Letter from Ms Whelan

 Dear Parents/ Guardians,

It is no surprise that the schools are to remain closed. However, it is very disappointing, though understandable, that they are not opening again until September.

Distance Learning is the new form of schooling and it is very challenging for all concerned. As you know, teachers are now communicating through emails and/or platforms such as zoom. This technology allows teachers to work with students, either in small groups or whole class settings. It enables them to continue to teach the curriculum, as best they can, in very difficult circumstances. We are aware, and appreciative of the fact that in some homes there are not enough devices, while in others, broadband connections are unreliable. These problems have been encountered by teachers as well as parents. Teachers are using their professional judgement and experience to make their plans and are doing their very best to provide every opportunity for your children.

I would ask you as parents/ guardians to continue to support your child/children as you have been doing. Please be patient, as distance learning is new for us all.

As the final term is normally a very exciting and busy time, we are aware of all the special occasions and events that the students have not been able to enjoy. It is very unfortunate for both 2nd and 6th class, that they did not get the opportunities to celebrate their sacraments. These are very big events in the lives of children and we know how much these days mean. We are thinking of them all and hope they will get to have their day sometime in the future. As a gesture from the school, teachers have prepared videos for the students of 2nd and 6th class, to remind them of happy times they spent with their classmates.

I feel a great sadness for our 6th class students. This is always a very emotional time for them and their parents. As they prepare to leave familiar surroundings for new and exciting secondary school years, we normally bid them farewell, with an end of year mass. It is a time of reflection, when we as a school community reminisce on the 8th wonderful years the children shared in our presence. While we are not in a position to host our annual end of year party and t-shirt signing tradition, we hope they get the opportunity to come together again in the future.

Each year, I read an end of year speech which reflects my well wishes and aspirations for our 6th class students. Well this year, I can guarantee, 6th class of 2020, I will never ever forget you. Tiernan, Eimar, Lauren and Jessica, you will always be the four wonderful students who finished school in March. I did not get to spend any time with you in your final year. However, I want you to know that, I am always available to talk, offer advice and support and even just a friendly face if you need one. You are never a stranger to St Michael’s National School and our doors will always be open.

There were lots of other activities to happen in the final term, none of which can go ahead this academic year. However, we look to the future with hope and we pray that next year will be one of more structure and normality.

In recent years, St Michaels National School has gone from strength to strength. Now more than ever we need to remember the proverb, Ní neart go cur le chéile. There’s no strength without unity. Let’s work as a team and get through this together.

Keep Safe,

Fiona Whelan