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April 24th 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian/Students,

I hope you and your family have had a nice Easter break and that you are all keeping safe in these challenging times.

We know from feedback from our students and interactions with our staff, that we are all missing the normality of school life as we adjust to new routines. We are very proud that so many students and our staff worked very hard before Easter to minimise disruption to learning. Year Heads are working hard to connect with their year groups online and in some cases by telephone where the need arises.

There are now just 5 weeks left in the school term. Our continued emphasis during this time will be on connecting with our students and engaging them in their learning.

We will also focus on revision and preparation for the possibility of an altered end-of-term assessment.  We await guidance from the DES as to how best to accommodate the Junior Certificate students at this time, discussions are ongoing.  Please see latest DES press release 22nd April:  https://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Press-Releases/2020-press-releases/PR20-04-22a.html

We acknowledge the frustrations that this brings and empathise with you all at this difficult time.  We are very proud of the efforts you are making and want you to believe that we are there for you and with you all the way.

However, we would ask all parents to encourage all children to engage with the work that is set by their teachers, to the best of their ability.  All teachers are using the Office 365 platform with many teachers using Microsoft Teams, OneNote and other blended forms of communication. Remember information in OneNote is NOT flagged/highlighted so students need to check regularly on OneNote for updates of work. The majority of our students are engaging very well but some have yet to engage.

Please be advised that we don’t know how long this situation will go on for.

Specific Information for Students in 6th Year & their Parents

As you are aware, from the media, there are significant changes to state exams this year. The Leaving Certificate has been postponed to late July/early August and we will be working with our students and our parents to ensure that your child gets the support that they need and will be thoroughly prepared for these exams.

The Department of Education and Skills and the State Examinations Commission are making every effort to support all students through this challenging time.

Students facing examinations have been asked to keep focused and to keep working in preparation for the exams. More details will be forthcoming in the near future regarding both the Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate and we will bring this information to your attention without delay.

We assure you of the support of our school Leadership team, Year Heads, Tutors, Guidance Counsellors, Chaplains, SEN team and individual teachers for all of our students now and in the weeks ahead. As always, please be assured that we are working as hard as we can to ensure continuity of quality education and systems of support for our students.

Please see the website for a Wellbeing PowerPoint created by our Chaplains and information and links from National Educational Psychological Services (NEPS) such as https://jigsawonline.ie/ and a HSE Stress Control Programme. The programme is for adults, but under 18 year olds are encouraged to participate with their parents. This could be a useful programme for Leaving Certificate students and/or parents at this time.

Details can be found here  https://stresscontrol.org/  and the link to the You Tube introductory video is here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_BKErJ_jISQHKFtHPCRmEctDtcNCCowB

Keep up to date by following us on Twitter @ccbsnews and Facebook Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon and by visiting our school website www.ccbs.ie.

As always if you need to contact us you can do so at info@ccbs.ie

Thank you for your continued support, Stay Safe.

Yours sincerely,

Cora Fagan

Principal

Coláiste Chomcille,

Ballyshannon,

Co Donegal

Download a PDF version of the letter: A Letter from Ms. Fagan April 24th 2020 .

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