Wednesday 1 June 2011

From The Principal's Hand


The 2010-11 school year in Coláiste Éamonn Rís has been a particularly busy and eventful one. The opening of the new classroom and specialist rooms, the T.Y. trip to China, the Immersion trip to Zambia, the collapse of the G.P. roof and the subsequent refurbishment of same, sporting and quiz successes, Sci-fest success, the talent show and two subject inspections all added to the tapestry that formed the backdrop to the teaching and learning that took place here during the last school year.
Many thanks to Mr. Hegarty, Deputy Principal, and the teaching staff for all their hard work in guiding, instructing and inspiring our students during this school year. I would particularly like to thank the many teachers who give of their free time to act as class persons. 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 2011 the best of luck in the Leaving Certificate. Many hours of study and homework have been spent over the last five or six years in preparation for this exam.
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 also like to extend best wishes to all our Junior Certificate students. The Junior Certificate exam is an important milestone in their educational journey.
On behalf of all the school community, I would like to express our deepest sympathy to Mr.Hegarty and his family on the occasion of the death of his mother, May. May she rest in peace.
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 Board is also continuing to lobby the Department of Education and Science to secure funding to build a permanent ASD Unit, to upgrade our sports facilities, to provide enhanced office and administrative accommodation and to provide a number of new classrooms.
 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.
Given the cutbacks in funding for education, parents’ contributions are more important than ever. Higher fuel bills combined with the betterment costs in the G.P. Room have taken a heavy toll on our resources. 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.  
As you are no doubt aware, a text message is sent to parents of students who do not present at 9.05 am 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 were 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 for the various years are posted on this Blog. The Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate timetables are also included.
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.
Six students represented the school on pilgrimages to Lourdes this year. Christopher Pender, Christopher Jevens, Daniel Sinnott and James Cleary travelled on the Ferns Pilgrimage and Peter Furlong and Cian Lalor 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.
MUSICAL  2011-12
We are currently planning a musical for 2011-12. ‘Footloose’, which will be a joint production between Coláiste Éamonn Rís and the Presentation Secondary School, will be staged in October 2011.Our previous production, High School Musical, was a tremendous success. Auditions were held prior to the summer exams and the cast has been selected.
The Annual Awards Night took place on Monday 30th May in the Riverbank Hotel. This year the guest speaker was Minister Brendan Howlin, T.D.  Minister Howlin is a past-pupil of the school. 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 Friday 27th 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.

Re-opening dates:
Monday 29th   August 2010   First Year Induction Day 9.05am-4pm
Tuesday 30th August 2010   2nd Year/3rd / Transition Year   9.30am-12.00am
                                                  5th / 6th Year   1.30pm-4.00pm
Wednesday 1st September    All  Years   
 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. These 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 and students a safe and enjoyable summer.
Le gach dea-ghuí
Michael Mc Mahon.

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