Parents Association officers for 2016-20017:
|Vice Chairperson||Monica Smyth||Killanena|
|Vice Secretary||Louise Duffy||Gort||0862530314|
|Vice Treasurer||Caroline Cunningham||Peterswell||0877655703|
|Board of Management Representative||Tanya Ashton||Gort||0879551820|
|Board of Management Representative||Fiona O’Connell||Kiltartan||0876480304|
Once you have a child in the school you are automatically part of the Parents Association. The committee is made up of representatives from within that group. We also have Amy Talbot, the Deputy Principal, as the school representative on the committee. We have regular contact with Mr Corry, Principal.
Committee Members 2016-2017
Adrahan, Labane, Ballyglass – Fiona O’Connell
Boston, Tubber, Lurga, Lough Cutra, Crusheen – Carmel Forde
Clarenbridge, Kilcolgan, Ballindereen – Mary Reilly
Gort – Tanya Ashton, Louise Duffy
Kilbeacanty, Ballyturn – Liam Fahy
Killanena – Monica Smyth
Kiltartan – Anne Winters
Kinvara, New Quay, Doorus, North Hampton – Angela Donnellan
Peterswell, Derrybrien, Flagmount – Phil Prendergast
Parents Association Committee meetings are generally held on the 1st or 2nd Monday of each school month at 7:30 pm in the school.
What we do:
- We promote contact between the parents and the school
- We act as a forum for parents to contribute to school policies
- We support school initiatives to improve facilities and organise fund raising activities
- We promote and protect the role of parents as the primary educators
- We elect parent representatives to the Board of Management
- We represent the views of the parents to the school management
- We run the Junior Cycle Book Rental Scheme and the Senior Cycle Book Scheme
- We organise visiting speakers to address issues of concern to parents
- We look at the non-subject related issues that affect our children while they are at school, e.g. healthy eating, social pressures, bullying etc
- We promote oportunities for parents to meet
- We organise the Junior Cert Results Night Party
School year 2015-2016 some of the main topics we covered were as follows:
Talks for Parents: We held a series of informative talks for parents / guardians on some of the topics which affect our teens and subsequently us as parents need to know how to deal with them. Even if these issues don’t apply directly to your family, your child is living in a world where their friends or classmates may be affected. Some of the talks organised were:
- Niall Wilson – talk on drug and alcohol abuse
- Joe Coughlan (TUSLA) – talk on managing challenging behaviour
- Michelle Caulfield (GRCC) – talk about abusive relationships
Junior Cycle Book Rental Scheme: Fraser Donaldson has this scheme running like clockwork. We always need extra hands to help with this in June and August.
Senior Cycle Book Scheme: This is the fourth year of this scheme which is proving again just how needed it is. This scheme needs more input from parents of incoming fourth years to keep it going. We will be putting out a call for help closer to the time.
Healthy Food Policy: After renovation of the canteen premises, an outside catering company has taken over the running of the facility and offers healthy and affordable food for breakfasts and lunches. There is also a Healthy Eating Committee in the school which promotes healthy food choices.
Parent Representation on the Board of Management: The Board of Management of the school runs for three year terms. The Parents Association has two parent representatives on the board and Fiona O’ Connell and Tanya Ashton are the current representatives.
Junior Cert Results Night: In 2015, the need for an alternative to the pre-disco binge drinking was identified. After speaking with the management of the school we started a rolling discussion with The Students’ Council and the result was a party in the Community Centre in the early part of results night run by the Students’ Council with the backing of the Parents Association. This was attended by the majority of the year in 2015 and 2016 and completely replaced the high risk behaviour of the previous number of years. The feedback from parents was overwhelmingly positive and we feel this may become an annual event in the calendar of the Parents Association.
We have looked at this issue in some detail including having a presentation from Edco, the biggest e-book supplier in Ireland. From a Parents Association point of view it was decided to leave this until 2017/18 before we look at this again.
Some of the factors that influenced this decision:
– Limited subject choice, not all publishers are covered by the same company.
– Books are rented not bought.
– The school would need a better infrastructure as well as a dedicated IT employee.
Some of the glitches being experienced by other schools:
– Technical issues at home and homework.
– Access to non school related material in the classrooms.
– Need to buy books as well as e-books.
– Use of extra copybooks causing schoolbags to remain just as heavy as before.
The main issue is the cost. The quote given was €680-€720 including the cost of an iPad 2 for 3 years in comparison to €150 Book Rental. We feel given that many teachers are using this technology in the classroom it was unnecessary to encourage the school in this direction yet.
We did however come up with the idea of books in classrooms. We are delighted to say the school took it on board and they bought full sets for the classrooms for all subjects apart from English, Irish, Maths, French and Spanish for the 1st years. 2nd and 3rd years benefit in some subjects. Obviously this sorts both problems of bad backs, as well as overfull lockers. From the book rental point of view, obviously the books are returned in much better condition as they are not written on during class nor is there any wear from being in and out of a bag/locker all day.
A survey was carried out with all parents about the school uniform. Of the parents who responded to the survey 90% supported a uniform, 65% were happy with the current provision. Paying heed to the results we have decided to not visit this subject until 2019/2020. Though this may not suit everyone, we have to go with the majority.
We spent a lot of time in the last number of years looking into this from every angle possible. To sum it up, as it stands the concession system is still working fine, however we have had discussions with both parents as well as bus companies about the possibility of parents setting up their own scheme as in some other schools, if necessary, in the future. This will not be reviewed unless the current situation changes.
The PA assists with fund raising for computers and the school’s IT representative liaises with the PA. One classroom has been updated with 20 new computers with help from the Parents Association.