Ennis Educate Together N.S.
Good communication is essential to the smooth running of an efficient school. In recognition of this fact, Ennis Educate Together National School has in place a policy on communication between the various individuals, groups and organisations connected with the school.
The teachers carry out informal meetings on a daily basis, before school, during school and after school. Written communication is also passed from class to class during the day. Regular staff meetings are held. The Principal, in consultation with the teachers, draws up the agenda. Minutes are recorded. Circulars from the Department of Education and Science are available to all teachers to read.
Teachers communicate both formally and informally on a daily basis with support staff � Special Needs Assistants, the School Secretary, Cleaning Staff and Care Taking staff.
Teachers and Children
Teachers communicate with children on an ongoing basis while teaching. However, occasionally, it is necessary to make announcements. These can be written or verbal. Notices can take the form of a letter home, carried in the child�s school bag, written notes in homework notebooks or posted to notice boards.
Children and Children
Children communicate with each other formally and informally throughout the school day. It should be noted that communications between children regarding out of school activities i.e. celebration of festivals, birthday parties/outings/trips etc. should take place before or after school time. This would also include the exchange of cards and presents between children.
Board of Management
� The Board of Management holds regular meetings. The agenda is set and notice of the meeting sent to each board member. Minutes are recorded. Communication to the Board is kept by the Secretary and dealt with at every meeting. A DES Circular List is regularly updated and forwarded to all BoM members. Hard copies of all circulars received are filed in the office. Subject to normal confidentiality, a report of the proceedings of each BOM meeting shall be published to the school community.
� Parents� nominees on the Board of Management give representation to matters concerning the parent body. Should a parent(s) have a concern regarding their child, they should, in the first instance, speak with their child�s teacher and/or Principal. Occasionally, parents may wish to have a matter discussed at Board of Management level. For this to happen, the matter should be forwarded, in writing, to the Chairperson of the board at least 10 days before the next planned Board of Management meeting. Parents will be informed of upcoming Board Meetings in the Board of Management News.
� There is regular contact with parents as individuals both informally and formally.
� A School Report on each child�s progress is sent to each parent once a year.
� Parents/guardians who wish to meet with the Principal or Staff are asked to make an appointment, stating the purpose of the meeting, so as to minimize disruption for everyone concerned, primarily the children.
� When a child is absent from school, a written note must be presented to the class teacher. This note must state the reason for absence (Education Welfare Act 2000). If a child is absent for medical reasons, a doctor�s certificate must be provided.
� IMPORTANT: If parents/guardians need to withdraw/return a child from/to school during the school day, they should report to Catriona in the office before proceeding to the child�s classroom. If a child is being collected/returned during lunchtime, parents/guardians should again report to the office Catriona, who will then withdraw/take the child from/to the schoolyard. Parents/Guardians are expected to inform the class teacher, in advance, of early with-drawls of children from class/school.
� Regular and unbroken attendance has a direct bearing on a child�s progress in school. In view of this we actively discourage children taking extended holidays during the academic year. Should an extended absence be planned, parents/guardians are expected to inform the school in writing beforehand. It is school policy not to prepare work for children taking extended leave, except in exceptional circumstances, e.g., hospitalisation.
� The Collection of Children: The school should at all times know who is collecting your child. If, at any time, you alter the pick-up arrangements for your child, the school should be given written authorization by the parent/guardian. In an emergency situation, the parent/guardian must leave a message on the answering service or speak with the principal/teacher or school secretary. At no time, will we knowingly release a child to anyone unauthorized/unknown to us.
IN the case of PARENTS/GUARDIANS ON CUSTODY/SEPARATION
The Principal and Staff of Ennis Educate Together N.S. encourage parents experiencing separation to come and speak confidentially to the Principal and teacher(s) concerned. It is our aim to handle such matters with sensitivity and compassion, and ultimately, our primary concern is for the well-being and overall development of the child.
1. When a child spends time in two homes, it is requested that the school be provided with both sets of emergency/contact numbers.
2. Regarding the collection of children from school, it is requested that the school be informed of any changes in collection arrangements by note or by leaving a message on the answering service where the change is for that day only.
3. It is assumed that when we wish to communicate with parents regarding their child, the parent who is contacted (i.e. the parent with whom the child principally resides) will inform the other parent of meetings, arrangements etc. Special requests for separate communication can be accommodated.
4. Regarding notes, school communication via schoolbags, school reports etc., it is assumed that the parent with whom the child principally resides will keep the other parent informed.
5. In the absence of a custody arrangement, both parents will be treated as equal partners in terms of parenting rights and responsibilities.
6. The school cannot be asked to withhold a child from either parent, in the absence of a custody arrangement.
7. The Principal and staff of Ennis Educate Together N.S. will endeavour at all times to deal sensitively and caringly with children experiencing separation. To do this we need to know. Please come and talk to us. Our conversations will treated with the utmost confidence and sensitivity.
Our school has a very active Parent-Teacher Association. The PTA Committee is elected every September at the PTA AGM. The Parent/BoM/Principal/Teacher relationship, fully recognizing the intense involvement of parents in their children�s education and the professional role of the Teacher, is a wonderful resource to the school. There will be regular contact, both formal and informal, between the school/Board of Management and the PTA. Two representatives from the PTA, on a rota basis, will meet with the Principal Teacher to discuss the minutes of the preceding PTA meeting. A mechanism on the PTA agenda will facilitate reciprocal feedback from the Principal Teacher at the next PTA meeting. Parent representatives on the Board of Management will report to the Parents� Association following Board meetings, subject to the restraints of confidentiality imposed by the Board. Feedback from PTA meetings will also be provided by Parent representatives at Board meetings. In addition to the above, the BoM Chairperson and the PTA Chairperson will meet once a month.
Written Communications Home: The designated day for PTA written communication home is Wednesday (pink paper), Board of Management News is sent home on Thursday (blue paper) and the Friday News is sent home on Friday (orange paper). From time-to-time, however, it will be necessary to send written communication on other days. Please check your child�s schoolbag regularly.
Department of Education and Science
Generally speaking, communication from the DES to the school is addressed to the Chairperson of the Board or the Principal or both. Teachers read the circulars and a list is kept of circulars received. Relevant circulars may also be brought to the attention of the Parents� Association.
The Principal or Chairperson communicates with the Inspectorate by phone call or in writing.
The Educate Together Newsletter is forwarded/copied and sent to each member of the Board of Management. This can be read by any member of the school community, taken away and copied if people wish.
There is regular two-way communication between the Board of Management/Principal Teacher and other agencies such as the Education Welfare Board, Health Board, Psychological Services, Social Services, Gardai, Community Employment Scheme, Data Protection Office and the County Council. No committee of the school should make representations, on behalf of the school, to the media or other outside bodies or representatives without the prior approval of the Board of Management.
As a process of professional development, teachers communicate on a regular basis with sales representatives, Education Centres and Colleges of Education. As a growing and vibrant school, the professional development of teachers will be motivated by the emerging needs of the pupils and the school in general. In a world of accelerated change and ever-changing modification to curriculum and teaching methodologies, the Board of Management places a premium on profession development.