February 9th 2021.
Dear Parent / Guardian,
I hope this finds you all well. Since last I wrote to you, we have had almost 6 weeks of online schooling. I want to extend my thanks and that of all the staff for your support of us and your support of your son / daughter during this school closure period. Since we reverted to remote learning, our teachers have been providing support to your child through online classes, whether live or pre-recorded and through the sending and receiving of assignments and providing feedback. In the most part, teachers have followed your son / daughter’s timetable, ensuring as normal a school routine as is possible during these difficult times.
I am delighted to report that following feedback from teachers and Year Heads, and indeed the many students to whom I have spoken, the engagement and interaction levels have been extremely high, despite the challenges of connectivity or digital access.
I am also aware that now, in week 6 of online schooling, enthusiasm amongst students is lessening and workload may be increasing for them as a result. Therefore, Thursday, 11 February 2021 is being designated “Take Care Thursday” in our school. We have listened. Their voice has been heard. This initiative is designed to support students in taking a breath, pausing for a moment, forgetting about new lessons and materials landing in the in box. This day is designed so that we all can take stock and deal with some of the outstanding school work. It is a day we can use to get the last few assignments done and submitted before for our midterm break. It is a school day where we can invent our own timetable.
Teachers too will be using the day to complete corrections and provide ongoing feedback to your son / daughter on their submitted work. It will also afford them the opportunity to plan their lessons for the upcoming term and continue to provide support to your son / daughter.
We will resume online classes on Friday February 12th from 9am to 2pm.
Remembering the advice given to us by the Department of Education during this time of school closure.
- Stay Responsible and Informed,
- Stay Active and Connected and
- Stay Positive and Calm
We all need a break, by suspending online classes for one day, my hope is that each student can clear their desk and enjoy the midterm holiday, taking a well deserved break, shutting off from technology and screens and come back on February 22nd refreshed for the term ahead.
While we await guidance nationally from the Department of Education regarding the reopening of schools and the running of state exams, if your son / daughter is in an exam year, I want to strongly advise against considering changing subject level at the moment. We do not know yet what sort of assessment methodologies will be used and until we do, I would like you to encourage them to stay at their current level until we can assess the new guidelines when they arrive and make the best informed decision we can with you, your son / daughter and their teachers.
As we break for the mid-term holiday could I also ask you to remind your son/daughter that we must continue to observe the current level 5 restrictions during mid-term and limit our social interactions.
Many thanks again for your ongoing support,
Mr. Ml. O’ Connor