We are looking forward to seeing everyone on Thursday for another great school year together!
First day of school:
- School reopens on Thursday 29th August at 8.30am.
- It is a full day of school. Parents of children starting 1st class should note that their child will finish at 2.10pm each day now.
- The other school on our campus, Citywest and Saggart CNS, is reopening on Thursday also. Therefore, please leave the campus as early as you can after leaving your child to school - the campus will get extremely busy from 8.40am.
- Unfortunately, due to being on a shared campus, we cannot facilitate classroom visits or teacher introductions on the first morning. As usual, we will host events later in September to give you an opportunity to meet your child's teacher and to see their classroom.
- A reminder that photographs are not permitted. Please take photos before coming to school and then enjoy the experience of bringing your child back to school without seeing it through a lens.
Important dates for your diary:
- Monday 9th September - Junior Infants start on a full school day, 8.30am to 1.10pm each day. All parents are asked to be mindful of increased traffic in the car park this week and to leave the car at home if possible.
- Tuesday 17th September - school closed for staff training
URGENT - Drop-Off Coordinator Required
Massive thanks to Anna who has coordinated the Drop-Off Programme for families for the last number of years. I am sure that I write for all when I express our sincere thanks to her for doing this. All of the work behind the scenes paid off and the system ran seamlessly each day. Anna has now stepped down from coordinating the programme and a new coordinator is required. If you are willing to take this role on, please reply to this email to let us know and we will pass it on to the Parents Association. You don't have to be available every morning to coordinate it. Rather, you ensure that there is a schedule of volunteers so that the programme is staffed every day. Without a coordinator, the programme will not happen and the car park will be a lot more difficult for everyone to negotiate.
As you know, when we move to our permanent building later this term, there will be no parking whatsoever for parents on the campus and so this programme will prove vital.
So much work has gone into setting it up and keeping it running, it would be a great shame to lose it now. Please consider volunteering, either to take part in the programme or to coordinate it.
Please walk to school:
- Please walk, jog, cycle, scoot or even take the LUAS to school if you can at all. With almost 1000 families accessing our campus each day, every family that leaves the car at home helps everyone get to school safely.
- Walk on the paths only, never on the road.
- When near cars, adults should walk nearest the cars in case children are not tall enough to be seen by the driver.
- We recommend wearing high-vis jackets when walking. If you don't have one for you or for your child, they can be ordered for free from the Road Safety Authority of Ireland.
- If you must drive, please car pool if you can so as to reduce the number of cars entering the campus.
- No parking at any time of day in the drop-off zone or by the fence opposite the front of the building. Parking is in the large car park to the left of the Entrance gate only.
- There is NO parking for parents after the drop-off zone. Parking in this area is for staff members, buses, creche staff and drivers with a permit pass from either school displayed clearly on their dashboard. Parking in this area puts you, your child and our most vulnerable children at risk. Please don't do it. This applies to ALL times of day, not just morning time.
- Parking permits issued last year remain valid for the new school year, up to the time we move building. After that point, there will be no permits. Those with an official blue badge will be allowed to park in wheelchair-accessible spots.
- No parking on the road outside the school campus, at any time or for any length of time, even to drop off a child.
- Be considerate to pedestrians and other drivers. Give way. Everyone is under pressure and kindness saves lives.
School start time:
- School doors open at 8.30am each day. The school does not take responsibility for any child before the teachers collect the children after the bell goes at 8.30am. No child should ever be left unsupervised on the school campus. Kidorama Academy provide before-school care in our school building.
- If you arrive before 8.30am, please accompany your child to their line and wait with him/her. In this case, children in 3rd to 6th classes who wish to play with a ball should do so in the fenced-off area at the top of the yard. Children younger than that should not be allowed into that area at all.
- Children arriving after 8.30am on any day should enter via the main door of the school.
- Children arriving after 8.40am on any day must be accompanied in to the building and signed in.
Where to wait for your teacher on the first morning only:
- Martha's 1st class - line up where Sarah C's Senior Infants class lined up last year
- Deirdre's 1st class - line up where Mary Treasa's Senior Infants class lined up last year
- Eldon's 4th class - line up where Claire's 3rd class lined up last year
- Trisha's 4th class - line up where Amy's 3rd class lined up last year
- Sinead's 5th class - line up where Eldon's 4th class lined up last year
- Stephanie's 5th class - line up where Trisha's 4th class lined up last year
- All other classes - children should line up where they lined up in the mornings last year
- Children new to the school - please wait in the foyer at the front door of the school and a teacher will come to meet you after 8.30am
- The children will be taught on the first day where to line up on future days.
Collecting your child at the end of the day - first week:
- Sarah C's Senior Infants - please line up at the outside door directly into your child's classroom, which is on the left as you approach the front door of the school. At 1.10pm, the teacher will open the door and dismiss the children one by one. Please do not knock on the classroom window or engage your child's attention before this time. The teacher is trying to teach and needs every child as focussed as possible.
- Aisling's Senior Infants - please collect your child exactly as you did last year, via the main door of the school
- 1st classes - leave via the school yard
- 2nd, 3rd and 4th classes - leave via the front door of the school
- 5th and 6th classes - leave via the exit door behind the PE Hall, which is along the side of the building, close to the car park Exit gate
- Important - from 1st class: Children are not matched to parents in the same way they were in the Infant classes. While the teacher will oversee the children leaving the school, it is the parent's responsibility to have someone at the school on time to collect their child from school. You should also ensure that your child knows what to do if there is no-one there to collect him/her or if they are uncomfortable leaving with the person who says they are to collect them. In the early days of 1st class, we will pay extra attention as the children leave but this does not change the responsibility of each parent to be there on time.
IMPORTANT - Patronage process for new second-level school
The patronage process for the secondary school due to open in this building next September has started and the survey will open in the coming weeks for parents to tell the Department of Education which kind of secondary school you want. In order to be allowed to vote, you will need an Eircode within the assigned area and a PPSN for a child due to start secondary school in the coming 6 years. This means that a number of parents will not be allowed to vote and so we are hugely dependent on those of you who can to make your vote count. Those who can't vote: you can still help by talking to those who have a vote and encouraging them to #VoteEducateTogether.
There is no Educate Together Second-Level option for children in this area so an Educate Together Second-Level school here would increase choice for families.
Please follow the campaign on social media and give the campaign group every support you can. They will be in touch soon with details of an Information Night to be held at our school.
Change of clothes for school:
While we cannot accommodate changing bags for individual children, apart from those with particular care needs, we do maintain a general store of clean clothes for any child who might need them. We always appreciate donations of clean clothes for this store, in particular elasticated-waisted trousers and underwear. We are particularly short of clothes for older and/or bigger children. These can be left in to the school office at any time.
Anyone keeping an eye on our website over the summer will have noticed a number of new appointments to our school. We are delighted to welcome the following staff members to our school:
- Sinead Scully, 5th Class Teacher
- Sharon Devine, Key Support Teacher for Senior Infants
- Andrea Maher, Key Support Teacher for 1st Class
- Lisa McMahon, Key Support Teacher for 4th Class
- Sandra Doody, Key Support Teacher for 5th Class
Building work delays
Work on our permanent building continues at pace. However, it is a big project and it is now looking unlikely that we will be in by the mid-term in October. We are still hopeful that we will be in by the end of 2019, however.
Change of details or circumstance:
- It is most important that you let us know if your contact details change, including, for example, if your phone is out of order. It is vital that we can contact you immediately in case of emergency.
- If you have a change in family circumstance and your child has parents living in different homes, please let us know so that we can ensure both parents receive important notifications.
- If your child will not be returning to our school, please let us know immediately. We have waiting lists for most classes and could reallocate that school place to a child on the waiting list.
- If your child will not be at school on Thursday 29th August but will be returning in September, please let us know in advance so that we do not reallocate that school place in error.
- If you have not already paid the full amount of school expenses, please do so, via the link sent by email. If you wish to organise a payment plan, please contact me in confidence.
- We currently have a difficulty with the payment system for the school. Many thanks to those who have alerted us to this and thanks to all who continue to be patient while we get it fixed. Once it is fixed, we will issue new payment requests to those not already paid.
- The school cannot accept cash payments. Please do not put Nicola in the awkward position of having to refuse. Accepting cash puts school staff at risk, both on the premises and on the journey to the bank.
- 1st to 6th classes - reminder that there are items for parents to purchase ahead of the start of the new school year. Lists are available on our school website.
Communications from the school:
- One main communication tool is our school website, www.citywestetns.ie. Please visit regularly, particularly the News page and your child's class page.
- Another preferred communication tool is email. It is your responsibility to check your emails and to read the emails from us.
- When the teachers meet their classes at 8.30am each morning, their focus is on greeting the children and setting them up for a successful day of learning. If you have something to talk with the teacher about that will take more than a few seconds, please make an appointment via the school office.
I am very much looking forward to seeing you all on Thursday morning and to working with you in the care and education of your child(ren) over the coming year.