Finance minister says he will review tax measures

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Minister of Finance Peter Phillips, while addressing a meeting with a number of trade union leaders Thursday morning, indicated that he will be "conducting a review of the announced revenue measures and will shortly announce if any adjustments will be made". A release from the ... Read more

Letters to the Editor

Liberty Academy working wonderfully well

Thursday, July 26, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

The founders, board, principals, teachers and administrators at the Liberty Academy at the Priory are to be commended for the ways their small, independent school is making a big difference. The school runs a kindergarten/prep school programme which is unique and highly successful.

My children learnt to read and write in cursive by age four. The school's model wonderfully includes and caters to children of varying abilities who enjoy both integrated and specially designed programmes. In fact, a teacher in one of my children's classes at the end of the year mentioned in passing that there were four special-needs children in the class, yet I was aware of only one. Such has been the success of the inclusive approach and the teachers' professionalism in creating a comfortable space that focuses on the school's core objective - which is to develop leaders and to celebrate/cultivate each child's talents and capabilities while providing the exposure that will increase their knowledge and competencies.

My children learnt to read and write in cursive by age four. The school's model wonderfully includes and caters to children of varying abilities who enjoy both integrated and specially designed programmes. In fact, a teacher in one of my children's classes at the end of the year mentioned in passing that there were four special-needs children in the class, yet I was aware of only one. Such has been the success of the inclusive approach and the teachers' professionalism in creating a comfortable space that focuses on the school's core objective - which is to develop leaders and to celebrate/cultivate each child's talents and capabilities while providing the exposure that will increase their knowledge and competencies.

The principal reported during the prize-giving ceremony recently that all the children in the school were doing well. There has been an increase and improvement in the averages of both special needs and the other children. Boys across the school do as well as girls; there is no significant gap in their performance. This is quite remarkable and speaks to the quality of the teaching model, the school's environment and its guiding philosophy.

Another thing struck me. In January 2012, we returned to school to find that a fish pond and water feature had been created. It was beautiful and a pleasant surprise, but a few of us parents joked that the poor fish wouldn't last long as we imagined the kids feeding all sorts of things to them. Well, we were wrong. Not only did the fish survive, but I have never seen garbage or any foreign object floating in the water. It says a great deal about a school, when fish can safely survive a whole two semesters unharmed. It also shows a strong vote of confidence in the students by the leadership of the school. It just so happens that the class that is located most closely to the pond earned the class of the year award. Certainly, the factors that went into that achievement are many, including the leadership of a veteran teacher. However, I would like to think that the soothing sounds of running water and beautiful gold fish swimming just outside the window also helped. For all the challenges that are facing the country and the education system, Liberty Academy can be counted on our list of what's working well.

K Bell-Lewis

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