3 April 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian

On the eve of a long-deserved Easter holiday break, I wanted to extend our gratitude to you for all of your support in helping to keep your daughters connected and engaged with the school. I know from speaking with you by phone and e-mail how difficult this time has been and the many challenges you are facing on both a professional and personal nature.

I also wish to take this opportunity to commend all the staff and students on the sterling work undertaken in ensuring that teaching and learning continues in a very innovative and changed manner. We are so appreciative of all members of the school community’s flexibility and willingness to work with us as we navigate our way through this strange time. I think it really is a testament to the strength of our community here in Warrenmount that we have achieved so much in such a short space of time. Staff and students should be very proud of all that they have overcome to ensure that our school is vibrantly meeting the needs of our school community on so many levels in very creative ways.

We will endeavour to do all we can to continue to support you and your daughters, carrying on that strong tradition of care and concern that Nano Nagle and the Presentation Sisters strove to achieve in their own times. Now more than ever, we are probably all in need of more support, reassurance and kindness than ever before as we do not know how the pandemic will play out in any home across the country so let us continue to be generous and compassionate in our interactions with one another.

I also wanted to emphasise too the importance of everyone, staff and students, taking time off during this Easter break. It is essential to take this time with family and friends as the last few weeks have been exceptionally tiring and everyone needs to switch off and re-charge.

We have suggested that staff maintain some contact with 3 rd and 6th year students possibly weekly, to maintain the momentum and continuity of some engagement with their studies over this break. In relation to all other non-exam classes, including TY, we suggested that subject teachers would set them an assignment to be completed over the break, but there would be no need to maintain online contact at this time. I am asking all staff and students to take a break from online activity, with the exception of the weekly check in with examination students, to ensure that everyone can avail of some down time and to respect the boundaries that are usually there in the school.

I have attached a list of supports for students along with the arrangements we have made for contact through the appropriate channels over the Easter break. With the exception of those staff involved in listed Easter Programmes and supports detailed in the attached flyer, staff will not be available online.

I would also like to thank those students who responded to the recent survey regarding online learning for their honesty and insightful comments. The feedback from both students and staff has been really useful and will allow us to formulate a road map for moving forward should we continue to remain out of school for an extended period. We hope to share our thoughts and ideas with you after the Easter break.

Further guidance will issue in the coming weeks from the State Examinations Commission based on advice from the HSE. The DES acknowledges that the uncertainty involved is challenging for teachers, students and their parents and guardians. We have been informed that every effort is being made at all levels to assist these students to continue to progress and be in a state of readiness for the examinations. I will keep you updated as the situation evolves.

I hope the forthcoming Easter break will offer you all space to rest and restore body, mind and spirit. Happy Easter to you all. Stay well and keep safe.

Yours sincerely

Gwen Brennan