Amalgamated School for the Deaf
The decision to bring to completion the amalgamation of St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Schools for the Deaf, Cabra was taken by our Patron Arch Bishop Diarmuid Martin in December 2015.
Since this date, Single Mangers, Mrs Mary Hogan and Mr. Tadgh O’Donoghue have been working together with CIDP, the Principals and staff of both schools to progress this merger in time for the start of the new school year 2016.
St. Mary and St. Joseph’s school communities have recently held special ceremonies to acknowledge and celebrate their respective histories and achievements. As the schools move forward into a new era, CIDP would also like to acknowledge the successes and the part played by both schools nationally and internationally in the history of deaf education. The Single Mangers and the Board of CIDP are deeply appreciative of the dedication of both Principals and the hard work and commitment of the staff of both schools past and present.
Arch Bishop Diarmuid Martin has also taken the decision that the amalgamated school is to be named Holy Family School for the Deaf. We can also confirm that following interview, Ms Eimear O’Rourke has been appointed to the position of Principal of the new school. We wish her every success in this new role.
The Early Intervention classes in the Pre-School and the Primary section of the school will remain at their current locations on the Marian Campus, Ratoath Road. The successful merger of the primary classes from both St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s, this school year, assures us of a very positive outcome for full amalgamation.
The Department of Education and Skills has committed to a renovation of the Rosary building on the Dominican Campus, currently St. Mary’s Post Primary, as the permanent location for the amalgamated Post Primary section of the school. In the interim, with the consent of the Board of CIDP and to ensure the safety of pupils and staff during the building works, the Post Primary classes will be based in the Edmund Rice building, St. Joseph’s.
Mrs Mary Hogan and Mr. Tadgh O’Donoghue will continue to act as Single Mangers of St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s until the start of the new school year and then as Joint Managers of Holy Family School for the Deaf until a new Board of Management is appointed in October 2016.
There is formal and informal co-operation and communication with the two Care Managers of the residences and the school.
Together with the CEO of CIDP and the Chief Operations Officer/Head of Finance they form an essential part of the CIDP Management Team.
Early Intervention at Preschool for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children came under the remit of the Department of Education and Skills and subsequently the management of St. Mary’s School for Deaf Girls in September 2012. There are currently two classes with twelve children enrolled for the 2016/17 school year.
A bilingual approach is used, incorporating both spoken language and ISL, which is based on the needs of each individual child in consultation with the wishes of parents.
Levels of deafness vary among the children and many of whom have received cochlear implants, or are currently undergoing an assessment of their suitability for implantation.
A number of the children present with additional disabilities, such as a mild general learning disability, dyspraxia, behavioural difficulties etc. and applications for admission in such cases would be considered on a case by case basis in accordance with the resources available.
Early Intervention provision will continue under the Management of the amalgamated school-Holy Family School for the Deaf.
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Deaf Education Centre
The Deaf Education Centre started in June 2011 with the broad aims to:
- Establish a resource for parents, professionals and members of the Deaf Community where they can receive information and advice on deaf education
- Improve links across existing resources enabling organisations to work together and
- Produce research on the area of deaf education and use that research to support and develop best practice.
In August 2011, the Deaf Education Centre got its first home on the Marian Campus. The building now has 3 main offices, a professional resource room and a family room.
Since its inception, the Deaf Education Centre has worked on a number of major projects as well as providing ongoing advocacy work to parents and professionals.
They also have regular lectures and workshops on Deaf education, policy development advice and the current proposal around enabling access to primary teacher training colleges for Deaf students.
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