

 

Days Finish time
Monday to Thursday 15.33
Friday 14.35

 

 If any student would like to meet a member of staff before school commences, we will be available for this purpose during the school day on Tuesday the 1st of September. Please email colaistemhuire@tipperaryetb.ie to make an appointment.

 Online meetings for parents/guardians of each year group will also take place with Year Heads in early September.

 Books:

A letter will be issued separately to add to previous correspondence on books and school fees. 

I know many of us are anxious about what lies ahead but with everyone’s cooperation and support we will work towards getting all students safely back to school. Please rest assured we will be working hard to make the school as safe as possible and we will do everything in our power to keep things as normal as we can.  

 Over the next month we will endeavor to keep you informed and update you on our progress at regular intervals through the school website.  Updates will be provided on the following planned dates (if other more urgent updates are required you will be notified by text to access the school website): 

  •     Friday 21st August
        Friday 28th August

I appreciate that there is a lot of information in this briefing so in short some of the main points are:

  •   No access to school before 8.40 – there is a change to finishing times 
  • No mask – no school
  •   Full uniform every day expect PE day. On PE days PE uniform must be worn
  •   No lockers
  •   No textbooks
  •   Bring a device
  • Please do not send a sick child to school
  •     Students not to leave during school day
        Meetings by appointment only

 

I wish you and your families well for the coming weeks. I hope you continue to stay safe and well as your children enjoy their break and prepare for the start of term in Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed

 

Denis Quinn                                                            Clare Wallace

Principal                                                                  Deputy Principal

 

The following Letter was sent on 29/05/2020

 Dear Parents

We hope this letter finds everyone well. As we come to end of the school year, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and your children for your hard work and support all year and especially since March.

We acknowledge that it was a challenging time. At the recent Board of Management meeting, our Chairperson, Micheál Lowry, spoke on how the school community were navigating these unchartered waters through partnership. We are grateful to you, our parents. Thank you for filling in the parent survey. We deliberately left it anonymous and so we are now unable to thank you personally for your kind comments or speak to you individually. Your feedback will inform our planning for the new academic year.

We  had some lovely virtual events over the last few weeks. The opening of the Virtual Art Gallery and the Padre Pio Choir recital is still to come. We will let you know the dates during June.

We said farewell to our Class of 2020 at an emotional virtual ceremony yesterday. We wish them well in their next journey and remind them that our door is always open!

We wish all our students a safe and happy summer. Mind yourselves. Again, we miss you and we can’t wait to see you.

Take care and thank you again

 

Denis Quinn`                                                                  Clare Wallace

Principal                                                                           Deputy Principal

 

House Keeping

 

The following was sent on the 15th of May, 2020

Dear Parents

We hope this letter finds you well. We cannot say too often or loudly enough how much we miss your children. Coláiste Mhuire is only a building, it is your children that make our school. We are so grateful for all the positive interactions over the last few weeks. 

We had a Board meeting yesterday and Micheál, Board of Management Chairperson and Frank, Chairperson of the parents association conveyed a note of thanks from the Board of Management and Parents Association to teachers and parents for the hard work all parties have put into the Remote Learning Experience. He highlighted the difficulties and challenges we have all encountered but stressed that the exceptional job parents and teachers are doing, through partnership, has helped everyone in this difficult situation.  

We are awaiting further guidance on how to proceed with leaving cert grades. We have sent a letter regarding this to leaving cert parents. We were delighted to meet the 6th years in a virtual assembly this week and look forward to having another event with them soon. 

As you know assessments begin next week and to alleviate pressure we are requesting that teachers do not add any new material to Google Classroom from today. We wish students well and again, if a student is experiencing difficulty please let year heads know and contingency plans will be put in place. 

A few dates/activities for your diary

  • Next week will be awards night. We will send a link to a Live Stream of the awards night to your child. So please keep 7pm on Thursday night (21st May) free. 
  • We really want to encourage you and your child to participate in the virtual art exhibition. If you have anything you would like to submit for consideration (any media) send a photo of it to rdorney@cmco.ie by the 20th of May – space is limited but we would like to encourage participation from students and parents. 
  • Miss Carr is running a bake-off competition entry to her at kcarr@cmco.ie by the  20th May please. There is a parent prize…..
  • Covid competition. Denis has sent a text to you today with details of that competition which can also be found here

Stay safe and well. Looking forward to “seeing” you next Thursday night in the new virtual world

 

The attached was sent to 6th year parents on the 12th of May, 2020

The following was sent on the 1st of May, 2020

Dear Parents

We hope this letter finds you and your family safe and well in these uncertain times. We are now at the halfway point in our remote learning experience for 2020. We hope this letter finds you all well and you feel supported by us as a school. Can I remind you once again that if you need to make contact please send an email to colaistemhuire@tipperaryetb.ie and mark it to the attention of your child’s year head. Thank you to parents who have commended the teachers and Year Heads on their work. We appreciate the positive feedback and have passed it on to them. 

Engagement Reports

We have sent a separate letter explaining this. This report is supplied for information purposes only in order to provide you with an opportunity to decide on the appropriate level of engagement for your Child. 

Important Information for 3rd year Parents

The department has announced that the Junior Cycle assessments will take place before the end of the term in school. The State Examinations commission will refund you the fees paid for Junior Cycle State Exams directly. We are currently preparing a comprehensive plan around assessment and full details of this will be at https://www.cmco.ie/remote-learning-assessment/. Your child will receive a report through compass in June from us which reflects this agreed assessment. If you have any further queries see https://www.education.ie/en/Learners/Information/State-Examinations/

End of Year Assessment

We are working with staff to come up with a comprehensive plan around assessment for all year groups (except for 6th year) 

Links will be posted to https://www.cmco.ie/remote-learning-assessment/ with full detail of assessment as soon as we can. 

Student Support

Can we remind you again that students can reach out to Miss Hickey or Miss Byrne for support through the Guidance google classroom m2gesxk Is the code. Miss Purtill, Mr Stapelton and Miss Morgan have also been doing trojan work in this area. 

Extra Curricular

Thank you to Mr Byrne who has been leading an exercise class, and as part of Active week has encouraged students to share their videos with the school community. It is great to see students engaging so well and keeping up with this important part of the ENERGY programme. 

We had lovely poetry recitations and sharing of favourite poems yesterday for Poetry Ireland Day and  over 70 members of the school community shared their Drop everything and Read photos last Friday. Special thanks to Miss Dunphy and Miss Butler for these initiatives. This is all so appreciated as it keeps us all connected. 

Congratulations to the Home Economics students who participated in an All Ireland online Home Economics challenge over the last few weeks. This was organised by the Association of Teachers of Home Economics. It was called ‘Home Ec at Home.’ Students were asked to send in images of how they were using Home Ec in their own lives now that they could not use it at school. We are so proud of Enda Wickham (1st year) who was the overall winner of a €100 voucher. He had strong internal and external competition. Enda cooked a three course dinner for his family.

Mr Fanning reports brilliant engagement with his Engineering challenges (a little bird tells me that Easter eggs were involved!).  It has been great to see the practical science photos coming back also. 

Miss Hynes and Miss Ryan have been running an online book club for Junior School students and they tell me it is thriving. 

It has been great to hear that some of the RE teachers are continuing the 3 Good Things and the breathing parts of the ENERGY programme, weekly and we are pleased to note the engagement in the Google Classroom Wellbeing class.

First year Options

Thank you to parents who have been engaging with us regarding subject options. The majority of students got their choices (which is always good) and those who did not will be contacted directly by Miss Hickey to discuss the same. 

New First Years

We have created an online platform to support our new first years in their transition. If you have a child in the school already and have a child coming into first year we would be very interested in hearing your feedback on this. 

Uniform

Helen from Imps and Elves will make appointments for uniform fittings and orders at 086-8886668

Keep safe and well. 

Denis Quinn                           Clare Wallace
Principal                                  Deputy Principal 

 

The following was sent on 20th of April, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

We hope that you and your family had a good Easter and are keeping safe and well. The  good weather was a bonus and brought us all a bit of sunshine! We all remain in a state of uncertainty as to how this ongoing health crisis will impact on our futures and I hope that each family is finding their own positive ways to manage at this time.

In this new reality, we will be continuing with Distance Learning for the foreseeable future. We all acknowledge that it is not an ideal situation for anyone, and we know that our students and teachers are missing the daily interactions with each other.

Update from The Minister of Education

  • The Leaving Cert exams are scheduled to start in late July and to be completed throughout the month of August. The Minister has also proposed that schools will reopen for 6th Years, including LCA6 students, in the weeks leading up to the exams. The amended timetable for these exams will be issued in June.
  • Junior Cycle exams will take place, in some format, at the start of the new school year.

Therefore, all students are expected to remain fully engaged with their schoolwork as set by their teachers each week. We encourage all of our students  to remain focused on their studies at this time and to minimise their engagement with speculation and conjecture on social media as this will only add to their existing stress levels. Students should also ensure that they are taking appropriate breaks from their studies and that they are engaging with friends and family where possible.

ETBI (our patron body) has issued the following guidance which we think is worth sharing:

This last term of 6th  year, while it is the business end of the school year, is usually one that is very enjoyable for the students and we are aware that they are missing out on the social side of that experience at the moment. Traditionally, we have had a sixth year outing and a Graduation Ceremony in late May. Once this national crisis has passed, we look forward to organising an event for the current 6th Year students and their families to acknowledge their time in the CMCO

Remember – the purpose of the nationwide school closures and the increased restrictions are to help prevent the further spread of the Covid-19 illness. It is important that parents/guardians continue to minimise and monitor their children’s movements in the coming weeks and follow all advice given. Students should remain at home and not socialise with others.

Please note that the school office remains closed at this time, but any relevant information will be forwarded to parents either by text message or via our social media platforms and will be uploaded to the remote learn section on our website www.cmco.ie

Queries to: colaistemhuire@tipperaryetb.ie

Useful info, tips, videos etc, for parents and students, log onto www. cmco.ie – RemoteLearn Section

Yours sincerely

Denis Quinn, Clare Wallace & Mid Mgt Team

The following was sent on 3rd of April

May we take this opportunity to thank you for your support over the last 3 weeks. Our first letter spoke about entering uncharted waters. We have navigated the course with you all and while it has been an enriching experience for many of our teachers and students, we certainly hope to return to dry land after Easter!

Exam Students:

There is no official update on State Examinations. Please keep an eye on reputable media sources over the coming weeks. We will be in touch after Easter with any updates we receive over that time. It is of vital importance that Exam students continue to work toward final exams. All indications, at the moment, are that they will go ahead. For Exam students the next two weeks should be about personal revision plans and consolidation. Using study skills and past papers is a great starting point for anyone who doesn’t know where to begin.

Well being

A reminder about the PE and Wellbeing classes that have been set up on Google Classroom. It might be useful to revisit them over the Easter break.

Our website also has some useful wellbeing resources for parents and students https://www.cmco.ie/wellbeing-during-covid19/

We also have a nice section which you can refer anyone who is cocooning to – https://www.cmco.ie/cocooning-webpage/

Remote learning

As it will be Easter, over the next two weeks, teachers will not be putting resources on Google Classroom. However, if your child wishes to continue their studies the classrooms, with all resources uploaded so far, will still be there. There are also links on https://www.cmco.ie/educational-resources-march-20/ if any student wants to extend their learning. We urge students to take a break and time for their wellbeing in the next few weeks.

Thank you again,  for your support in these last few weeks. We are very much hoping to resume normal business after the break!

Mr Quinn has sent an assembly that will distributed to all year groups by year heads.

 

The following was sent on the 27th of March

As the second week of remote learning draws to a close we wanted to keep you updated on the situation as we currently know it.

Information from the Department of Education

  • Schools will remain closed until the 19th of April. That means there will be one more week of online tuition, followed by 2 weeks of Easter holiday.
  • There has been no further update, from last week, on the state examinations.
  • During the week a joint statement was issued from all the school managing bodies urging parents to ensure that students keep social distance.

Student Wellbeing

  • This week google classrooms in PE and Wellbeing were set up. The code for the Wellbeing class is m2gesxk and the code for the PE class is vvn3rna please encourage your child to participate on both of these classes.
  • Please use the school email address colaistemhuire@tipperaryetb.ie if you wish to contact your child’s year head or the HSCL about any concern you may have. Mark it for their attention and Una will forward it to the relevant year head.

Classwork

  • We are very impressed by the overall level of engagement and work being produced by our students. We know many parents are heavily involved in this and we thank you for your support.
  • Arising from last week’s letter we got some very good suggestions on technical support students needed. We have added some video tutorials to the website which can be found in our new section https://www.cmco.ie/remote-learning/
  • Can you please encourage your child to write down what they need to do in their diaries so that they can keep on top of the workload and it feels more like the normal homework routine. 

Finally, I would like to thank the parents who have been in touch to thank us for the support and teaching that continues to go on through google classroom. We had a virtual staff meeting during the week and while this new online world is a major learning curve and adjustment for our teachers, knowing that parents  are supportive of their efforts was much appreciated. We also spoke to all teachers during the week and their overriding comment was how much they miss your children and how they hope they are well. So please tell them we miss them and hope to see them in person soon. 

We hope you and your families are well

 

The following was posted on 24th of March

The following was an update sent on Thursday 27th of March

As our first week of supporting your child remotely draws to a close, we wanted to be in touch.

As you know the government has declared that all schools will remain closed until the 30th of March. We continue to work towards this date until any further updates. Note information released today, on state exams at http://bit.ly/3a4IAv5

To support your children the following has been happening

  1. Teachers are using google classroom to distribute work, put up notes and get assignments
  2. Some teachers may link to videos or create videos and ask students to complete work based on that
  3. Some teachers may ask students to create their own content
  4. Some teachers have held/will hold “face to face” class with Google Hangouts

Note: if using Google Hangouts  with their teachers; students should turn off the speaker and the video so that they can see what the teacher is doing while maintaining their privacy, but they can turn on the mic again if they have a question.  We are aware that some students have very poor internet and so the notes are also being put up online in this scenario.

Please ensure that your child is aware of the Acceptable Use Policy (on www.cmco.ie). It is important that students show respect for teachers and each other while using the online platform.

This is a learning curve for students and teachers. While Google Classroom is fully embedded in the school, we have never had a situation where it is our sole means of teaching.

Further to our recent session on internet safety with parents we ask all parents to familiarise themselves with this important topic – further information is available at https://www.webwise.ie/parents/. We will share any information regarding free resources on our school webpage at https://www.cmco.ie/educational-resources-march-20/. These will provide an enriching experience in most subject areas.

Finally, if you have any query (no matter how small you might think it is) please use the following form to communicate with us. http://bit.ly/CMCO2Parent1903

The following is an update on the 12th of March

Further to our letter yesterday, we can now confirm that school will be closed from 6pm this evening until 29 March 2020. We are undoubtedly in un-chartered waters.

Teachers have distributed work today and will continue to use google classroom in the coming weeks. Students will be expected to engage in self-directed learning for the most part.  All exam students should use their exam papers. Students can use  study-clix (code given to students ) and need to check in with Google classroom regularly.

We are awaiting instructions for contingency plans in relation to orals and practicals. A google classroom has been set up for communication purposes with 6th and 3rd years by their year heads. If your child did not get the code please ask them to contact someone else in their class for the code or to email their year heads.

We remind you again that students must bring all their books, copies and equipment home. The school building will not be open during the closure.

We wish everyone well and hope that all our students and their families will be safe and healthy in the coming weeks. Continue to follow HSE guidelines – stay well.

 

 

The following was added to the website on 11th of March

Information below has been texted to parents and sent in a letter via text.

We had a whole school assembly in the week of the  9th of March to allay fears around COVID-19 for our students. In line with the advice sheet from the HSE we reiterated that

  1. Handwashing with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, regularly is required
  2. Coughing/Sneezing into elbow or tissue that is disposed of in a bin is important
  3. Students should avoid touching their nose, eyes and mouth
  4. If students are sick they should stay at home
  5. If students are concerned they should discuss these worries with their parents, tutor, year head or any member of the student support team.
  6. Avoid all large social gatherings

The Chief Medical Officer, has said that school should not close. However, should this happen it is important that we are ready to deal with closure.

With this in mind students have been told the following:

  1. Make sure you can log into your school gmail account – see Miss Bergin or Miss Purtill  TODAY if you need your password reset
  2. The code for study clix has been shared with parents and students
  3. Students have been told that they  must bring all their books home every night – if the school closes, as we will not have access to the building

Parents please make sure your contact details are Up-To-Date on the school system.

Please advise us if you are travelling out of the country as a family.

 

The following links are useful

 

Link to Department of Education advice on Covid-19