Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Free Town Primary ‘almost ready’ for new school year

Published:Wednesday | September 16, 2020 | 12:06 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer
Denise Moodie
Denise Moodie

Denise Moodie, principal of Free Town Primary School located in Clarendon says that they are “almost ready” for the new school year.

Ultilising the blended approach to teach the 410 students on the roster, Moodie said that the plan is to have one batch of students coming in at 8 a.m. and leaving at 11:30 a.m. and another batch coming in from 12 noon to 3:15 p.m.

“It is not a shift system,” she explained, adding that the students would have to be split in two groups.

With a parent-teacher association meeting scheduled for next week, Moodie said that parents would be informed of the changes.

With most schools going the blended approach way, combining physical attendance with virtual sessions, students will have to be armed with their electronic gadgets for the online sessions.


Moodie said that the school is awaiting word on when the promised tablets would arrive for students on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education and other needy children.

The school administration, Moodie said, had already started putting markers in place, with hand sanitising and handwashing stations expected to be erected during the course of this week. They have already sourced thermometers and hand-sanitising gadgets.

There are hurdles to overcome such as manpower and physical space, Moodie explained to The Gleaner. “We need an additional janitor to assist with the cleaning, and at present, there is no isolation room. The alternative is to utilise a tent for this purpose.”

With both adults and children reeling from the impact of the coronavirus, Moodie said that the guidance counselling department would be organising a wellness session for both students and parents to prepare them mentally for the reopening.

“As best as possible, we will try to alleviate the fears faced by the parents in this session. Also, during orientation, they will be guided or reminded of the health protocols set by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW),” she said.

Moodie added that the teachers were also in preparation mode as they were being engaged by the MOHW in wellness sessions, and they would be trained on how to effectively teach students online.