A printed copy of this information letter was sent to all parents/guardians on Tuesday 23 September 2014.
The Google Translate tool available on the right-hand side of this webpage maybe used to translate the letter to a language of your choice.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We are in our fourth week of the new school year and I hope your child is completely settled and happy in school. I wish to thank you very genuinely for the wonderful work you have done to prepare your child for school this year. I would like you to know how much we appreciate the effort you invest in preparing your child for school. It is so positive and affirming for your child to know that you value education and want her/him to be happy and successful in school. In order to ensure the smooth running of the school, I would like to remind you of the following:
I am the designated liaison (DLP) for child protection in Presentation Senior School. Any individual who is concerned about the welfare of a child may report their concerns directly to me. The school’s child protection policy and a copy of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools are published on the school website – www.presentationmullingar.ie .
We are exceptionally pleased that the Presentation Schools now offer a seamless co-educational model from junior infants to sixth class. We have a total of forty-nine boys in our school now.
Parents and guardians are advised that children must attend school every day unless they are unable to do so for valid reasons. Please send in a note to the class teacher to explain an absence. A copy of the school’s attendance policy is published on our website.
The children are expected to be in the back yard when the first bell rings at 8:47am. At this time, they line up and wait until their teacher calls them into class when the second bell rings at 8:50am. We would be sincerely grateful if you could ensure that your child is in the back yard when the first bell rings at 8:47am.
We request all parents/guardians to ensure that their child/children are collected promptly when classes end at 2:30pm. The children are always advised to return to the secretary’s office if they are not collected promptly at 2:30pm.
In order to facilitate drop off and collection of children, Westmeath Town Council provide parents/guardians and their children with the following:
- Free car parking in the car park opposite the school for drop off in the morning and collection in the afternoon
- A lollipop lady (Marrion) to help pedestrians cross the road safely to the school from the car park
- One disabled person’s parking space for use only by drivers with a disabled person’s parking card
A new footpath was also constructed last year to ensure pedestrians can walk safely from the car park up to the place where Marrion (Lollipop lady) assists with crossing the road. I strongly urge parents/guardians, who drop their children to school by car, to park safely in the car park opposite the school and ask their children to use the footpath provided to walk to the point where they will be assisted by Marrion to cross the road. In order to protect the safety of children and prevent unnecessary interruptions to the flow of traffic on Harbour Street, parents/guardians are respectfully requested not to double-park outside the school. You are also requested to park only in the marked car parking spaces in the car park. Your co-operation with the above is very much in the interest of student safety and will be very much appreciated.
Children are permitted to take mobile phones to school. In order to avoid loss or damage, phones must be handed up to the school secretary when the first bell sounds at 8:47am in the morning. Phones are stored in a locked cabinet. Children who take phones to school must ensure that they are switched off while they are in school unless they are requested by a class teacher to use them for learning activities.
Internet/Email Acceptable Use
All children are expected to adhere to the school’s Internet/Email acceptable use policy. A copy of the policy is available for parents/guardians on the school website. Parents/guardians of children using school email accounts are advised to monitor usage regularly. We cannot view your child’s school email account password but we can reset it for you upon request.
Children who cycle to school are asked to dismount before they enter the school grounds. Bicycles should be locked and parked in the shelter provided. The school cannot accept responsibility for bicycles left on the school premises.
An extremely high standard of behaviour underpinned by the values of respect, empathy, trust and integrity is expected from all pupils, staff and visitors. We are very determined to maintain an extremely high standard of pupil behaviour in our school as we want to ensure that teaching and learning are not interrupted or compromised by inappropriate student behaviour. I wish to advise parents/guardians, therefore, to familiarise themselves with the school’s code of behaviour which is published on the school website.
Bullying is repeated systematic aggression, verbal, physical or psychological, conducted by an individual or group, against others (individual or group). Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, which will not be condoned, cannot be described as bullying. When such behaviour is systematic or ongoing, it is bullying.
Bullying will never be tolerated in Presentation Senior School. At our monthly assembly, the children are reminded to report bullying incidents immediately or, at least, before the end of the school day. If your child is too upset or afraid, for any reason, to report bullying incidents, please make an appointment to meet with the class teacher to make her aware of your concerns. If, for any reason, you are not satisfied that the issues are being dealt with effectively or in a timely fashion, please make an appointment to meet with me. Bullying, including Incidents of cyberbullying that occur outside of school, should be reported directly to the Gardaí. A copy of the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy is available on our website.
Communication with Parents/Guardians
You are your child’s primary educator. We are, therefore, very anxious to develop a strong partnership with all of our parents/guardians. Our Parents as Partners policy is published on our website. Parents/guardians should be aware of the following:
- Parent/Teacher Meetings will be held in November. Adequate advance notice will be sent out to parents/guardians.
- One printed newsletter will be sent out to parents each term. A monthly e-newsletter will also be sent to parents/guardians by email. Only those parents/guardians who have provided a valid email address will receive this newsletter. A copy of the newsletter will be posted on the front page of the website.
- The school website will be updated regularly in order to provide you with a continuous flow of information pertaining to school activities, events and achievements. Parents/guardians are advised to check the website regularly for updates.
- The school calendar is updated regularly and is available on the front page of the website.
- In an effort to be economical with school funds, we intend to reduce our usage of the text-a-parent service and rely more on email for circulating information to parents/guardians. All group emails sent to parents/guardians will also be posted on the front page of the school website.
- A dedicated meeting room is available in the school for parent/teacher meetings. Parents/guardians who wish to speak to a teacher are asked to contact the school secretary to arrange an appointment to meet with their child’s class-teacher. For security reasons, and in order to ensure that learning and teaching are not unnecessarily interrupted, parents/guardians are not permitted to go directly to any classroom. Appointments with teachers must be pre-arranged through the main office or the class teacher.
It is absolutely imperative that we have up to date contact details for parents/guardians. If you move home or change any of your phone numbers, please send in your new contact details to our school secretary who will change the details immediately on the student management system that is accessed by staff. Please also provide the school with an address of an email account you access regularly.
Last year, our parent/guardian body established a new Parent/Guardian Association. The committee worked extremely hard and made a very real difference to our school. The names of the committee members and a copy of the association’s constitution is available in the parent/guardian section of our website.
The Parent/Guardian Association’s AGM will take place this Wednesday, 24th September, at 7:30pm. Bernie Kane is the guest speaker and she will provide advice for parents/guardians in relation to healthy lunches. We would be extremely grateful if you would show your support for the association by attending the AGM. Tea/coffee will be provided on arrival for all those who attend.
The Parent/Guardian Association committee are currently organising a social evening for families in Rock ‘n Bowl on Thursday 23rd of October. It is not intended that this event will raise money. It is simply a social event that we hope children and parents/guardians will enjoy together.
As part of our healthy lunch policy, children are not permitted to eat chocolate, sweets or crisps in school. Children are permitted to eat one treat on a Friday which consists of a biscuit or small bar. Children are not permitted to eat chewing gum at any time during the school day.
Visitors to the School
For security reasons, all visitors to the school are expected to enter the building using the main reception entrance only. Parents/guardians who come to the school for any reason are also respectfully requested to use this entrance only. Your co-operation with this request is very much appreciated. A copy of the school’s policy with respect to visitors is available on our website.
Collaboration with the Junior School
As you are aware, we are continuing to strengthen our collaborative links with the Junior School in order to ensure that there is a seamless school experience for boys and girls attending the Presentation Schools from junior infants to sixth class. This year, we made a big effort to ensure that the enrolment process was as easy as possible for parents/guardians. If you would like to provide us with feedback with respect to the new process, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org .
I wish to very sincerely thank parents/guardians for purchasing the new school uniform. The new uniform looks absolutely fantastic and I believe the image of our school is very much enhanced by its introduction. Parents/guardians are reminded that children are expected to wear a full school uniform every day. A note from a parent/guardian should be provided when a child is unable to wear their full uniform every day. Parents/guardians are also reminded that, for safety reasons, only stud ear-rings are permitted in school.
School Self Evaluation Process (SSE)
As part of the School Self Evaluation (SSE) process, we have developed action plans for literacy, numeracy, attendance and parental involvement. A copy of the action plans are available in the parent/guardian section of the website under the heading ‘SSE’. The Board of Management has been furnished with a draft of our School Self Evaluation report. A copy of the report will be uploaded to the school website when it has been ratified by the Board. We wish to sincerely thank all of the children and the parents/guardians who completed the online surveys to help us gather evidence to support our SSE report. During the 2013/2014 school year, we focused on making improvements with respect to the teaching of literacy. During this school year, we are focusing on making improvements with respect to the teaching of numeracy. In particular, we are trying very hard to improve the results of standardised tests in the following areas of the Mathematics curriculum:
- Shape and Space strand
- Problem Solving Skills
Improvements to Building and Facilities
We are continuing to improve our school building and facilities. More than 1.2 million euro has been spent over the last five years on improvements to our building and facilities. This summer, the toilets in rooms 11, 12, 13, 17 and 18 were completely refurbished and modernised. We are also building on a new block of toilets for boys on the ground floor and the first floor of the main building. When this work is completed all areas of the school will have suitable disability access and toilet facilities. In the coming weeks, works will be carried out to improve the playground facilities at the rear of the school.
Due to rising costs and the reduced level of funding received from the Department of Education and Skills (DES), it has been necessary for us to make massive efforts to ensure that school funds are used for unavoidable costs only. As part of our efforts to keep the school solvent, I must ensure that every parent/guardian pays for the following items on the school booklists before the Halloween break:
- Book Rental – €15
- Materials – €40
- Reading Eggs – €5
Parents/guardians who have not paid for all of these items are advised that they may pay the total amount in instalments between now and the end of October. Money received will be used to pay bills in the order outlined above. I believe everyone will agree that these fees are only fair if they apply to every child in the school.
I wish to thank all of the parents/guardians who supported our 5K run in June. It was an extremely successful event which raised €900 to purchase literacy resources for the school. We will be very grateful if all parents/guardians support our fundraising efforts again this year.
I sincerely hope that this is a wonderful school year for your child in Presentation Senior School. Our staff is deeply committed to providing very positive, enjoyable and authentic learning experiences for your child that will help her/him to develop to his/her full potential. Our commitment to partnership with parents/guardians is underpinned by a sincere believe in the importance of every child feeling and believing she/he is strongly supported by a very positive and effective collaborative partnership between the home and the school.