Thank you for your continued support during remote learning. We understand that each family is unique and we will continue to reach out to make sure all families are engaging to the best of their abilities.
As well as working on remote learning, the school is working on a draft plan for partial re-opening for children with significant additional needs, and we await progress and direction from the Minister for Education and all relevant stakeholders. I met with the Board of Management this week, and the agreed report is on our BOM webpage here. We welcomed representatives from the parents association committee to the meeting and enjoyed a productive discussion.
I hope that your families are doing well and that you are managing to enjoy as much as you can during this time. The weekend is upon us and we must keep our spirits up, as we put down the devices and go for another circular walk, and have another circular conversation with the ones we love in our close circles. And in all of those circles, please stay safe, holdfirm, and mind one another.
School reopening and Educate Together CEO on School Re-opening & Safety
The latest government announcement has extended our current restrictions to March 5th 2021. There has been no official statement yet on the reopening of schools but we are aware that a plan is being worked on.
There has been no shortage of discussion in government buildings and in the media of late where students, exhausted families, teachers, additional needs assistants & unions have been pitted against one another to deflect from poor planning and leadership. Thankfully discussions are now in a tunnel, and we are very much looking forward to them coming out with a solution. As soon as we have an official timeline we will let you know.
Emer Nowlan, CEO of Educate Together has written a piece in the Irish Times, which reflects the frustrations we are all feeling. She writes about the deep understanding staff have about the impact being out of school has on our students, Two weeks ago, I was humbled by our staff’s willingness to return to school, in the face of serious safety concerns, my own included, such is their dedication to the most impacted children and families in CWETNS. Also in this article, Emer Nowlan recognises that schools are safer places, because of the challenging, exhausting, and relentless work we are doing in them. They are not magically safe by nature, and the majority of schools will confirm this by now, Canal Way included.
I kindly ask you to read this articlehere– it is sensible, fair, and reassuring.
The school will be closed for the week of 15-19 February 2021, as per the school year calendar.
Getting to know you… Ciara!
What makes you feel proud?
I started gardening in the March lockdown. Every time I take a vegetable from the garden I feel like I’m a wizard from Hogwarts!
What do you like most about yourself right now?
That I am creative! I have been able to keep myself busy over the past few months doing different arts and crafts.
What are you good at?
Listening to people.
What makes you happy?
Spending time in the sea- swimming, surfing, windsurfing- I’m not fussy! Or walking my dog. Or playing with my dog. Or talking about my dog…I really love my dog!
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you lately?
I got to safely see my nan
What do you do when you feel sad?
I walk my dog or have a big bubble bath. Nothing feels better than a good cry if I’m really sad
What are your hobbies?
hiking, swimming, cycling, windsurfing- generally being outdoors!
If they made a movie about you who would play you?
I’m terrible on actors – I always get names mixed up!
What is your favourite food?
Too many to choose from but warm foods over cold!
What will we never see you doing?
I’ll give most things a try!
What is your least favourite food?
Beach or mountains?
Can I have both?
That’s why Dublin is brilliant! If only our mountains were a bit higher!
What are you afraid of?
Rats. Even the thought of them makes me shiver.
If you could be an animal what would you be?
I would be a cormorant. It’s a type of bird that likes to dive into water then dry off by sunbathing on rocks. Sounds ideal to me!
We’ve been busy finding ways to make everyone’s lockdown a bit easier and help us all be a bit more connected in with the school community. Visit the
Film library here you will find 30+ films, made by staff at the school. There are story books being read, along with art, nature and science activities. It will continue to be updated.
We are delighted to announce that CWETNS has been approved under the summer works grant scheme, for a substantial renovation project for the children’s toilets in the main building. We are remodeling the toilet area which will increase the footprint and double the number of toilets. We shall also be relocating staff toilets which will facilitate the space for the children toilets.
Thanks to Brían Greenan and the former buildings committee from where this work was initiated, and thanks to the student council for continually keeping this item prioritised for the management of the school.
The project is at a very early stage, and understandably we cannot anticipate a start or finish date, but trust we are working hard on this and shall have more information in the coming weeks.
We have completed initial soils samples which were delayed, and are starting ground-works onsite next week. We look forward to this project finally starting and thank you for your patience with this.
Clarification on National Council for Special Education report.
In September 2018, The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) wrote to every school in the South Dublin area,us included, and requested us to open a specialist class for children with autism. CWETNS Management responded that we would like to open a class, however, we have no accommodation and kindly requested their support in resolving this. The NCSE did not engage with us and reported publicly that CWETNS did not respond to their request to open a class for children with autism, and they also furnished this report to the Minister of Education. The Management of CWETNS became aware of this after the report was available on numerous online platforms, including their own website where it still remains today. We did receive a letter eventually, that addresses their errors. This letter is on our website: LINK HERE The Board of Management is following up to have an amendment made to the report as we are deeply concerned and disappointed about what this infers about our school.
Supporting the Safe Provision of Schooling (Covid 19 Inspection)
In December, the school was visited by an Inspector from the Department of Education and Skills. They carry out a programme of Supporting the Safe Provision of Schooling (Covid 19 Inspection) visits to schools to provide an assurance to the public and families that the Department’s guidelines are being implemented and to support schools in implementing them. We are very happy to report that we have got full marks! The report can be found here.