Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope that you are well and that you are managing to cope with all of the changes that have happened in our lives in the last days and weeks. It is an exceptional time in which we now live.
I understand that many people in our community face great worry and uncertainty in terms of their jobs, their elderly relatives and other vulnerable friends, relatives, close family members with existing medical conditions and family abroad.
To have your child or children at home all day every day has put added pressure on many families and I know that many of our pupils and their parents and guardians can’t wait for the normality of school, contact with friends and the resumption of the sporting and other after school activities which are so important in the lives of our children.
Unfortunately, this return to normal life, as we knew it, may not happen for some time yet.
I am conscious that the school has an important role to play in keeping our children, engaged, challenged and occupied. To this end the teachers will be making some material available to the children. It is important that this material should be making things better in your home rather than making them worse.
The life prospects, career success and educational achievements of your child or children will not be changed in any way by the amount of schoolwork your child gets done in these weeks of school shut down. If, for any reason, you are unable to understand exactly what your child is being asked to do, or you feel unable to help your child with a particular piece of work, do not worry. It is far better that you would spend some happy time with your child or children playing games, reading stories in whatever language is easiest for you and keeps the children content than that you would all become stressed trying to do some formal school work.
I understand that some homes have poor broadband. I know that some homes have no computer. I realise that in some homes, a parent working from home, a secondary school student studying for state exams or a third level student trying to get work done, will all need to use the computer. If your child cannot get to use the computer very often, that is perfectly okay.
I promise you that each and every staff member in St. Columba’s is aware of the difficulties you are facing at this time, that we are thinking of you and that we are looking forward to welcoming our children back to school.
On my own behalf and on behalf of all the staff at St. Columba’s Girls National School with Facility for Deaf Children, may I wish you and your family health and wellness in mind and body. May we have the strength and resilience to balance and manage everything in the weeks and months ahead, and may we take hope from the signs of Spring which are all around us that life will soon return to normal with our children back in school.
You might like to read the following paragraph to your child or children –
It seems like a very long time since we had our last assembly in school. I know that life is very different without school and that you miss seeing your friends and doing all the things you enjoyed which are stopped for a little while. Because of a virus which can make people sick, the school will be closed for a little while longer. Children do not get very sick but can pass the sickness onto older people. For this reason, you may not be able to visit some of your friends and family.
You will remember our story about filling people’s buckets. This is more important now than ever. We look forward to seeing you all again soon.
With best wishes,
Triona Fitzgerald, Principal