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‘New normal’ good for Louisburgh’s Leaving Certs

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PRAISE Sancta Maria College Principal, Pauline Moran.

Louisburgh Principal says teachers showed ‘great professionalism and diligence’

Áine Ryan

IT was a Leaving Cert results day like no other, but for the Principal of Louisburgh’s Sancta Maria College all the virtual meetings with teachers over the summer months and analysis of previous results for calculated grades had a positive outcome yesterday (Monday) for the 54 students, who hail from Turlough to Clare Island, Newport to Westport and the environs of the west Mayo town.   
Speaking to The Mayo News, Pauline Moran said: “We had 54 Leaving Cert students this year, including one set of twins. It was a very different process, and I really missed the interaction and excitement of meeting the students on results morning. We always felt very much part of their special day. This year provided a different challenge for all. We rose to it, and teachers took on the mammoth task of providing calculated grades to the Department of Education. It was done with great professionalism and diligence.”
Ms Moran praised the class and expressed her hope, on behalf of all the staff, that ‘they are offered the courses they had set their sights on’.
“They were a wonderful bunch of highly capable and ambitious young people with extraordinary resilience. Their interests were wide and diverse in terms of interests and skills from sports, music and drama as well as being a very intellectual group. Many have applied for courses in medicine, architecture, veterinary, business, as well as courses in humanities and sports,” she said.  
She confirmed that the school’s career guidance and pastoral care team was available yesterday, and into the future, to offer direction and support.  
“We wish them all the very best in the days, weeks and years ahead,” Pauline Moran added.
Asked by The Mayo News about how the Covid-19 regulations were working since the school re-opened, she said: “The new Covid-19 regime is working very well so far. Students and staff are delighted to be back, and as principal I have really missed the buzz of students and staff and the general energy and enthusiasm associated with school life.
“Despite a little initial apprehensiveness for some, our students have taken to our new way of life remarkably well. Young people respond well to structure, and our students know it is important for them to be mixing with their peers.”

Minister Foley commends students
OVER 60,000 students from the Leaving Cert class of 2020 received results yesterday through the calculated grades process, with 1,606 hailing from Co Mayo schools.
Congratulating all the students, Minister for Education and Skills, Norma Foley stated in a letter: “This is a very different day from what we had anticipated for you, and from what you had planned and dreamed for yourselves. I do appreciate what an especially difficult time you have had over the past six months, and I want to commend you for the patience, courage and resilience you have shown in that time.
“The creation of the Calculated Grades system came about to ensure there would be a mechanism to enable the class of 2020 to progress to work or further and higher education on completion of your second level school experience.
“This has been a challenging time for students, their families and school communities.
“However, I do believe what has been created is the fairest possible solution given the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves as we journey together through the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Today, with confidence, you can look back with pride on all that you have achieved and look forward with courage to the next exciting phase of your lives.”
The calculated grades were an average 4.4 percent higher than last year’s, according to aggregated data produced by the Department of Education.