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Newsletter November 2011

Tel: 059-9179453 | Mob: 087-3128166 | Twitter: @carlowetns Email: simon@carloweducatetogether.ie Unit 5, Shamrock Bus. Pk, Graiguecullen, Carlow Town

The Countdown to Christmas


This time last year, we couldnt get out of our houses with all the snow. This year, theres hardly a coat in sight with the mild weather. With only 4 weeks left until Christmas, its hard to get into that frame of mind. However, were going to get you in the mood in this newsletter! Were going to be selling some brilliant Christmas cards this year! Every child in the school has donated their handprint and a lovely drawing for a special Educate Together Christmas Tree card. Well be selling cards to everyone so please support us if you can. All money raised will go towards our fundraising efforts. Were focusing a lot on literacy initiatives this year so well be getting lots of new books and software to help children with their reading. Well also be having our annual Christmas raffle with some great prizes. Keep an eye out for other holiday events going on in the school. Not only is Christmas coming, other festivals will be celebrated including Chanukah, Kwanzaa and Yule. Remember if you can help us out in any way with decorating the school, feel free to donate and stick up any decorations you can to turn our school into a Winter Wonderland! Good luck, Congratulations, Welcome A big welcome to our newest family in our school. The Harkin-Conways joined us after the mid-term break and I hope they settle in well. We also welcome Louise to our school who will be working in Support classes on Mondays and Tuesdays. Finally, congratulations to Eimear who gave birth to a baby boy. We wish her and Jason all the best. Well Done Ellie! Were very proud of Ellie in Michaels class who recently did very well in the Leinster Junior Squash Championships! Congratulations! Marie Scully? You may have already received a call from Marie Scully our new Home School Liaison Teacher to meet. Marie is our link between school and home. Her job is to meet up with families and tell them all about the different events going on in the school. She also promotes different events in the town and speaks with families about anything schoolrelated. Marie is not an inspector and is there as a support to us and all families in the school. Cuts to Special Needs The government announced a 10% cut to all resource hours across the country in August. He said that in September he would allocate as much of this 10% back to schools as possible depending on the enrollment in schools. Unfortunately, in early November, it was announced that due to budgetary constraints that hours would not be returned to schools. This means that a child receiving 5 hours of support now can only receive 4.5 hours per week. It was also announced that

Language Support would be cut in schools this year. We encourage parents who are affected (or unaffected) by this to contact their local TD. Parents' Council The Parents Council has formed with ten committee members. The Council is chaired by Paula Polland and the secretary is Debbie Gibney. The school looks forward to working with the Parents Council as they support the school in their work. The group plans to make themselves available to all parents in the school to make sure that everyone feels happy and safe. The council will also be responsible for holding activities, graduations, fundraisers, adult learning courses and many other events. Current Adult Classes Classes for adults in Holistic Health have begun and are coming to an end. The VEC would like to run classes on Digital Literacy, Maths for Parents and Reading at Home. It would be appreciated if these courses were supported by families in the school. Sport, Swimming and Soccer Every Wednesday, children from 2nd to 6th class go to the VEC for PE classes. 3rd to 6th class have started their swimming classes on Thursdays and 3rd and 4th class are taking part in soccer training on Fridays. Its a very sporty season! Comenius As you know, our school are involved in a very exciting project with 2 schools in the UK and Germany. We have set up a Comenius Committee in the school to spread the word about the project. The schools will be visiting us in March around St. Patricks Day so we hope youll be around to meet with them. We will be having a Christmas Song Video Conference on the 8th December with all 3 schools joining in. New Boards of Management All primary schools in Ireland will be changing their Boards of Management on December 1st. Nominations for the Board of Management finished on Friday, 25th November. We will be announcing the new Boards of Management this week. After School Activities 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. Other clubs running include: Catholic Club (Mondays), French Classes (Tuesdays), Chess (Thursdays), Speech and Drama (Mondays) and Knitting (December). For more information, please drop in or give us a call. Dates for your Diary The school will close for the Winter break at 12pm on 22nd December and will re-open on Monday, 9th January 2012. Children who wish to attend Mass on 8th December may be collected by their families from school as Educate Together schools do not close on this day. Get Social We have over 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! Blog Highlights Every month staff and pupils add articles about whats going on in the school. Check out our web site and class blogs for more details. This months highlights included: a Virtual Tour of a Mosque, A fantastic rendition of an Irish song and photos from our VEC trips.