Parents’ Council

The Donabate Community Council Parent Council

 

‘Together, may we give our children the roots to grow and the wings to fly.’

Parents are a valued partner in the education of their children.  Parents came together to form the Parents’ Council during the school’s first year (2008-2009) and our constitution was finalised and adopted in the winter of 2009.  Every year as part of a collaborative approach, parents actively volunteer their time to work with the Principal, staff and students of the School.  Our role is to support and initiate activities that will advance the aims and objectives of Donabate Community College through:

  • Discussion, interaction and providing feedback on the drafting of policies.  Examples include Mobile Phone Use, Communication, Suspension and Exclusion and the School’s Constitution
  • Fund Raising
  • Parent Reps on the Board of Management (one male, one female).  For 2016/2017 School year our Parent Reps on the Board of Management are Lynda Drysdale and  Pat Cussen
  • Organising the Parent Council AGMs
  • Organising training material for parents on Edmodo, Ipads etc
  • Arranging training courses – Drug Awareness (held in 2014 and 2015)
  • Facilitating events in the school – End of Year evenings, Graduation,
  • Working with teachers on issues such as Cyber Bullying and relaying information etc to parents and students
  • Issuing newsletters
  • Acting as a conduit for other parents to engage with the school.

Over the first few years, the Parents’ Council concentrated on actively fund raising for the school with over €32,000 raised towards the purchase of a school bus.   Following a survey of parents in 2014/15 it was agreed that the monies raised would not go towards the cost of a school bus, but towards other school projects – after consultaion with parents body and school staff so far the parents’ council have provided funding for a state of the art PA system for school performances, musical instruments including equipment needed to fulfil the music tech requirement for the Leaving Cert Exam,  remodelling the school library as a comfortable environment where the students can enjoy relaxing with a good book.  The parents’ council will be providing funding for the development of the school garden – keep an eye on the school website for updates on this project during 2016/2017.

The Parent Council have held Winter Fairs in the school annually.  From 2016 this will be a Spring Fair.  As well as contributing to our fund raising efforts the fair has become an important social occasion allowing the parents to visit the school and come together over a cup of tea. ; our first Spring Fair took place on 16th April, and thanks to the overwhelming support from the community was a great success.  We look forward to our second fair on Saturday 2nd April 2017.   In the summer term of 2017 we will hold a second hand uniform and book sale; this will be held after the completion of the state exams.  We ask that you hold on to any items you no longer need for your child until we announce the date and drop off for items.

The Parents’ Council iPad Review Committee, have been meeting regularly since February 2016 to address the issues raised by parents regarding their experience with the iPad scheme.  As a result of the discussions carried out between this group and the school management the following assistance has been put in place for 2016/2017:

  • Incoming first years will receive a €50 donation from the school for their ebook rental
  • Text books for non exam subjects have been removed from the book list resulting in an additional saving of €50
  • Wriggle will provide training to support parents

The committee will continue to work with the school during the 2016/2017 year; the iPad scheme will be reviewed again in Spring 2017 and we will have more information regarding the IPads in time to come.

Our AGM is held in the first term every school year and we have always used this opportunity to engage a speaker to provide information on topics of interest to parents.  Past events have dealt with issues such as:

  • The challenges of raising teens
  • Positive Mental Health
  • Internet Safety and Cyber Bullying

At our 2016 AGM held last October, we were delighted to welcome Ms Whelan from the school’s Guidance Department to speak to parents on the excellent work of the guidance team in the school and also about the Wellness programme introduced this year.   We invite parents to check the school website and the school Facebook page on a regular basis to follow the work they are doing in the school

In November the Parents’ Council hosted an evening on mental health for the whole community,  were we heard from 6th year student and ambassador for Jigsaw Ireland, James Kirwan, about his own experience and the work Jigsaw do to support young people.   We also welcomed Dr Harry Barry who gave a very informative and entertaining presentation entitled ‘Flagging the Screenager’.

January saw a presentation to parents from Student Enrichment Services on study skills.   They provided some excellent strategies to help parents help their young people get the most effective use from the time spent studying.

On 7th March we will host a talk on substance abuse by Gerry Kelly who manages Crosscare’s Drug and Alcohol Programme.

Our current committee was formed at the AGM in November 2016.

  • Lynda Drysdale (Chairperson and Parent Rep to BOM)
  • Pat Cussen (Parent Rep to BOM)
  • Anne O’Connell (Deputy Chairperson)
  • Mary Jones (Secretary)
  • Karen Kelly (Secretary)
  • Sonia Francis (Treasurer)
  • Donna Briody (Deputy Treasurer)
  • Mary Brooks
  • Anne Marie Cahill
  • Geraldine O’Donoghue
  • Cliona O’Reilly
  • Monica Kavanagh
  • Catherine Molloy
  • Camille Ingoldsby
  • Geraldine Oliver
  • Vikki Doyle
  • Fiona Branigan
  • Peter Bryans
  • Amanda Doyle
  • Edel Ennis
  • Nathalie Hand
  • William O’Connor
  • Sharon Shevlin
  • Crona Shields
  • Marian Flynn (School Representative)

The Parent’s Council meet monthly during the school year, minutes are taken and noted.  Our aim is to issue a newsletter to parents once a term.

If you have any ideas/suggestions for speakers or events you would like to see in the school, please let us know.

We would like also like our section of the website to contain a list of useful resources.  Please let us know if there is anything you would like us to add to this.

You can contact us via the school office or email us at parentscouncil@donabatecc.ie

Useful Links/Pages for Parents

www.npcpp.ie  National Parents’ Council Post Primary

Webwise  online safety resources

www.ncca.ie  National Council for  Curriculum and Assessment;  Information on the national curriculum

www.scoilnet.ie Portal for Irish Education (includes free access to Encyclopedia Britannica online for students)

www.jigsaw.ie Jigsaw Ireland, providing vital support to Irish young people with their mental health

www.studentenrichment.ie/ Information on study techniques and links to useful sites for students

www.drugs.ie   HSE site giving advice to parents on issues surrounding alcohol and drug use in young people.