Mon | Sep 28, 2020

Spanish Town High retrofits classrooms, canteen for new term

Published:Saturday | August 8, 2020 | 12:23 AM

Spanish Town High is retrofitting numerous classrooms to meet the specifications of the Ministry of Health & Wellness as the St Catherine-based school prepares to host students under tighter restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools were ordered closed on March 13, three days after Jamaica recorded its first case of the new coronavirus. Institutions were reopened for a month at the beginning of summer to prep for external exams.

Among the changes at Spanish Town High is the erection of an additional staffroom and a number of handwashing and sanitisation stations.

Principal Dr Ventley Brown said that the entire school community will have to be compliant in order to keep the virus at bay. And Brown is even happier that Spanish Town High has managed to implement conservation measures as well, such as the reuse of water for their garden.

“We decided that the use of the 52-gallon plastic drum would be very helpful. We waste nothing, as whenever the students wash their hands, the water runs into the flowers, so it’s all-round benefits,” Brown told The Gleaner.

Students will only be allowed to wear masks with the school insignia. Temperature checks will also be conducted at the school gate.

“We will be improving the security, and no student, teacher or any visitor would be admitted without the wearing of a mask,” Brown said.

Meanwhile, additional canteen facilities have been put in place to address social-distancing concerns.

The school is considering to rotate attendance, with hard copies of lessons issued to students when not at school. Those sitting external exams will be compelled to report to class.

“We will have to admit the grade 11 students, as they will be preparing for CXC examinations and they are required to be here,” the principal said.

Brown said that the school is hunting an additional six teachers to cover mathematics and the sciences.

The school, which was established in 1967, currently employs 103 teachers. Approximately 1,850 students are enrolled there.

– Rasbert Turner