Travel to/from Glasgow Airport:
As the flight to Canada leaves at 9:30am on Sunday 24th September, it is not possible for us to leave Dunoon on the Sunday morning as the ferry doesn’t run early enough. With that in mind, we are confirming plans to stay at the Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport (the one across from the terminal building) on Saturday 23rd September. We would depart Dunoon on the Saturday evening (around 7pm) and travel directly to the airport by taxi or mini-bus (the last few quotes are being finalised and then I can confirm the exact travel arrangements). Pupils would share twin rooms and would eat breakfast in the hotel on the morning of the 24th.
The reason we are trying to avoid driving round is that it will make for an even earlier start on what is already going to be a busy, long and potentially stressful day.
If this change to the itinerary is going to cause an issue or disrupt any of your current plans then please let me know as soon as possible so we can discuss this matter further before any plans are finalised.
Please remember, each pupil must have a visa for Canada and a separate visa for America. These can be arranged online and information was included with the handout from the Parents evening last year. I can forward to information again to anyone who needs it. Please ensure the visa is organised before the final trip parents’ meeting in August as the information must be collated at that point.
There is information about visas in an e-mail update further down the page.
Upcoming Fundraising - Fundraising Event, 24th March:
We are planning on a fundraising event, similar to the 'Scottish Night' back in 2014, which will take place on Friday 24th March 2017. We aim to get the school pipe band involved and have spoken to a group called Grouse Ceilidh Band about playing at the event (you can check them out here: http://www.grouseceilidhband.com/). This event would be open to the whole of the Dunoon community and not just the school or Gaelic communities.
Pupil involvement outside of school will be limited; pupils to be involved in the following ways:
- Working on advertising materials (posters, tickets, article for the local paper) - in class
- Selling tickets/promoting the event around the school - during house time in school
- Gathering raffle prizes (including writing to local businesses)
- Creating a PowerPoint/Video to show on the night which gives information about the trip and how the funds raised will support it - in class
If possible, I would love as many of the pupils involved on the trip to be able to attend on the night to take tickets, sell raffle tickets and cans of juice/home baking.
There is no need for parents to be involved in the planning of this event but we would love if you could come along and convince your friends and family to come too. More information will be issued over the next few weeks.
I know this is, typically, everyone's least favourite fundraiser and, with that in mind, we are considering teaming up with the French Exchange and sharing the amount raised with them; while it means less money into our fundraising pot, it also means less of a commitment from pupils.
No date has been organised for this but we hope 1 bag pack will take place before Easter, as suggested in the initial information about the trip fundraising issued in September time.
Please let me know if you have any questions about the planned fundraising events mentioned in this e-mail.
If anyone has any suggestions on local or national businesses we can contact for raffle prizes then I would be very grateful if you could pass this information on.
As mentioned, all those travelling on the trip require an ESTA visa for entry to the United States; without this being in place prior to the trip the pupil will not be able to travel.
You can find out more information here https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/esta on the official website.
This ESTA visa is valid for 2 years after you apply for it or until the passport expires and you require a valid, e-passport to apply for a Visa. Typically, if the passport was issued after 2007 it will be an e-passport. The cost is $14 US, this is around £11.
Parents will have to apply for and pay for this visa on behalf of the pupil as the school is not allowed to answer the questions on behalf of the pupil.
I have also recently discovered a change in the legislation since we traveled to Canada in 2015. Pupils now require a visa for Canada. It is called an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) visa. It costs $7 (Canadian) and you can find out all the information here http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp on the official website.
Like the ESTA Visa, parents will have to apply for and pay for this visa on behalf of the pupil as the school is not allowed to answer the questions on behalf of the pupil. $7 Canadian works out at around £4.50. The Canadian eTA is valid for 5 years after you apply for it or until the passport expires and you require a valid passport to apply.
Parental Information Evening - w/b 28th August:
There is not great rush to complete these visa but I politely request that you have them organised before the parental information evening which will take place w/b 28th August 2017. Could you please also ensure that passports are available on this evening for us to photocopy.
Both Visas can be organised directly through the links above and can be paid for with a credit or debit card - please be aware that the amount will be charged in either USD to Canadian dollars so there may be a small charge for a foreign transaction by your bank or card issuer; I would estimate that both visas, potential bank charges included, should cost no more than £20 in total.