Dear Parent/s                                                                                    1st September 2017

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all back to Our Lady’s & St Mochua’s PS and I hope that it will be a successful year for your child/children.  Should you have any queries or concerns please do not hesitate to make an appointment with your child’s class teacher or myself.

Staff Retirements:  I would like to extend our best wishes to both Mrs Carmel Lennon and Mrs Julie Coyle on their retirement as classroom assistants.  Carmel and Julie were both committed and loyal members of our staff who over a period of 22 and 15 years respectively gave off their time generously to care for and assist many children in our school. We wish both Carmel and Julie every blessing as they embark on a new chapter in their lives.  A presentation on behalf of pupils and parents will be made to both Carmel and Julie at the P6 Assembly in early October.

Fabian O’Hare: As you are aware Primary 3 Pupil Fabian O’Hare is continuing to receive medical treatment which puts him at risk if exposed to measles, chicken pox or shingles. Please let us know immediately if your child is suspected of having measles. Fabian is also at risk from chicken pox and would need to be given an injection within three days of contact. If your child is suspected of having chicken pox, you should let us know. It is also important that you let us know if there is shingles in your household.

Your child is not at any risk whatsoever from this situation. However, the health and wellbeing of Fabian who is at risk, does depend on the cooperation of all other parents and we hope you can help us.

Primary One Induction:  Parents are reminded that Primary One children will go home each day at 12.00 noon until Friday 15th September 2017 (Inclusive).

Curriculum & Assessment Information Evening:

All parents are asked to attend the curriculum evenings on Thursday 14th September 2017.  The teachers will outline the curriculum content and class organisation for your child/ren for the school year at this meeting.

 7.00pm for parents of children in Primary Two and Primary Three

7.30pm for parents of children in Primary Four and Primary Five

8.00pm for parents of children in Primary Six and Primary Seven

Assessment Information Session:

Please note that Mr Farrell will give a talk on the School’s Pupil Assessment Process.  This will take place at 7.30pm and will be repeated at 8.30pm.

Parents of children in classes where the meetings are at the same time are advised to go to the older child’s induction meeting.

 Child Protection:

  • Only parents of Primary One (and Primary Two if required) children are allowed to their child’s classroom in the morning. All other children should be dropped off in the school foyer.
  • Access beyond the school foyer is by permission only – if you need to speak to a member of staff please ask at the school office.
  • Early Release Log – All parents/designated adult must complete the Early Release Log if collecting children earlier than the normal home time.
  • Any photographs or recordings taken by parents when attending school events are strictly for home use and should not be published via social media etc Data Information: Please ensure you inform the school of any changes to the information provided last year on your child/ren’s data form.   Medical: If your child requires any form of medication including inhalers you must have completed a blue medical form – please contact the school to request a form. If your child is currently on the school’s medical register please send in new medication ASAP as all current medication will be disposed of. Flu Vaccine: The flu vaccine will be administered in our school on Wednesday 29th November 2017. It will be offered to all pupils. Parental permission forms will be forwarded to you from the school nurse in due course.Nut Allergy: We ask that parents refrain from sending in nuts/food that may contain nuts of any kind with their children. This is in the interest of some children who suffer from a nut allergy.9.00am / Jewellery / Uniform: No child should enter the school until 9.00am. This is for insurance and supervision purposes. Please also note that no child is to wear jewellery other than a watch. Please ensure all jewellery is removed before coming to school – including earrings. All uniform should be clearly marked with your child’s name. It is extremely difficult to find missing uniform if it is not clearly marked. Children must wear plain black shoes each day.Dinner Money: The cost of a school dinner is £2.60 per day. This should be paid every Friday in an envelope clearly marked with your child’s name and class. We would ask that you pay by cheque if possible – this means that no change is required and reduces the amount of time spent on dinner money administration. It also serves as a receipt mechanism. Cheques for dinner money should be made payable to the EA     
  • Meetings with Teachers: Please note that if you wish to speak to a class teacher you must make an appointment via the school secretary. Morning messages for class teachers should be via telephone or the school office to Maura, school secretary, Mr Farrell or Mrs Hamilton.
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  • Boost Better Breaks’ Policy: I would also like to remind you of our Boost Better Breaks’ Policy. Children are only permitted to eat fruit/small sandwich and drink milk/water at break time. Fruit for younger children should be peeled/cut up and put in a small container clearly marked with your child’s name. There should be no yoghurts, bars etc.
  • Southern Region. Dinner money must be paid every Friday. Any parent wishing to pay a month at a time should do so at the beginning of the month.  *Any dinner bill which exceeds 2 weeks will mean that children must take a lunch until dinner bill is paid.
  • Monsignor McGrane Badges:  Each child will receive a new Monsignor McGrane House Badge.  This must be worn as part of the school uniform.  Each child will also be allowed one replacement badge.  Additional badges can then be purchased on request.

Weekly Notices:  Please note that the weekly notices page on the school website will include PE Times:  Children in P3-7 must wear PE Uniform for PE.  See attached sheet.  Children who do not have a PE Gear will not be allowed to do PE. A child who forgets their gear may be offered a school football strip providing they have appropriate footwear.   Parents will be notified if a child persists in forgetting their gear.

After School Club:  Any parent who feels they would like to hold an ASC should contact me ASAP to discuss.  An ASC Programme will be forwarded to appropriate classes in due course.

School Text Service:  Please do not send texts or reply to the school text service number.  You should only reply if the text asks you to do so.

Accelerated Reading/Matheletics:  Accelerated Reading will begin for P5 and P7 pupils on the 18th September 2017 for six weeks.  Following this P4 and P6 will take part in the programme.  Each class will have a second block in Term 2 and an optional block will be offered to P5 and P6 pupils in Term 3.  We ask all parents to ensure children read to meet their target.  Children in P5-7 will also use Mathletics.  An information leaflet for parents will be sent home in due course.

School Funds:  Each year we ask families to donate £15.00 towards school funds.  These funds are used to purchase additional resources/activities for all children.  Please make your payment in an envelope clearly marked with your child’s name/school funds payment.  Receipts will be forwarded via text and all paid up families will be entered into a £100 Cash draw in June 2017.

A total of £785.00 paid by 45% of our families was raised via this initiative last year.  Congratulations to Emily McGrane P5 whose family is the winner of the £100 cash draw.

First Holy Communion – Do This In Memory Of Me Programme:  The information meeting for all parents will be in the High School Assembly Hall on Wednesday 6th September at 7.30pm. The first Mass will be the following week, Sunday 17th September.  It is important that all parents attend the planned meeting to outline the programme – date to be confirmed via text ASAP.

Baptismal Certificates:  If your child was not baptised in the parish of Derrynoose, Keady and Madden please contact the appropriate parish and request a copy of your child’s baptismal certificate.  The parish may be able to fax it direct to the school – fax number 37539133.  All returns should be done as soon as possible.

New School Football Strip:  Please note that we will be purchasing a new school football strip for the incoming year.  If you feel that this is something you would like to sponsor, please contact me ASAP.

Christmas 2017:  Please note that the school will be participating in the Shoe Box Appeal this year.  As part of our Christmas Celebrations P3 will host a Sepcial Advent Assembly for their families in early December.  Children in P4-7 will be involved in our Christmas Shows during the week of Monday 18th December 2017.  More details in due course.

Please note we will not be attending the Pantomime or participating in the Shoe Box Appeal this year.

 Nite @ the Races:

You should have received my letter re our Major Fundraiser due to take place on Saturday 21st October 2017 – please keep this date free!  I encourage you all to sell and return your tickets as soon as possible.

I am also looking for individual families or businesses to sponsor each of the ten races.  If you feel you are in a position to do this please contact me ASAP.  Your support would be greatly appreciated.

We are also looking for 30 spot prizes e.g. boxes of chocolates, bottles of wine etc for the winners of each race so again if you can offer you support in this area this would also be greatly appreciated.

Once the event is over the names of all the children who sold a winning horse will also be entered into a draw for a ‘children’s raffle.’  Again if you would like to sponsor a child’s prize please contact me ASAP.

We look forward to your support with this initiative.  More details in due course but for now keep selling and returning your tickets.

Holidays 2017-18:  A holiday list for the school year is attached – in the event of any changes parents will be notified ASAP.

Yours sincerely.

G Farrell (Principal)