Gerard O'Sullivan, principal, Coláiste Chiaráin, right, with Evelyn Canty, deputy principal and James O'Shaughnessy, deputy principal at the sod turning ceremony for their new school in August 2018
I hope you are all keeping well during these extremely difficult times we face together.
Over the past few weeks, I have read many articles on how fantastic many services have pulled together to see us through extenuating circumstances, and I would like to share with you some of these people that have went beyond the remit of their professions.
We have one child who is in 6th Class and was due to graduate this year from Patrickswell National School, Patrickswell, Co. Limerick (former school of Limerick's All Ireland players Cian Lynch, Diarmaid Byrnes and Aaron Gillane). After the address to the nation on March 12, our 6th Class Teacher, Mr Paul O' Connor had thankfully prepared a two week homework schedule to keep the children occupied during these uncertain times. The school also created a generic email account for parents to send their children's homework to school for checking and correction.
Mr O' Connor was always on the ball, sending back correction pages, but also including little messages and words of encouragement, a true professional and gentleman. Not only were his notes for our son, but he also made sure that the rest of the family were included too. This cheered our little bud up to no end, as the thought of never seeing his teacher or school buddies again is playing heavy on his mind.
Our second son is in year two of Coláiste Chiaráin, Croom. I actually don't know where to start with how utterly amazing these group of people have been. The school principal, Gerard O’Sullivan, has kept regular contact via email and text messages to keep everyone updated with developments. Thankfully they are technologically advanced and a large majority of their teaching staff are fluent in using Google Classrooms. The great advantage of having this software at hand enables us as parents to view our kids progress and what workloads are due. Each week we can opt to receive a summary of work carried out. Last week we received a telephone call from the Homework Club Co-ordinator Mr John Kelly, firstly asking how we were holding up and how our son was coping with the isolation measures. He arranged for later that same week for the group to meet online for a chat and catch up. During this whole experience I have never heard my son laugh so much, which was very heartwarming for us to hear. A few days later, we received a lovely call from his year head, Ms Stack, again just checking that all was ok and if they could offer any additional supports that they were there for us.
We are so proud and privileged that both our children are being educated in such nurturing environments, where not only their educational needs are being met, but their personal development is key in such a critical time. Our behind the scene heroes.
JEANNETTE & JOHN FERGUSON