Letter (1) 03092020

Dear Parents                                        Issue: 01                                                                 September 3rd 2020

The staff and I wish to welcome you all back to Scoil Chroí Naofa at the beginning of this very different school year! May I also take this opportunity on behalf of the staff and myself, to thank you all so very much for your co-operation and help over the last few days. We feel that the new processes have worked very well and couldn’t have done it without you. We hope that pupils, staff & parents will have a safe and happy school year.

The challenges are of course far from over, schools have put in huge work to ensure that they can reopen safely, an equal effort will be needed to ensure that schools remain open.

However, keeping schools open will depend not only on what schools do, but the active cooperation of all members of the school and the wider community. Schools have done the hard work to reopen, but schools can only stay open if everyone; pupils, parents, staff and the wider community behave responsibly, obey the health guidelines and work with school management to keep schools as safe as possible. It takes a community to keep a school open.

Parents are to contact their GP should their child be displaying any symptoms of Covid-19. The GP is the professional best placed to provide the most up to date advice including public health advice at this point. Under no circumstances are children displaying symptoms of Covid-19 to be sent to school.

The Minister for Health has confirmed that Coronavirus GP consultations will remain free of charge.


Do NOT send your child to school if any of the following is true

Your child has:

  • A temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or more
  • Any other common symptoms of coronavirus such as a new cough, loss or changed sense of taste or smell, or shortness of breath
  • Been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus
  • Been living with someone who is unwell and may have coronavirus

You will need to:

  • Isolate your child. This means keeping them at home and completely avoiding contact with other people as much as possible. Your child should only leave your home to have a test or to see your GP
  • Phone your GP. They will advise you if your child needs a coronavirus test
  • Everyone that your child lives with should also restrict their movements, at least until your child gets a diagnosis from their GP or a coronavirus test result. This means not going to school, childcare or work.
  • Treat your child at home for their symptoms


It’s usually okay to send your child to school if they:

  • Only have nasal symptoms, such as a runny nose or a sneeze
  • Do not have a temperature of 38 degrees Celcius or more (as long as their temperature has not been lowered by taking any form of paracetamol or ibuprofen)
  • Do not have a cough
  • Have not been in close contact with anyone who has coronavirus
  • Do not live with anyone who is unwell and may have coronavirus
  • Have been told by a GP that their illness is caused by something else that is not coronavirus. Your GP will tell you when they can return to school.
  • Have got a negative (“not detected”) coronavirus test result and have not had symptoms for 48hrs

Most of the time, you do not need to phone your GP if a runny nose or sneezing are your child’s only symptoms. Talk to your pharmacist instead.

If you or a member of your household have travelled to a country that is not on the “green list”, then your child should not be sent to school for 14 days after you return home. You need to “self-isolate” in accordance with the state’s public health guidelines.

At the end of this newsletter you will find a “Working Together Agreement with Parents during the Covid-19 emergency”. This agreement is a summary of our commitments to you and the commitments we hope you will make to us.

Staff News:

  • We welcome a number of new staff members:
    • Mrs Laura McSpadden is teaching the 1st / 2nd class
    • Mr Shane Kelly is teaching the 5th / 6th class
    • Miss Chloe Waldron is teaching the second 4th class
    • Ms Roseanne Treahy is our new Special Needs Assistant
  • Mrs Broderick will be job-sharing with Mrs Comer as part of the Special Education Team


  • Please make sure you have downloaded the Aladdin app on your phone and have notifications turned on, as teachers may be using it to correspond with parents during the school year.
  • If your child has been absent from school please record the reason for the absence on the Aladdin app (you will need to wait until teacher has marked your child absent first, before you will be given the option to record the reason).
  • If at all possible, please pay monies due for Book Rental and School Costs via the Aladdin app

Arrival at School:

  • Children will no longer be assembling in lines at the back of the school every morning.
  • Each class has been assigned a certain door by which they enter & exit the school building. Each door has a sticker with the corresponding colour.

Key to Entrances & Exits

Entrance and Exit Points Number Colour Code
Main door of school (beside secretary’s office) 1 Red
Junior Corridor Yard Door 2 Green
Senior Corridor Yard Door 3 Blue
Exit door at the front of the school nearest door 1. 4 Yellow
Exit door at the front of the school nearest car entrance. 5 Purple
Top Yard door beside Mrs Monson’s classroom. 6 Orange

Entrance & Exit Points for Specific Classes

Teacher Class Entrance Point Exit Point
Ms. Feeney Jun Inf 1 5
Ms. Tyrrell Jun Inf 1 1
Ms. Alani Sen Inf 4 4
Mrs. Murray Sen Inf 2 2
Mr. McDonald Sen Inf 3 3
Mr Hanley 1st class 5 5
Ms. Dolan 1st class 5 5
Ms. McSpadden 1st/2nd split 3 3
Ms O’Byrne 2nd class 2 2
Ms. Waldron 4th class 4 4
Mrs Monson 6th class 6 6
  • Children whose class is one of the prefabs should go directly to the prefab.
  • Children can be dropped off from 8:30am and are to make their way directly to their classrooms / prefabs.
  • All external doors will be closed at 8:50am. I urge parents to use this 20 min window to have their child / children in on time every day.
  • There will be a special provision made for the children from junior infants to 2nd class for the first couple of weeks
  • No adults, other than staff members should enter the building.
  • Messages for teachers can be sent by email / phoning the school office.
  • If an adult has to collect a child during the course of the school day, the following arrangement will apply:
    • When adult arrives at the school, they should phone the office (091) 844510 at the front door of the school (Door 1) to alert the office they have arrived
    • The child will be brought from their class to the adult by a member of staff
    • The adult who is collecting the child will be asked to sign the child out
    • No adult should enter the school building, unless invited to do so.

Junior & Senior Infant children:

  • Junior and Senior infant children must be collected from their assigned doors.
  • All Junior Infant children will go home at 1.30pm from Monday, September 14th. Parents / Guardians should wait at the relevant Exit door and the children will be released one at a time. (Please observe social distancing guidelines at all times)
  • For parents of Junior & Senior Infant children who are collected at 1.30pm please be aware that there are classes working in the prefabs. We would be grateful if your children could be kept reasonably quiet while passing. Please remind them also, that they are not allowed to go up and down the steps of the prefabs.

First class children:  

Please make sure that you arrange with your child where exactly you will collect him/her at 2.30pm, e.g. in the yard, at the front wall, at the Church etc. We would ask that you phone or email the office to let teacher know that you are happy that your child knows where they will be collected. They will exit the school through the door specified above.

Second to Sixth class children:

The childrenwill exit the school via their assigned doors and will be asked to remain socially distanced as they do so. Teacher will allow each pod to leave the classroom separately in order to minimise contact. Their parents are asked to have clearly explained to them where outside the school they are to go to at the end of the school day.

Any pupil who gets anxious for whatever reason after leaving the school is asked to return to the school via Door 1 (beside secretary’s office) and sit outside Principal’s office where they will be supervised until contact is made with their parents.

Start of Term Reminders:

We seek your co-operation with the following reminders:

  • Staff request all outstanding monies for book rental and school costs be paid as soon as possible. Please do this via the Aladdin app, if at all possible. (Any issues please contact the office).  
  • Please label all children’s clothes and belongings clearly including lunchboxes, drink containers and pocket-sized bottles of hand sanitiser.
  • Children in Junior & Senior Infants do not need to bring a hand towel to school – this is a slight change to the guidance issued at the end of August.
  • There is hand sanitiser available at every entrance door & in every classroom. Children are asked to bring their own pocket-sized bottle, purely to avoid queues of children using the class sanitiser. If you feel your child is too young to have their own bottle of sanitiser, then this is no problem and entirely your choice.
  • Please make sure that your child has Runners for PE.
  • Please ensure you child brings their raincoat to school for days that will be wet. Outdoor activity is being encouraged by the Department of Education.
  • All children require an old large shirt (labelled) for Visual Art Activities.
  • Check your child’s hair to ensure that any infestation of head lice is treated at once.  Long hair should be tied back.   

Health & Safety:

  1. For the purpose of social distancing cars will no longer use the staff carpark. The school are using this as a yard which gives us more space to keep the children in smaller groups during break times.
  2. Parents of all children are requested to say goodbye to their children in the yard and let them enter the building / prefab by themselves.
  3. All children will sanitise their hands when they come into school
  4. Each class will be considered an independent “bubble”. This means that the class will be confined to mixing with only their own class group. This includes break times,
  5. Within each class from 3rd to 6th, the children will be further divided into pods, with a minimum distance of 1 metre being maintained between pods.
  6. The school bottom yard, top yard and front of the school have all been divided into zones and break times are also being staggered. Each class has been assigned their “zone” in the yard and their set break times.
  7. No cars are allowed onto school grounds except in exceptional circumstances agreed with principal. All cars should be parked outside the school grounds in car parks outside the school gates and at the Church.
  8. Please ensure that your child does not walk on the wall.
  9. Please note that Coláiste an Eachréidh and Gael Scoil Riada are operating out of the old Presentation Secondary school building. As a result there will be difficulty parking and a lot of additional traffic.

The Board of Management will not accept responsibility for children in the school yard before 8.30am or after 2.30pm.

General Reminders:

  • Punctuality: The staff of Scoil Chroí Naofa consider punctuality to be of paramount importance. Please ensure that your child is in school by 8.50am (at the latest) to avoid disruption to the beginning of the school day for teachers. Roll call is taken in the early morning, every day. The school doors will be open from 8.30am and all doors will be closed at 8.50am. If your child arrives to school after this time, they should go to the main front door (red door 1) where the secretary will let them in & bring them to their class.
  • School Uniform: Your co-operation to ensure that your child wears the full school uniform every day is most appreciated. Please remember to label your child’s uniform and all their belongings. Children will continue to come to school in their uniform as normal. There is no reference in public health guidance to daily washing of school uniforms.
  • Absences: In accordance with Section 18 of the Education Welfare Act 2000, when a pupil is absent for part or all of a school day, parent(s) must notify teacher or Principal of the reasons for the pupil’s absence. If a pupil is absent for more than 20 days during the school year, the school authorities must inform the Education Welfare Board who consult with parents. In order to comply with the Act, staff and I need your cooperation with the following
    • If your child is absent, please log the reason for the absence on the Aladdin app (you will need to wait until teacher has marked your child absent from school, before you have the option to update the reason).
    • If your child has to leave the school during the school day, the person who is collecting your child must sign him/her out at theSecretary’s Office.
  • Child Protection: The Department of Education and Science has introduced Child Protection Procedures for Primary Schools in relation to Child Protection and Welfare. The Board of Management has adopted these procedures as School Policy.  Consequently if there is a matter of concern in relation to the abuse of children we are obliged to report this to Túsla, who will assess the case and provide the necessary support for the child concerned.
  • Nut Allergies: Some children have a severe nut allergy therefore all nuts are forbidden. Please provide your child with fruit/veg for first break. Children will have a 10 min eating break after they come in from their two yard breaks. A colour-coded summary of our Healthy Eating policy is attached.
  • Medical Problems: Please make the school aware if your child has any medical problems. The information given in this regard will be treated with total confidentiality. In the case of a child necessitating urgent medical attention and where parents cannot be contacted, he / she will be taken to a local doctor or A&E.
  • Change of Address: If you change address, email or phone numbers, please inform secretary so she can update school records. Regular school newsletters will not be handed out to the children, they will only be e-mailed, so please ensure that we have your most current e-mail address on file.
  • News Publications: During the coming year we will be submitting articles and photos to the Connacht Tribune, the Tuam Herald and the Athenry News & Views Magazine, etc. If you do not wish your child’s name or photo to be submitted please contact the school.
  • Birthday Invitations: The staff and Parents Council have discussed the following and seek your co-operation in the best interests of all children: Birthday invitations should not be distributed on the school premises as it causes upset to the children who are not invited.

School Assemblies:

  • There will be no school assemblies this school year.

School Website:

The Lunch Box:

  • The healthy school lunch delivery service “The Lunch Bag” is available in the school again this year. For more information see www.thelunchbag.ie.
  • Download the app to your smartphone, select your County and then choose the school name.

New Aquarium:

Our sincere thanks to the Board of Management who have agreed to fund the installation of an aquarium inside the front door. The aquarium will be installed inside the main front door (red door 1) where the junior infants enter the building. The aquarium will be maintained by local man Tommy Cheevers and we can’t wait to see it!!

Please see overleaf the School Calendar for 2020  / 2021 in order for you to plan your holidays accordingly.

With every good wish for the year ahead.

Yours sincerely

Fergal Naughton  


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Telephone:  091-844510

Email: [email protected]


SCHOOL OPENING:                    Tuesday 1st of September

MID TERM BREAK:                    Monday 26th of October to Friday 30th of October

                                                School re-opens on Monday, 2nd of November

CHRISTMAS BREAK:                 Wednesday 23rd of December to Tuesday 5th of January

                                            School closes on Tuesday 22nd of December

                                                School re-opens on Wednesday 6th of January.

MID TERM BREAK:                    Thursday 18th and Friday 19th of February

                                                School re-opens on Monday, 22nd of February

ST. PATRICK’S DAY:                 School closed onWednesday 17th of March

EASTER BREAK:                         Monday 29th of March to Sunday 11th of April

School closes on Friday 26th of March

                                                School re-opens on Monday 12th of April

MAY MID TERM:                         Monday 3rd of May to Friday 7th of May

                                                            School closes on Friday April 30th 

                                                            School re-opens on Monday May 10th

BANK HOLIDAY:                         School closed Monday 7th of June

SUMMER   HOLIDAYS:             School closes on Wednesday 30th of June.

Please Note:    This calendar could be subject to change as part of contingency arrangements to make up for time lost due to unforeseen school closures.  You will be given adequate notice of any changes.


THE FOOD PYRAMID GREEN Foods which are good for every day ORANGE Foods that can be good once or twice a week or in small amounts RED Foods that are not necessary for healthy eating or are unsafe and are not to be eaten in school
Top Shelf: Other Foods     School provides chocolates/sweets on feast days Chocolate products and sweets etc.
Oils, Spreads, Fats   Butter, Spreads   No chocolate spreads
Meat, Poultry, Fish   Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Pork, Ham, Lamb, Egg, Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel Chickpeas, Lentils, Bacon, Sausage, Salami, Luncheon, Corned beef, Billy roll Nuts
Dairy Produce   Milk, yogurt, Greek yogurt, cheese slices, drinking yogurt, fruit/plain yogurt, Frubes, cheese dippers Whole milk, Petit filous, flavoured milk, rice pudding, custard. Cheese strings, cheese spread, cheese triangles Chocolate mousse, sprinkler yogurts, Toffee/sweet corner yogurts,
Fruit & Vegetables   Apples, oranges, bananas, kiwi, plum, nectarine, peach, pineapple, melon, grapes, mandarins, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, carrots, green beans, mangetout, peppers, fruit salad Carrots, cooked or  uncooked cut into bite size pieces (preferably for Junior Infants to be eaten at desk at small break or lunch)   Dried fruit: raisins, sultanas, dates, apricots. Smoothies, olives, avocado, stewed fruit, tinned fruit                            
Cereals, Grains, Potatoes.   Wholegrain breads, rolls, baps, pitta, wraps crackers. Oatcakes, banana bread, Oat bars, wholemeal scones, soda bread, brown pasta, rice, noodles White breads, rolls, baps, pitta, wraps, crackers,rice cakes, Brioche, Plain cake, White scone, Plain bun, Croissants Chocolate breads, Iced rolls, Danish pastries, sausage rolls, sweet cereal bars eg. Rice Krispie bars
Fluids   Water, milk, soup Sugar squash, flavoured milks, Tea, yogurt drinks Fizzy drinks, Energy drinks, Full sugar squash, Capri sun, Hot chocolate

Working Together Agreement with Parents during the Covid-19 Emergency

This agreement sets out how we will work in partnership with families during this time.

Working together to implement public health guidelines:

  • We have been working hard to implement all of the public health guidelines.
  • Staff have been trained and inducted in the necessary changes
  • We will maintain a high standard of infection control with your help
  • It is important that children with a temperature or any other symptoms of illness do not attend school
  • We request that you wash your hands and your child’s hands before you leave home every day
  • We will support children to sanitise their hands upon arrival each day
  • We request that you do not enter the building without prior arrangement, to minimise contact between adults, and that you drop your child at the designated drop off and pick up point allocated to your child’s room.
  • Please phone (091) 844510 when you are outside the building to let us know you are there

Communicating together:

  • Essential visitors / suppliers will have access to the premises
  • We agree to keep in regular communication with families via email / text / Aladdin to let you know how things are going
  • We will take lots of photos of activities your child is engaged in and we will share the photos with you via the website (while adhering to our Internet Safety policy)
  • We agree to respond in a timely manner to queries you may have
  • You can request a phone call with us and we will do our best to talk to you on that day or as soon as is possible, when the children are not with us.
  • Please share information with us about how your child(ren) are doing at home. That will help us look after your child(ren) better
  • We will ensure clear communication pathways are in place

Working together for children:

  • We would like to know any concerns you have about your child(ren)’s well-being
  • We have kept things as familiar as possible for the children inside the building
  • We will be spending as much time as possible playing outside
  • We request that you provide suitable outdoor wear for your child as the Irish weather is unpredictable
  • We request that children do not bring any toys from home.
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