The Big Start!
With the weeks flying by, our long-awaited return to school is hopefully fast approaching. For our incoming group of 1st Years, I'm sure the new start can't come soon enough. Having already been in touch with some of the background information earlier in the summer, there's now a few extra details below about the beginning of the school year. Please feel free to get in touch at any stage if you have any extra questions.
At the time of writing (July 22nd), school Boards of Management across the country are awaiting specific guidance from the Government in terms of how classes will be operating this coming year. Obviously the hope is that this will be as close to 'normal' as possible. As soon as our own Board of Management receives instruction from the Department of Education, this will be fed down to the Year Heads, teachers, parents and students.
I've had a few parents in touch over the summer with worries about not being able to get certain books, or being unsure what copies/pens to buy. The big message would be to not have concerns about any of these things for the moment. Plenty of students will arrive in for the first week or two without absolutely everything they need. The individual class teachers will let the boys know exactly what's required for their subjects and it's no problem if it takes a week or two to get that sorted.
In order to remove any practical obstacles, we're going to run our welcome meeting for incoming 1st Year parents 'virtually' in late August. Normally we hold this in the school Assembly Hall a few days before term starts but so as to avoid having to split a face-to-face meeting into smaller groups, or having some people missing out, a virtual meeting will be held instead. The meeting will take place online, on the evening of Friday August 21st at 7.30pm and it will last for approximately an hour and a half. The link to access the meeting will be emailed to all incoming parents a week or so before the event.
A wide variety of areas will be covered - Advice for starting secondary school, how 1st Year will be run, the new Junior Cycle, extra-curricular activities, etc. Most importantly, it would be a great idea if your son sat with you at home during the meeting - The aim is to cover lots of the questions that both you and he may have and hopefully the meeting will give parents and students alike a good idea of what can be expected for the start of secondary school. Given that he'll be making the big move to senior school only a few days after the meeting, it might be a nice chance to make an evening of it (sit together and watch the meeting, have something nice to eat, chat about his plans for Senior school, etc).
On Saturday August 22nd (the day after our online welcome meeting), the school will be open for any 1st Year students who would like to drop in to get themselves organised. We'll have some of the older students in to help and they will give the new 1st Years their locker assignment, their school email, etc. There's definitely no need to wear school uniform and each 1st Year student will need about half an hour to get everything done (they can drop in anytime between 9am-4pm to do this). All lockers are pre-asigned so there's no benefit or need to be eagerly waiting at the door to be first in at 9am!
It would be a good idea to bring all school books and copies in on the 22nd so that these can be left in the locker in advance of school starting the next week. Lockers need a padlock and it would definitely be helpful to have one on the 22nd (we'll take one of the spare keys to mind here in school so that students can still access their locker if they leave their keys at home any day). In terms of padlocks, combination ones are not a good idea (easily opened by others) and equally any padlock that's less than 50mm can sometimes still allow the locker to be opened. You can to see an example of a solid 50mm padlock option.
Start of School
The current aim is to start classes on Wednesday 26th August. Once Covid guidelines are issued, we will hopefully be able to confirm the starting date and specific arrangements a little closer to then.
Allergies / Medical Conditions
Ms.Trainor coordinates the recording of information relating to serious student allergies or medical conditions. If you feel that your son might fall into this category and if the teachers might need access to background information, emergency medication, etc, please feel free to contact Ms.Trainor to pass the details on to her. She is contactable at: (No need to contact her until a few days before our return to school).
Our online student management system ('VSware' - This will be explained during our virtual intro meeting on the 21st), requires a photo of each student. The photo is attached to each student's record and is visible by his class teachers and his own parent(s). In order to have your son's school file fully up and running before school starts therefore, it would be greatly appreciated if you could to add his photo anytime in the next week or two.
Looking forward to meeting everyone soon,
1st Year Head
St.Michael's College, Ailesbury Road, Dublin, D04 A373
Ph: 2189400 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org