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A Chairde

We are approaching the mid-term break when the students are going to get a well-earned break and the opportunity on Friday to dress up and scare the teachers.  Lots has been going on in the school and everyone has settled in very well.
We would like to thank the members of the Parent Association and Pupil Council who will be stepping down after completing their terms in office and welcome the new members who I am looking forward to working with.  
Good luck over the mid-term and I would ask everyone to keep safe around bonfires etc.  at this time of year.
Le gach-ghuí

Parent Association
We are delighted with the responses we got for our new Parent Association. The new Parent Association is now as follows:
Junior Infants – Edel Gallagher
Senior Infants – Karen Gallagher
First Class – Louise Mc Geever
Second Class –  Liam Freeburn
Third Class –  Jackie Loughlin
Fourth Class – Pat Gallagher
Fifth Class – Julie Tuttlebee
Sixth Class – Siobhan Mc Gloin
During the year they plan to organise a Christmas Hamper Draw, Bag Pack, Jersey Day and a table quiz and all volunteers for these events would be greatly appreciated. I would also like to profusely thank the outgoing members of the Parent Association who are Christopher Good, Kathleen Lipsett, Emma Mc Gowan and Marie Downey. They have helped raise a considerable amount of money for the school and have put in lots of hard work over the past two years.
Go raibh mile maith agaibh.

Pupil Council
Following a campaign of great speeches and manifestos the following students were elected on to the student council for this year.
The elected members are Third Class – Iona O’Donnell, Fourth Class - Oscar Mc Ginty, Fifth Class – Owen Downey and Meadhbh Mc Ginty, Sixth Class – Georgia Higgins and Jamie Mc Manus.  Congratulations to all who took part.

Halloween Dress Up Day
On Friday the 27th of October, the Student Council have organised a Halloween Dress Up Day.  All money raised will be shared between two worthy charities – The Simon Community and Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin.  We would ask all children to bring in €2 on the day.

Primary Language Day
We have got another change of date on which the school must close for teacher training. On the 30th of January the school will be closed for teacher professional development in the new Primary Language Curriculum. This means the school will be open on the 29th of November. We apologise for any confusion over this date.

Parent Teacher Meetings
The Parent-Teacher meetings will take place on two dates in November namely Thursday 16th and Thursday 23rd of November 2017.  All parents will receive a letter which will tell the times of their meetings with the teachers.  We ask all parents to restrict themselves to the 10—minute appointment they have received in order to be fair to other parents, who will otherwise be left waiting in a queue.  If further discussion is needed an appointment to meet the teacher in question can be made for a mutually convenient time.  Any parent who wishes to speak to the Principal, Mr Britton, may do so on the 16th and 23rd of November or indeed on any other school day by making an appointment beforehand.  School will close at 2 p.m. on the day of the meetings.  Please note staff may only meet with the legal guardians of their pupils, see note below for clarification regarding same.  Parents are reminded that children are not allowed to accompany their parents at the meetings.
Parental Status and Access to School Communication
Schools nowadays frequently receive queries regarding Family Law Issues.  The following information may be useful in answering some / all of your questions in this area.  The following three definitions are very important in the area of Family Law i.e.
1. Guardianship is having responsibility for the welfare of the child.  Welfare includes the religious, moral, intellectual and physical wellbeing of the child.  It involves all major decisions affecting the child’s upbringing e.g. choice of school, medical treatment etc.
2. Custody is the right of a parent to exercise physical care and control over a child on a day to day basis e.g. feeding, washing, schooling etc.
3. Access is the right to see and communicate with the child e.g. overnight stay, weekend stay, collect a child from school etc.
Who has guardianship of a child?
a) Married parents of a child are automatically joint guardians and have joint custody.  Both are entitled to attend formal parent teacher meetings, get copies of school reports, etc.
b) Married but now separated or divorced:  Both parents remain joint guardians and both are entitled to the same / equal information from the school.  Custody in this case may be subject of court order/agreement.
c) Married parents but now separated / divorced and in a new relationship:  The guardianship rights of natural parents do not change.  New partners have no statutory rights in relation to the child.  No information can issue from the school to the new partner unless it is agreed between the guardians or provided for by a court order.
d) Unmarried parents:  if parents are unmarried the natural mother only has automatic right of guardianship.  However the mother can grant the father guardianship by statutory declaration.  The father can also apply to court for guardianship, custody and / or access.  Should the natural mother and father subsequently marry each other, both then have equal guardianship rights.
e) Others, e.g. grandparents, extended family etc. may apply to the court seeking orders in regard to guardianship, custody and/or access.  Where such a person obtains a court order granting him/her guardianship then he/she is entitled to attend parent/teacher meetings and to receive school reports on the child in question.
N.B. Having custody and or Access may entitle a person to some information from the school e.g. opening  and closing times, dates for Christmas concerts etc., but does not entitle a person to attend a parent Teacher meeting and / or receive a school report.

Cross Country Athletics
Forty three students from 4th, 5th and 6th class recently took part in the Leitrim Primary Schools Cross Country Event in Leitrim Village. The fourth class had to run 1000m and the 5th and 6th class competitors ran 1200m. All the children enjoyed the day and completed the distance.
We had a number of successes too with the Junior Girls team coming in 2nd place and special mention must go to our top ten finishers with Clara Gallagher in 4th place, Emma Gilmartin in 5th, Rebecca Oates in 10th place, Sean Carolan in 2nd place, Fergal Rooney Mc Clafferty in 7th place, Catherine Hill in 3rd place and Eoghan Mc Gowan in 10th place. Congratulations to all competitors.

GAA Blitz
5th and 6th class will take part in the AIB Blitz at Fr. Tierney Park this Wednesday at 10am in Ballyshannon. This fun event gives the children a chance to showcase their skills in front of Donegal GAA star Mark Mc Hugh. It even gives some children an opportunity to play a game of football for the first time.

FAI Soccer Blitz
Third and fourth class got an opportunity last Monday to take part in a FAI Soccer Blitz organised by Damon Kearney at the Astroturf Pitch. Many young Stephanie Roches and James Mc Cleans were unearthed.

Best Kept Classroom for October 2017
The winners in the “Best Kept Classrooms” competition for the month of October were –
Junior Award:  Junior & Senior Infants – Ms. Dolan
Senior Award: Fifth Class – Ms. Daly

School Photographer
A photographer will visit the school on 16th  November  If you do not wish your child’s photograph to be taken please inform his/her class teacher on or before that date.   Children are asked to wear full uniform.   We get group photographs of all classes taken for our own records.

Once again our annual Book fair was a tremendous success €4,230 worth of books was sold and the school received €2,538 of free books for our classroom libraries.  Many thanks to Ms. Rooney, Bernadette in the office and to all the teachers who organised the selling of books to the classes and the choosing of new ones for the libraries.

Notes Regarding Infants
Infants should be escorted to the classroom door in the morning.  Parents should then leave as soon as possible so that the teachers can get on with settling the children.  All infants, both Junior and Senior if at all possible, should be collected from the school at 2.00 p.m.  Infants are escorted to the school gate at 2.00 p.m.  and should be collected by a parent.  Parents are asked to identify themselves to the teacher at the gate as it is very difficult for the teacher to match each child with the correct parent, especially at start of year.  If weather is very bad parents are asked to come to classroom door for their infant children.  If parents send another person to collect the child, and that person may not be known to the teacher, a note should be sent with the child in the morning.  So as to avoid confusion, we request that all infants’ clothing is clearly marked with the child’s name.

Dates for the Sacraments
The following are the dates for the Sacrament of First Eucharist and Confirmation. Confirmation will take place in Saint Aidan’s Church, on Sunday 22nd April at 3.00 p.m.  and First Eucharist will be celebrated in Saint Aidan’s Church also on Saturday 19th May at 11.00 a.m.

Do This In Memory
The next “Do This In Memory” mass for Second Class will be celebrated in Saint Aidan’s Church, Kinlough on Sunday November 26th at 11a.m.

We  ask parents to refrain from parking in the yellow box at main entrance to school or on the yellow lines opposite the school and to use the new parking bay to avoid putting their children at risk.

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