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Hard work paying off for Green Pond High

Published:Saturday | May 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Students peruse their schoolwork ahead of a class at Green Pond High School in St James.

Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:Green Pond High School in St James is reporting great success with its Centres of Excellence programme as it seeks to forge a new partnership with the community.

Speaking at a meeting with stakeholders of the Mutual Building Societies Foundation (MBSF), the community, students, and educators, principal Michael Ellis stated that Green Pond High would become a school of choice because of the groundwork that is being done now to ensure that reality.

"Since they have come on-board, the school has seen tremendous growth. We have seen growth in the capacity of the leadership, growth in the capacity of the teachers, students, and the parents. There is a greater sense of accountability," Ellis said.

'growing' expectations

He further added that as schools continue to grow, so does the expectation for them to do well, and accountability becomes very critical because administrators cannot know if students are learning if the learning process is not effectively measured.

The Centres of Excellence programme is managed by the MBSF and is geared at strengthening the partnership between Green Pond High and surrounding communities to improve school achievement.

The MBSF is a partnership between the Jamaica National Building Society and The Victoria Mutual Building Society.

"More members of the business community must come on-board and adopt schools in the manner in which the building societies foundation have done. There is still more stuff to be done in terms of resource mobilisation," Ellis urged.

"Our school library is badly in need of books, and I would want to think that any future effort, whether on the part of the foundation or any other agencies coming on-board, should be able to help us get books."

MBSF programme manager Renée Rattary, noted that since the school came on-board as a Centre of Excellence in 2009, there have been many improvements.

"We focus mainly on leadership in all the schools that we are in, on building the capacity of the leader, and helping them to run their schools well," Rattary confirmed.

"We have done a strategic planning exercise over four years and Green Pond has developed its own scorecard, and they are implementing that and setting their own targets, so they are doing well."