Students of the Clarehall Secondary School (CHSS) are reassured of their safety by management, teachers and staff.
Samantha Jackson, one of the school’s Deputy Principal along with a third form student, Cindy George spoke to Antiguan Trumpet about their return to school this week. The discussion also highlighted the protocols in place to protect everyone after several months of online schooling.
“I am excited to be back out because we have had some major challenges with students who weren’t able to engage in the Google classroom sessions because of the lack of resources and internet access at home,” Jackson said.
The Deputy Principal added that students who were facing technical challenges were privileged in having work packages prepared for them, however, many were unable to collect these packages.
“Many of them (the students) live far distances like Bethesda and Freetown; their parents were very uncomfortable with them travelling in public buses during the rise of COVID-19 cases,” she expressed.
“Many students have fallen behind, unable to perform at their highest potential because of the challenges encountered,” Jackson told reporters.
George, who is a student shared her back to school experience, “Because we have been home for so long while so much was going on, It feels strange being back out to school. Many of us feel a bit scared of catching the virus but other than this it is really fun to be back, I am extremely happy to see my friends and teachers”.
The Clarehall school’s approach to education encourages a mixed learning environment that can meet each student’s unique learning abilities and they are hoping to fill these gaps within the students’ lives.
“Many students have different learning abilities and we have some major concerns about the gaps caused because of the classes missed by the students. As teachers we are strategizing and working along with the parents to meet the students’ needs, empowering them to succeed,” Jackson added.
“As humans, we are naturally social beings, but to protect us all we have implemented morning rituals that remind us of the protocols implemented by our Government.”
Jackson expressed that daily practices such as washing hands, wearing masks, maintaining social distance along with the majority of staff being vaccinated and awaiting their second doses in June, were able to boost the confidence in the minds of the students, reassuring them of their safety.
“I understand the concerns of the parents, as a mother myself and not just a teacher, I would like to ease their hearts and minds and let them know that the safety of their children is our priority,” Jackson’s ended encouragement to parents.