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St Vincent Strambi School Making A Difference

Published:Tuesday | May 19, 2015 | 12:01 PMKeisha Hill
St Vincent Strambi students use technology in the learning process.
Learning takes place in a happy environment at St Vincent Strambi.
Male and female students learn skills that they can use for life.

St Vincent Strambi High School is making a difference in the lives of students where learning has no limits and where children who are considered 'failures' are moulded into successful individuals.

Many students who have graced the halls of the school located in Bull Savannah, St Elizabeth, lacked confidence, self-esteem, had learning challenges, were emotionally scarred and sometimes suffered from psychological issues. However, St Vincent Strambi brought a change to their lives where they are treated as individuals and not just as a number.

According to Brother Gus Nicoletti, principal of the institution, there has been a transformation with the incorporation of the La Salle core principles advocated by the Christian Brothers, a congregation with a 300-year tradition of educational excellence in 1,000 schools worldwide.

globalised vision

"We got the faculty on board to understand the La Sallian method of teaching and we created a new mission statement to reflect the ideals of our founders. We cater to the whole person, their academic performance, emotional growth, social awareness and spiritual enhancement. We foster in our students the need to be a better individual," Nicoletti said.

Nicoletti indicated that they have implemented several programmes that have resulted in the remarkable change that the institution has seen. "We have looked at the curriculum and we now present it with a global understanding in mind. Our students understand that the world is not just Jamaica and are now focused on the globalised vision that we have for the school," he said.

prep form programme

One such programme is the prep form where students received remedial attention to bring them up to speed to their grade level. "Several students have come here and are barely able to read, however, after their tenure and having graduated they are leading successful lives in the marines, banks, accounting firms and businesses," Nicoletti said.

According to vice-principal Kayla Morgan-Jones, the school has made great strides with the students who have come to them with numerous limitations. "We rarely get the 'exceptional' children. We almost never get the children with averages of 80s and 90s. However, we take them, nurture them and they have excelled beyond expectations," Morgan-Jones said.

St Vincent Strambi's Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate Examination results are a testimony to the unwavering dedication the institution has to its students. In the last three years it has achieved between 73 and 88 per cent passes in English language and 73 per cent pass rates in mathematics. In the academic school year 2013-2014, it achieved 100 per cent pass rates in information technology and integrated science, and 88 per cent passes in Social Studies.

"Sometimes words cannot express the feeling you get when you know you have made a difference. I must say it is our purpose at Strambi to make a difference," Morgan-Jones said.

The institution will be moving in short order to implement The De La Salle Learning Centre at its compound in Bull Savannah. The centre will offer even more individualised attention for children with learning difficulties and other challenges and will focus on areas including English language, reading and mathematics.