After examining the positive results of the last school year (better academic results and less disciplinary problems) the returning Principal of Abaco Central High School, Ricardo Ferguson, faces the new school year with energy. He is determined to continue improving the standards of his high school in academics, sports and behaviour.
A new challenge is facing the high school’s principal this year. The implementation of a new graduation system will require high school students pass at least four subjects in the BJC and BGCSE examinations with a grade of “D” or above and maintain a 2.3 average while completing other courses.
“We are still trying to find out how it will operate. We are learning as we go,” said Mr. Ferguson of the new system.
Students who do not reach these goals will receive a leaving certificate instead of a graduation certificate.
As of the first week of school, not all the students expected have reported to the school. So far 496 students have showed up, but the Principal is expecting another 150- 160 more, thus slightly surpassing the enrollment of the previous year.
Many new students have come from other islands and a few from private schools.
Mr. Ferguson’s main academic goal this year will be to surpass the BJC and BGCSE results and increase the number of students graduating. Last year’s results were better than the previous year, but not quite up to the standard he would like to achieve.
With eight new teachers replacing the six who have left for other islands, another challenge will be to try to get the teachers more focused and to obtain more involvement from students and parents.
He is planning to continue having after-school classes for English, Mathematics, Biology and general preparation for the examinations.
The first PTA meeting of the year is to be held on September 9 and the Principal said that he will insist on having a more active committee.
“Parents have to come to PTA meetings not to complain, but to be prepared to act positively. Come to PTA meetings to be constructive, not destructive,” urged the Principal.
In addition, a school board is to be elected on October 27 during mid-term break, with parents as officers. The PTA would continue to organize fund raisers and to be a link between school and parents, keeping them informed of what is going on in the school. The Board would be in charge of dealing with major issues, such as repairs, supplies and minor maintenance.
“Hopefully we will be able to purchase a bus, install an inter-com system and repair the back fence,” mentioned Mr. Ferguson.
Both PE teachers, Shandria Brown and Christine Jenoure, are returning. So is Shantell Penn, the coach of the basketball team. The school will continue with its participation in the Hugh Campbell Basketball Tournament, besides inter-school and inter-house competitions. The latter will be supplemented with academic contests such as mathematics and debates.
Added to the annual Commonwealth Day and other cultural events, there will be a School Fair this year, the date to be set, as the calendar has not yet be finalized.
Mr. Ferguson expressed his gratitude to the business community for its support.
“I hope that it will continue or improve its assistance towards our goals”, he said
Many books have been delivered to the school to fill up the library that will be organized by English teacher, Mrs. Edgecombe, helped by older students.