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September 2011

A BIG Welcome Back!

Welcome back to everyone to Carlow Educate Together for our fourth year. It's hard to believe that it was only 3 years ago that we opened our gates for the first time and welcomed 15 children and 3 staff. Today we have over 125 pupils and 19 staff! I want to welcome all our new Junior Infants and their families and I hope you will feel very happy in the school. I also want to welcome back all our pupils and families from other classes and we're looking forward to another exciting year ahead. New School Building Over the summer, we had some very exciting news that planning is in process for our new school building. It is likely that the school is going to be built on the Athy Road near to the old sugar factory site. The school is going to have 16 large classrooms and a specialised unit for children with autism. We also hope to have a dedicate parents' room and PE hall. The plans are up in the school on the wall of the stairs so you can have a look yourself. New Faces In other news, the school has welcomed four new members of staff. We have two brand new teachers Tereasa and Erin who will be working in our support classes. We have a new Special Needs Assistant Marlene, who some of you might remember from our first year. We also said goodbye to Pauline, our Home School Liaison Teacher, who retired and we will be welcoming Marie this year. Aisling has decided to step down as the school's deputy principal this year and Samantha has taken on the position instead. I'd like to Still Image thank Aisling for all her hard work over the last few years and wish Charcoal Art from Samantha the best of luck in her new role. We will now be hiring a 3rd and 4th Class new teacher for the school's staff management team in the coming weeks. We have started our work placements this year and we will be welcoming Mira from Germany in October who will be working in Aisling's Class. We will also be welcoming some students from Carlow IT later in the term. Parents' Information Evening If you don't do anything else this month, I'd recommend that you come to our first Parent Information Evening which is taking place on Tuesday, 27th September at 7pm. The event, which has been organised by our Parents' Council promises to be highly informative and interesting. Some of the highlights include talks about Educate Together at second level, yard games, how parents can get more involved in the school, courses for parents and their families, meet the home school liaison teacher and lots more. You can even bring your children and they can be looked after. A lot of work has gone into organising this event and it would be appreciated if you make a big effort to come along. There's something for everyone. Adult Classes

In conjunction with Co. Carlow VEC, the school will be hosting two fantastic courses. The first course is all about Holistic Health and the second is Christmas Crafts. They both last for 6 weeks and they are open to the community of Carlow and Graiguecullen but we are offering them to our school's families initially. There are only a limited number of places so please book in as soon as possible. These courses usually cost up to 100 each but as part of our programme we can offer them at a token price of 20. School Lunches As part of the Schools Completion Programme, the school has now the opportunity to provide school lunches to all children in the school. Each day, children can receive a sandwich/wrap, a drink, a snack and a piece of fruit for only 1 per day. Lunches can be ordered the week before for 5 to cover the week. Sinad from the SCP has been with us for the first few days to see how the scheme works. If there's any parents who have catering experience that would like to help us out any day, we would appreciate it as we start this new Our new Junior Infants with Emer programme. Collection from School It's great that the Junior Infants have settled in so quickly to our school and now they are staying for their full day of 1:30pm. In order to minimise disruptions (you've probably heard the volume of our doorbell!) we are opening the school doors at 1:25pm and 2:25pm for pick up times. We thank you for your understanding with this. Childline Breakfast Our school are hosting a breakfast morning on Wednesday the 5th of October! Come along and for a small donation you will get a yummy breakfast! Money raised will be donated to Childline to ensure that every child has a chance to be heard. If any parents would like to help out on the morning contact Clare Coogan ( Swimming Graiguecullen Swimming Pool has secured a regular slot for our school, which is earlier in the year than previously. Children will now go swimming for 6-8 weeks sometime between November and March this year. We will be looking at providing bus transport to and from the pool but this is obviously dependent on costs. More information will be given at the information evening. Sport on Wednesday The VEC has kindly offered us the opportunity to use their sports facilities every Wednesday after the mid term break. The facility includes basketball courts, football pitch and a large hall. We will be looking into the practicalities of transport shortly and if anyone has any ideas, it would be appreciated. New Boards of Management All primary schools in Ireland will be changing their Boards of Management this November. If you are interested in being on the Board of Management, keep your eyes peeled for information coming soon. The current BOM will host their final meeting on Thursday, 29th September. New School Web Site Over the summer, we gave our web site a big makeover to make it easier for parents to interact with the school and to showcase the great work going on everyday. Thanks to

Aidan Goss Photography for helping us out with some of the photos on the web site. Parents can now pre-enrol children for the school, send in an online absence note if their child is out of school, offer to volunteer in the school, become part of the parents' council and even say thank you to a teacher or staff member in the school. All policies, past newsletters and loads more are on the web site and it's well worth a browse. We've updated our staff section too and you can learn more about your child's teacher by visiting it. Two of the senior classes have also started class blogs, which are linked from the main page of the school web site. Check out Michael and Emer B's class blogs and leave them a comment!

Summer Fundraising A huge thank you to all the parents and staff who took time out of their summer to bag pack in Tesco in August. We raised over 3,000 and this has allowed us to put some money away to supplement a school bus to the VEC when we need it. We also have decided to buy an information board for the school foyer and maths resources for the school. We will be having a Maths Games day to celebrate these new purchases. Any fundraising that we do in the school goes straight into your childrens education and we appreciate any help we get. Sacraments For parents in 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th class, please make sure to register your child for Communion and Confirmation. Any child making their sacraments must have two years tuition in order to make their Communion and Confirmation. You can register your child with Graiguecullen Parish centre or if you prefer to celebrate in your own parish, you are more than welcome to do so too. Halloween Fun Day The last day of the first term has now become a tradition in our school for a big fun day. We have a number of events planned for the day in order to raise some money for our Patron body, Educate Together. We will be having a virtual bike race to Dublin, we'll be turning one of our classrooms into a cinema and we'll be playing lots of fun festive games. Everyone (parents, staff and children) is welcome to dress in their Halloween costumes. After School Stuff Everyday from 1:30pm, Trish Magee runs a super after school's service for all children. Children can do their homework and take part in lots of fun activities. For more information about the club, please drop up to Trish any day from 1:30pm or call into us and we'll pass on her details. We are also running some fun after school activities this term Speech and Drama is back. We also have started French classes and Zumba Dance Workshops! Chess and some sports classes will begin after mid-term break. If you're interested in running any after school club, please talk to Siobhn in the office. Dates for your Diary The school will be closed on the 27th October to host the Presidential Elections. The last day of term will be the 28th October and we will Our New Hoovers close the following week. thanks to European Languages Day Fundraising th The 26 September is European Languages Day. In order to celebrate the day, we will be hosting a special assembly where Emer B's class will be teaching the children some phrases in lots of European languages! Get Social We have nearly 300 fans on our Facebook page. If you have a Facebook account, please feel free to like us and receive all the latest news directly to your Facebook account. We're also on Twitter (@carlowetns). You're also welcome to join Simon's Google Plus Circle of Educate Together where he updates relevant stuff. If that's not enough, you can always email, phone, text or even write us a letter! All our contact details are on the back page!

Information for Parents

School Times School gates open at 8:45am (due to Croke Park Agreement) and classes begin at 8:50am. The rollbook is taken close to the beginning of the day so if your child is going to be late, please let the teacher know. School finishes at 1:30pm for infants and 2:30pm for other classes. Break times have been split this year due to our growing size. Younger children have breaks earlier than the older classes. Supervision is provided on all yard breaks. Contacting the School The following information should help you contact the school. Phone: 059-9179453 Mobile: 087-3128166 (usually for class trips) Email: (for example gets an email to Simon) Exceptions this year are clarec (Clare Coogan), emerb (Emer Byrden) and bernie (Bessie O'Toole). Web Site: Facebook: CarlowETNS Twitter: @carlowetns

Contacting Teachers / Staff Our staff are happy to meet with parents about any issues, (good or otherwise!). However, as a child-centred school, it is important that meetings don't take place during teaching time. If you have a short message to tell the teacher, e.g. Keep an eye on my child, he's feeling a bit..., that's usually no problem to pass on through Siobhn in the office. However, if you'd like a longer discussion, it's best to make an appointment before or after school. Times should be mutually convenient to both parent and teacher. Please don't be offended if a teacher cannot speak with you about an issue in detail if you haven't made an appointment. When the children go home, teachers are often called for meetings after school and they will do their best to try and accommodate you at a time that they can give any matter their time and consideration. Complaints The complaints procedure is also available to read online. In summary, any complaints should first be addressed to a class teacher via a meeting. If the problem can't be sorted at this stage, you should arrange a meeting with the principal of the school. Usually all issues are solved at this point but please familiarise yourself with the rest of the process. Behaviour Please read our behaviour policy which outlines our school's Whole School Behaviour Policy. The policy follows Jenny Mosley's Quality Circle Time Model and is one of the most effective self-esteem building tools behaviour models in the world. Child Protection Please familiarise yourself with the school's Child Protection policy. Any disclosures should be reported to the school's designated liaison person, which is Simon. If Simon in not available, you should speak to Eimear Coady Morrisey. All disclosures will be treated under the current guidelines.

There is plenty of further information available on the school web site but if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us any time!