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Principal’s Letter to School Community 18th March 2020

Dear Guardian/Parent/Student/Teacher,

I hope this letter finds you well during these unprecedented times.  Further to the Government’s decision to close schools to support efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, I am writing to advise you of school continuity measures taken to date by Sancta Maria College

  • Thursday 12-03-2020
    • We reissued/confirmed all students had their log in details.
    • Teachers issued revision guidelines to support students’ continued engagement with the curriculum during the closure.
    • The school closed following a directive issued by the Department of Education and Skills (DoES).
  • Monday 30-03-2020
    • Provisional return date to school.
      • If the DoES confirms we can open I am inviting students to bring a small hand towel, soap and hand sanitizer in a plastic zip-lock bag.  The school was struggling to source new dispensers and hand sanitizer prior to our closure as the HSE had understandable priority.
      • In the interim, the school will continue with actions to prepare for our return to the school.
      • The following guidance is to support students as they prepare for their summer/state examinations.
    • The State Examinations Commission(SEC) will circulate guidance on contingency arrangements if they are required.
      • The school will communicate any such arrangements through normal channels such as text message, student emails, website and social media.
      • If the practicals and orals are postponed for our students, it is essential to note they will be delayed for all students across the country. Please check for accurate updates on the SEC website.
      • In the interim, Leaving Cert students must prepare for the orals/practicals as if they are going to proceed as planned.
    • Examination Years
      • Our teachers will endeavour to support you as a matter of priority through blended learning (online support & work assigned to you before closure).
      • Generally speaking, online classes will be created via Google classroom on existing class structures within the school.  Your current school timetable provides you with an excellent structure to organise your day. If parents could encourage their daughter(s)/son(s) to submit assigned work, we would be most grateful. Please urge them to do so within agreed timeframes.
      • Other online supports available:
      • Non-Examination Years
        • Over time as teachers build their capacity for online engagement, they will issue guidance to students in non-exam years to support their ongoing engagement with the curriculum in due course.
        • Parents are encouraged to get their son(s) or daughter(s) to organise and create a bank of flashcards, mind maps and other suitable study aids.
      • Wellbeing
        • We would encourage you to stay in contact with your friends.  Peer learning is one of the most effective methods to support curriculum engagement.  Use technology sensiblyto connect and learn together.
        • Breaks, exercise and healthy diets are crucial to staying healthy.
  • All years – General study guidance
Timetable subject Learning Activity Preparing for assessment Assessment

at the end of the week

History – Pick a topic in your textbook Make notes/mindmaps/flashcards on the topic under review Use irevise/studyclix to identify questions from past papers and prepare answers and notes Use studyclix to create exam questions to test themselves.

 

Other online supports are available here:

This is an unprecedented situation, and the school community is conscious that in these difficult times, we will come together to find solutions. We always work in the best interest of our students. It is an unusual time for us all, and we need to work together to delay and limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.  We encourage parents to emphasise the importance of social distancing to all in their care, so we as a nation can protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

I also want to acknowledge that many of our students might find the uncertainty of the forthcoming weeks quite unsettling.  I want to take this opportunity to reassure parents and students alike that the SEC and DoES have always made decisions which are student-centred and mindful of the immediate environment.   We have no control over what decisions the state agencies make; we do, however, have control over what actions we can take. So please remain focused on your study schedules and your preparations for the state examinations.

 

Finally, I would like to thank our staff for their assistance and proactive actions to support your daughter(s) and son(s).  The staff and your daughter(s)/son(s) are a credit to our school community.

If you wish to contact me, I am available at info@sanctamaria.ie.  We will make every effort to respond to your query promptly and support you in any way we can.

Let’s all take heed of the advice given in relation to reducing the spread of this virus. We all have loved ones who are vulnerable and we need to be mindful of that too.

Kind regards,

Pauline Moran