Good morning all and welcome back to the virtual school. We hope that you and your families are staying safe and taking great care of each other in these difficult times. The staff are in regular contact with one another and all are well.
The school was closed for 14 school days up to April 3rd. The children, then, took a break for the Easter period. In those 14 days teachers posted work on the www.northbay.ie . You, in your home, were getting used to this new reality and to trying to get a routine in place despite all your other responsibilities. We are now planning for the next 10 days that we will be closed. We want to find a way to support you that involves checking in with the children in a way that helps us know how the children are learning without adding pressure.
We know that every home is different and that each of you has different pressures. Some of you are working from home while supporting your children to learn. Some of you are still out in the workforce as essential workers. Some of you will be very worried about vulnerable loved ones who may need support. We are trying to find a middle ground where we provide support for learning and manage also not to add to any stress that you or your children may be feeling. Please believe that your children are learning many useful life skills in this period through being with you in the home and that schoolwork, while important, is intended to help you to support your children. You know your child and your circumstances and you will judge how much to tackle at any one time.
It is important for us also to be keenly aware that not every family has access to good broadband or to enough devices to enable all the children to access learning online. We know that you may need to prioritise learning for e.g. a Leaving Cert student in the home. We are keeping that in mind as we plan how to interact with your children in this next phase. We are trying to find a way that is accessible to the majority of our families.
We will now be closed for a further 10 days until the May Bank Holiday. A special email has been set up for each class and we have made contact with you this morning through the emails we have on record. All morning, many of you have been emailing us to confirm that we have the correct email or providing new email addresses. We will update our database and will use the email you give us to interact with your child/children. It is essential that, for child protection, you as the parent/guardian retain full access to this email. We will send another email tomorrow morning asking your permission to use that email in this way. We will need everyone to respond to that email.
We are beginning this week by posting work on the website as before. As the week progresses and we get all of your updated emails on our database, and we have your written permission to use those emails, teachers will contact you individually and will interact regarding progress.
We are looking forward to having more interaction with the children and to see how they got on for the first 14 days. You and your children will learn new skills for interacting regarding their learning.
Please continue to stay safe.
Sally & the staff of North Bay ETNS