Minutes of Parents Association Meeting 6th of October 2016

Minutes Parents association AGM Thursday 6th October 2016

Attendees PA Meeting 6.30pm: Linda Fitzsimons Forrester, Helena Gleeson, Dave Cullen, Illona Goncarenko, Joanna Kucharz, Dawn Hennessy, Siobhan Ryan, Nathan Ntsimane, Darragh Kennedy , Caroline Krakowski, Kresimir Butumovic.

Linda spoke to all of the above and thanked everyone involved last year. Linda then asked for any nominations – initially there were none The current PA has stepped down and agreed to be on the volunteer list for this year After some discussion the following candidates volunteered, were nominated, seconded and voted in. Agenda Background to PA What was achieved 2016 – Summary of events Winter fair School calendar Summer fair Valentines cake sale Cuisine night Halloween & St Patrick’s day Various coffee mornings Other items: Building school community Traffic management – success with this Financial Report 2015-2016 (attached to the minutes) Thanks to all PA 2015 – 2016 Portlaoise Educate Together Parents Association Report 2015 – 2016 Dear Parents / Guardians / Teachers Board of Management, The PETNS Parents Association Committee would like to thank the many people in our PETNS community who have helped us throughout the year in the various activities, events & fundraisers. We have had a fantastic year as you can see from the attached summary of events. You will also see on the attached notes that great fund-raising work has been completed by the PA which would not have happened without those of you who volunteered your time to help out. So thank you very much from all of us. Fund-raising by our whole school community is an essential aspect of Educate Together since we are only fractionally fund aided by the government. These funds are needed by our school in order the provide the best and most rounded possible education, including essential skills for life, for our children. However fund-raising is just an aspect of what the Parents Association is about. As members of the Parents Association, each parent has a closer relationship with the school, an inside view on the workings of our childrens place of education, of where they spend a large percentage of their time & how that time is being spent. The PA also have a great opportunity to have a positive impact on our children’s education through various initiatives & projects. The more parents involved with the PA, the greater the variety and creativity that is available to our children. We have also found that our own children feel a great sense of pride & security in their parents/guardians being closely involved with their school. The out-going Parents Association Committee would like to stress the importance of a whole school community in order to make our school the very best school experience it can be for our children. Our experience has shown us what can be achieved by only a small percentage of the school community. We know that so much more can be achieved if everyone in the school community contributes in any small way they can in the coming school year. We have some recommendations we would like to share for the upcoming school year of 2016 – 2017

● All parents/guardians commit to doing at least one thing in the whole school year to support the Parents Association activities, events & fundraisers. Some options are; a. Join the Committee – You do not need to have a specific role but can offer general support in whatever way is easiest for you. We strongly recommend that parents from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds as well as those with children who have specific needs, join the PA committee so that we can ensure all voices are heard. b. If English is not your first language but you have a good understanding of it, the PA would be very grateful for your support in translating our correspondence for members of our school community who have the same first language as you. Please let us know if you can help us with this. c. Come to our monthly one hour meetings to hear about what’s going on. All parents / guardians (whether members of the committee or not) are always welcome. d. Have a look at the event plans for the year ahead and contact the committee on www.pta@petns.ie to put your name down as a supporter for a particular event.

● The PA would like to work more closely with the Board of Management & the Teachers at PETNS this coming year and so would like to recommend / request the following; 1. A meeting at the beginning of the next school year between representatives of all PETNS community partners, i.e. PA, BOM & Teachers to discuss how each party would like to approach working more in partnership rather than as separate bodies. 2. That the PA returns to its original status of PTA (Parent Teacher Association) so there is a much better flow in communication and partnership between the teaching staff and the body of parent representatives. We would like to see at least one, if not two teacher representatives on the new committee. 3. Quarterly meetings with the Board of Management to discuss plans, issues arising etc. 4. We recommend that the Board of Management avail of training from the NPC (National Parents Council). Especially in the area of Finances and building School community spirit. As this is not just an issue for the Parents Association to solve.

● We lastly recommend that all parents familiarize themselves with the ethos, principles & mission of Educate Together so that everyone in our school community understands what it means to be part of the Portlaoise Educate Together National School community. We understand that this may seems difficult for some due to language barriers etc but we assure you that Educate Together do everything in their power to bridge these minor obstacles The Parents Association would finally like to express our gratitude to our children’s school staff. We are very lucky to have such a passionate, caring and dynamic team of people influencing our children’s lives. We know that much voluntary work on behalf of the teachers goes unnoticed as many do not realise that it is voluntary and so we would like to say to all our teachers “We see you! We see how hard you work and what you do just for love of the job. Thank you!” We look forward to another great school year at Portlaoise Educate Together National School in 2016-2017!

Best regards, PETNS Parents Association 2015-2016 Congratulations to the New Parents Association Committee 2016-2017.

Chair: Siobhan Ryan

Secretary: Nathan Ntsimane

Treasurers: Illona Goncarenko & Joanna Kucharz

Arts and social events orgaiser Theresa Cullen