With the new academic year a few months away, parents are being encouraged to enroll their children at the newly established school, Christel House Jamaica, at Twickenham Park, in St. Catherine, which officially opens September 7.
The application period is slated to close at the end of July.
The recruitment drive targets children from families who are experiencing economic difficulties and are now registered or meet the eligibility requirements to be on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
Principal of Christel House Jamaica, Alicia Francis, tells JIS News the administration is now engaged in an aggressive recruitment drive to enroll its first cohort of 180 students between five and seven years of age (Kindergarten, and Grades One and Two).
There are three classes for each category, with each class comprising 20 students.
“We are going into communities in and around the St. Catherine area, which is our target. We have so far recruited over 40 per cent of our target number. We have another two weeks to recruit the others. Our plan in relation to recruitment and admissions is to recruit 20 children per day, who are learning able,” Ms. Francis says.
Ms. Francis says Christel House Jamaica will be working with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to identify those students who are eligible to be enrolled in PATH.
“We want Christel House Jamaica to serve the most vulnerable among us, so we can assist in eradicating crime and violence in the society,” the Principal tells JIS News.
She points out that Christel House Jamaica does not cater to students with special needs, and that screenings are conducted as part of the recruitment and admission process, to determine a child’s learning ability.
As part of the enrolment process, parents and children must participate in an interview with school officials to determine eligibility.
The Principal says parents should also present the child’s immunisation card, birth certificate and the last three school reports.
Additionally, Christel House Jamaica will be hosting a health fair on August 26 at the school, where medical, dental and eye tests are to be conducted. Uniforms and other school supplies will also be distributed at the fair.
Ms. Francis tells JIS News that the classroom block is completed and cosmetic finishes remain to be added.
“At this time we are not 100 per cent ready. However, by the end of June the classrooms will be ready, and the administrative block should be ready by the latter part of July or August,” she informs.
Ms. Francis says the recruitment of teaching staff for all, but one of the grade one classes, has been completed.
She points out that teachers have been recruited for Speech, Drama, Music and band, and Spanish, adding that a Guidance Counsellor and school nurse have already been appointed. She notes that a Computer Science teacher is to be recruited shortly.
Ms. Francis is urging parents to take advantage of the opportunity to enroll their children into the holistic learning programme offered by Christel House Jamaica.
“Christel House is the real deal. It is a fascinating programme and it is good for Jamaica. We will be opening our doors come September 2020 and we are hoping to serve 180 deserving children in St. Catherine. I am excited to see what the end results will be,” the Principal says.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chair of the Board of Christel House Jamaica, Sally Porteous, says Christel House Jamaica is committed to providing a quality education experience for their students to ensure positive learning outcomes.
“There are no charges for the education of the child. Everything is free – uniforms and books. They are given breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack. They are transported to and from the school. We are targeting a segment of society who will benefit from (this kind of assistance), so they can themselves get good jobs and become contributing members of society,” she tells JIS News.
“We want to be able to start them off when they are very young. The idea is for them to grow with us and the children will stay in school until they are 18 years and Christel House will assist them in moving on to tertiary education. We will follow them for the next five years of their lives, because we want them all to be successful,” Ms. Porteous says.
The school will use the national curriculum approved by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, and students will participate in all national standardised examinations and assessments comprising the National Assessment Programme.
Christel House Jamaica is based on the Christel House International model, providing tuition-free, quality education and ancillary services to underprivileged children living in St. Catherine.
Christel House International is a charitable organisation that works to transform the lives of impoverished children through a robust education and character-development programme.
Persons interested in enrolling their children may contact Christel House Jamaica at (876) 466-1250.
To learn more about the programmes, persons may also visit the school’s website: https://jamaica.christelhouse.org/.