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Return to school

11th August 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope that this letter finds you all well. We are writing to update you on school reopening for the start of the new term and the preparations we are making.

Planning

We are currently in the process of preparing for the safe return of all members of the school community to McEgan College. We are preparing our COVID Response Plan, in line with the Government Roadmap for the safe opening of our schools. We would urge you all to read the comprehensive Roadmap, provided by the Department of Education. It can be accessed at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/b264b-roadmap-for-the-full-return-to-school/ . We are also preparing classrooms and the school building with appropriate signage and protective measures including:

1. A one-way system around the school – everyone keep to the left

2. Staggered break and lunch-times (1st to 3rd yr small break is 11.05-11-20 – no change)

(TY to 6th yr small break is 11.45 -12.00 – one extra class)

3. Having more double-classes to reduce movement

4. Assigning base classrooms for all years

5. Practical rooms will operate as normal

6. Ensuring students are a minimum of 1 metre away from each other in classrooms

7. Complementary starter COVID-19 packs – all students will receive the follow in the pack, 2 face masks, a visor, small hand gel and pack of anti-bacterial/ anti-viral wipes. As this is only a starter pack, parents must provide face coverings going forward.

8. The Minister has now recommended that teachers and students wear face coverings, similar to those worn in shops or in public transport, when a physical distance of 2 metre cannot be maintained.

Return Dates

The return dates for each of the year groups are listed below. Please note the new changes. The earlier closing times in the first week are required to facilitate staff meetings and training.

· 1st Year Induction: Thursday 27th August, 9.00 am – 11.00 am

· 3rd, 6th Years & LCA 6: Friday 28th August, 9.00 am – 1.20 pm

· 1st, 2nd, 5th & LCA 5 Years: Monday 31st August, 9.00 am – 1.20 pm

· 1st, R.22, 3rd, TY, 6th & LCA 6: Tuesday 1st September, 9.00 am – 1.20 pm

· All Students: Wednesday 2nd September, 9.00 am – 1.20 pm

Finally, as we move into the new academic year we will be counting on your support to implement the plans and protocols that are necessary to ensure our school environment is safe for all. There is no doubt that school will be a much different place from what we left on March 12th, however, please be assured that we will continue to provide an excellent learning environment for your son/daughter, as well as the pastoral care they require to grow and develop into mature young adults. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

We look forward to welcoming your son/daughter back to McEgan College.

Yours sincerely,

_________________________ ___________________________

Patricia Lynam Margaret Corkery

Principal Deputy Principal

Letter from The Principal 19th May 2020

19th May 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians and Students,

We hope that this letter finds you and your family in good health. As we begin our last final weeks in what has been as extraordinarily difficult few months for all, we would like to inform you of our plans for our end of year assessments which we hope will help your child to continue to engage with their work until the end of term and give them a sense of completion to what has been a very disjointed year.

1st and 2nd years

This week is revision week for all to catch up on any work missed and to revise what has been covered to date. Students will be assessed by a variety of continuous assessments and project work. Teachers will inform their students of the arrangements for their subject area. We will inform parents by text when the reports are available on VSware. Comment based assessment will be produced for all students. Reports will be available by Friday 29th May.

Transition Years

Remote learning will finish for Transition Years on Thursday 21st May. Comment based assessment will be produced for all students. Reports will be issued by Friday May 29th and parents will be informed by text when these reports are available to view on VSware.

5th years

Students will continue to catch up on any missed work during this revision week. Students will be assessed by a variety of continuous assessments and project work. Teachers will inform their students of the arrangements for their subject area. Teachers will issue % grades and comments. Reports will be issued by Friday May 29th and parents will be informed by text when these reports are available to view on VSware.

All our lives have changed utterly in the last few months. It has been a huge learning curve for teachers, students and parents to come to terms with remote teaching and learning. I would like to acknowledge how difficult it has been for students to work without the company of their friends and classmates and to complement them for their engagement and perseverance. I would like to thank parents for ensuring that our students stayed the course and their patience and understanding with us as we got to grips with online learning and teams. Finally, I would like to pay tribute to the teachers for their commitment and dedication in ensuring continuity of learning to the highest standard for their students and in supporting their well-being during the last few months.

We hope that some semblance of normality will return over the Summer months and that everyone has a well- deserved break. We look forward to welcoming all students back in September.

Wishing you all good health and peace of mind during this time.

Kind regards,

Patricia Lynam

Principal

Update letter to parents May 12th

11th May 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian

We are in a period of great uncertainty such as the world has not previously experienced. We have all been affected in some way by social isolation measures. We are also conscious that no can foresee a time when life will return to ‘normal’ again.

We at McEgan College are here to provide your children with the best education that current conditions will allow. Our ethos is to care equally for all our students. With that in mind we just want to remind you that we will continue to provide online classes during normal school hours and we encourage all students to engage with these online classes.

These classes provide an opportunity for students to contact their classmates and teachers. They are a relaxed environment where we can all keep in touch, learn and interact as a group which is important in this challenging environment.

In the light of recent decisions from the Department of Education we would encourage children to try to attempt as much homework as possible because in the future it may just be possible that this may form the basis upon which grades are calculated, as has happened this year with Leaving Cert and Junior Cert students.

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further assistance.

Kind regards,

________________________

Patricia Lynam

Video conferencing Procedures

Video Conferencing lessons led by teachers may take place during the current school closure. It is one tool that teachers in McEgan College may use to support the continuity of learning for our students and to enable teachers and students to have more face to face communication and engagement during a closure.

In order to ensure that these video conferencing lessons happen in an effective, appropriate and productive manner, we are putting in place the following procedures.

We expect full cooperation of all students with these procedures and ask parents to support the school with this, in the best interests of students.

1. Appropriate clothing should be worn during the lessons - items of clothing such as pyjamas are not appropriate.

2. Students should be prepared for the lesson - this means having pens, books, copies or any items required before the lesson begins.

3. Students should sit at a desk/table/counter - top or a similar solid work surface during the lesson where possible - not on beds, floors, couches etc.

4. Students should mute their mics on entering the video Conference to avoid echo and general disturbance of the lesson.

5. Students should not leave the Video Conference until it has officially ended. Students should not move around the room or make distracting noises that interrupts the lesson for themselves and/or other students. Students should mute their microphones unless they need to communicate or are asked to communicate during the video conference.

6. School Policies are effective during school related activities such as Video Conferences. In particular, students should pay attention to the following policies which apply during school related Videoconferences;

· ● Code of Behaviour

· ● Internet Acceptable Use Policy(currently in review)

· ● Anti-Bullying Policy

· ● Data Protection Policy

The above policies are available on the school website.

7. No recording of any kind is permitted during a Videoconference by students.

Recording during Video Conference Lessons is strictly prohibited and this prohibition includes capturing still images, video recording and audio recording.

8. An individual teacher may record the lesson and provide students with a copy after the lesson for review of topics covered or for viewing by absent students for use in education/learning only.The Teacher will make it know to the students that the lesson is being recorded.

9. Polite, patient and respectful behaviour is expected during the lessons – between students and between students and teachers.

10. Students should let other household members know before they connect to a Video Conference as they will need some space/quiet for a period of time.

11. Pets can be a distraction if brought to a Video Conference, so students should leave them to enjoy other pet activities while they are at a Video Conference.

12. The Use of Headphones and a separate Microphone will assist in the quality of sound (this could be as simple as a pair of earphones that come with a smartphone that has a built in microphone) - but please note - this is not a requirement for joining a Video Conference.

Update Letter to parents - April 24th

Update for Parents 24th April 2020

Dear parents/guardians,

I hope you and your families are all safe and well as we continue our journey through these strange times. 

I had hoped to have more definite information in relation to the state exams by now, but unfortunately, I do not know any more than what has been in the media.

In relation to the Leaving Certificate and Leaving Certificate Applied, the Minister has indicated that these will begin on July 29th, but I presume that is subject to public health advice at that time. He has also said that we will hear more about timetabling of these exams by early June. 

Regarding our 3rd Year students, you will be aware that the State Examinations Commission, in conjunction with the Department of Education and Skills, notified all schools that the Junior Certificate /Junior Cycle examinations will not now take place in June. Instead they have proposed that the State Examinations Commission will send exams paper to schools and students will sit the exams in September. The proposal was that these exams would not be state certified. You will also be aware that there has been considerable discussion in the media about the possibility of staging some form of Junior Certificate /Junior Cycle assessment at the end of May. This school, through Cork ETB, has been in contact with the State Examinations Commission and the Department of Education and Skills seeking further clarification on this possibility. The Department of Education and Skills has informed us that negotiations are ongoing at national level regarding this. The Department of Education and Skills has also asked that schools make no local decisions pending the outcome of these talks. As soon as I have further information on this, I will be in contact with you. In the meantime, I would urge all 3rd year students to engage as fully as possible with their teachers and to continue with their schoolwork as much as is possible. 

For our other year groups, we are currently working on plans for summer assessments, and will be in touch with you once these are finalised.

I know that some of you have issues with technology at home, whether that is a lack of suitable devices, internet access or other difficulties, and please try not to worry too much if your students are having difficulty engaging. The Dept. Education have announced extra funding for ICT to support our exam students and we are currently compiling a list for the Dept. However, if you feel you need some extra support in this, Ms. Corkery Deputy Principal, Mr. Clarke, our Home-School Liaison teacher, Geraldine our SCP project worker, SNAs, Year Heads, Class Tutors, Subject Teachers, Base Teachers are making contact with all families and please feel free to raise any issues with him, or to email me at any stage - we are ready to help out in any way they can. 

Again, if you have any concerns or difficulties, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will see what we can do to help.

Every day brings us one day nearer to a return to normality.

Thank you very much once more and please look after yourselves,

Trish Lynam

Principal

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Contact Details

Address:   McEgan College, Macroom, Co. Cork
Phone: 026 41076
Fax: 026 42719
Email: [email protected]

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