Policies

Ardee Community School Policies

Admissions Policy

Introduction


The Board of Management of Ardee Community School wishes to set down its admissions policy in accordance with the Education Act, 1998 and all other relevant legislation including the Education Welfare Act, 2000. Ardee Community School is a recognized school; it depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills. The school operates within the regulations laid down by the Department of Education and Skills including class sizes. The school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills. This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management at regular intervals as is deemed necessary.

Contact details for the school
Ardee Community School
John St. Ardee,
Co. Louth.Telephone
041 6853554,
Fax 041 6853559,
E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website www.ardeecommunity.ie

History of Ardee Community School


Ardee Community School (also called St. Killian's Community School) was established in 1974 as anamalgamation of the three existing Post-Primary in Ardee, St. Anne’s Mercy Secondary School for girls, Del La Salle boys Secondary School and Ardee Vocational School. The current School Premises was built on its present site to cater for the amalgamation. The Trustees (a representative of the Archdioceses of Armagh, a representative of the Mercy Order, Northern Provence and a representative of Louth Meath education and Training Board formerly County Louth Vocational Educational Committee) hold the property in trust for the purposes of the School. The Trustees are also responsible for the Establishment of the Characteristic Spirit, the aim of which is contribute towards the spiritual, moral, mental and physical well-being and development of the School Community (Deed of Trust).

Ardee Community School is a co- educational post primary school.


Community Schools date from 1971 and were a significant development in Irish education. Their legalunderpinning is the Deed of Trust, which is a binding document by which the trusts for these schools are established. The control and Management of the school is vested in the Trustees who together with the Board of Management (including the Principal) and the Minister for Education and Skills are under a legal obligation to ensure that the school is managed according to the Deed of Trust. Ardee Community School is a Multi-Denominational School. Religious Education is provided on accordance with the Deed of Trust. The Deed of Trust states that the Community School provides “a comprehensive system of education to all the children of the community and that its admissions policy is to be published in the catchment area or community.

Ethos (Characteristic Spirit) of Ardee Community School.


The Board of Management of Ardee Community School has regard for the principles of a democratic society and respects and promotes respect for a diversity of values, beliefs, traditions and ways of life in society. The Board is also responsible for upholding the Characteristic Spirit (See Appendix 1) or ethos of the school. The ethos of the school is also laid out in the mission statement of the school.The Board of Management of Ardee Community School is supportive of the principle of inclusiveness in particular with regard to students with a disability or a Special Educational Need, in so far as is reasonably practical and subject to resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) are invited to read our Special Education Needs policy (SEN) available on the school website or from the main office on request. Admission to our Autism Class is also undertaken in a spirit of inclusiveness and subject to conditions laid down by the Department of Education and Skills. (See separate Section in this document.) Ardee Community School has a policy of having a maximum of 30 students per class and 24 students per practical class. The Board of Management reserves the right to maintain reduced numbers in some classes at both Junior and Senior Cycle to cater for students with special needs and students on special programmes.

Vision and Mission Statement


Vision
We have a vision of a school community where equality, harmony and friendship exist. We accept and welcome that we are a community of diverse individuals. We work to insure that each individual in our community may fulfil his/her purpose in life.

Mission
Ardee Community School is a partnership of Trustees, Board of Management, Parents, Students, Staff and our local Community.
We value the on-going input of all our partners in the life of our School.We aim to provide the best educational environment where effective teaching and learning can take place.We aim to manage this with fairness and firmness.We recognize the individuality of our Students. We provide a broad curriculum designed to meet their individual needs and to help them maximize their potential.We help our Students to have a healthy, wholesome and confident self-image and to develop positiverelationships through our curriculum and our extra-curricular programme.We endeavour to co-operate with parents and religious leaders of all denominations to encourage the development of religious, moral and spiritual values in each Student.

Code of Behaviour


The Code of Behaviour of Ardee Community School is written in collaboration with all partners in education, Parent(s)/Guardian(s), Students and Staff. It is ratified by the Board of Management to create an atmosphere conducive to teaching and learning and to ensure the Health and Safety of students, staff and visitors.
The Parent(s)/Guardian(s) and their son/daughter must familiarize themselves with our Code of Behaviour prior to the completion of the enrolment process. The Code of Behaviour and other relevant documentation are available on our website or from the school office.

Uniform


Parent(s)/ guardian(s), students and school staff have worked very hard to design a school uniform which identifies and distinguishes our students. Our uniform is worn proudly by our students and represents good value for money. It is a condition of enrolment that the uniform, including the school jacket and black shoes must be worn at all times, during school hours, on the way to and from school and at specified school events. Our uniform policy/list is available from our school office or on our website.
The Board of Management of Ardee Community School is setting out its admissions policy in accordance with the Education Act 1998, the Education Welfare Act 2000, the Equal Status Act 2002 and the Deed of Trust. The Board of Management trusts that by so doing, parents will be assisted in relation to choosing a school for their son/daughter. Furthermore the Chairperson of the Board of Management, and the Principal, will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from the policy.
Against the background and ethos outlined above, the key principles outlined in the Education Act (Section15, 2 d) underpin our Admissions policy.
From the date of the commencement of S.19 of the Education Welfare Act 2000 the Board of Management shall not refuse to admit as a student in this school any child, in respect of whom an application to be so admitted has been made, except where such refusal is in accordance with this policy.
The parent of a child who has made an application shall provide the recognized school concerned with such information as outlined in the application form.
As soon as is practicable, but not later than 21 days, after a parent has provided the information the Board of Management of the school concerned shall make a decision in respect of the application concerned and inform the parent in writing thereof.

Educational Programmes and Curriculum

JUNIOR CYCLE

First Year

Compulsory subjects Optional Subjects
Maths French
English German
Irish * Music
History Art
Geography Home Economics
Business Metalwork (Material Technology Metal)
Science Woodwork (Material Technology Wood)
SPHE Technical Graphics
Religion*
CSPE

Ìncoming First Years choose two options for First Year
* Students may be exempt from Irish, please contact the school for details.
*Parents/Guardians may apply to the Board of Management for an exemption from studying religion.

 

Second Year and Third Year


Compulsory Subjects Optional Subjects
Maths French
English German
Irish Art
Science History
PE Geography
SPHE Business Studies
CSPE Woodwork
Religion Metalwork
Home Economics
Technical Graphics
Music

Junior Certificate Schools Programme (JCSP)


A small number of students are selected to participate in an enhanced programme which runs parallel to the conventional Junior Certificate. Its main aim is to improve literacy and numeracy skills among selected students.


SENIOR CYCLE
All students entering senior cycle with their parents/guardians, must recommit to follow the code of behaviour and confirm/update their personal records by submitting the senior cycle application form.A senior cycle handbook will be made available to all students and their parents/ guardians prior to decision deadlines. It will also be available on the school website.


TRANSITION YEAR
This is an optional year long programme offered to students who have completed their Junior Certificate, its aims are to promote maturity, improve skills, promote self-directed learning and prepare students for adult and working life. Information sessions will be held for students and parents/guardians prior to the issue of application forms. Students who wish to participate in the programme will be required to fill in the official application form with their parents/guardians. The closing date for applications will be determined each year and will be advertised to those to whom it is relevant. Late applications will only accepted if there are placesavailable in the class(is). Their application may be accepted or refused based on their behavioural history, their past application to their studies and their commitment to the proposed Transition Year programme determined through the application process. Students and their parents/guardians may be invited back for interview prior to a final decision on an award of a place on the programme. If a student is refused a place in the transition, Parents/guardians have the right to appeal the decision to the Board of Management in writing,

 

 

The Conventional Leaving Certificate


Compulsory Subjects Optional Subjects
Maths French
English German
Irish Music
Religion Art
PE Geography
Career Guidance History
Computer Science Accountancy
Business
Physics
Chemistry
Biology
Design and Communication Graphics (DCG)
Engineering
Home Economics (Social and Scientific)
Construction Studies
LCVP (See below)

Students choose four subjects (five if LCVP is chosen) from the options.

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, (LCVP).


This is an enhanced programme which runs in conjunction with the conventional Leaving Certificate. It is a practical programme run over two class periods per week during fifth and sixth year. The programme has two components, enterprise and preparation for the world of work. Students engage in work experience during the first year of the course. Assessment is based on a portfolio of work and a final exam held in May of the second year. The entry criteria for the programme are determined by the Department of Education and Skills and subject to some small changes from year to year. These criteria will be fully communicated to third and transition year students and their parents/guardians each year. Students are awarded CAO points based on their final result.

Leaving Certificate Applied Programme (LCA)


This is a programme which can be taken instead of the conventional Leaving Certificate. It has a practical emphasis and is aimed at students who find it difficult to access the academic requirements of the conventional programme. Students apply for the programme on an official application form issued after students and their parents/guardians have been fully informed about all programmes at senior cycle. All students are required to sit an interview to ensure that they fully understand what is involved in the programme. A commitment to the attendance requirement, work experience and the meeting of deadlines for tasks and assignments is particularly important. Students and their parents/ guardians may be called back for a second interview before a final decision on the award of a place is made. Decisions will be communicated during the summer holidays each year.Parents/ Guardians whose student is refused a place on the programme have a right to appeal this decision to the board of management in writing. Late applications will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and if there is room in the class. The numbers in the class will be determined by the Board of Management on a yearly basis.


Adult and continuing education


Ardee Community School, under its Deeds of Trust, is obliged to provide an adult and continuing education programme where such courses are viable and cost effective. Short courses will be advertised twice a year in the local press and on our website. Enrolment and certification (where applicable) is conditional on the payment of the relevant fees and satisfactory attendance on any course run. Under our home school community liaison facility, it is the role of the home school community officer to offer some courses to parent/guardians depending on the needs determined through an annual survey. These courses will run if a sufficient number sign up for same. The courses may be run during school time or in the evening time.

Admission of incoming First Year students
The enrolment process is by way of application on the official enrolment form only.
Parents/Guardians of students in primary schools in the greater Ardee area should apply by the last day of February (or on or before a date decided and advertised by the Board of Management ) of their final year in primary school.
Parents/Guardians who move into the greater Ardee area and who wish to enrol a student should notify the school as soon as they know their arrangements.
Parents/ Guardians who live within the general vicinity of Ardee whose Son/Daughter is at primary school outside the greater Ardee area should also apply by the last day of February ( or on or before a date decided and advertised by the board of management ) of their final year in Primary School.
Applications from Parents/ Guardians of students who reside outside the greater Ardee area will only be considered if there is room as defined by the 24 in a practical class. 30 in a class rule.
Advertisements will be placed in the local press and on our school website to invite prospective students and their parents/guardians to our annual open night. Invitations will also be issued through the primary schools on the greater Ardee area.
Advertisements will also place in the local press and on our website to indicate the final date for enrolment of incoming first year students.

Specific Procedures for First Year enrolment.


The applicant must have reached 12 years of age by 1 January of their first year in Ardee Community School. A copy of the applicants birth certificate, must accompany all enrolment forms.
All applicants should have completed a full course of primary education or have followed an approved course.
Students are admitted to the school, subject to resources in the following order:
Students living in the greater Ardee area and attending primary school in the greater Ardee area.
Students living in the greater Ardee area who attend primary school outside the Ardee area.
Students whose Parents/ Guardians move to live in the greater Ardee area.
Siblings of students already attending Ardee Community School.
Parents/guardians of students who wish to enrol their Son/daughter in first year in our Autism Class should also refer to the relevant section within this policy.

Application Procedure.


An information meeting will be held for the Parents/ Guardians of all prospective incoming First Year Students at the end of January each year. The purpose of the meeting is to provide information on all aspects of school life, in particular those pertaining to the incoming First Years such as enrolment, subject choice and assessment.
The date for this meeting will be communicated through the Primary Schools in the greater Ardee area and to others who have expressed an interested in enrolling in Ardee Community School.
General written information about the school will be distributed on open night and is available on the school website.Application forms, the admissions policy and the code of behaviour are available from the school office or as a download from the school website.
The final date for enrolment will also be published on the school website, communicated through the primary schools in the greater Ardee area and advertised through the local press.
School personnel will visit the schools in the greater Ardee area to distribute application forms and advise of the closing date for enrolment.
An advertisement will also be placed in local newspapers advising parents/ guardians of the closing date for enrolment.
Parents/Guardians may request a meeting with school management to seek clarification on any matters pertaining to enrolment is they so wish. An appointment can be made through the school office.
All aspects of the application form must be filled out fully by the parent/guardian of the student to be enrolled. (The information sought therein comes under the regulations of the various Data Protection Acts and is governed by the rules of same)
A birth certificate must accompany all applications. Original birth certificates will be returned toparent/guardians.
All incoming First Years must attend assessment in March (Date will issued with enrolment information on the website, through the local Primary Schools and through the school office). The data collected through the assessment process is used to ensure all students are placed in a mixed ability setting in first year classes. The entrance tests are also used to identify necessary educational supports for individual students.
Information is sought on all incoming first years from their primary schools.

Offer of a place in first year


Currently all incoming first year students who apply and meet the enrolment criteria as outlined above will be automatically allocated a place unless otherwise informed in writing by the end of the first week in March each year. In the event of late applications for a place in first year, if such a place is not available, the parents/guardians will be informed in writing within ten working days of the receipt of the application to enrol.
The Board of Management reserves the right to limit the number of incoming first years if it is deemed necessary on a yearly basis. While every effort will be made to cater for all applicants from the greater Ardee area, the Board of Management is dependent on the resources provided to it by the Department of Education and Skills. Any limit on numbers will be communicated as an amendment to the admissions policy which will be published on the school website.

Transferring from another school or enrolling in any year other than first year.


Students may transfer to the school subject to the schools admissions policy, availability of a place and suitability of the curriculum to meet their needs. The parents/guardians of students must apply to the school and provide necessary data by 30 June of the year of entry.
Applications after this date or during the school year will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and will be dealt with on an individual basis.

Parents/ guardians who wish to enrol their son/daughter in Ardee Community School should:

(a)Arrange an appointment with the principal by ringing the school office at 041 6853554 or applying in writing requesting same.
(b) They should attend the appointment with their son/daughter. Parents/guardians may request that their son/daughter be excluded from part of the meeting.
(c) Parents /guardians should bring with them to the meeting all relevant documentation including a copy of their son’s/daughter’s birth certificate, previous school reports, psychological reports (if applicable) and any other relevant documentation. Parents/Guardians will be requested to seek information from their son’s/daughter’s previous school on an official form issued by Management of Ardee Community School. This is to be made available at the initial meeting at Ardee Community School. Copies of these will be retained in the school if the application to enrol is successful.
(d) Parents/ guardians will be given copies of all relevant documentation including the AdmissionsPolicy and the Code of Behaviour. All Parents/Guardians and prospective Students must have read The Code of Behaviour of Ardee Community School and must sign the relevant form attached to the Application form. By signing this form they are stating that they have read the code of behaviour and that they “shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with the Code by the child” (Education (Welfare) Act, 2000).
(e) All aspects of the application form must be filled out fully by the parent/guardian of the student to be enrolled. (The information sought therein comes under the regulations of the various Data Protection Acts and is governed by the rules of same).
(f) It is also a condition of enrolment that a verbal reference will be sought from the student’s previous school, relating to attendance, application to teaching and learning, and adherence to the code of behaviour prior to the offer of a place.

Offer of a school place


A student will only be offered a place in a programme or year if they fulfil the general conditions of enrolment, and if they fulfil the conditions as outlined above for any programme they may apply for.The offer of a place is also conditional on the school being able to provide a suitable curriculum and a place in most if not all subjects studied by the student previously. In the event of an offer of a place being made where all subjects cannot be offered, the Board of Management will not accept responsibility for the provision of an education in this subject/ subjects. The board will however facilitate exam entry for state exams in that subject/those subjects.
Priority will then be given at all times, to existing students who fulfil the entry requirements/deadlines for entry to programmes/ subject choice.
Priority will also be given to students whose parents/guardians live or move to live in the greater Ardee area.
Applications from outside this area will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.
Applications will be refused if there is evidence of significant disruption to teaching and learning by the student in their previous school/s or if there is evidence that the students behaviour was such that it posed a threat to the health and safety of the student themselves and others.Students expelled from another school will not be offered a place in Ardee Community School
An offer of a place or the refusal to enrol will be communicated to the parents/ guardians within ten working days of the receipt of the fully completed application form.
The principal has been given the power by the Board of Management to process applications for enrolment.
However an enrolment application may be referred to the Board of Management at the principal’s discretion.
Parents/ guardians will be informed if this is the case.
The Board of Management is responsible for the final ratification of all enrolments.
The decision of the Board of Management to refuse to enrol a student can be appealed to the Board of Management and to the Department of Education and Skills under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.The relevant form will be enclosed with any notification of refusal to enrol on the board’s behalf.

Enrolment of children with special needs


“Special educational needs” means “the educational needs of students who have a disability and the educational needs of exceptionally able students” (See Educ. Act 1988 S.15 (2) (g) and the Equal Status Act Statement 2000 S.4 (1) and 4(b)&(d).
The school will use the resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills to make reasonable provision and accommodation for students with disabilities and those students with other special educational needs up to a nominal cost and these students are free to participate in the life of the school in so far is reasonably possible. The Board of Management of Ardee Community School is committed to providing an inclusive education for students with special education needs.
The Board request that parents/guardians of a student with educational needs make an appointment with the school at the earliest possible convenience even prior to the enrolment of their son/daughter.
The school will meet with the parents to discuss the student's needs and the school's suitability or capability in meeting those needs.
The parents/guardians are requested to furnish the school with all relevant medical and/or psychological reports for their son/daughter.
Parents/guardians will be requested to work with the school to apply for additional resources such as Special Needs Assistant support, additional teaching support hours or assistive technology where applicable, The decision on any additional supports being granted to the school to support a student lies with the Special Education Needs Organiser (SENO) appointed to the school by the National Council for Special Education Needs (NCSE).