Parents Newsletter on Online Learning 11th January 2021

School Arrangements for Online Learning

Dear Parents, Students, and Family members,

As you are aware all secondary schools have closed, this means that your child's classes at Portlaoise College will move online from Tuesday 12th January at 8.55am.

The procedure for on line classes for all students is as follows:

1. All students will have class as per their class timetable.

2. Students will receive a Google Meet link from their class teacher for the start of every class.

3. Students will register for class by joining on time at the start of class.

4. Teachers will take the Students attendance on VS Ware for every class.

5. Teachers will conduct the class on Google Meets.

6. Homework and Classwork must be submitted through Google Classroom on the due date set by the teacher.

7. Time will be allowed at the end of every class to allow students prepare for their next class.

As we are not certain what format the end of year exams will take at this stage it is therefore very important that students fully engage with their online lessons to be best placed for whatever assessment model which will ultimately be used.

We are here to support parents of students who are experiencing any issues with online learning. If you would like any help or guidance on this matter please contact our Declan Qualter (Home School Community Liaison Coordinator) on dqualter@portlaoisecollege.ie. Please note we may also contact parents/guardians of students who are not attending online classes so we can see what we can do to support you.

Thank you for your cooperation in ensuring that teaching and learning can continue during this period of disruption. Attendance and student engagement at these online lessons will greatly assist your child.

Yours faithfully,

Noel Daly


Student Guidelines for Online Classes in Portlaoise College

Student Guide to Online Classroom Etiquette

Guides for Parents/Guardians

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is our online learning platform which you are probably all very familiar with at this stage. However, if you are unsure about how it works below are two videos which may help you.

Family Supports


The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) can help with food — either through its food bank or by providing food vouchers. It also provides ‘meals on wheels’ for older people. It can offer help with money issues; with the provision of items that may be needed when moving into rented accommodation — such as bedding, dishes and utensils; and with the cost of bus transport for children — particularly if a family is in emergency accommodation or is rehoused some distance from a child’s school. You can phone the charity at 01-8848200, send an email to info@svp.ie, visit the ‘Get Help’ section of its website (svp.ie), or contact your local SVP office.


Barnardo’s can help with food and it can also provide support in a range of areas such as family support, mental health issues, addiction and domestic violence. You can contact Barnardo’s through its website (barnardos.ie), its national office (01-4530355 or Call save: 1850 222300), through its parent support line (1800 910123) or by email at info@barnardos.ie.


Contact MABS if you need help or advice managing financial difficulties or debts. The MABS telephone helpline is 0761-072000, the website is mabs.ie — or you can contact it by email at helpline@mabs.ie. “There’s often a perception that you only go to MABS when you are in trouble with debt,” said Michael Laffey of MABS. “However, we are there to work with people who have had a change in their circumstances — so it’s a good idea to come to us before you get into trouble. So, if you find yourself in a situation where you have been affected — if your income has been reduced, our policy is to sit down and do a budget with you. Our priorities are to keep a roof over your head and to keep your heating on and so on. Come and talk to us if you need help with your bills — even if you’re not in arrears.


The State-backed Citizens Information Service (CIS) offers free advice on your rights and entitlements. You can contact CIS on citizensinformation.ie or by calling its national line on 076-1074000. The local CIS offices around the country can also be contacted by phone or email.


One of the easiest ways to apply for social welfare is online through services @ mywelfare.ie. You need your Personal Public Service Number to apply for the PUP or Jobseeker’s Allowance or Benefit — but you currently do not need your Public Service Card (PSC). “The need to have the PSC to apply online for social welfare payments has been suspended during Covid 19,” said Mary Watters of North Dublin CIS.