Students on Campus for First Time at Athlone’s Newest Secondary School

There has been a hugely successful and encouraging enrolment for first year at Athlone’s Newest Secondary School – Coláiste Chiaráin. There will be 19 optional subjects available for senior cycle and 10 available for junior cycle – the widest range of subjects of any school in Athlone.

Incoming first years attended Coláiste Chiaráin’s transfer programme over three evenings before Easter. Wednesday May 10th saw first years return to the campus for a full day of assessments and taster modules of Science, Home Economics, ICT, Art and Technology. The day finished with a mini sports day in glorious sunshine outside in the beautiful surroundings of the Summerhill campus. These events have given incoming students a chance to meet fellow students and teachers as well as familiarise themselves with secondary school life before they make their transition from primary to secondary school in September.

Opening 1st September 2017
Coláiste Chiaráin will open its doors on 1st September, and staff, parents, students and management are working hard on all the necessary planning and preparation.

Parents’ Information Night
There was a large turnout recently at the Parents Information Night for Coláiste Chiaráin, Athlone. The almost 200 parents present were addressed by Brendan Waldron (Principal), Marguerite Quinlan (Deputy Principal), Frank Smith (Chairperson, Board of Management), and Ashling Dunne (Parent).

Interim Building Works
Work on the temporary accommodation block of 16 classrooms (Including Metalwork/Engineering and Woodwork/Building Construction) and refurbishment of the existing school building, including some classrooms and conversion works to toilets and a new staffroom is to commence immediately and be ready for 1st September. Full planning permission has now been approved.  Mr Waldron said that these works are to ensure a comfortable working environment for staff and students until the new school building is completed. A significant grant for Information Technology and furniture has also been granted by the Department of Education.

Exam Classes
Mr. Waldron also confirmed that students in exam classes will continue with their present teachers into 3rd and 6th year, in order to minimise disruption to their studies, and that this has been supported by the Department of Education through the necessary teacher allocations. Mr. Smith, the chairperson of the Board of Management, promised that the Board is endeavouring to make the transition into the new school as smooth as possible for students and staff.

Parents Association and Extra-curricular activities
Ms Dunne, on behalf of the parent body, told the gathering that the parents associations of St Aloysius College and St Joseph’s College are working together towards the establishment of a parents association for the new school. Many parents volunteered on the night. Mr. Waldron also announced a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including a school musical and many sports. Sponsorship has been secured from nine local companies, and team jerseys will be launched shortly. Parents were also re-assured by the new Deputy Principal, Ms. Quinlan, that a strict but fair Code of Behavior for Students will be followed by the school management and staff.

Launch of School Newsletter
The new school newsletter was formally launched. This newsletter has been distributed to every student’s home, and extra copies were available at the Information Night. This also includes information on school transport, canteen facilities, after school study and plans for the new unit for students with autism. The repeat Leaving Certificate programme will continue (advertisements to appear shortly), and the post-leaving certificate course in Childcare will also be offered. The newsletter also can be found on the school website