North & East

'Low support'

Happy Grove principal wants greater parental support as new school term begins

Monday, September 03, 2018

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MONIQUE Grant-Facey wants greater parental support this academic year for students at Happy Grove High School, where she serves as principal.

Grant-Facey, who has been head of the Portland institution for four years, last Wednesday admitted in an interview with the Jamaica Observer North & East that a great portion of the student population does not have the support of their parents.

“The major thing is parental support. A lot of the students don't have the support of their parents so we're looking at town hall meetings. Most of our students commute to school. They don't come from around here so you will find at least 87 per cent of the commute from as far as Yallahs and west, going all the way down to Buff Bay in the valley. So we want to get the parents more involved. When parents are involved the students do better,” Grant-Facey said.

“We want for them to hold us accountable. They are sending their children to us so they need to ensure that we give of our best to them,” she added.

In addition to that, Grant-Facey said the School-Wide Positive Behavioural Intervention (SWPBIS) is to roll out at the 120-year-old institution today, where over 250 new students have been registered in addition the to 1300 students already enrolled.

The SWPBIS, spearheaded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, is a proactive, team-based initiative tailored to create and sustain safe and effective schools by fostering a disciplined and structured environment to deal with challenges such as student violence.

“It is geared towards student support. It is geared towards turning around maladaptive behaviour. So it's not just us at school but all the stakeholders, the vendors, the bus drivers, the conductors, the teachers, the parents, and the different communities. So everybody is involved in ensuring that the students adhere to the behaviours that we expect them to portray,” Grant-Facey told the North & East.

She said student support forms part of a five-pillar approach which is expected to further help develop the school.

“It's not just support for students who are not doing well, but support for those who are doing well. Oftentimes we ignore them and we say 'Yes, they are doing well' and we focus our attention on the few bad apples and sacrifice the good ones,” she said.

In the meantime, Grant-Facey said the school is 90 per cent ready for today's start of the term.

A new closed-circuit television system has been installed at the school to monitor student activity, as well as for security purposes.

“It's all about making it safer for the students and the school and all the employees. The cameras will serve as a deterrent.”

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