Communication with Parents
The child’s homework notebook is the main form of communication between teachers and parents. For this reason, it is vital that parents sign the notebook every night and check that the teacher has not written a note for their attention. Parents may use the notebook to indicate problems their child may be experiencing and give feedback to the teacher. At younger levels, the teacher will generally bring a concern to the attention of parents when the children are going home.
Meetings with Parents
Parents are the first and most important educators. They are a huge factor in determining a child’s success at school. It is thus extremely important for parents and teachers to remain in communication with each other. There may be times during the year when parents wish to speak to the teacher about their child’s progress or tell the teacher of something which will impact on the child’s education. This information is sometimes sensitive in nature and is best told directly to the teacher. The policy of the school is for parents to make an appointment to speak to the teacher when the meeting is going to require a significant amount of time away from class. If possible, the reason for the meeting should be indicated so that the teacher can research any information required and give a reasonable assessment.
There are formal parent teacher meetings held once a year in November. End of year reports are sent to parents around the middle of June.
Because school is a community of people, often with different expectations and requirements, there are inevitably times when there is a difference of opinion. It is best to take a bit of time to consider the full set of circumstances before seeking an appointment with the teacher or principal to discuss the issue. Is there a series of events or is the event a once-off? Has the full story been told? Approached reasonably, most problems can be solved quite easily. In the unusual event that the parent and teacher come into conflict, the following simplified steps should be followed with a view to resolving a serious problem:
- A note should be sent to the teacher advising of difficulty and, if necessary, seeking an appointment.
- Meet the class teacher and try to resolve the difficulty.
- Request an appointment with the Principal to discuss the problem.
- Seek a meeting with both the Chairman of the Board of Management and the Principal.
- Write to the Board of Management outlining the grievance.
Children should not be sent to school if they are visibly sick and unhealthy. If a child becomes sick at school or has an accident, we will make every effort to get in touch with parents. If unable to make contact, we will use our discretion, up to and including bringing the child to hospital.
Certain illnesses such as chicken pox are contagious and children should not attend school for a time after a bout of such illness. Head lice, in particular, are easily transferred in the school environment because children are in close contact with each other. Where a parent detects head lice in their child’s hair, a note or phone call to the school would be appreciated so that we can advise other parents of their presence in the classroom. All parents should check their children’s hair upon receipt of an advisory note from the school.
Parents must inform the school of any problem that may affect the child during their time in school eg. Asthma, heart trouble, diabetes, allergies etc. Where a child must have any form of medical intervention on a regular basis, the parents are required to make satisfactory arrangements for this. Administration of medicine by school staff is only undertaken in cases of severe and urgent need. In advance, parents must have provided written instructions from a doctor and given written consent for staff to administer medicine. The Board of Management must also have authorised school staff to administer any medication. School staff do not accept responsibility for supervision or administration of cough mixtures, throat lozenges, headache tablets or any other such form of medication. Children who require these should be kept at home.
Use of School by HSE
The Health Board and Clinic regularly seek the use of the school for vaccinations and immunisations. As the school only offers its premises as a facility, we ask that all queries in relation to these should be directed to the Clinic or Health Board.
Homework keeps parents in touch with their child’s progress; it consolidates work done in school and cultivates the habit of private study. The homework assigned will usually be well within the capability of the child and should be done without too much help from parents. Children who are having difficulty should complete work that they are able for. This should be discussed with the class teacher. Homework will not normally be given at weekends.
The following guidelines should prove helpful:
- As far as possible, parents should ensure that there is a suitable time and place for doing homework. Watching television and studying are not a good combination.
- A regular time slot for homework gets children into a routine.
- Signing the homework journal means that parents have checked that the allocated oral and written work has been completed.
Some form of reading should be completed every night, even when not written down as part of formal homework. Classes from third upwards should be doing a minimum of fifteen minutes independent reading each night. Younger classes would benefit greatly from reading a story for five to ten minutes with their parents.
It is of very little use to a child to spend long periods of time completing homework. They will have ceased to gain any value long before the work is finished. A parental note to the teacher explaining that their child became tired will be acceptable. The following are indicators only of the maximum time that a child would be expected to spend on homework where the child’s concentration is not being interrupted. There will be nights when the children do not spend anywhere near these times on homework.
General Guidelines on Times Spent:
Allowing for individual differences in rates of work completion
Junior Infants: Up to 15 minutes
Senior Infants Up to 20 minutes
First/Second Class Up to 30 minutes
Third Class Up to 45 minutes
Fourth Class Up to 60 minutes
Fifth Class Up to 75 minutes
Sixth Class Up to 90 minutes
The annual budget for primary schools is based on a “Capitation Grant” from the Department of Education and Science. The grant covers all costs in relation to running the school: insurance, electricity, heating, phone, purchase of equipment etc.
Certain activities and opportunities can only be provided with extra financial help from parents. The school, in all cases, asks for a voluntary contribution. We believe that no child should be deprived of an educational opportunity on the basis of an inability to pay.
Money is collected in September for Art & Craft and Photocopying.. The amount due will be on the booklist for that year and should be sent to the school within the first week.
Other activities are organised in the school and money for these are collected as required eg. School Tour, Day Trips, P.E. Instructors, buses. We ask parents to settle all money matters as promptly as possible.
We will be providing a system for on-line payments for larger amounts. With approx. 52c in fees per transaction, it does not make sense to collect smaller amounts on-line.