I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Gemma and I am the new Home School Community Liaison Teacher in the school.  I have taken over the role from Tom who worked so closely with many of you and did fantastic work in the school.  I wanted to let you know about some of the things that I will be taking care of in the school, and ways in which you can get involved.

Adult Classes.

There is an existing English language adult class on a Thursday run by Carol Montgomery.  I have had the pleasure of meeting all the parents in that class, who are doing really well.  They have made fantastic progress with their language, and are a fun group. This class will restart on Thursday 15th of January for all those who are enrolled.  This class is based in Esker ETNS.

We have a new adult class starting in February 2015, subject to numbers. It is called MY TOWN. This course will be held in Lucan East ETNS but is available to parents from both schools.  It starts at 9.30 – 11.30 for 6 weeks. It is a course that will help you in two ways – 1. You will learn about everything that is available in your area from family outings, clubs for your children and finding out more about support services.  2.  You will improve your IT skills as your tutor will show you how to get this information online.  Spaces are limited, and the course will only be funded if we get minimum numbers. I will send out a letter very soon. It is very important that you reply as soon as possible as places will be allocated by first come first served basis.  I am awaiting a definite day that the tutor will be available, but it will either be on  a Monday or Tuesday.

Attendance

It is so important that your child attends school every day unless they are ill.  If they are absent for any length of time you must send a letter to the teacher explaining the reason for the absence.  If your child attended a doctor for a longer period, it would be good for the school to have a copy.  We need these letters to explain the absence to the Education Welfare Board.

We strongly discourage you taking your child out of school for longer periods for holidays. This makes learning very difficult for your child as they miss very important work covered by their teacher and it is very hard for them to catch up. You are putting your child at a disadvantage when you take them out of school during term time.  Again, we need to report these absences to the Education Welfare Officers.

Parental involvement

In January we are starting Maths for Fun in 1st class Japan. This will run every Wednesday for 8 weeks. This is a great opportunity for you as a parent to get involved in your child’s education.  Letters have been sent out if you would like to get involved.

In the Junior Infant classes: Sweden and Austria we will be starting the CLOVER PROJECT (Children Learn On Very Early Reading) which is a literacy initiative.  This will run for 6 weeks. Again this is a great way to get involved in your child’s education, become part of the school community and meet other parents in the school.  Letters have been sent out to the parents.  This will take place on a Thursday.

Throughout the year, other classes will run different initiatives in which you could get involved.  There have been so many studies done in the past that prove that children do better emotionally and intellectually in school when the parent takes an active role in their education.  Make the most of their time in school.  Education is a joint enterprise between parents and schools.

Second Level Schools.

If you have a child in 6th class, it is imperative that at this stage you have confirmation that your child has a place in a second level school.  If for any reason you do not, please get in touch with me immediately (details below) and I can help you.

If you have a child in 5th class please be aware that application forms for second level schools start in March 2015. You should be having the conversation now with your child about where is best for them to go.

Family Matters

If you have an issue that is affecting your child, or you need help with a family issue that may be impacting your child please come and talk to me.  We want all of our children to come to school, to learn, to be safe and to be happy.

I am in the school every Wednesday and Thursday and every second Friday in the month. You are more than welcome to meet with me.  You can e mail me on gemmahscl@lucaneastet.ie or you can call me on 086 0261061 to arrange a time convenient for you to meet.

I am really excited to be in this role, and look forward to building relationships with you all to make your child’s educational journey a happy and successful one.

Warmest Regards

Gemma

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