BOARD OF MANAGEMENT

ETSS Wicklow started with a school manager and an interim board - the school manager was the project manager who set up the school and the interim board played a major role in the recruitment process as the school got going and the project moved forward. 

In October, the school manager and the Interim Board were replaced by a Board of Management with parent, teacher and student representatives, along with nominations from the patrons, Educate Together, and nominations from the community.

The Board of Management meets monthly during the school year and has a term of office of three years (October 2019 - September 2022). 

Reports from Board meetings are published on this page - you can find them below with the most recent meeting first. 

BOARD OF MANAGEMENT MEETING REPORTS:

Thursday 10 October 2020

  • The new Student Council attended as guests for the first part of the meeting and informed the Board that their first task was to organise elections for Student President in the next week. 
  • The Advisory Board will invite Student Council members to join this year. 
  • We’re going to organise photos this term for historical reasons – we’ve cancelled a photographer session twice because of Covid-19, but the Board feels we should go ahead at this stage with Covid-19 likely to be a feature of life for some time to come. 
  • The Finance Sub-Committee reported that we have finished our first full financial year and that our accountants are now preparing the accounts for this year – these should be ready in November. 
  • The Strategic Development Committee met with a lot of local politicians recently to raise the profile of our new school project – the Board asked the Strategic Development Committee to prepare a statement for parents about the plans for the future which can be presented to the Parents Council in due course. 
  • An extensive policy development programme is in place again this year and will start from the next meeting. 
  • The Board ratified a statement of the needs and priorities of the school in relation to posts of responsibilities which may arise in the future. 
  • PE classes this year will take place in Rathnew FC – this is a really positive development for the school. 
  • The Board thanked all staff for their help in implementing the Covid-19 Response Plan. This is the first-time schools in the country have faced this level of threat form a pandemic and the school has responded with numerous changes and initiatives designed to create the most secure environment possible. The goals are to reduce the threat of infection as much as possible and if infection finds its way here, to reduce the impact as much as possible. We will continue working at this week by week, step by step until the arrives that we receive news of advances in medicine that end the pandemic.

Thursday 20 August 2020

  • The school ratified the appointment of a Lead Worker Representative to manage the Covid-19 planning and a comprehensive Covid-19 Response Plan which you can find at this link.
  • A practical application document has also been drawn up to assist implementation and is included as a one page summary at the start of the plan
  • Extensive training programme for parents, students and staff will take place prior to the school year starting
  • Everyone connected with the school will take a pre-return to school survey to ensure safe conditions on the reopening day
  • Visitors to the school will be kept to an absolute minimum and only with prior approval.
  • The Board expressed its full support to everyone in the school community for any initiatives needed to ensure a more secure and safer environment in the work place for the school reopening and in the weeks and months ahead

Thursday 7 May 2020

  • Online school has been going extremely well with engagement at the highest levels and live classes meaning students at ETSSW have not missed a day of school since the closure. 
  • Students reported that they were able to stay up with learning and that they particularly enjoyed the transition day when primary school students joining us next year attended classes for a day. 
  • ETSSW teachers have prepared a book on Team-Teaching – full of different styles and concepts and practical tips to get the most from this innovative way of teaching in Irish schools – the Board was pleased to adapt this book as official policy for the school and thanked the teachers who created it for their dedication to developing teaching and learning at ETSSW. 
  • Other great initiatives were the Global Issues Theme Week and the present project developing a recipe book. 
  • The Strategic Development Committee is now in place and will meet soon to set the agenda. 
  • A number of policies were ratified and will be published on our website: (a) Ethical Education Policy; (2) Vetting Policy; (3) Health & Safety Policy; (4) ICT Policy;     (5) SEN Policy. These will be published on this website. 
  • Recruitment will be ongoing over the next few weeks as we plan towards next year. 
  • The Board extends its deep gratitude to everyone in the school community for continuing on with the work of the school – the level of innovation and dedication is an inspiration to all. 

Thursday 2 April 2020

  • The Board of Management held a virtual meeting on Thursday 2 April;
  • In the circumstances, it was agreed to work through essential business only - the first item of essential business was to compose a letter of thanks to the entire school community for the amazing innovation shown in continuing learning during this time - the Board was particularly pleased that real-time classes continued as normal every day in core subjects through Microsoft Teams conferencing and that so many tutorial videos were being prepared to guide students through blocks of learning. The Board thanked all members of the school community for supporting this work and students for engaging so well in online learning; 
  • A number of new policies were passed – a new Admission Policy for 2020-2021 (to be published in the near future); an Assessment Policy; an Attendance Policy and a Social Media Policy;
  • Interview panels were agreed for a number of upcoming job opportunities – advertisements will be posted in the very near future;
  • The Board of Management will keep everyone informed about any new developments for schools re. Covid-19;
  • The Board expressed the hope that everyone would find time to relax during the Easter break, stay safe and continue to follow the Government guidelines. 

Tuesday 10 March 2020

  • The students reported lots of positive events happening in school life – picnic benches and gardening equipment donated through parents, fleeces for students arriving in the not to distant future and a sponsored cycle which will hopefully lead to a defibrillator arriving at the school;
  • The Advisory Board of Studies is central to the development of teaching and learning at the school through promoting Model United Nations, peer observation, presenting model class plans to the JCT for their national seminars, working on new assessment approaches such as an ‘oral assessments’ only innovation at Easter and taking an innovative approach to the set up in the classroom itself by creating a multi-board room meaning goodbye to the ‘the back of the class’;
  • Lots of new developments in process at the moment such as a Tuck Shop, a Herb Garden, a Strategic Development Committee to focus on bringing this new school project forward and the appointment of a Board Safety Representative to watch over health and safety at the school and work with everyone to create the best environment possible at ETSS Wicklow;
  • Staff have put a plan in place to address the present threat of Covid-19 which includes awareness and hygiene measures and also the development of an emergency online learning programme which will activate in the event of a national school closure. 

Monday 10 February 2020

  • The meeting started with a positive initiative of the Students’ Council, PSA and Board members meeting for the first time and having a general discussion about school life;
  • The students have a lot of great plans such as creating a herb garden and buying personalised jumpers – the Board welcomed these initiatives and will support the students’ council in every way;
  • The parents are creating a constitution and getting involved in a lot of school events. The Board thanked everyone for their great contributions to school life and discussed ideas to further build on this work, such as getting involved in the policy development programme in process at present;
  • The Board sanctioned the candidates chosen by selection committees in recent interviews for the roles of APII and SNA – the Board wishes both staff members the very best in their new roles;
  • The Board reviewed the Draft Child Safety Statement, Draft Child Protection Policy, Draft Anti-Bullying Policy, Draft Code of Behaviour which will all be passed on now to parents and students for their feedback before returning to the Board for final ratification. 

Tuesday 14 January 2020

  • The school has introduced a lot of new subjects after Christmas which are proving popular with the students (Philosophy, Gardening, Guitar, Speech & Drama, Model United Nations). The Board thanked the teachers for these great innovations to the curriculum;
  • There will be a lot of policy development in the months ahead as the staff continue working to turn interim policies into permanent ones;
  • The school will be advertising for a new SNA in the next few days, so we will be looking to welcome a new member to the team in the weeks ahead;
  • The Advisory Board of Studies has become one of the key innovations in the school, leading the way with pedagogical development in many areas: team-teaching, Model United Nations, JCT training, peer observation, curriculum development and visual inspiration in the school. The Board sincerely appreciates every initiative and will support this work in every way possible;
  • The temporary accommodation is now fully functional and it is time to form a Strategic Development Committee to start looking at the longer goal of a permanent school. The objective of the committee will be to advance the permanent school project in every way possible;
  • Good news for next year – we have almost a full group of students signed up already;
  • A big debate in the weeks ahead will be whether we should introduce a screen-free break-time rule. Lots of different views on this, so let’s gather the collective wisdom from everyone and make the right decision;
  • The Board wishes everyone in our school community a happy and successful 2020.  

Tuesday 10 December 2019

  • Following up on a question about the cost of keypads for iPads, Wriggle had quoted us at around €80 for the 9.7 inch iPads and and €120 for the 10.2 inch iPads; 
  • There was very good news about the shoe box appeal with 22 boxes submitted. These will be distributed over Christmas to people in need;
  • The Student Council has chosen the names for next year's class groups - the theme will be science and the names of the class groups will be Darwin, Curie and Edison;
  • Good news from the school building project manager was that we will be receiving a caretaker's room and a play area - probably next summer;
  • The Board outlined that there will be a lot of work in policy development in the months ahead as interim policies are converted into permanent ones through a process of consultation with all school partners;
  • The school development plan is in full swing – the Board approved the final Mission Statement as ‘We are a school where students grow in diversity and democracy, as independent thinkers and lifelong learners, as citizens promoting dignity and fairness for all’, a wording designed to be simple and accessible while also catching all the important concepts from Vision Evening earlier in the term;
  • The Advisory Board of Studies reported a big emphasis on developing team-teaching in the school at the moment, a process which has involved staff-led training initiatives and an invitation to the Professional Development Services for Teachers [PDST], external trainers, to visit the school in January, inspect our team-teaching approaches and set targets for areas of development for the rest of the year.

Tuesday 5 November 2019

  • The Board thanked the Student Council for its proactive work in organising a sponsored walk that raised funds to purchase two table-tennis tables;
  • Our Vision Evening event was successful and led to a lot of concrete work on the mission statement of the school – a proposal for ETSSW Mission Statement will be presented to the Board at the next meeting;
  • Our Admissions and Transfer Policy for 2020 was approved and the admissions process is presently open;
  • Board members have a training opportunity on Saturday 30 November at the Carlton Hotel, Blanchardstown;
  • The Board requested that the Advisory Board of Studies give a report of their activities at every Board meeting - the Board of Management supports the development of teaching and learning and sees the Advisory Board of Studies as a really important vehicle empowering teachers and students to be at the centre of this process. At the next meeting, the Advisory Board will report on the development of team-teaching;
  • Good news from the DES about the new school: they are in talks with a landowner - more information expected on how this progresses over the following months. 

T                                                                                     Learn Together to Live Together - No Child an Outsider
                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                         ETSS Wicklow
                                                                                                          Crinion Park
                                                                                                          Wicklow Town
                                                                                                          Eircode: A67 HV26
                                                                                                          Tel: 0404 33060
                                                                                                          Email: reception@etsswicklow.ie
                                                                                                          Website: www.etsswicklow.ie
                                                                                                          Follow us on Twitter: @ETSSWicklow 

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