The HSE has provided information for parents about the changes to contact tracing and testing for children aged between 3 months and 13 years in early learning and care, school aged childcare, education, primary school sports and social settings. You can find it here:
We hope you all had a lovely summer and we are looking forward to welcoming our pupils both old and new back to school on Tuesday 31st. We are delighted that our new classroom is completed and ready for 5th and 6th class!!
We wish to extend our thanks to Mr. Peter Loftus and his team at Milltownpassive Builds for their excellent work in completing this project on time for us.
Just a few pointers for you:
All Covid Guidelines remain exactly the same as last term as per Department of Education Guidelines. Please note our COVID RESPONSE PLAN can be viewed on the Policies page of this website. Section 5.1 has been updated to include common and uncommon symptoms of Covid 19 quoted as follows;
Know the Symptoms of COVID-19
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 it is important to know and recognise the symptoms of coronavirus (which includes the DELTA variant).
Common symptoms of coronavirus include:
a fever (high temperature - 38 degrees Celsius or above).
a new cough - this can be any kind of cough, not just dry.
shortness of breath or breathing difficulties.
loss or change in your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Aches and Pains
Other uncommon symptoms of coronavirus include:
runny or stuffy noses
feeling sick or vomiting
There is no requirement for parents to complete a Return to School Declaration form this term.
Arrival at School
Once again pupils are asked to enter via their designated gate ie this term 5th and 6th will use the far left gate.
2nd, 3rd and 4th will use the right gate.
Infants/1st and Reach class will use the small gate. For Parents of new Junior Infants, Mr. Foy will meet you and your child at the gate and accompany your child to their classroom.
Pupils will once again remain on their designated footprints until directed to their classroom by their teacher.
This term 5th and 6th will use the footprints at the far left, as their new entrance is to the left side of the school.
2nd/3rd/4th will use the footprints at the office door.
Parents must not congregate at or near the school at drop off or collection times please.
No adults, other than staff members, should enter the building
Messages for teachers can be sent by phoning the school office.
End of School Day
If an adult has to collect a child during the course of the school day, the following arrangements will apply
Finally please have a look at the Department of Education Advice and Information for parents below
Look forward to seeing you all at 9.10 on Tuesday!
Advice for parents during Covid-19:
Back to School in September 2021
Back to school advice for parents
Back to school advice for Junior Infants
Back to school advice for Senior Infants to 2nd class
Back to school advice for 3rd to 6th class
Dear parents of 6th class
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate your son/daughter on completing their primary education here in St. Joseph's NS, Milltownpass.
We would like to say well done to all our students in 6th class and the Reach class, particularly over the last 2 years in what has been a very challenging time for everyone.
We thank you their parents for all your support over the years and we would like to wish the class of 2021 a very successful secondary school experience. We are very proud of all our students and wish them every happiness in their future endeavours.
Under current restrictions we regret we were unable to facilitate parental participation in our Graduation ceremony. With this in mind Ms. Martin has put together a wonderful video of memories and good wishes from the school community.
We hope you enjoy it and best wishes to everyone.
Enjoy the video!
Prayer for 6th class from Fr. Coleman
Lord, bless each of our children,
who are now ready to begin the next stage
of their life journey in secondary school.
We give thanks for the years that they have spent with us,
and for the many gifts they have shared with us.
As they go forth from us,
may they continue to live lives
that speak of God's love for them,
and for all people.
Congratulations to 2nd class who celebrated their First Confession today in St. Joseph's Church, Milltownpass!
I hope this finds you all well. I would be grateful if you could circulate the following information to Parents with regard to Free Virtual Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) coming up.
Groups both Junior 2-10yrs & Teen 11-15yrs
Please find dates attached using the platform webex. Parents will need to book in to receive the webex link by either contacting Deirdre or myself depending on the workshop or group they are interested in.
Fearless Seminars (anxiety) 4-14yrs.
Please find attached 2 posters for the virtual zoom Fearless Seminar on anxiety for Parents of children 4-14 Years being hosted through Laois Education centre in partnership with the Triple P Parenting Programme on Tuesday 18th May and Tuesday 29th June, 7pm-9pm. If you have any parents who wish to avail of the Fearless seminars, it is important that you e mail them the flyer as the code for booking is contained in same (for whichever date they choose).
Parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic is a unique challenge for all parents, caregivers and families. Children and parents are anxious, and families are under pressure like never before. Being a parent to a child/teenager who is experiencing anxiety can be tough.
Anxious children / teenagers can seek constant reassurance have outbursts of anger / frustration and can feel sick when worried. Parenting has a crucial role to play in mitigating the potential long-term negative impacts of COVID-19 on children, particularly in relation to mental health.
Any queries re same please feel free to call me Fiona on 0863801163 or Deirdre on 0860274837.
Deirdre Dowling- Triple P Practitioner
Health Promotion & Wellbeing Office
2nd Floor Arden Road
Check out this video above from Milltownpass GAA
Our Whole School Multisport Challenge started today! Each child completed a circuit style challenge. Activities included Tennis top ups/object relay/catch and clap etc. Fantastic fun was had by all!! Thank you to the Reach Class for organising it!!!!
Great progress with our new classroom!!! Thank you to Peter Loftus and all the gang at Milltownpassive Builds!!
Dr Ronan Glynn,
Deputy Chief Medical Officer,
Department of Health, Miesian Plaza,
50 – 58 Lower Baggot Street,
26 February 2021
To parents and guardians,
Through your hard work and willingness to buy in to public health guidance over the past two months, we have made real progress in suppressing the most recent wave of COVID-19. This progress has meant that primary and post-primary schools and the wider provision of childcare can now commence on a phased basis.
The importance of schools for the overall health and wellbeing of children cannot be overstated, and the risk of COVID-19 has been carefully weighed against the very real harm that can be caused by sustained school closures. Schools are at the heart of our communities and they play a fundamental role in the social lives and wellbeing of our children; this is particularly true for children who have special educational needs, are disadvantaged or who may have been disproportionately impacted by school closures over the last year.
Our priority is to ensure a safe return to schools for students, their families and school staff, which is why we have recommended a phased return to in-school learning.
In making this recommendation, the NPHET’s most significant concern is that it will be taken as a signal by parents and wider society that other forms of household mixing, and mobility are now acceptable.
We cannot afford for this to happen at this time. Despite the progress we have made, COVID-19 is still circulating at high levels in our communities. We must do all we can individually and collectively to ensure that the reopening of schools results in the minimum possible upward pressure on the reproduction number.
Please avoid congregating at school gates over the coming weeks. Please do not have play dates or organise after school activities which involve household mixing. And please continue to work from home unless essential. It is only through your continued buy-in to these measures that we can ensure that our children will get back to school and then stay back in school.
I know these are difficult requests. We all – adults and children alike – want to meet up with our friends and neighbours and get back to our old routines. And we will get there.
We now have three very effective vaccines with, hopefully, three more on the way. Over the coming weeks, older people, and those at high or very high risk of severe disease will be vaccinated and we will see substantial increases in supply from April onwards. And we are already seeing the very positive impact of vaccines in our nursing homes and among our healthcare workers. If we can combine this rollout with a continued suppression of the disease through March and April, we will have many more options in terms of easing of measures and should be able to provide much greater levels of certainty to people about the months ahead.
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all you have done to keep your family and our communities safe over the last year. I also want to thank all teachers, principals and school staff who have worked so hard to ensure measures have been put in place to limit the risk of spread of COVID-19 in schools. It has been this kind of work, done quietly and by the majority, which has underpinned our national response to COVID-19 and which, ultimately, will see us through to brighter days ahead.
Dr. Ronan Glynn,
Deputy Chief Medical Officer,
Department of Health.
We hope you are all keeping well.
Following the recent Government announcements we are delighted to welcome the return of pupils from Junior Infants to 4th class on Monday 1st March. As we have a mixed group of 2nd,3rd and 4th they are all permitted to return.
The Reach class are back since Monday and are all delighted to be here!
We look forward to 15th of March when we will welcome 5th and 6th class back to school.
Please ensure your child brings all of their books back on Monday.
There is great excitement here at the school as work on our new classroom is up and running.
I wish to draw your attention to the following:
Return to school Guidelines
All measures put in place for our Return in September are still in place. I wish to remind you of the following please:
Junior/Senior Infants/ 1st class will use the Infant door
2nd/3rd/4th will use their usual door
5th/6th will use main door/office door
Reach Class have their own door
Entrances & Exit Points to the school grounds
Entrance and Exit Points
Left of main gate
2nd 3rd 4th
Right of main gate
Small entrance on the far right
J/S/1st and Reach Class
Arrival at school
Children who should not attend school
If your child is in one of the following categories, they should not attend school –
Thank you for your co-operation with the above guidelines and also for your support during the recent period of Distance Learning.
Please click on the link below to print the Pupil Return to Education Declaration form. Please complete it and send it with your child on their return to school.
If you don't have access to a printer we will have hard copies available on Monday morning for you to complete. Please bring a pen with you.
24 February 2021
Yesterday the Government published the plan for the next phases of return to in-school
provision for students at both primary and post-primary level. These further phases
have been developed following continuous engagement with unions and other
education partners and ongoing engagement with the Department of Health and HSE
The Department of Health and the HSE have reaffirmed that schools in themselves are
low risk environments and that a gradual phased reopening can occur at this time.
Public health has reviewed the measures put in place to ensure safe operation of
schools and is satisfied that these infection prevention and control measures, when
rigorously adhered to, will keep the school community safe during this period.
There will be a period of time between each phase to assess the impact of reopening
on aspects of community transmission.
On Monday 1 March the first four classes at primary level – junior and senior
infants, first and second class – and final year Leaving Certificate students will
return to in-school provision. This phase will also see a return to full attendance
for children in special schools.
Monday 15 March is the target date for the return to in-school provision of the
rest of primary school children - third to sixth class students - and fifth year
Leaving Certificate students. This date will be reviewed during the period
following 1 March.
Monday 12 April, following the Easter break is the target date for the return to
in-school education for the rest of post-primary students - first to fourth year
Remote teaching and learning provision for students in each category will cease
once in-person teaching and learning provision commences for each group of
Safety is paramount in our schools, and all provision within schools will continue
according to public health advice developed for educational settings. The Department
will continue to fund and support as necessary infection prevention and control
measures in schools to ensure the safety of the school community.
Public Health in the HSE is fully committed to supporting schools. Schools teams that
have been put in place to support schools since October will support schools during the
phased return and beyond.
We all know of the hugely adverse consequences at individual, family and societal
level of not having in-person learning available to students. The safe return and
sustained safe re-opening of our schools is a key priority for Government.
I acknowledge that a phased re-opening is challenging for many people, with children
of different age groups in the same families returning at different times. The purpose of
managing this cautious phased return is to continue to limit the mobility of the
population and curb the spread of the virus.
I ask all parents to please review the symptoms of Covid-19, to ensure that children
with symptoms do not attend school and that all children know and understand the
procedures in place in school.
Please continue to abide by all social distancing guidance and stay home apart from
essential journeys. Parents can help schools by being individually responsible and not
lingering outside school at drop off and collection times. It is welcome that children will
see their friends in school, but please do not organise playdates or home visits.
We all understand how essential school reopening is and we need to give it the best
possible chance to get all students back as quickly as possible.
I would like to thank you, your families and school communities for continued
adherence to the guidelines and for helping us all to curb the spread of the virus. I wish
all students and staff a safe return to in-person learning over the coming weeks.
You may find the below useful:
Links to posters and videos here: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/5572b-back-toschool-advice-for-parents-students-and-families/
Norma Foley, TD
Minister for Education