- Partnerships and effective leadership are at the heart of the academic successes being enjoyed by the Denbigh High School.
- Over the last several years the school has seen a steady improvement in Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) passes especially in the key subjects of Mathematics and English.
- The school is now ranked first in Mathematics among all the newer high schools in Jamaica, having the highest passes in the subject at CSEC and at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) level.
Partnerships and effective leadership are at the heart of the academic successes being enjoyed by the Denbigh High School.
Over the last several years the school has seen a steady improvement in Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) passes especially in the key subjects of Mathematics and English.
A tutorial programme put in place last year, resulted in massive improvements in English Language from 68 per cent to 82 per cent this year, and English Literature from 48 per cent to 98 per cent. The pass rate for Mathematics also rose from 42 per cent in 2013 to 67 per cent. Some 60 per cent of the grade 11 cohort passed five or more CSEC subjects, with approximately 113 students getting seven to 10 subjects.
Principal of the Clarendon-based institution, Kasan Troupe, is targeting a 90 per cent pass rate in English Language next year and a 75 per cent pass rate in Mathematics.
“We will not be satisfied until 90 per cent of the cohort is passing five or more subjects,” Mrs. Troupe says.
The school is now ranked first in Mathematics among all the newer high schools in Jamaica, having the highest passes in the subject at CSEC and at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) level.
The sixth form programme is number one among the recently established high schools island-wide, with students attaining 100 per cent passes in six CAPE subjects last year.
The subjects were: Computer Science (Unit 1), Biology (Unit1), Chemistry (Unit1), Management of Business, Caribbean History, Literatures in English, Communication Studies, and Food and Nutrition.
Mrs. Troupe credits the partnerships have been created with the parents, teachers, students and the wider community, to transforming the institution and fostering the successes now being enjoyed. There is a high focus on discipline and even the vendors, she says, support the transformation programme.
“We currently operate from a theme: ‘Denbigh High School, soaring to greater heights, through home school partnerships,” she says.
“All decisions are taken with dialogue with all stakeholders. Each August, the Denbigh High School report card is presented, so the parents get to share in the successes and failures of the year, and then we dialogue to see what we can do. We have that dialogue every year, and once we ask our stakeholders to come on board, they are with us,” she says.
She informs that a newsletter is produced every year, which sums up the school’s performance and this is shared with the community free of cost, “so that they can be aware of what we are doing.”
So strong is the partnership with the community that within one year the school was able to raise over $7 million to purchase a school bus.
She notes that teachers support the programme and willingly give of their time for tutorials in Mathematics and English. Dr. Bradley Edwards (left), who is also Senior Medical Officer at the May Pen Hospital also volunteers for the tutorials.
“We asked our teachers to stay back for an extended time, and our PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) gave the support for that. Our teachers don’t charge the kids; we get one hour of Math and English, every week,” Mrs. Troupe informs.
The school not only excels in academics, but also does well in festival competitions, Spanish, and sports.
Mrs. Troupe informs that the school, in partnership with the United States-based University of Minnesota, will be launching a music in schools programme. Some 45 pieces of equipment are to arrive on the island for the project.
“This is the place to come, and to be, and to excel; that is what we promise, quality education for quality living, and we execute that daily. We try to provide a rounded education for all, and involve our students in as many things as possible,” she says.
President of the PTA, Sharon Irons Francis, also hails the contribution of the parents, noting that their interest in the school is high. “We have had to divide (the PTA) into two, and Upper school PTA, and a lower school PTA, to accommodate everybody.” The PTA offers an annual $25,000 scholarship programme for students at the school, she points out.
Senior Vice Principal, Lucille Wilks, notes that the school is “very high on discipline.”
“We show (the students), that if you want to be successful, then you have to be disciplined in everything you do, and that is part of the partnership that they have taken on, the discipline, because, they want the success,” she shares.
Prefect, Kemeisha Ellis, expresses gratitude for the investments that have been made in the development of the students. “We are going to take care of what you have done, everything that you have provided, (we will) care it and build on it, and to just do well,” she states.
Head Boy, Othneil Williams, says that having benefited from a scholarship from the school, he would like to contribute to the academic development of other students in the future. “Denbigh has brought out the greatness that is within me. I am a recipient of a scholarship, and I want to achieve, and see others achieve,” he tells JIS News.