PSA Minutes from AGM 4th October 2017



Date: 4th October 2017

Venue: Marine Hotel 7.30pm.

Present: Parents, School Principal and PSA committee members. Over 30 people present



Chairperson Audrey Haas addressed the gathering and referenced the pre-distributed agenda. The role of the committee and current members were outlined. The committee meets regularly, seven times in 2016/2017.


Minutes of the 2016 AGM meeting were approved and adopted.


A copy of the secretary’s report is attached to these minutes. The report included a review of the PSA activities in the past year.

The committee is seeking members and volunteers.


Treasurer Ruth Garvey outlined the PSA finances. A copy is included below.


The school principal, Ms. Catherine Cavanagh thanked all the parents for their support. Ms Cavanagh spoke about the importance of school spirit, sense of belonging and of all stakeholders working together to provide the best possible environment and experience for the students who are at the centre of everything we do.

A Whole School Evaluation was held in February and the school welcomes the findings. The inspectors will return 18 months after the inspection. A copy of the report is available on-line.

Information evenings are being held for students and parents from 1st year up to 6th year. Due to the ASTI industrial action, some Parent Teacher meetings were cancelled to maximise teaching time.

The Board of Management is continuing to work on how the convent, which was gifted to the school by the Dominican order, can best be utilised. It presents both a challenge due to the layout of the building but also a wonderful opportunity of how this building can be incorporated into the school. The Board of Management is working with the developer regarding the residential development on lands to the west of the school. The developer has now agreed, subject to planning permission, to fund a separate driveway for the school which would be situated to the east of the hockey pitch and this would negate the school having to share an entrance with the residential development. The inner courtyard and the orchard are now owned by the school and work is underway to improve these areas for the use of the school and the students.


Gerard Keating, one of two parent representatives on the Board of Management, summarised the school’s 2015/2016 accounts. Information on school finances are available to parents upon requested.


Aideen Lavin summarised the changes to the PSA Constitution which included:

  • A revised layout and numbering system and minor typographical changes
  • The inclusion of a Deputy Chairperson role on the PSA
  • Allowing for numbers of committee members to be increased from 12 to 20
  • To specify that the Committee includes 2 teachers rather than 2 members of staff
  • To reference teaching and learning initiatives
  • The aims and objectives of the PSA to reference social and fund-raising events or activities to support the school community spirit and contribute financially to specific projects

By a show of hands, the revised Constitution was approved by a majority of those present.


The officer positions were proposed by Pat Bolger and seconded by Gerard Keating. The committee members were proposed by Aisling Comerford and seconded by Sally Anne Ireland. By a show of hands, the proposed members were approved by a majority of those present.

Committee members from the parent body are:

Audrey Haas - Chairperson

Jane Carson - Deputy Chairperson

Aideen Lavin - Secretary

Ruth Garvey - Treasurer

Deirdre Dooley Keegan

Catherine Cannon

Karen Collins

Jacinta Hore

Pat Hughes

Blathnaid Raftery Keohane

Niamh Scott

Georgina Staunton

Fiona Tierney

Emma Woodlock

Ms Elaine Murray-McGowan and Ms Sandra Pedersen were approved by their peers as be teacher representatives on the PSA.

Secretary note: The committee also includes Mary Cannon and Gerard Keating – the 2 parent representatives on the Board of Management.


Some queries from the audience were addressed by Ms Cavanagh. The courtyard and orchard have been improved to provide a nicer environment for the students. Students are allowed into the courtyard and the Board of Management put some seating in last year. The orchard is a walled area, so student supervision would be required. The outside areas could provide the basis for an environmental project – perhaps undertaken by TY students.


Jane Carson had organised panellists to talk about Generation Z. In Jane’s absence Ruth Garvey gave an overview of ‘Understanding Generation Z and their choices’. This was followed by presentations on generation Z by Alison Gill from Deloitte and Jackie O’Dowd from Science Foundation Ireland.


Audrey Haas closed the meeting having asked all present if there was anything else to discuss.


Opening balance



Net income from 2016 ladies lunch



Exam fruit and water


First year coffee morning


Debs reception




Closing balance AGM October 2017



Committee Members

Current committee members are listed on the school website. Ms. Elaine Murray McGowan and Ms. Fiona McAvoy have been elected by their peers as teacher representatives. We are delighted to have a full complement of 20 committee members. Our current Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer will retain their posts for another year. We welcome our recent new members who have children in first year: Blathnaid Raftery Keohane, Karen Collins, Jacinta Hore, Emma Woodlock and Georgina Staunton.

School Policies

We provided feedback to the Board of Management on school policies which are available on the website.

Frequently Asked Questions

We reviewed and updated these and posted them on the website. The website is currently being updated and the FAQs will be available on the new website as soon as possible. The purpose of these is to pass on information that we as parents think may be useful to you and it supplements the information from the school and information in the school journal.

Ladies Lunch - October, 2016 - Sutton Golf Club

The SS PSA inaugural Ladies Lunch was a great success and we are looking forward to our next lunch on 20th October, 2017 at the same venue. The €5,000 profit from last year will go towards the purchase of the new school bus.

Meeting with Board of Management(BoM), School Council, Principal and Deputy Principal - February 2017

A short prayer service was held followed by refreshments. All the groups mingled and it was a pleasure to meet with the girls on the School Council and to meet with the BoM.

Whole School Evaluation - Management, Leadership and Learning - 13th February 2017

Three committee members met with the inspectors. They were very interested in our role and viewpoints and reported that our Aims should include a reference to teaching and learning initiatives. The inspectors’ report is on the website.

Broadway Challenge - April 2017

Over 1,000 folk came out to support our brave Performers in the Broadway Challenge, our joint fundraising venture with St Fintan’s High School. The sense of good-will, enthusiasm and community-spirit was palpable. Over €17,000 was raised for each school towards the purchase of a new school bus. It was a huge and complicated undertaking and involved months of work for our organisers, Audrey Haas-Harte and Jane Carson to whom we extend our thanks.

Feedback on Canteen Card - May 2017

The student council presented the PSA with their idea of a canteen card to reduce queues in the canteen and we provided some in-depth feedback to them.

Transition Year Sub-Committee - May 2017

A committee was formed and made suggestions to the school regarding communications with parents, possible additions to the curriculum and more. The inclusion of mock interviews was particularly welcomed by the school, as was the idea of forming a register of possible work placements through contact with the parent-body, which we will be working on in the near future.

Parent -Teacher Meeting Sub-Committee - May 2017

This committee investigated how the PT meetings could be enhanced e.g. by improved signage and lay-out, provision of seating in some areas for parents queuing and reminding parents to keep discussions short. Parents can make an appointment with a teacher if a more extensive discussion is required than that possible at the PT meeting.

Retirement of Ms Heffernan - May 2017

On behalf of the parent body, we presented Ms Heffernan with a thank you card in recognition of her commitment to the school and students both as a teacher and Choir Master.

Exam Students Refreshments - June 2017

The PSA provided exam students with fresh fruit and bottles of water on a couple of days during the State Exams – with Compliments slips to wish the students luck and generally show the students that we were supporting them. Supervalu kindly provided the fruit at cost.

Coffee Morning for Parents of Incoming Students - August 2017, Marine Hotel

This was our first time to host this and we received very positive feedback from attendees. It was a sociable get-together for parents and provided an opportunity for the PSA to meet parents and for parents to meet each-other. We were delighted with the number of parents who volunteered to join our committee or assist at events. We plan on making this an annual event.

Debs Night School Reception - September, 2017

Pat Hughes co-ordinated the recent deb’s night reception at the school with the assistance of the Fiona Tierney, Catherine Cannon, Niamh Scott and Audrey Haas. Many thanks to Patrick Coyle for providing the red carpet and waiters. It was very much appreciated by the students.

Badminton, The Racquettes - September 2017

Knowing the availability of talented Badminton players in SS, Jane Carson asked at one of our meetings about the idea of introducing Badminton. With Catherine Cavanagh’s, and Mr Sullivan’s support in particular, in the space of a few months Jane negotiated the availability of the Sportlann, coaching arrangements, recruited over 50 girls and succeeded in establishing Badminton as a school Sport. Two weeks in and already, 3 teams are entering the Dublin Schools League and there are plans for local friendly matches. The girls voted to be called The Racquettes. Congratulations! and we wish all involved the very best.

Open Night, 14th September, 2017

The PSA were present at the Open Night and answered queries from prospective pupils and their parents.

First Year Social Evening, 2nd October, 2017

We helped at the first year social evening, providing teas/coffees and answering any questions parents had.

Diep Dinner – early 2018

Following on from his role as a Judge at the Broadway Challenge Michael Wright will provide a meal for 70 people at Diep restaurant in Howth. Funds raised from ticket sales for the event will be split between St. Fintan’s High School and Santa Sabina. Details to follow.


I would like to thank everyone on the committee and our volunteers for their hard work and commitment and for everyone attending tonight. This year the PSA is continuing to provide more opportunities for parents to meet up and help support the school community spirit.

If anyone would like to volunteer or be part of a sub-committee we would be delighted to have you on board. We are open to suggestions on how we can improve as a committee serving the school, students and parent body. The PSA can be contacted at

Aideen Lavin

Secretary to PSA

Greenfield Rd
Dublin 13

01 832 2200

© 2019 Santa Sabina Dominican College