I wrote in May as we were coming to the end of the 2019/20 academic year that the new year may well be different to previous years. This is indeed the case but the welcome this Autumn remains as strong and positive as ever, as does the commitment to continue to strive to provide the highest standards of teaching and learning possible. I would particularly like to welcome new students and their families as they join the Donegal ETB family.
Our schools, Further Education and Training (FET) Centres and Outdoor Education and Training Centre at Gartan and music service (DMEP) have been exceptionally busy right throughout the summer period as we prepared for our reopening. Rooms have been reconfigured and cleaning supplies have been bought. Plans have been made to introduce new students to their schools and centres. Detailed thought has been given to the wellbeing of each and every student and staff member as we embark on this new journey, never taken before. Like all new journeys, we will be carefully watching and monitoring our progress.
Each of us has our own responsibility and part to play and I would appeal to all to continue to observe all Government and HSE guidelines and advice as it is vital that education and training resumes to the fullest extent possible in the weeks ahead.
The learning journey of our students has been severely disrupted over the past five months and in particular for our students who were preparing for final examinations and assessments in a variety of disciplines. Our staff were exceptional in ensuring that students continued to learn as much as was possible given the circumstances and our staff will continue to provide an exceptional level of service and care as the new year begins.
I hope that all our staff members, students old and new and their families got to relax and enjoy some time off during the summer months in preparation for an uncertain time ahead as has been evidenced by local restrictions in some counties.
With renewed and deep gratitude for the outstanding effort of all as we continue to stick together in our resolve to suppress the virus, I wish everyone the very best for the new year ahead. We’re still in this together.