Newsletter/Report from the Board of Management – September 2016
It was great to see all the students returning in September looking so happy and excited to be back in school. Everyone has settled into the routine of school life and there’s lots of hard work going on.
This year we have 99 students in the school with 11 classes based in Kilmullen Lane and 6 in the EDC. We have 17 teachers, 3 specialist part time teachers, principal and 47 SNAs. We recently recruited new SNAs and have also taken new staff on to our substitute panel.
The Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Eleanor Hill as the new Deputy Principal. We wish Eleanor every success in her new post.
We extend our best wishes to Helen McGennis who retired during the summer. Helen worked as the PE co-ordinator in the EDC for many years. Helen made a phenomenal contribution to the school and provided the most amazing, imaginative and creative PE classes for the children in the EDC. Helen is famous for the wonderful productions she put on over the years; these include Christmas plays, gym fests, themed days, music events, sports days and graduations. Thank you Helen!
Donation of Computers
Teachers were thrilled to come back to school and find that there were new computers in almost every classroom. Through the deputy principal we received an amazing donation of 20 computers from IADT College in Dun Laoghaire. The computers are really modern and speedy and have large monitors which are great for the students. We also got lots of wireless keyboards and mice so everyone is happy!
Thanks to one of our parents, Donal, who arranged for all the computers to be collected from IADT and had them delivered to the school.
Many thanks to all parents who paid their pupil charges in June and September; this enabled us to buy class materials, art and craft supplies, books etc before the school re-opened for the new school year. If you have forgotten to send in the charges, don’t worry, there’s still time but it would be great if you could do so within the next week or two.
Fire Safety Works
During the summer break fire safety works were carried out in all the portacabins in Kilmullen Lane to bring them up to present day fire safety standards.
We received an emergency work grant from the Department of Education and Science to carry out fire safety works in all other areas of Kilmullen Lane. The cost of the work was much higher than expected so an additional grant has been sought from the DES. We hope that the works will be completed during the mid-term break.
The Board is delighted to announce the re-launch our Parents Association. There will be a meeting on Wednesday 5th of October at 7.45 in the PE hall in Kilmullen Lane and a
guest speaker from the National Parents Council (NPC) will provide us with lots of information about setting up and running a Parents Association.
We hope to elect a new committee on the night and to have the PA up and running before the Halloween break.
The Board will be reviewing the school’s “Code of Behaviour” over the coming weeks. The policy will be circulated to all parents for comment and will then go back to the Board for approval.
Donation from a parent
We received a lovely donation from one of the parents in classroom 14. The timing of the donation couldn’t have been better and we were able to purchase two new laptops, one to go with the new plasma screen and one for the screen which is shared between the classes in the EDC.
New School Building
The Board’s main objective this year will be to find a suitable site for our long awaited new school building. The Board has identified a local site and the Patron will be applying to the DES to purchase the site for the new school. The Board is fully committed to getting the building project back on track and working with all parties to get a wonderful new purpose built school for our students and staff.
The DES have committed to paying the rent on all our temporary classrooms (portacabins) for the next two years.
A lot of maintenance work needs to be done throughout the year to keep the school in good condition and to keep the grounds looking nice. The Board have been budgeting for this and will be getting contractors in to carry out the bigger jobs but will also be looking for a caretaker for eight to ten hours per week to do smaller jobs. Please contact me if you know of anyone who might be interested in the caretaker post.
Remembrance Service Wednesday 23rd November 2016@ 11.00am
On Wednesday 23rd of November St. Catherine’s School and St. Catherine’s Association will be having a remembrance service in the community center in Newtown. Staff, pupils, parents, family, relatives, friends and the local community are all invited to join us at the service where we will remember all our loved ones who have passed away.
The bereavement committee here in St. Catherine’s has been very busy organizing the service and it promises to be a very special morning. There will be music and a local choir and tea and cakes will be served afterwards.
Sensory Room Grant
We have a small amount of money left from the sensory room grant we received from the DES. This money will be spent on improving the sensory room/calm room in Kilmullen Lane.
Teresa & the Board of Management