Back to school at CBHS

| 21/11/2008

(CNS): The upper years of Cayman Brac High School returned to school Friday and plans are underway to get all students back as soon as possible. “Parents need to know there is a safe place for children so they can direct their attention to getting the community back on its feet. As soon as the electricity supply has been restored and the schools are dried in and safe, they’re ready to meet the needs of the children of Cayman Brac,” said Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler. (Left: WEPS)

According to Wahler, primary provision will begin sometime next week as previously announced, though this may be staggered by year groups. This primary service will initially operate out of West End Primary School. The Ministry has acceded to the request by the Public Works Department to provide the use of Creek Primary School for housing of essential workers as no other housing is available and these workers must be on island to complete urgently needed repairs throughout the island.

Commenting on the progress at the schools, the CEO made particular note of the tremendous leadership shown by Learning Community Leader Tammy DaCosta-Banks and the hard work of the education staff on Cayman Brac, who made it possible to reopen despite serious damage and loss. (Right: Deputy Principal Pedro Lazzari addresses Years 11 and 12 at CBHS)

“I’d also like to commend the education community from Grand Cayman who came to set up schools and for the wave of fundraising efforts. Both the private and the public sector are offering their help to support students and schools as they come back on line,” she said. “We’re so grateful for the first responders – the police, fire officers and medical staff. The second tier of responders includes teachers because without schools it’s hard for a community to return to normal.”

The most urgent need was for Years 11 and 12 to return, since they are preparing for exams and students were anxious to maintain the high standard set at CBHS. “They and their parents have been besieging me with requests to get the school open,” said Wahler. Work continues on all schools in Cayman Brac and the remaining high school students will be able to return to school as sufficient classrooms are approved for occupancy.

Teachers were back at school Wednesday, 19 November, and have been busy panning and preparing for the opening of schools. Noting the heavy emotional toll on staff and students, she said, "We have sought advise and begun panning for support for emotional as well as academic needs for both students and staff, and will be looking to put in place a range of support services over the coming weeks.”


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