Home-school relationship programme to be introduce to St James institutions
The National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) will be rolling out its home-school relationship programme, ‘Stay Connected’, in three St. James-based high schools this academic year.
In an interview with JIS News, Chief Executive Officer at the NPSC, Kaysia Kerr, said the high schools will be selected after conducting a comprehensive analysis of the National Education Inspectorate (NEI) report.
This will be used to ascertain the level of parental involvement in students’ school life.
“We have the Stay Connected Programme in several high schools, and we intend now to add a few high schools in Montego Bay this year. We will select the high schools based on the NEI report that looks at what the parental involvement has been in particular schools, and we will use that to determine which three schools to add to the list of high schools where we have that programme in other regions,” she explained.
Kerr pointed out that the programme aims to empower parents with helpful tips on how to understand and handle the developmental issues associated with adolescence and maintaining a good relationship with their children throughout high school.
“We know that the exit exams for primary schools have become high-stakes exams. Parents give a lot of support, especially at grade six. They want their children to go to their school of choice… and they [parents] are there every day staking out school compounds in support of their children… but there is a gradual waning of support when students enter high school,” she noted.
Kerr emphasised that this critical stage is when parents “must stick with their children” to discourage maladaptive behaviours.
The pilot for the Stay Connected initiative was launched in 2015 in three high schools – Norman Manley, Holy Trinity and Spanish Town – and has since expanded to include Dinthill Technical High and Papine High schools.
The programme is held in conjunction with the Commission's Parent Mentorship programme, which provides support for guardians in positive parenting techniques through parent mentors.