Parent Bulletin – Thursday February 25th 2021

Parent Bulletin – Thursday February 25th 2021

Dear Parent/Guardian,


You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step -Martin Luther Kind Jr.


It’s hard to believe that almost a year has passed since the gates of our school had to close for the first time because of Covid-19. While many of the experts were telling us last March 2020 that restrictions may well last for a year or more, I have to admit that perhaps optimistically, I thought back then that we might get through this difficulty a little quicker. There is no denying that this past year has been a tough one for everyone especially our examination students.

This year of restrictions has denied you some of the many things you really enjoy most about school – away from the classroom. That might be PE, the bus trips to matches, work experience trips in TY or it may just be as simple as being able to congregate and having the craic together at lunchtime. It could be so easy to give in at this stage. But you haven’t. In fact, what we have done, is rejuvenated and re-imagined school life.  Since last September our students and staff have shown tremendous strength of character and this is a testament to your resilience, your creativity, your compassion and care, your strength and energy during this very, very difficult time.

A number of assemblies have been devoted to the importance of well-being, care for each other and student achievement. These are important issues for our school at all times, but never more so than during this difficult and challenging time. Many of you have first-hand experience of Covid-19 personally or within your families and we know that this has added to the challenges of this year.

It is so important that we all keep an eye out for one another, that we check in on our friends by phone, zoom, or whatever way you like to keep in touch, and that we are all just a little more patient and kinder to one another. And while we have lived through a year of great uncertainty and anxiety, we are also now moving into a period of greater clarity and hope.

We now have plans for the Junior and Leaving Certificate assessment. This will relieve some of the anxieties being felt by the exam classes, although there are still unanswered questions. And of course, we have a range of vaccines coming on stream. Vaccination is already well underway for health workers and more vulnerable and older members of our society. In time, and at even faster pace than now, we will all be vaccinated and protected further against this virus. These are all things we can be really optimistic about as we face into a new Spring and the re-opening of our school doors once again, gradually and safely. This time, however, I am allowing myself to be just a little more hopeful that they will indeed stay open for good.


Return to School


The following is the guidance as regards students returning to school:

  • 6th Years will return on Monday 1st March.
  • 5th years will return on Monday 15th March (pending public health advice)
  • All other years will return on Monday 12th April (pending public health advice)

Online classes will continue for all years while they await the return of their in-person classes. I attach a Return to School Form. Completed forms to be sent to prior to the return of the student.  No student will be allow to access the school if their form has not been returned. All 6th years have received a copy of this link via their Teams and can send to me directly through Teams.


 >> Download the Return to Educational Facility declaration form


Leaving Certificate Students – following on from an online assembly all students have been informed of the protocols regarding Covid- 19 plans. I will be meeting all students next week in small groups to discuss with them the State Examinations 2021.   We have dipped our toe in the water but there is a lot more information which will be shared next week face to face.   A Parent Bulletin for 6th years with any updates will be posted on the school website.  But here is a summary:


Key points to note:

  • Students will have the option of whether to sit the examinations, receive SEC Accredited Grades, or both, on a subject by subject basis.
  • Students who opt for both will have their better grades in each subject reflected in their results.
  • Students will be required to register on the student portal; confirm their subject and level entry details; opt for the examinations and/or to receive SEC Accredited Grades. The SEC’s Candidate Portal is expected to open in the week of 8 March 2021 to allow students to make their choices. Further details will be issued in advance.
  • There will be no fees payable for the 2021 examinations and no fees for SEC Accredited Grades.
  • It is intended that the results of both the examinations and the SEC Accredited Grades processes will issue to students within the required timeframe for progression to higher and further education in Ireland.
  • Timetable for the LC have been sent electronically to all 6th year students via Teams and it also available on the Department of Education and Skills website.


Junior Certificate Students – a Parent Bulletin will be posted in the next week outlining our arrangements in terms of assessment and JC grades for our students.  I have already spoken to 3rd year students about the process and criteria we followed last year.


 >> Download the Return to Educational Facility declaration form


If there is anything that you wish to discuss with me please do not hesitate to contact me via the school email address and mark for my attention.


Wishing you and your family the very best and we look forward to welcoming our 6th year students and our students in the Edmund Rice Centre here on Monday!


Le gach dea-ghuí,

Ms. Gallagher