I hope you are all keeping well.
School Year 2020-2021: The publication of the Roadmap for Reopening of Schools has brought some certainty to the educational landscape and we are fully committed to welcoming all our pupils back to school on September 1st. Anybody who has passed the school in recent times will have observed that there has been work going on continuously during July. The entire school has been deep cleaned. Currently, work is well underway on extending our playground at the rear of the school. We will have approximately 800 sq metres of additional playspace available in September which should help considerably with social distancing. Limerick Sports Partnership did new playground markings for us last week. The school has installed 44 hand sanitising units so that everybody will be able to sanitise on entering or leaving each classroom or any part of the school. Last Thursday, Deputy Principal Sheila Hayes and I visited the Zimmer Biomet plant in Shannon to see how they are dealing with the challenges faced by Covid 19. It was a very worthwhile visit. The company kindly provided each invited school with starter packs of hand sanitiser , sanitising units, signage, wipes etc. I am indebted to Rob Geary for organising this. The school have also invested to in an electrostatic sprayer which will be used on a daily basis to supplement the cleaning regime currently in place. At the moment, we are looking at the Roadmap line- by- line as we prepare for reopening.
Staffing: In July, Mr Keoghan secured a permanent position in Killoughteen NS and so he leaves us after more than three years in the school. We are sorry to see him go but wish him well in his new post and congratulate him and his wife on the arrival of their baby daughter. An eventful time by any standards. We also say goodbye to Mr Walsh and wish him well.
In July, interviews were held for the vacant teaching posts in the school. Almost 250 candidates applied which necessitated several days of shortlisting before candidates were selected for interview. I am delighted to inform you that Mr John Tuohy and Mrs Sinéad Barry will return to the school in the new school year. Mr Tuohy will teach First and Second classes while Mrs Barry will teach Fifth and Sixth. We will also have two new faces on staff. Ms Orla O Gorman will teach Senior Infants while Ms Ciara Stapleton will teach Third/Fourth in September.
I will be in touch with all families before the end of August so that parents are fully aware of arrangements for the new school year. It will be a different landscape in the short term with safety of children and staff on top of the long list of priorities. I know that we will adjust and adapt and I have no doubt that the children will do so faster than any of us.
I hope August brings good weather and good news on the Covid front. I look forward to the year ahead with confidence and optimism.
Le dea ghuí