Anchovy High basking in the joys of a single shift
Just under a year after discarding its former double-shift system and embracing the current single-shift arrangement, the administration at the Anchovy High School, in St James, is already feeling the impact and basking in its benefits.
In a recent interview, Howard Atkins, one of the school's vice-principals, told The Gleaner that, while there were some initial hiccups when the single-shift arrangement took effect in October 2015, the school is now functioning much better than it ever did.
"We had a few little hitches at the new campus (the Fidel Castro campus), which we have now ironed out," Atkins said, at the time. "All in all, things have been running smoothly, and it is an improvement over the double-shift system, especially regarding the time that the students actually get to go home."
Interestingly, at the St James High School, the school's outspoken principal, Joseph Williams, said the double-shift system is now the only issue of significant concern he has in terms of the school's capacity to roll out additional programmes for the benefit of his students.
"Except for the shift system, which is limiting us, we are doing quite well," said Williams. "We are really looking forward to the day when we will no longer be on the shift system."
When it was announced that Anchovy would be taken off the double-shift system at the start of the 2015-16 school year, Lambert Robinson, the institution's principal, said he was overjoyed as it would mean more contact time for students, more space at the new Fidel Castro campus, among the other challenges of a double-shift arrangement.
"We are happy," Robinson stated. "We can now have the grades 9, 10 and 11 on Campus One (at the Anchovy site) and grades seven and eight at the new campus. The students will also have more time for extra-curricular activities and will be able to get to school on time and leave for home on time."
In announcing the abolition of the double-shift system, former Education Minister, Reverend Ronald Thwaites, said the new regime would improve teaching and learning by increasing the teacher-pupil contact time and removing some of the vulnerabilities students face by being on the streets in the early morning hours and late at nights.