News Update – 03/12/2021

 

Dear Parent / Guardian / Colleague / Board Member,                                                                                               

Covid-19 Update – in total, as of today, we have 30 active cases broken down as follows;

Mrs Kelly’s Classroom = 1

Ms Dunlea’s Classroom = 4

Mr Earley’s Classroom = 3

Mrs Coffey’s Classroom = 9

Miss Denmead’s Classroom = 3

Mrs McGrath’s Classroom = 4

Mr Brunnock’s Classroom = 4

Staff = 2

Attendance – Our attendance rate for the week averaged 57% ranging from 54% on Monday to 60% on Friday. Last week we were notified of 21 cases while this week, the figure has decreased to 10 to date. This equates to 15% of our school community with active Covid, similar to wider community levels. Hopefully, we have reached our peak and that the graph will continue its downward trend. I expect to see more pupils back on Monday. I have spoken to all relevant families and my sense is that children are thankfully, not suffering noticeably from this strain of virus.

Antigen testing – When cases are reported, the parents of fellow pod members are informed if the infected child has been in school, directing them to a free phone number which entitles them to free antigen tests for that particular child. We commenced this process on Monday last. When a case is notified to us, an email will be sent detailing this process. It is of utmost importance that the principal is notified of each and every positive PCR result as promptly as possible. Please don’t reply to this email. The phone lines can be very busyunderstandably, so we ask for your patience in trying to contact the school. (Please keep correspondence through school office phone or discrete email only.)

Face Masks – There has been a recommendation that pupils between Rg 3 – Rg 6 wear face masks in primary schools.

HSE Guidance – I include the latest HSE guidance for those up to 13 years of age.

Isolation Quick Guide for U-13’s

In the interest of adults within the family, I also include the adult version for anyone over 13 yrs of age.

Isolation Quick Guide for over 13’s

Zoom and See saw – Teachers are engaging twice a day with those isolating /restricting movements through educational platforms. I thank the staff for this and express the hope that we will be in a position to continue this support until the end of next week, pending review of case load and self isolation rates.

Parent Teacher Meetings – Teachers have been contacting parents this past week and while we still have some staff absent, please be patient on waiting for the teacher’s PTM call. As of today at 3pm we have reached 40% completion. Please be mindful that it may be a private number as staff are facilitating these meetings both in and out of school.

Ray Power – Our photography day went very well indeed and Rose has distributed all ordered packs to date. As some people have said that they did miss the opportunity to order, under the circumstances we will take a final order on Wed next. If interested, please return pack with money to Rose.

Advent – Our crib and advent wreath feature in our display in the Entrance Halla as we prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas. Hopefully a Christmas tree can be added next week. I hear the elf is also back on the rounds!

Dream For Danny – The school will host a raffle in aid of Dream for Danny. 1st Prize is a PS5 bundle-disc PlayStation 5, extra controller & game worth over €600!! 2nd Prize is a Samsung Galaxy tablet A7, 32GB worth €250!! Tickets will go on sale in school from Mon 6th Dec. – €7.50 each or €15 for 3!! The raffle will take place on 31st of Jan 2022! Ms Dunlea & Danny’s classmates are coordinating this. All monies raised will go to ‘Dream for Danny’! Thank you for your support!!

Best wishes to both Nire & Ballymacarbry Senior Football Teams in their respective Munster Club exploits this weekend.

Is mise,

Michael J. O’ Ryan – Principal

 

News Update – 26/11/2021

 

Dear Parent / Guardian / Colleague / Board Member,

Covid-19 Update – I want to give you an up to date position re Covid at our school. We have been informed of 22 active cases among pupils as of 2:30 pm today. These break down as follows and have been given to the HSE. (We await further advice.)

Mrs Kelly’s Classroom =1

Ms Dunlea’s Classroom =3

Mr Earley’s Classroom =2

Mrs Coffey’s Classroom =8

Miss Denmead’s Classroom =2

Mrs McGrath’s Classroom = 4

Mr Brunnock’s Classroom = 2

In addition there are currently 3 cases among staff. Our attendance rate for the week has gone from 72% on Monday to 54% on Friday. These are people who have Covid, are deemed close contacts, are awaiting test results or indeed absent due to other reasons. It is very fluid in nature but all you can do is remain vigilant and inform the principal asap of any Covid cases by ringing us at 052 6136349 or emailing principal@ballymacns.com. Please do not send in children who display any symptoms whatsoever. We will have to contact the home immediately.

Chickenpox – We have also been informed of an incident of chickenpox in Rg 3 who combine with Rg 2 boys in class. Please refer to handout already sent to parents 2 weeks ago.

HSE Guidance – I include the latest HSE guidance for those up to 13 years of age. https://www.hpsc.ie/az/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/factsheetsandresources/Isolation%20quick%20guide%20under%2013s.pdf

In the interest of adults within the family, I also include the adult version for anyone over 13 yrs of age.

https://www.hpsc.ie/az/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/factsheetsandresources/Isolation%20quick%20guide%20Adults%20and%20children%20from%20their%2013th%20birthday.pdf

Antigen Testing from Mon 29th Nov.  – I will email all parents on Monday morning with a letter from DES outlining new system.

Parent Teacher Meetings – It is still our intention to hold PTM’s commencing next week. Available teachers will contact respective parents from Monday 29th November. We are incorporating Zoom and telephone calls. Apologies in advance for the incidental nature of these, but it is outside of our control.

Go Fund Me – I include the link to Danny’s Recovery fund https://www.gofundme.com/f/dream-for-danny-help-danny-beat-cancer for those of you who want to contribute. Maith Sibh to Mrs McGrath and all her Rg 5 pupils in putting packs of sweets together for Friday’s Late Late Toy Show. The proceeds of which all go towards “Dream for Danny” Mrs McGrath and the O’Gorman family sponsored the sweets and we thank them for this.

Sport – It was great to see the Nire GAA Club visit us on Monday, following their very successful season. Officers, mentors, captains and players brought with them the Senior, Junior and Minor Cups. It was held outdoors and kept as brief as possible. It was great for our current pupils to see their heroes who were all past pupils at our school. The club organised treats for our pupils and no homework too. There are some photos of this on our Facebook account.

Bain taitneamh as an Late Late Show anocht agus ná dean dearmad ar an litir chuig Daidí na Nollag.

Is mise,

Michael J. O’ Ryan – Principal

News Update – 19/11/2021

 

Dear Parent / Guardian / Colleague / Board Member,

Covid-19 Update.- The Department and the HSE, working in collaboration with the Dept of Health, have developed a programme in which antigen tests will be made available to children in a primary school pod, where a child in the pod has had a PCR test that detected COVID-19. Where two or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 occur in a class, within a 7-day period, outside of a single pod, antigen testing will be offered to the full class. The tests will be sent to the children’s parents by the HSE. Parents of a primary school child, who has been confirmed as having COVID-19 following a PCR test, are asked to inform their school’s principal. The school principal will then inform the parents of other children in the pod of a confirmed case. No personal details of the child will be shared. These parents will be provided with the option to receive free antigen tests for their child, which they will be able to order for delivery to the home.

It is not mandatory for children to participate in antigen testing. Children who are in a pod where a child has tested positive for COVID-19 can continue to attend school, whether they participate in antigen testing or not, provided that they are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. If a child displays any symptoms of COVID-19 they should self-isolate immediately and a parent or guardian should arrange a PCR test. This system will commence on Mon 29th Nov.

Elsewhere, it is proving noticeably more difficult to substitute staff absences at this time. This is the case across all schools due to shortages of teachers/substitutes. Rest assured we will endeavour to do our best until the situation improves. We have been very fortunate to-date, since we have been able to meet the need from our own resources.

Congratulations. – Mr Earley has been appointed principal at Moyglass N.S., Co. Tipperary. Stephen has been a permanent member of staff at our school since September 2018. He came to us via Presentation Primary School, Carrick on Suir and has taught, Rg 5, Rg 1 (twice) and has currently a mix of Rg1/Rg2. He has also served as staff representative on our Board of Management since December 2019. He is due to commence his new role towards the end of this year. We thank him for his work at our school and wish him well in management. The process to find his replacement has begun this week.

Parent Teacher Meetings. – Teachers will contact respective parents in advance of Monday 29th November. These will take place through the medium of Zoom or phone call. Please let your preference be known to them at this time.

Phone line.  – The school phone line was down for the first half of this week, apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Go Fund Me. – The parents of Danny Norris, Lisa and Lar of Glasha, Ballymacarbry have set up a go fund me page for their son Danny who is a pupil at our school. Danny was diagnosed with Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma in July 2020. To-date Danny has had 12 rounds of chemotherapy and 23 rounds of radiotherapy in Crumlin. This rare cancer affects approx 7-10 children in Ireland annually. The Norris family is seeking your help to raise the necessary funds so that he can access a Bivalent Vaccine trial in Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital (MSK) in New York which is not available in Ireland and will be accessed over a five year programme. The link to donate can be accessed below and is also available on our Facebook page. Please give generously. We wish Danny and the Norris family well in Danny’s recuperation and in their fundraising. https://gofund.me/7dc2ce7f

Sport. – Best wishes to the Nire Senior footballers as they take on Rathgormack in the rescheduled Co. Senior Football Final in Fraher Field, Dungarvan this Sunday.

Is mise,

Michael J. O’ Ryan – Principal

News Update – 12/11/2021

 

Dear Parent / Guardian / Colleague / Board Member,

Covid-19 Update.

I want to inform you that I contracted Covid-19 last weekend and haven’t been in school this week. My positive PCR arrived on Wednesday.  Thanks to management, deputising in my absence. There are many bugs circulating to the extent that our attendance rate has been 92.8% this week. Please remember not to send children to school if they exhibit any of the associated symptoms. We are lead to believe that antigen testing for schools is imminent. What this entails, we are not sure, however we will relay to you as soon as is possible.

Parent Teacher Meetings.

It is now widely accepted by all stakeholders that the traditional face to face PTM’s should not take place in schools. We had planned for in person PTM’s but now we make the decision to run them along the lines of last year i.e. online and over the phone. I will ask staff to facilitate Zoom and phone calls for parents during the week beginning Monday 29th November next.

Shoebox Appeal.

Our shoeboxes were collected this week. Thanks to the families who took the time and effort to put together 100 boxes for this worthwhile gesture. This has been very much in line with other years and proves the immense kindness and compassion within our school community.

Photography.

Thankfully our photographer called on Tuesday last. Thanks to all families who filled up the electronic survey in advance of this. Ray Power (Rose) will be in touch in due course allowing for families to decide on purchasing options.

Phone line.

I’m informed that the school phone line has been down today, apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Sport.

Cogratulations to Ballymacarbry Ladies on their County Final success at the weekend. Well done on achieving 40 in a row. Thanks also for sending in “Goodie-Bags.” Best wishes to the Nire Seniors this weekend in their county Final against Comeragh neighbours, Rathgormack. An Uidhir Abú!

Is mise,

Michael J. O’ Ryan – Principal

News Update – 05/11/2021

 

Dear Parent / Guardian / Colleague / Board Member,

Covid-19 Update.

I have been asked by the Dept to share this short video to our parent body.

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/a04fc-advice-for-students-and-their-families/#health-advice-for-parents

 

Absences.

Please continue to notify the school of any and indeed all absences via the following link.

https://forms.gle/nVFuRtkXUUoV56EX8

These are necessary for our and indeed TUSLA records.

 

Health Register.

Reminder if your child or any of your children suffer from any health condition or indeed allergy that we need to be made aware of, please complete our short Health Register questionnaire if you haven’t already done so.

http://forms.gle/EX9iBoUsVZyKf7nS8 This information will only be shared with those who need to be made aware.

 

Parent Teacher Meetings.

We still await Dept. guidance on the staging of PTM’s in late November as we had anticipated. Hopefully we will be in a better position to inform you at this stage next week.

 

Team Hope Shoebox Appeal.

Our Christmas shoebox appeal is up and running. These will be collected from school early next week. Each family has been given a brochure with boy/girl stickers. Thanks to those who have already contributed.

 

Photography.

Ray Power will call to us on Tues 9th Nov. to take class and family photographs. If you want your family included, please fill in the short questionnaire emailed to families on Wednesday last. https://forms.gle/qt5EeboTKRWFctTv7 Full uniforms on the day please as is the case each Tuesday and Thursday.

 

Enrolment.

Families are currently seeking to enroll their children at our school – Admission Application Forms can be found at the following link which is also available on our website under the enrolment section https://www.ballymacns.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/BMC-NS-Admission-Application-for-Sept-2022-Form-1.docx Please Share this information.

 

Sacraments.

Fr Michael has informed us that the dates for next year’s sacraments will not be released until the New Year.

 

Science Week.

Well done to the boys and girls and their teachers for engaging in Science week this week. Some photos can be seen on our school Facebook page.

 

N.B. Apologies for all the “Links” but to cut down on the handling of notes for Covid reasons and paper for carbon footprint / recycling purposes, its best we feel, to move towards more electronic forms of communication. By collating all these links together, parents should find it easier to activate a desired one on the spot.

 

Is mise,

Michael J. O’ Ryan – Principal