St. Colman’s Parental Involvement Policy 2014

Introductory Statement

This policy was formulated in November 2014. All staff members were involved.

Rationale

It is necessary to implement a policy on parental involvement for the following reasons:

  • It is of maximum benefit to pupil’s learning when all partners in education are in  communication
  • To promote partnership with all the partners in education i.e. teachers, pupils, parents, BOM
  • Requirements of the Education Act, 1998; Education Welfare Act, 2000
  • Current parental involvement and communication were viewed as part of Whole School Evaluation

Relationship to characteristic spirit of the school

St. Colman’s N.S. seeks to enable each child to reach his/her potential in a caring environment where the diverse talents of each child are valued and nurtured. This work can be best done where there is a high level of openness and co-operation between staff, pupils and parents.

Aims

As a school community, we hope to achieve the following through this policy

  • To build and maintain a school community committed to supporting all its pupils
  • To establish what procedures are in place for the sharing of information in relation to pupil progress and achievement
  • To enrich and extend the educational opportunities provided for pupils by accessing the skills and talents of parents/grandparents/community members.

Guidelines/content

The guidelines address parental involvement in the following areas

  1. Parent Association
  2. Board of Management
  3. Vision/Mission and Aims
  4. Organisational and Curriculum policies
  5. Communication
  6. Education Welfare Officer
  7. Parental involvement

Parents are welcomed and encouraged to get involved in many aspects of school life. Various activities in St. Colman’s depend on parental interest and involvement.  Parents are involved in transportation to football games and swimming supervision and Active School’s Programme. Parents also volunteer to take part in an annual clean up of the school grounds. There is a very active Parents’ Association in St Colman’s, the roles and responsibilities of the Parents’ Association, according to the Education Act, 1998 are as follows

  • In co-operation with the Board of Management, Principal, teachers and students, to promote the interests of the students in the school
  • Communicate with the principal and/or BOM on matters relating to the school
  • Adopt a programme of activities which will promote the involvement of parents in the school, in consultation with the principal, for the benefit of the pupils.

Communication and consultative procedures:

 The principal will meet with the chairperson and secretary of the Parents’ Association once/twice a year, to determine the ‘agenda’ for that year. Parents’ reps. will communicate any progress/ issues to the Board under “Parents’ Association” on the agenda at Board meetings.

  1. Board of Management

Constitution of Boards and Rules of procedure DES 2011

Current  parent  representatives (2011-2015):

  • Anne Phillips
  • Tim Moriarty

Parents are representative in so far as they present the standpoint of a parent in any discussions or decisions.

See also separate Parent Association Policy.

 

  1. Vision and Aims

 “We aim to provide a holistic Christian education in co-operation with Teachers, Pupils, Parents, Management and Local Community.

We endeavour to provide equality for all, fostering mutual respect and an appreciation of individual talents and gifts .

 We strive for excellence in learning,  recognise the right of each child to a quality education, as we endeavour to enable each child to develop his/her full potential in a caring, happy and  positive environment.”

Extract from the Mission statement of St. Colman’s N.S.

Parents/guardians can support the aims and vision of the school by getting involved in and supporting the day to day work of the school and any activities that embody the aims of the school.

The mission statement is displayed prominently in the school corridor.

  1. Organisational Policies

The BOM is consulted about new and reviewed policies in draft form before being ratified. Some New/Reviewed policies are available on the school blog which  all parent have access to. All policies are available to be viewed in the school when an appointment has been arranged. 

The following policies /procedures are made available to all parents/new parents at relevant times throughout the year:

  • Code of Descipline
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Administration of medicines
  • Anti-bullying Policy
  • Enrolment Policy
  • School Improvement Plan 2013 – 2016
  • School Self Evaluation Report
  • School Calendar
  • Child protection
  • Uniform
  • Relationships and Sexuality education

All policies are not distributed in long form, due to administration limitations. However Parents are notified that all policies are available in the school and some are available to view on our blog http://derrinabrocns.scoilnet.ie/

Curriculum Plans:

All curriculum plans for St. Colman’s NS are available to view in the school office. Parent/teacher meetings have also, to date, been useful for clarifying content, methodologies and assessment in each curricular area and the parental role in supporting the child’s learning in each class.

Some parents have particular knowledge and skills in curricular areas which may be of benefit to the school. This has been used in the following areas:

SPHE:   IT Lecturer – Joanne Regan gave a talk on Health

              Dietician – Shane Finn has given a talk to students re diet, exercise and sport

SESE: Tom Finn a great- grandfather has given a talk on school days long ago.

             Gerry Doherty helps to organise field trips.

Members of the community have helped with the Fís Programme, computer work and Scratch Programme.

Please contact the school if you would like to become involved with the school in any of these areas or have an interest that you could share with us. It provides invaluable learning opportunities for our pupils.

 Learning support/special needs:

 Parents are consulted on an individual basis. They are invited to meet with the learning support to devise an IEP, in consultation with the class teacher and principal. Parents are informed that class and learning support teachers are available, by appointment, at any time to discuss any issues or concerns and for general support.

  1. Communication
  • Appointments With Teachers: Please remember it is impossible for teachers to give their full attention during class time. A pre-arranged time would be suitable – lunchtime or home time 2.50 p.m.. Please try and contact Maria (school secretary) during office hours. Mon., Tues. And Wed. 12.50 – 2.50 p.m.; Thurs. and Fri. 9a.m. to 11a.m. to arrange such meetings
  • Parent/Teacher meetings take place annually mid Term 1 usually November. Parents are notified of their time slot in advance and every effort is made to be flexible in order to facilitate all parents. When requested in certain circumstances, the school will send two such notes, one to each parent provided both addresses are supplied.
  • Written school reports to communicate pupil progress to parents/guardians are furnished once a year for Junior Infants, Senior Infants and 1st-6th classes at the end of the school year.
  • The school blog is a powerful way of communicating the work of the school and the pupils. It is continuously updated.
  • A school information letter is distributed at the start of each year to all parents and to new parents on enrolment. Letters  are sent during  each term with news and happenings from the term.
  • The Homework Diary is used, as the need arises, to communicate with teachers/parents.
  • Parents are requested to sign the homework diary every night.
  • Notes home are sent with the oldest child in each family which is a successful system. Text-a- parent is successfully used to simultaneously inform all parents of school closures and/or general school business.
  • Parents are informed of the procedure required when requesting a meeting with teacher/principal.  Appointments can also be made through the office, the principal or with individual teachers. See Complaints Policy
  • Teacher-requested meetings are usually by phone call or a note in the diary.  As far as is possible, meetings take place outside of class time.
  • Parents of children are required to communicate absences in a letter. TEACHERS ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO KEEP A WRITTEN RECORD OF ABSENCES. All notes received by parents are filed in each pupil’s individual file by the class teacher.
  • Educational Welfare Officer

St. Colman’s’s Attendance procedure

Reasons for pupils’ absences must be communicated in writing, by parents/guardians to the school and will be retained by the school. If a child is absent, when the child returns to school s/he should give/send a written note to the class teacher which contains the child’s name, the dates of absence and the reason for the absence. These notes will form a record which may be inspected by the Education Welfare Officer on a visit to the school.  The school is obliged under the Education Welfare Act 2000 to inform the Education Welfare Officer of absences of 20 or more days in a school year”.  

Success Criteria

The following criteria will be an indicator of the success of the policy:

  • Benefit to pupil learning
  • Parental involvement is increased in school activities
  • Feedback from parents/staff

Roles and Responsibility

All partners in education have a responsibility for supporting this policy. However the following people have specific duty for supporting, developing, implementing and evaluating it:

The  Board of Management, principal, teachers and parents themselves.

Implementation Date

This policy will apply with immediate effect, on ratification by the Board of management.

Timetable for Review

This policy will be reviewed and, if necessary, amended in September 2018, or in line with any communication from the Department of Education and Skills.

Ratification and Communication

The policy will be made available on the school blog  http://derrinabrocns.scoilnet.ie/

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management of St. Colman’s N.S. on

Chairperson:  __________________        

Date __________________

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