Message from the Deputy Principal and Principal
We hope you are safe and well and that everyone is staying indoors where possible. These are extraordinary times that we find ourselves in and we are asked to make sacrifices which we could never have anticipated.
We are writing to you to update you on what we are doing in relation to remote teaching and learning.
The Taoiseach has confirmed that schools are closed at least until after the 19th of April. At this point, we do not know if we will be opening on April 20th.
As a result of the current closure of all schools in the State, the impact on the state examination activities scheduled at this time and in the near future has been considered by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) in conjunction with the Department of Education and Skills. Consequently, the SEC is confirming;
• The cancellation of the oral and practical performance tests of the Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle examinations, which had been scheduled to take place from next Monday 23rd March to Friday 3rd April, and to award full marks to candidates due to take these tests;
• That schools and candidates are allowed flexibility in relation to the completion of other project work and coursework across a number of subjects which are currently scheduled to be completed in the period 20th March to 24th April. Students will now be allowed to complete this work up to 15th May, which will allow candidates time to complete this work.
• That the SEC, in conjunction with the Department of Education and Skills, will continue to monitor the evolving situation very closely and will act in accordance with Government and public health advice
The minister has also stated he is committed to making the exams happen and this is what the DES and SEC are working towards.
Communication to students
A number of students have contacted the school because they are having difficulty with logging on to their Office 365 accounts. Students have already received their password prior to the school closing. If your password expires, email the school and I will reset it for you. Teachers are using email office 363 Edmodo, Zoom and other platforms which they are comfortable with and which your daughter is used to. We are aware that is some houses there may be no communication device but students nowadays have smart phones which are capable of hosting most platforms. However we have a number of IPad’s in the school. If any student would like to borrow one, please let me know and we can arrange something.
The feedback in most cases is extremely positive from parents and students alike about the efforts’ teachers are making to stay in touch with their students and ensure that teaching and learning is taking place while the school is closed. Your kind words and acknowledgment are much appreciated.
Teachers in most cases are delighted with all the hard work going on at home so our students are to be commended for this. However a few students have not engaged in any platform. This may be due to the poor internet signal in your area, sickness at home or a variety of other reasons. Please check on you daughter to ensure that they are getting work.
There are some points outlined below that will make the process easier for students and teachers alike:
I. Teachers are following student timetables where possible. It would be advisable therefore that students would adhere to their timetable
II. We are also aware that students are sharing a device with parents and other siblings. It is not always possible for students to log on when a teacher is available
III. Some teachers are teaching live classes during the day. Please ensure that these are not recorded without teachers permission
IV. Teachers are prioritising exam classes. Students in other years should not panic if you don’t hear from your teacher for a few days. The teacher might decide to assign work for a few days rather than touch base every day.
V. We are m asking parents to follow the proper channels if they wish to contact the school about their daughters work/progress or if you have any other concerns. That means contacting your daughter’s Year Head, Deputy Principal and Principal.
VI. Some students have said that they are getting too much work and feel under a lot of pressure. If this is the case, let your teacher know. Your teachers are also learning so if the workload is too much, they will happily reduce it.
VII. We are asking parents to randomly monitor students while on their device
Message for Students
While we have no control over the decisions that the government is making for us at the moment, you can play your part. The only thing we do have control over at the moment is how we behave and what actions we take over the coming weeks. Difficult as it is, please stay at home and practice social distancing when you do go out in public. Try to remain positive, because your actions now can actually save lives and ensure that we get through this difficult time faster. That’s a pretty big responsibility but it’s the least we can do when we think of the medical staff putting their lives at risk every day and the vulnerable people in our families that we love whose lives we put at risk if we don’t adhere to what the government is asking of us.
It’s really important that you look after your mental health too. The PE Department has set up appropriate health fitness apps and web sites which will be important for their physical health and wellbeing. This exercise will be important in the weeks ahead and can be done in the home without any equipment. Guidance counsellor and Deputy Principal are available to support any students who which to contact them.
We have already stated that these are extraordinary times. We could hot have imagined that the schools would be closed at this time of year. Like you we also have a family that we worry about but be assured we will do our best together to get through these difficult times. Stay safe, stay indoor where possible and hope you all stay well.
The school community of Laurel Hill Secondary School F.C.J., would like to welcome you to our website. As you browse through it we hope you will get a good sense of who we are as a school in the 21st century. You will read about our history as a school run by the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus, dating back to 1844, our love of sport, language, music and our outstanding academic achievement, which is fostered by a committed and talented staff.
We continue to build on the values of the F.C.J. companionship, respect and justice and work together to create an educational community that reflects these values. We strive for each student to be happy and secure here and reach her potential in a caring and co-operative community. We are supported in our work by the Board of Management, Parent Council and Student Council. We continue to work in partnership with our parents so that through the experience of student life in this school, each individual will become mature, responsible and self-disciplined.
We hope you find this website enjoyable and informative and we invite you to contact us if you need any further information. Under the trusteeship of the Le Chéile Trust, Laurel Hill Secondary School FCJ has a long tradition in Catholic Education for girls between the ages of 12 and 19. The existing school opened in 1944 and functioned as a boarding school until the late eighties. Today the school is a voluntary non fee paying post primary school. Funding is received from the Dept. of Education & Science through the receipt of an annual capitation grant and our present enrolment is 625 students.
Michael Cregan, Principal.