Wednesday 6th January
I am writing today to confirm arrangements for your child’s education over the next few weeks, whilst we are in lockdown.
Children of key essential workers are able to attend the Northern Hub School, which is in the Junior building of Bunscoil Rhumsaa. Attendance at this site should be seen as a last resort, as in order for this circuit break lockdown to be successful we all need to limit our movements as much as possible. Key essential workers include health care professionals, essential shop workers, key infrastructure engineers and emergency services personnel, but only whilst you are actually at work. If you are not in work, as you are on a day off, or are a key worker, but able to work from home, then your child must stay with you at home.
We will be sending home a learning pack today, which we hope they will be able to complete with a limited amount of support. For children who are not in school today, these can either be collected from the table inside the main entrance, or after school from inside the large wooden milk box. Please do not come into school itself. The packs are labelled with each child’s name, so please make sure you take the correct one!
Previously we used Google Classroom to deliver some online learning and interaction with the children, but after reviewing this, and following advice from the Department of Education, Sport and Culture, we will supplementing this with the use of Microsoft Teams.
A member of staff will be online, on Teams, for help and advice each week day between 10.00am and 11.00am. They will be able to provide feedback on your child’s learning, encouragement and answer questions related to what they have been doing. Over the next 48 hours we will e-mail the link to access these daily meetings to you, as we do not wish to share them on our public Facebook Page. These drop in sessions will start on Monday 11th January.
You will not need any user name or password to access these meetings, all you will need to do is click on the link, and they will work from any device. Experience has shown us that they work best using Google Chrome or Firefox, and that they do not work well using Safari. Alternatively you can download and use the MS Teams app. We will provide a link to this on our website and Facebook page.
In addition MS Teams allows us to create assignments, the children to interact with each other, share news, ask questions and give peer support. In order to access this aspect, the children will need to login with their username and a password, and these will be emailed directly to you, along with a help sheet over the next few days.
I would at this point though like to stress that we hope this lockdown will be much shorter than before, and that your family’s mental health is more important than any formal schooling. If you or your child don’t feel that you can cope with home learning straight away, then please don’t worry about it. Experience has shown us that the vast majority will catch up quickly when they return to school.
Experience has also shown us that communication between home and school will be vital, and we are offering a number of different ways that you can contact us, these include:-
Via e-mail - If you wish to send an e-mail please send it to JurbyHeadteacher@sch.im I will then either respond myself or forward it on to another member of staff. I will endeavour to respond to all messages within 48 hours. If I become ill myself, other members of staff will have access to this e-mail address. Other e-mail addresses will not be monitored.
Via Facebook - If you wish to send a private message to our school Facebook Page please do so. Either I or another member of staff will respond within 48 hours.
Via the Phone - The school phone number (897651) will be diverted, so you will still be able to speak to me directly if you wish, Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 5.00pm.
Via Text - If you would like to speak to another member of staff please text us on our normal text number 166629, and we will do our best to respond. Again please allow us 48 hours to respond, and bear in mind that some of our staff may become ill themselves or have family members who need their support.
As a school we are aware that we have a number of children with complex needs, many of whom will struggle with the changes in routine and great uncertainty that is taking place. Whilst none of us are experts, all of the staff are here to help, even if it is remotely. If over the next couple of weeks you find yourself struggling and would like some advice, or just somebody to listen to you, please use any of the options outlined above to get in touch. Staff will not judge you, or think any less of you if you ask for some advice. I would ask though that you only use the methods outlined above, and even if you do have a member of staff’s personal phone number, or are friends with them on social media, that you respect their privacy, as it maybe that they themselves are ill or are struggling to cope and don’t feel able to respond immediately.
We will continue to check in with all of you at least once a week, either through one of our daily video drop in meetings on Teams or via a private phone call.
Finally on behalf of the whole team at Jurby Community School can I send my best wishes to you and your family and we hope that everyone remains safe and well over the next few weeks.