Well done to everyone on another week of doing what you can with what you have when engaging with remote teaching and learning. The level of engagement from everyone is admirable. The announcement of €10m euro in funding to support students with IT deficits is welcome. While we have not been notified of the total amount that the college will receive, please do not hesitate to contact us if we can help in some way. We will prioritise support for Leaving Certificate students and follow the guidelines, when published, from the DES around the use of the fund.
On Wednesday the Department of Education and Skills confirmed funding for our building project. We had been fearful in the current environment with the demands on current government expenditure that the capital grants system would be impacted. Thankfully it has not in our case! The funding will lead to;
- 7 new general classrooms.
- 2 new science laboratories with a shared preparation area.
- a new multimedia/computer room
We are delighted with the approval and will continue to apply for the other elements of our proposal that were turned down – an upgraded staff room and additional social space for students. Devolved projects have to follow strict timelines and delivery of the project will take approximately 2 years, as was the case when we built our Technology, Design Communications & Graphics, Technical Graphics and ASD classrooms between 2015 and 2017.
3rd Years & State Examinations
All schools in the country have been asked to wait on a pending announcement from Minister Joe McHugh before making local decisions around how current 3rd years will be assessed. We will follow these guidelines and advise you of any developments and decisions that may arise from his statement.
The current position is;
- The exam fee for Junior Cycle has been waived.
- The State Examinations Commission (SEC) will distribute the exam papers to schools for teachers to administer and mark. These results will be recorded on your sons JCPA but will not be certified by the SEC/DES.
- There is no clarity as of yet regarding the completion of CBAs or ongoing project work. When we have this we will share the info with you.
6th Years & State Exams
The minister has confirmed July 29th as the start date for the Leaving Certificate 2020. He intends to publish a timetable for exams in the first week of June. As we have said before the timetable is irrelevant at this stage as you need to be investing study in each of your subject areas.
Details of provisions and supports for SEN students should also be available in that first week in June.
We await clarification on the status of projects in subjects such as Art, Geography, Agricultural Science, Technology & DCG.
Ms Jane Byrne is also arranging for all 6th years to have access to Careers Portal Reach to advise around course choices for next year. She has sent a number of important emails to 6th year students accounts during the week.
Admissions Policy Review
We are currently reviewing our admissions policy and you can find further information here. You can also make a submission if you wish, at that link.
Planning for next year
Our Unitas and Prefect interviews took place during the week. Well done to all of our current 5th years who were interviewed by Ms Sineád Furlong and Ms Bolger using Microsoft Teams. The character and enthusiasm of each of the applicants was wonderful to see. We will be in contact in the coming weeks or so with the outcome of those interviews.
We have been working on next years timetables. Unless Mr PJ Walsh has been in contact with you, you have been assigned your preferences – 1 to 3 if entering 2nd year and 1 to 4 if entering 5th Year.
We intend to publish our book-lists for 2020/21 before the end of May.
Communication in our school community.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new.
We encourage all students to stay in contact with their teachers and to communicate where they are struggling in their subject or require additional support. Not everyone will thrive or learn in the online environment and they need additional supports and allowances to be made. As a parent/guardian if you are worried about your son’s progress or concerned for his well-being please communicate this to his teachers. We can only accommodate and support a student if we know the challenge he is facing. Students can hide their troubles much easier without face-to-face contact and that immediate student-teacher relationship that exists in our school environment. You can find details of teachers emails here.
It is time to shut off the technology after another week of everyone doing their best. Catch up with your hobbies, interests and families. Enjoy your weekend and please adhere to HSE advice regarding social distancing, hand hygiene and travel.