Exciting New Development for Second Level Education in Athlone

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Exciting New Development for Second Level Education in Athlone

The Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran, has announced that after research and consultation at local level, the Diocese of Elphin has begun to plan for an exciting new development for Second Level Education in the West Athlone area.

500 students initially with the hope of expanding to 800 students over a five year period

This afternoon in Athlone, he unveiled plans for a new amalgamated second level school, which will cater initially for 500 students with the hope of expanding to 800 over a five year period.

The project will involve the coming together of the existing secondary schools – St Joseph’s College and St Aloysius College on 1st September 2017 – to form a new Catholic voluntary secondary school for boys and girls. This will be the only school of its kind in the Athlone area.

In the planning for this new school the distinctive history and tradition of both St Aloysius College and St Joseph’s College will be preserved and promoted. The new school will have a new name and new management structures. Planning will involve the upgrading of existing school buildings and development of new state-of-the-art facilities, on the existing Summerhill site to cater for the increased demand for school places which is evident from current primary school enrolments in the area. To the forefront will be the provision of a wide range of subjects, programmes and educational opportunities, and enhanced extracurricular activities.

Reassurance for parents, students and staff

Bishop Doran also reassured parents, students and staff that, for those students currently enrolled in St Aloysius and St Joseph’s College, subject choices will be maintained and in some respects improved during the interim period, as the two schools begin to co-operate more closely to enhance the educational opportunities of all the students

Appointment of a project management committee

The Bishop also announced that a project management committee will be appointed in the next few weeks to guarantee a seamless transition for students currently enrolled in both schools and the best of possible educational provision for future students. This Committee will consist of the school principals, nominees from parents of students, staff, and the patron body. This committee will dialogue with parents, staff, students and all stakeholders in order to advance the project in a timely manner. It will oversee and plan for matters such as staffing, curriculum, subject provision, facilities, interim arrangements, uniform, timetabling, school name, books, school transport, public relations, extracurricular provision, etc. It will be chaired by Mr. Frank Smith, an experienced educational adviser.

A plea for local support

The Bishop emphasised that support from the current school communities, (parents, management and staff, both at primary and secondary level) along with the support of the entire community in the west Athlone area, is essential for the success of the project.

“Local support for the planning and preparation of this new and exciting project is vital if we are to ensure that all the boys and girls of the area can benefit from the finest education standards available in the modern era”, Bishop Doran said.

“There is a need for us all to do our utmost to ensure that this new school development is provided with the very best of facilities and equipment.” he added.

Bishop Doran thanked the Boards of Management, Principals, Staff, Parents and Students of St Aloysius College and St Joseph’s College for their co-operation in progressing this exciting new project.