Abaco Central High School’s first PTA meeting of the year took place in the evening of October 4. It was a long meeting that covered many topics. Among the topic discussed was the election of the PTA board members. It was a matriarchal meeting with mostly mothers attending, so this year the Parents Teachers Association will be represented mainly by women since only one man, the President, Pastor Jason Quashie, will sit on the PTA board. Pastor Quashie who could not attend had charged last year’s President, Soluke Innocent, to offer his nomination.
Elected Vice-President was Mrs. Monique Burrows;
Shadell Smith agreed to assume the position of Secretary
Nicole Scott accepted the role of Assistant Secretary
Konicha Sawyer put herself forward for the role of Chaplin and was accepted.
Elected as Treasurer was Courtney Chandler, seconded by Assistant Treasurer, Norma Burrows.
Canishka Alexander is to perform the function of PR person.
At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Lenora Black had reiterated the importance of the parents’ role in the students’ lives and learning process. “From the moment they open their eyes in the morning, training should start, first at home, then at school,” she said.
Acknowledging the faculty, she mentioned that last year was the school’s best year since her return to Abaco six years ago.
“Let’s surpass last year’s performance,” she urged; “I am looking forward to full participation.”
The Principal, Ricardo Ferguson, proceeded to conduct the election of the new board members.
Following the elections, the Principal addressed the parents to assert the rules of the school, which he said he will enforce. With 600 plus students attending ACH this year, the Principal said he will continue to focus on discipline, asking the students to abide by basic rules.
“I will not let a handful of students disturb the majority,” he proclaimed. “I have to ask the parents to understand that what is done is to ensure the betterment of all.”
He demanded that the girls come to school without weave hairdos, but wearing a natural style. He reiterated that cell phones were not allowed and if found will be confiscated until the end of the school year. Stating that part of the problems encountered at the school were caused by the parents, he asked them to support the rules of the school and not to offer excuses for their children, adding that he will not accept anyone being threatened when things are confiscated..
He also went over the issue of lateness. Adjustments have to be made at home in order for the students to arrive on time, fully dressed with their tie on (ties are expected to be received at the school shortly) and the crest properly pinned.
“We don’t do fights at ACH,” he continued. “The minute a fight starts, mama has to find another school for her child. Your children represent not only you, but the school and the country,” he explained. He also said that misbehaving on the bus will not be allowed. Children acting as bullies will not be allowed to ride the bus anymore.
Another “no-no” is skipping classes. The principal assured the assembly that the students will be caught if they do.
He advised parents to start saving now to pay for the BJC and BGCSE examinations. The cost of the BJC is of $5.00 for registration plus an additional $ 5.00 for each subject. The cost of each subject taken in the BGCSE is $15.00. These fees are due in December.
Course work is another area where parents should be involved. He announced that there will be no school during Professional Days, October 23 & 24 and that mid-term break will take place the 25 to the 28. School is to resume on October 29.
Sophia Miller, Head of the Mathematics Department, was next to announce that since many students did not pass the math examination, their teacher, Mrs. Johnson, had decided to go back to the basics. From October 15 to December 3, at 3:15 to 4:15, there will be compulsory tutoring in the fundamental aspects of mathematics. Parents have to sign the consent form and text books need to be purchased.
Nurse McDonald briefly reminded parents that their children had to go through a mandatory medical examination before attending school. Consent forms that went out in February for the students to have a physical examination have not been returned. She urged parents to bring the children to the clinic, Monday or Wednesday from 1-3 pm. The Children will be given the paperwork to take home the same day.
The school counselor, Kimberley Rahming, mentioned that there will be meetings with grade 10 students to start preparing for the new graduation criteria that will become in effect in 2015. Students will need a minimum of a 2 point GPA and take at least four BGCSE subjects to graduate.
Vincent Coakley addressed the assembly to inform parents that students not meeting grades to graduate had the opportunity to take classes at the Scholastic Institute, now located on the school campus. Courses in mathematics, English and computer sciences among other subjects are offered at the cost of $120.00 per subject per month.
The Principal also mentioned that methods of teaching PE will be different this year. Classes will include theory aspects and history of sports. A manual has to be bought.
Registration to take the SAT on December 7 should be done before October 30 for early registration and November 8 for regular registration. An SAT manual can be purchased for $26.00
Lastly, the music teacher, Jamal McIntosh who is also in charge of organizing the Junkanoo Parade, asked for parents participation: financial and physical. He suggested that parents donate $100.00 for girls and $ 50.00 for boys to help with the cost of the parade and that they attend the costume pasting or music rehearsal to show support towards their children. A list of needed material was handed out.