As the 2011-12 school year draws to a close in Coláiste Éamonn Rís, it is time to reflect on another busy and eventful one. I would like to thank Mr. Hegarty, Deputy Principal, for his hard work, help and support in the running of the school. I would also like to thank all the teaching staff for all their hard work in guiding, instructing and inspiring our students during this school year. Special thanks to the many teachers who gave of their free time to undertake class tutor or year head duties or who volunteered for the various staff committees. It would also be remiss of me not to mention the various teachers who facilitate the provision of an array of extra-curricular activities on offer in the school. These activities add significantly to the educational experience of all our students and greatly enhance and embellish school life. I would like also to record my thanks to Bernie and Colleen, our SNAs, our canteen staff and Derek for their work and support during the last year. Our school chaplain, Fr. Brian Whelan, continues to do great work in the school and I would like to thank him on behalf of all our students and staff for his selfless giving of his time to the school.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Leaving Certificate class of 2012 the best of luck in the Leaving Certificate. Eighty five students will sit the Leaving Certificate here this year. Many hours of study and homework have been spent over the last five or six years in preparation for this exam. I hope it bears fruit over the next few weeks.
Best wishes are extended to the Leaving Certificate students for the future. The school’s mission is to develop responsible individuals in a Christian environment, who will participate fully in a changing society. I trust that our Leaving Certificate students’ future lives will bear witness to our success in this regard.
I would like to extend best wishes to all our Junior Certificate students. One hundred and twelve students will sit the Junior Certificate here this year. The Junior Certificate exam is an important milestone in their educational journey.
TURNING OFF THE INTERACTIVE PROJECTOR FOR THE LAST TIME!
I would also like to express congratulations and best wishes on behalf of the whole school community to Mr. Seamus Doyle who is retiring after thirty four years service in the school. Mr. Doyle taught Maths, Applied Maths and Geography to Leaving Certificate Higher Level and will be a tremendous loss to the school. Apart from his teaching duties, he also organised and ran our very successful annual school tours and was heavily involved in organising our Awards Night. He did much to promote Maths in the school and prepared teams for the Team Math competition with great success. We wish him a long, healthy and happy retirement.
I would like to thank our German Assistant, Mr. Johannes Schmitt, for all his hard work during the year with our German classes. He was a major asset to the teaching of German in the school and got on very well with all his students. We will be sorry to lose him and I would like to wish him future success with his studies in his native Germany.
I would also like to wish Mr. Liam Hayes every success in his new job in Galway. Mr. Hayes ran the homework clubs in the school and also did much supervision and substitution work over the past few years before taking up his new position recently.
Congratulations are extended to Mr. and Mrs. Codd on the birth of their daughter and to Mark Power and his partner Michelle on the birth of their son.
On behalf of all staff and students, I would like to express our deepest sympathy to any family in the school community who were bereaved in the past year and to the following in particular: to our chaplain Fr. Brian and the Whelan family, Blackwater, on the death of Brian’s father, P.J.; to our caretaker Derek Hatchell and the Hatchell family on the death of Derek’s father, Johnny Hatchell ; to Richard Cleary (First Year) and the Cleary family on the death of Richard’s sister, Caroline, in the tragic Cavan rally accident; to Adam Barnes (Second Year) and the Barnes family on the death of Adam’s brother, Nicky; to Ms. Ann Walsh and her family on the occasion of the death of her mother, Una. Ann is a member of the school’s Board of Management.
BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
The Board of Management has had another busy year in guiding the fortunes of the school. I would like to thank Mr. Gerry Forde (Chairperson) and the other Board members for their support and ongoing commitment to the school.
The Parents’ Council has also been very supportive of the school in the past year. I would like to thank the members of the Council for their efforts. Much of their work in endeavouring to further enhance our educational provision goes unheralded. The Council has an important role to play in the running of the school. Active participation in the Council’s affairs by even more parents would be welcome. I would particularly like to thank them for the fantastic work done for this year’s Graduation reception in the school gym.
I would like to thank the Students’ Council for its contribution to school affairs during the last year. Well done to Nathan O’Connor, Fifth Year, one of our Students’ Council members, who has been elected Public Relations Officer for the Irish Second Level Students Union (I.S.S.U.). He is a board member of the National Students Executive. He represented the I.S.S.U. at the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (O.B.E.S.S.U.) conference in Copenhagen recently.
As you are no doubt aware from recent media coverage, the school has been included in the five year Capital Expenditure budget recently finalised by the Department of Education and Skills. Our project for a new gym, classrooms, administration rooms, library and A.S.D. Unit is expected to go to construction in 2015. The DES is currently in the process of appointing a Design Team. This process should be completed by July. The process of designing the new build will then commence. Planning permission will then have to be sought. All going well the project will then be put out to tender for the construction phase and a contractor engaged. All these stages will take some time but we are optimistic that the project will be completed on schedule.
All parents are encouraged to continue to foster a love of reading in their sons. A number of initiatives have been put in place in the school to encourage reading among our students and these will continue in the new school year. The support and co-operation of parents will be vital to their success as the school strives to further improve literacy standards in the school. All schools are expected to focus on the areas of literacy and numeracy over the next few years.
Given the cutbacks in funding for education, parents’ contributions are more important than ever. Higher insurance, electricity, gas and oil fuel combined with the reduction in the capitation grant to the school will mean that there will be even less money to round to meet the school’s bills next year. I would like to thank those who have given generously this year and I would appeal to all parents to make an extra effort next year to contribute to the voluntary contribution at the beginning of the school year. Your financial contributions are greatly appreciated.
BEYOND 250 APPEAL
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of blessed Edmund Rice. To mark the anniversary, the Board of Management has nominated the Beyond 250 Appeal as the school’s charity of choice for the 2012-13 school year. All charity fundraising undertaken in the school during the year will go towards supporting our Immersion Project and the Appeal. The Appeal hopes to raise money to fund development and education in very poor regions of Africa, India and South America. The money will also be used to fund advocacy work on behalf of these communities. For further information on the Appeal, go to www.erbeyond250.org or www.edmundricedevelopment.org .
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) are reminded to have younger male siblings enrolled if they haven’t already done so.
There will be three Transition Year classes next year. Sixty five students will take the Transition Year programme which will provide them with many educational challenges both within and beyond the school walls.
As you are no doubt aware, a text message is sent to parents of students who do not present at 9.05am or at 1.45pm. Text messages are also sent to alert parents about staff meetings, parent-teacher meetings, late detentions, report card detentions etc. This has cut down considerably on administrative and postal expenses incurred by the school. However, it occasionally comes to light that a parent hasn’t been receiving messages. Please ensure that if contact details are changed, we are made aware of the new number. This also applies where people change address.
A reminder to all parents of Junior Cycle students that they are forbidden from leaving the school grounds at lunchtime unless accompanied by a parent or a teacher. No exceptions will be made. Junior Cycle students who leave the school premises without permission will face severe sanction. Junior Cycle students must be collected if they need to leave the school premises during the school day for appointments etc. All pupils must get permission to sign out before leaving the school premises.
All parents who require financial help with the purchase of text books should have received the Book Grant form. These should be returned to the school as soon as possible. Limited funds will be available.
BOOKLISTS and EXAM TIMETABLES
The 2012-13 booklists for the various years are available on the school website/blog. Copies have also been distributed to each student. The 2012-13 school calendar is also available on the school website/blog. A copy will also be posted to each parent/guardian. The Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate timetables are available on the DES website.
C.B.S. TALENT SHOW
I would like to congratulate all the staff and pupils who took part in this year’s show. It was a tremendous success. Over €2,000 was raised, after costs were covered.
Twelve students have been selected to travel on next year’s Immersion trip to Zambia. The trip is scheduled to take place in June 2013 and will be our third trip of this kind. The students will be actively involved in charity and community work during their stay.
Preparations are also under way for next year’s Transition Year trip to China. This year’s trip was a great success with twenty students and three teachers making the journey.
NEW YORK 2012-13
Mrs. Hayes is currently working on setting up another exchange with Iona Prep, a Christian Brothers school in New Rochelle, New York, with a view to having our students travel to America during the Halloween break in 2012.
LOURDES PILGRIMAGES 2011-12
Six students represented the school on pilgrimages to Lourdes this year. Colm O’ Corcora, Danny Fitzpatrick, Ben Lowney and Rory Mahon travelled on the Ferns Pilgrimage. Colm O’Keefe and Thomas Barry journeyed as part of the I.H.C.P.T. Pilgrimage. I received very positive feedback from the group leaders on the students’ contributions. They were a credit to their families and their school.
END OF YEAR CELEBRATIONS
The inaugural Transition Year Awards Night was held in the school’s G.P. room on Wednesday 23rd May. This gave the Transition Year students an opportunity to showcase their year’s work to their parents. Refreshments and musical entertainment were provided by the students.
Our seventh Annual Awards Night took place on Monday 28th May in the Riverbank Hotel. This year the guest speaker was Dr. Liam Hore. Dr. Hore is a past pupil of the school and is currently employed as Director of Global Quality Assurance at Waters, a publicly traded corporation, employing over 5000 people worldwide. The awards are for students who have set high academic standards, for those who have worked to the best of their ability and also for those who have set sporting standards in the school. They seek to affirm the positive and are a celebration of our students’ academic and sporting excellence.
The Sixth Year Graduation Mass and Awards was held in the G.P. room in the school on Thursday 24th May at 7.30pm. All Sixth Years and their families were invited to attend. The Parents’ Council provided some refreshments in the gym afterwards. I would like to thank all associated with the end of year awards and ceremonies for all the hard work in making the night such a success.
DATES TO REMEMBER
Monday 27th August 2012 First Year Induction Day 9.05am-4pm
Tuesday 28th August 2012 2nd Year/5th/ Transition Year 9.30-12.00
3rd / 6th Year 1.30-4.00
Wednesday 29th August 2012 All Years
SECOND HAND BOOKS
Due to changes in text books editions etc. it will not be viable to operate a sale for incoming First Year and for students going into Fifth Year this year.
All Junior Cycle students will need a school jacket as part of the school uniform in 2011-12. If any current First or Second Year student requires a new jacket, his order should be placed with the school secretary before the end of the school year.
Incoming Fifth Year and Transition Year students will require the blue polo short/ sweater combination instead of the blue shirt, tie and grey jumper. We will also be introducing a new school jacket for T.Y. and Fifth Year 2012-13. However, students going into T.Y. or Fifth Year may wear their current jackets if they wish. The jackets/polo shirts/sweaters are only available from the school. Orders will be taken during the Junior Certificate exams with a view to having the merchandise on sale in the school prior to the opening of the new school year. Parents will be contacted by text re times and dates in August. Any incoming Sixth Year who requires a sweater or polo shirt should also order from Bernie in the office.
I would like to wish all our staff, parents/guardians and students a safe and enjoyable summer.
Le gach dea-ghuí
Michael Mc Mahon.