While Covid prevents us from having parents attend an Open Evening where any questions which you may have are answered Athy College will hold a virtual session for parents on 8th October where you will get the opportunity to ask these questions. Early next week and introductory video will be posted on our website to give some information on Athy College. To register for the virtual Open Evening go to www.athycollege.ie
Unfortunately we are not in a position to welcome parents during the school day. Such are the times and any visits must be arranged in advance. However if you do have to visit the school please use our QR code to complete our contract tracing. No paper. No pen. Pointing your phone camera at the code will open up a very short form which you complete and we then have details of your visit recorded. A similar code exists if you have to sign out a student. Athy College going contactless.
As a Wellbeing initiative we play a “feel good” song of the students choice on different days each week over the intercom. This is a 3 minute switch off which is not time lost but “time out”. The students pick the songs and guess what the first two have been?? An old Bob Dylan Classic revived by Darius Rucker and Nathan Carter “Wagon Wheel” and another “Blast from the Past” from Bob Marley “Three Little Birds”. Did I mention that I don’t pick these songs???. The Classics. Built to last.
Athy College is moving outdoors to dine is a safer option during the pandemic. Many thanks to our caretaker, Martin, for the construction of these 12 sturdy benches to give space and accommodation to our al fresco diners. While we often complain about our weather there are very few days when the outside option is not available.
A massive thank you to parents who have been so supportive of our move towards technology assisted learning. While it was not compulsory the majority of parents were in a position to invest in the purchase of Chromebooks and combined with our school stock we have now achieved having a device for all students. We are a Google Reference School (and the only one in the country) and have a Google recognised trainer on staff. From now on we should see the use of textbooks, copies and workbooks diminishing and being replaced by online work and material. This is not something which will happen overnight as we want to ensure that the process ensures that the best qualities of our education system are maintained.
To those who are using school devices we totally understand that not everyone is in a position to invest in Chromebooks immediately. In order for students to take them home we are arranging a rental scheme details of which will be given to the student next week.
Going Google is not getting textbooks online. It is a new way of teaching and learning, of submitting and receiving material, of communicating and expressing while simultaneously keeping up the traditional skills of writing and calculating which will be needed in state exams.
This is an exciting time as we go digital. It could not have happened with out the amazing support of our parents and teachers. Thank you as we move forward together.
Well done to our Leaving Certificate students on their results and offers of places. The Third level colleges that are most popular this year are Maynooth, Trinity, DCU and Carlow IT. To date there are offers for Mental Health Nursing, teacher training, Law, Midwifery, Engineering, Psychology, Computer Programming, Computer Science, Accounting, Business Studies and much more.
Athy College is delighted with the place offers to date and very proud of our students who had a most disruptive year but still achieved excellent results. Well done to teachers, parents and especially the students.
Our very best wishes to all students who are to receive their Leaving Certificate results tomorrow (Mon 7th). These students were unable to take the “normal” Leaving Certificate examination because of Covid 19 and participated in the Calculated Grades process.
After a very disruptive year we wish them every success in their exams and in their future.
Results should be available to them on line from 9am. If they require any assistance in relation to college places, etc, they should contact our Guidance Counsellor and arrange an appointment.
Best of luck to all.
End Of Week One
Many, many thanks to parents, staff and students for your support in getting the school up and running. With different classes coming in each day Friday was our first full attendance. Already we have made a few adjustments to our food provision and on Friday we were able to deliver 400 snacks with almost no hiccups. We have split break and lunch times ( Juniors first, then seniors) and have a lot more walking because of our one way system. Nearly all of the classrooms kept doors open to allow for best ventilation, the congestion at the toilets was not as bad as expected and a large number of students have acquired devices which simplifies things a lot.
The one way system meant that on quite a few occasions some new first years “missed their stop” and had to go around the full circuit again to find their classroom. As they get familiar errors like this will vanish.
The biggest difficulty was at departure time where serious congestion occurred. First full day everyone hurrying to leave (!) and some trying to go to lockers.
From Monday we will have to split departure time and allow Juniors a 5 - 10 minute head start. If you are collecting please be aware of this. We will also open the emergency exit nearest to the road and examine the practicality of lockers. I know students are very keen on having lockers so if all of us make an effort it may be still possible.
Keeping schools open is in all of our best interests and we have to get this right. We will post all changes on the website so as we make adjustments everyone can assist.
In the coming week we have Leaving Certificate Results being issued (individually to each candidate) and if there are queries about college places, etc we will arrange support. Our Guidance Counsellor will have available time throughout the week. Check our website on Monday. Best of luck to all who are awaiting results. Our first full week now begins and we will address each issue as it arises so that by the end of the week we should have adjusted to the new normal.
Thanks again to all for your support.