Categorized | Education, Local, News, Regional

Montserrat Secondary School Principal’s Report for the School Year 2018-19


Presented by

Cherlyn S Hogan, Principal

on

Wednesday July 3 , 2019, at the Montserrat Cultural Centre

Her Excellency the Acting Governor, Honourable Premier, Honourable Members of Parliament, the media, Ladies and Gentlemen, Graduates 

Please allow me to adopt the full order of protocol that has been established for this graduation ceremony and to which our distinguished Chairperson has concurred.    

Madame Chair, I am pleased to present the report for the Montserrat Secondary School for the 2018/19 academic year.  This report will focus mainly on the academic performance and skill sets of our students.

This 2018- 2019 academic year presented a number of significant challenges which affected the very core of the institution as it significantly impacted the teaching learning environment, and the well-being of both students and teachers.

The very high spirits exhibited by both staff and students on the first day of school in this the 80th Anniversary of the Montserrat Secondary School, heightened by the comprehensive history of our great institution, were all but extinguished on the second day of school when we were informed that blocks L and M, which housed six classroom spaces, two Science Laboratories and a Clothing and Textiles room were deemed to be unsafe and had to be evacuated with immediate effect. 

There was no immediate resolution for housing these displaced classes. However, solutions were identified and most of the classes were accommodated in spaces at the Montserrat Community College and the Pupil Support Unit.   The staffroom was also used for the classes along with any available classroom space during the course of the day, while the Building and Construction workshop was converted to a Science Lab. A tent, which was on loan from the Montserrat Arts Council provided shelter for some displaced students and housed some classes during term 1.

Hearty thanks to the good efforts of the Montserrat Community College; staff at the Pupil Support Unit; and the teachers at the MSS; most of the classes were successfully conducted notwithstanding the varied teaching-learning environment.

The installation and commissioning of the generator at the school to service both the MSS and MCC was a welcomed relief.  Special thanks to the contractor Mr. Williams, Mr. Ryan and to the Ministry of Finance for the generator.  The importance of having a generator at school was confirmed on the 2nd day of CSEC exams when there was a power failure during an online exam.  We were saved by the on-sight generator.

Student Enrollment and Attendance

The school year began on September 3, 2018. The student population stood at three hundred and five, 159 boys and 146 girls.  As usual, fluctuations in the school’s population occurred during the school year, however, the number remained stable.  The closing population was three hundred and twenty, 163 boys and 157girls.  The overall attendance is recorded as 96%.

Students’ Performance and Achievements:

At CXC CSEC, fifty-three (53) students entered to write CXC exams this year.  The students wrote a total of three hundred and fifty-two (352) subject entries in the 2018 CSEC Examinations at General and Technical Proficiency Levels.  Grades I – III passes were obtained in two hundred and sixty-one (261) subject entries yielding a pass rate of 74.1% slightly down from the 75.8% average obtained in 2017.

The top performers for these exams were Katrice Fenton who achieved passes in 10 of 10 subject areas (100%); and Shekanah Irish achieved passes in 9 of 9 subject areas (100%).

Twenty–four of the 50 students (48%) who wrote 5 or more subjects, obtained passes in 5 or more subjects including English and Math.  68% of these students gained passes in at least 5 subject areas if Math and English are not included. Five English as a Second Language (ESL) students wrote five or more subjects at CXC CSEC.  Two (40%) of these students obtained passes in 5 or more subjects including Math and English. 

There was a 2% decline in the performance of students in English A and a 4% decline in Math over that recorded for 2017. A strengthening of the programme and a focus on reducing student anxiety in Math, in particular, will be an area of focus to affect the necessary improvement in these subject areas.

Skill Sets

Students of the technical areas of Industrial Technology Building and Electrical; Technical Drawing as well as in PE with Sports; and Agriculture continue to excel in these areas.  The students gained 100% passes in these subject areas.  We believe more students should be encouraged to pursue these subjects and also their general skill set development at the CXC CSEC level.  The world of work is rewarding skills at far greater levels although a strong academic background remains a critical backbone to human development generally.

CCSLC performance

The school continues to enter students for the exams at the Caribbean Certificate for Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) level.  Our results reveal that Math and Spanish gained a 100% pass rate.  Social Studies achieved a 94% pass rate with 31% of the passes at the Mastery level; while English achieved a pass rate of 71%. 

CCSLC provides another pathway to regionally recognized certification for our students.  Our increasingly good results make it an opportune time to make the necessary provisions to embed these exams as part of the requirements from the MSS.

END OF YEAR EXAMS

Madame Chair, the school’s end of year examinations have just been completed.  A quick analysis of the results reveal that the girls continue to generally out-perform the boys.  71.8 % of the top places were taken by the girls.  Additionally, for the first- and second-year cohorts, the average grades for boys was a C, while the girls were at B-minus (B-). Collectively, there needs to be a refocusing of efforts on our boys, especially as they make up the majority in the lower streams across the school.

The results also show that students in the lower school are doing twice as well in Math compared to English.  As a home and school community, there is an urgent need to get our children reading more, again.

Overall, the best performing class was Form 4-1.  All the students obtained acceptable grades in the End of Year exams and returned a pass rate of 100%.  The lowest average grade for this entire class is B-.   The average for the girls was B+ while the boys averaged B. Congratulations are extended to all students, their parents and their teachers who continue to prepare and encourage our children especially for exams. Please do continue to strive for excellence and success.  

Other student activities

Madam Chair, the school encourages and helps its students engage in activities which are enriching. This year, an extra effort was made to provide activities which were both educational and engaging. It was recognized that these types of activities would give children much needed respite from the less than ideal physical space constraints at our school site.

These activities included:

  1. The 80th Anniversary Exhibition

Parents, guardians and members of the public were treated to an array of students’ work during the exhibition in December 2018.  Displays of fresh Agricultural produce, poultry, pork, a fully functioning Green House, jams, jellies and other preserves from the Food and Nutrition department, displays of the Art pieces, craft items, various woodwork items including the boat-building in progress, Science exhibits along with students work in Math, English, IT, Electricity and Geography were made available for viewing.

The leadership and communication skills of the student leaders were demonstrated as they efficiently and effectively guided parents and well-wishers through the various exhibits.

The impact of the training received as student leaders was seen in the efficiency of our tour guides for the event. Asma Muhhamed’s contribution stood out as outstanding.  One can also recall Sydney Buffonge’s detailed presentation on the functioning of the Green House.

The tasty lunches prepared by the Food and Nutrition students under the watchful eye of their teacher, Miss Jones is worthy of note. Our sincerest appreciation to Miss Jones as well as to Mr. Cassell and Miss Ethan Collins, who coordinated the exhibition; and to all teachers, students and the office staff for their hard work and commitment which resulted in a successful exhibition.

  • Performing Arts

Items from the performing arts, music and drama, were shared during  our mini-concert at the school as part of the exhibition in December 2018.

The MSS Drama Club participated in the Antigua High School’s Drama Festival.  One of the students, Kyle James, received an award for best upcoming Actor; while the teacher, Miss E Collins was awarded for an Outstanding Script.  It is anticipated that the Montserrat community will be afforded an opportunity to see the piece that was presented in Antigua during the month of July 2019.  Congratulations to the Drama Club and sincerest appreciation to Miss Ethan Collins and her students for a job well done.

Please also mark your calendars for one of the events culminating the 80th Anniversary celebrations as a triathlon which is scheduled for July 10, 2019.

3. Sports, sporting activities and extracurricular activities

Blue House again took top honours at the MSS/MAAA Sports meet and is the Champion House for 2018-2019.

The Victor and Victrix ladorum were Anisha Turner and Sanjay Weekes respectively.  The boys’ and girls’ Road races, held prior to Sports Day, were won by Mark Rogers and Anisha Turner respectively.  

Our sincerest gratitude as well to all the persons who served the school in the various capacities for Sports Day; and all who made donations and supported the school as customary during its annual sporting events.

Football

The first MSS Football league was held during term 2.  The champions were Stars United.  The first runner-up were the Young Predators.  Siegel Rodney scored the most goals; Ridge Samuel was adjudged the most outstanding player; while Josiah Persaud was the most outstanding goalkeeper. Our sincerest gratitude to Mr Duke and his team; and the President and Montserrat Football Association (MFA) for their support.

Basketball

The annual MSS Basketball league, which serves as the School Based Assessment for the PE and Sports CSEC students, was held during term 1.  In this our 80th year, we were very fortunate to have the entire league sponsored by the Bank of Montserrat (BoM) as they celebrated 80 years of MSS with us.   The MBL Rhinos were the winners of the tournament.  

We expect the PE and Sports students to continue to record excellent returns in the CSEC exams given exposure to good practical skills. A much appreciated thank you to the Bank of Montserrat Limited for the commitment to our PE students.

Commonwealth Day 2019

‘A connected MSS’ was our adopted theme for this year’s Commonwealth Day in consonance with the international observations.  A parade, exhibition and mini concert were organized for the day. The students at the school, who represent some 15 nationalities, had the chance to share a little bit of their culture. 

Importantly, the Commonwealth Day activities gave the school the opportunity to say thanks to the Montserrat Community for its support over the 80 years of the school’s existence.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The other well established extra-curricular activities at MSS include: Cadets facilitated by the RMDF; and Netball under the supervision of Coach Valerie Samuel.  All activities continued to offer our students skills for life. 

Anti-Bullying Symposium November 2018

We were privileged to interact with the members of the Montserrat Christian Council, the Police, Nurses, Social workers, ICT Council and parents of at least one bullied student as we paid attention to the impact that bullying has on the entire family. I wish to thank the presenters for an excellent job and to share with you that the reporting of incidents of bullying have been reduced.  We anticipate a further reduction in the coming school year as the alertness and awareness of bullying improves.

Student Behaviour

I am pleased to report that the majority of the students at the MSS conduct themselves in an acceptable manner.  This year a small number of students displayed very worrying behaviours.  I refer in particular to a group of five 5th form boys, whose unacceptable conduct included defiance, disrespect, repeated use of indecent language, loud playing of music containing poor lyrics and this even during class time.  We particularly deplore disruption of classes and exams, skipping of classes, threatening behaviour and any assault on teachers and students.  A number of youngsters were suspended repeatedly for these types of behaviour.  We will report any further or repeat occurrences directly to the School’s Disciplinary Committee as our natural follow-up going forward as additional to suspension.  A decision was taken to exercise some exclusion of a number of our not so well-behaved boys from today’s graduation exercise.  This is to re-enforce our high standards of behaviour expected at MSS to ready students for the world of work.  The boys are seated among the students who are expected to graduate.  They will however not be invited on to the stage to receive the symbolic certificate and to be congratulated for a job well done. 

I urge parents and the community to encourage our students to behave appropriately at all times and to support the steps taken to facilitate their holistic development.  The younger students are looking on and will pattern their behaviour from the older boys; and the responsible actions that we take as the adult role models and leaders in our community.

Staffing

The school year began with the majority of the staff in place.  Over the year however, some members of staff were unavailable due mainly due to ill-health. We wish to thank teachers who responded and covered the classes for absent colleagues.

The Guidance Councellor, Mr. Lyston Skerritt was transferred to Youth and Sports.  Mrs. Hector served as Guidance Counsellor until December 2018, when her tenure ended.  She has volunteered her services when available since then.  The absence of a Guidance Counsellor, denied student access to that essential support which is a requirement in all schools.  In this regard, Miss Nelson and the Child Protection Unit provided very valuable back-stopping assistance to the school for which we are extremely grateful.

Mr Carlton Braithwaite joined the staff to teach Information Technology.  His tenure was short as he ended his services to the school at the end of term 2.

Miss Ronelle White joined the staff as an English Language teacher.

Mrs Clandine Ryan joined the staff as Executive Officer.

Miss Tamara Agard joined the staff as Clerical Officer.

Miss Jamelia White joined the staff as Laboratory Technician.

Miss Althea Ryan also joined the staff as … .

Miss Gloria Browne continued to head the Pupil Support Unit.  The expertise of Mr. Sylvester Browne and Mrs. Ethlyn Telesford were utilized at the Pupil Support Unit to assist students with special education needs.

Departures

Madam Chair, at this time I express sincerest gratitude to Miss Gloria Browne, Mrs Jamealea O’Brien and Miss Ethan Collins who will all be leaving at the end of the school year. The contributions made by these professionals have positively impacted the MSS and have shaped many young lives.  They will be missed.

Community Support

The school is extremely grateful to the local community for the high level of support that continues to be of benefit to our school.  I will highlight some of these external inputs as follows:

• the various Departments of Government and private businesses which provided work experience for our students and invaluable information on various career paths for the form 3 students during Career Week;

•  the business places and individuals who facilitated field trips and tours;

• the facilitators for the Anti Bullying Symposium;

 • The Youth Affairs Department for their tireless work primarily with our school leavers;

 • individuals and businesses who have provided prizes and awards to students in recognition of outstanding performances to be announced this afternoon.

Message to the Graduands

Having now completed your five years at MSS, you are now required to consider what your next steps will be.  It is hoped that most of you will pursue further and higher education.  After-all, it is essential that you gain some higher form of acceptable and appropriate qualifications if you are to pursue employment and optimal success in your chosen career. Others of you have already decided that you will enter the world of work.  That experience could prove to be invaluable as well.  Whichever path you choose to follow, give of your best at all times.  I urge you not to become complacent with your early successes. Lessons of life have taught us that during this emerging stage, failure walks side by side with success.

If per chance you did not maximize one of your undertakings, do not be discouraged by your challenges. Learn from them.  Reflect on the things that you would have done correctly and strengthen them if you can. For the areas that you would have experienced some difficulty, seek advice. You will find that quite a number of persons will assist you.  Your attitude and behaviour will determine how much assistance you get and how quickly you will advance.  Remember that “success is [guaranteed] when opportunity means preparation”.

A word of caution however, you need to surround yourself with positive persons and you need to be strong enough to stand up and speak out against; and distance yourself from what you know to be wrong.  Do not allow yourself to be pulled along in whatever direction the more vocal among you would wish to go.  Take control of you. Give yourself the best chance at success. Your journey is yours to shape.  The power to succeed is in your hands, so Dream, Believe, Achieve!; because he “who does not progresses, retrogresses”.

Acknowledgements

Madam Chair, I complete my record of thanks by extending gratitude to the staff and students at the MSS and the Pupil Support Unit, who worked through challenging circumstances this year.

Sincerest gratitude to the Principal, staff and students at the Montserrat Community College, who provided us with the much-needed support and space for the conduct of our classes and who gave us access to their Building Construction workshop.  We are indeed anticipating this continued support for the 2019/20 academic year.

Thanks in advance to the engineers, architects and the supporting team at the Public works Department, Project Officer at the Ministry of Education, Miss Cynthia Farrell and her counterpart from DFID, Mr. Martin Partlett for the work that they are doing towards the improvement of the school plant and physical environment ahead of the commencement of school in September 2019.

I also wish to record thanks to all other persons, who provided a range of services to make our school function every day, including the officials and staff at the Ministry of Education.

The School also records its thanks:

To the executive and members of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) for their care, support and encouragement.

I thank you all Ladies and Gentlemen.

Cherlyn S Hogan (Mrs)

Principal

July 3, 2019

The MSS Principal’s Report for the School Year 2018-2019 presented by Cherlyn S Hogan, Principal 1600hrs on Wednesday July 3rd, 2019 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. ​

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Presented by

Cherlyn S Hogan, Principal

on

Insert Ads Here

Wednesday July 3 , 2019, at the Montserrat Cultural Centre

Her Excellency the Acting Governor, Honourable Premier, Honourable Members of Parliament, the media, Ladies and Gentlemen, Graduates 

Please allow me to adopt the full order of protocol that has been established for this graduation ceremony and to which our distinguished Chairperson has concurred.    

Madame Chair, I am pleased to present the report for the Montserrat Secondary School for the 2018/19 academic year.  This report will focus mainly on the academic performance and skill sets of our students.

This 2018- 2019 academic year presented a number of significant challenges which affected the very core of the institution as it significantly impacted the teaching learning environment, and the well-being of both students and teachers.

The very high spirits exhibited by both staff and students on the first day of school in this the 80th Anniversary of the Montserrat Secondary School, heightened by the comprehensive history of our great institution, were all but extinguished on the second day of school when we were informed that blocks L and M, which housed six classroom spaces, two Science Laboratories and a Clothing and Textiles room were deemed to be unsafe and had to be evacuated with immediate effect. 

There was no immediate resolution for housing these displaced classes. However, solutions were identified and most of the classes were accommodated in spaces at the Montserrat Community College and the Pupil Support Unit.   The staffroom was also used for the classes along with any available classroom space during the course of the day, while the Building and Construction workshop was converted to a Science Lab. A tent, which was on loan from the Montserrat Arts Council provided shelter for some displaced students and housed some classes during term 1.

Hearty thanks to the good efforts of the Montserrat Community College; staff at the Pupil Support Unit; and the teachers at the MSS; most of the classes were successfully conducted notwithstanding the varied teaching-learning environment.

The installation and commissioning of the generator at the school to service both the MSS and MCC was a welcomed relief.  Special thanks to the contractor Mr. Williams, Mr. Ryan and to the Ministry of Finance for the generator.  The importance of having a generator at school was confirmed on the 2nd day of CSEC exams when there was a power failure during an online exam.  We were saved by the on-sight generator.

Student Enrollment and Attendance

The school year began on September 3, 2018. The student population stood at three hundred and five, 159 boys and 146 girls.  As usual, fluctuations in the school’s population occurred during the school year, however, the number remained stable.  The closing population was three hundred and twenty, 163 boys and 157girls.  The overall attendance is recorded as 96%.

Students’ Performance and Achievements:

At CXC CSEC, fifty-three (53) students entered to write CXC exams this year.  The students wrote a total of three hundred and fifty-two (352) subject entries in the 2018 CSEC Examinations at General and Technical Proficiency Levels.  Grades I – III passes were obtained in two hundred and sixty-one (261) subject entries yielding a pass rate of 74.1% slightly down from the 75.8% average obtained in 2017.

The top performers for these exams were Katrice Fenton who achieved passes in 10 of 10 subject areas (100%); and Shekanah Irish achieved passes in 9 of 9 subject areas (100%).

Twenty–four of the 50 students (48%) who wrote 5 or more subjects, obtained passes in 5 or more subjects including English and Math.  68% of these students gained passes in at least 5 subject areas if Math and English are not included. Five English as a Second Language (ESL) students wrote five or more subjects at CXC CSEC.  Two (40%) of these students obtained passes in 5 or more subjects including Math and English. 

There was a 2% decline in the performance of students in English A and a 4% decline in Math over that recorded for 2017. A strengthening of the programme and a focus on reducing student anxiety in Math, in particular, will be an area of focus to affect the necessary improvement in these subject areas.

Skill Sets

Students of the technical areas of Industrial Technology Building and Electrical; Technical Drawing as well as in PE with Sports; and Agriculture continue to excel in these areas.  The students gained 100% passes in these subject areas.  We believe more students should be encouraged to pursue these subjects and also their general skill set development at the CXC CSEC level.  The world of work is rewarding skills at far greater levels although a strong academic background remains a critical backbone to human development generally.

CCSLC performance

The school continues to enter students for the exams at the Caribbean Certificate for Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) level.  Our results reveal that Math and Spanish gained a 100% pass rate.  Social Studies achieved a 94% pass rate with 31% of the passes at the Mastery level; while English achieved a pass rate of 71%. 

CCSLC provides another pathway to regionally recognized certification for our students.  Our increasingly good results make it an opportune time to make the necessary provisions to embed these exams as part of the requirements from the MSS.

END OF YEAR EXAMS

Madame Chair, the school’s end of year examinations have just been completed.  A quick analysis of the results reveal that the girls continue to generally out-perform the boys.  71.8 % of the top places were taken by the girls.  Additionally, for the first- and second-year cohorts, the average grades for boys was a C, while the girls were at B-minus (B-). Collectively, there needs to be a refocusing of efforts on our boys, especially as they make up the majority in the lower streams across the school.

The results also show that students in the lower school are doing twice as well in Math compared to English.  As a home and school community, there is an urgent need to get our children reading more, again.

Overall, the best performing class was Form 4-1.  All the students obtained acceptable grades in the End of Year exams and returned a pass rate of 100%.  The lowest average grade for this entire class is B-.   The average for the girls was B+ while the boys averaged B. Congratulations are extended to all students, their parents and their teachers who continue to prepare and encourage our children especially for exams. Please do continue to strive for excellence and success.  

Other student activities

Madam Chair, the school encourages and helps its students engage in activities which are enriching. This year, an extra effort was made to provide activities which were both educational and engaging. It was recognized that these types of activities would give children much needed respite from the less than ideal physical space constraints at our school site.

These activities included:

  1. The 80th Anniversary Exhibition

Parents, guardians and members of the public were treated to an array of students’ work during the exhibition in December 2018.  Displays of fresh Agricultural produce, poultry, pork, a fully functioning Green House, jams, jellies and other preserves from the Food and Nutrition department, displays of the Art pieces, craft items, various woodwork items including the boat-building in progress, Science exhibits along with students work in Math, English, IT, Electricity and Geography were made available for viewing.

The leadership and communication skills of the student leaders were demonstrated as they efficiently and effectively guided parents and well-wishers through the various exhibits.

The impact of the training received as student leaders was seen in the efficiency of our tour guides for the event. Asma Muhhamed’s contribution stood out as outstanding.  One can also recall Sydney Buffonge’s detailed presentation on the functioning of the Green House.

The tasty lunches prepared by the Food and Nutrition students under the watchful eye of their teacher, Miss Jones is worthy of note. Our sincerest appreciation to Miss Jones as well as to Mr. Cassell and Miss Ethan Collins, who coordinated the exhibition; and to all teachers, students and the office staff for their hard work and commitment which resulted in a successful exhibition.

Items from the performing arts, music and drama, were shared during  our mini-concert at the school as part of the exhibition in December 2018.

The MSS Drama Club participated in the Antigua High School’s Drama Festival.  One of the students, Kyle James, received an award for best upcoming Actor; while the teacher, Miss E Collins was awarded for an Outstanding Script.  It is anticipated that the Montserrat community will be afforded an opportunity to see the piece that was presented in Antigua during the month of July 2019.  Congratulations to the Drama Club and sincerest appreciation to Miss Ethan Collins and her students for a job well done.

Please also mark your calendars for one of the events culminating the 80th Anniversary celebrations as a triathlon which is scheduled for July 10, 2019.

3. Sports, sporting activities and extracurricular activities

Blue House again took top honours at the MSS/MAAA Sports meet and is the Champion House for 2018-2019.

The Victor and Victrix ladorum were Anisha Turner and Sanjay Weekes respectively.  The boys’ and girls’ Road races, held prior to Sports Day, were won by Mark Rogers and Anisha Turner respectively.  

Our sincerest gratitude as well to all the persons who served the school in the various capacities for Sports Day; and all who made donations and supported the school as customary during its annual sporting events.

Football

The first MSS Football league was held during term 2.  The champions were Stars United.  The first runner-up were the Young Predators.  Siegel Rodney scored the most goals; Ridge Samuel was adjudged the most outstanding player; while Josiah Persaud was the most outstanding goalkeeper. Our sincerest gratitude to Mr Duke and his team; and the President and Montserrat Football Association (MFA) for their support.

Basketball

The annual MSS Basketball league, which serves as the School Based Assessment for the PE and Sports CSEC students, was held during term 1.  In this our 80th year, we were very fortunate to have the entire league sponsored by the Bank of Montserrat (BoM) as they celebrated 80 years of MSS with us.   The MBL Rhinos were the winners of the tournament.  

We expect the PE and Sports students to continue to record excellent returns in the CSEC exams given exposure to good practical skills. A much appreciated thank you to the Bank of Montserrat Limited for the commitment to our PE students.

Commonwealth Day 2019

‘A connected MSS’ was our adopted theme for this year’s Commonwealth Day in consonance with the international observations.  A parade, exhibition and mini concert were organized for the day. The students at the school, who represent some 15 nationalities, had the chance to share a little bit of their culture. 

Importantly, the Commonwealth Day activities gave the school the opportunity to say thanks to the Montserrat Community for its support over the 80 years of the school’s existence.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The other well established extra-curricular activities at MSS include: Cadets facilitated by the RMDF; and Netball under the supervision of Coach Valerie Samuel.  All activities continued to offer our students skills for life. 

Anti-Bullying Symposium November 2018

We were privileged to interact with the members of the Montserrat Christian Council, the Police, Nurses, Social workers, ICT Council and parents of at least one bullied student as we paid attention to the impact that bullying has on the entire family. I wish to thank the presenters for an excellent job and to share with you that the reporting of incidents of bullying have been reduced.  We anticipate a further reduction in the coming school year as the alertness and awareness of bullying improves.

Student Behaviour

I am pleased to report that the majority of the students at the MSS conduct themselves in an acceptable manner.  This year a small number of students displayed very worrying behaviours.  I refer in particular to a group of five 5th form boys, whose unacceptable conduct included defiance, disrespect, repeated use of indecent language, loud playing of music containing poor lyrics and this even during class time.  We particularly deplore disruption of classes and exams, skipping of classes, threatening behaviour and any assault on teachers and students.  A number of youngsters were suspended repeatedly for these types of behaviour.  We will report any further or repeat occurrences directly to the School’s Disciplinary Committee as our natural follow-up going forward as additional to suspension.  A decision was taken to exercise some exclusion of a number of our not so well-behaved boys from today’s graduation exercise.  This is to re-enforce our high standards of behaviour expected at MSS to ready students for the world of work.  The boys are seated among the students who are expected to graduate.  They will however not be invited on to the stage to receive the symbolic certificate and to be congratulated for a job well done. 

I urge parents and the community to encourage our students to behave appropriately at all times and to support the steps taken to facilitate their holistic development.  The younger students are looking on and will pattern their behaviour from the older boys; and the responsible actions that we take as the adult role models and leaders in our community.

Staffing

The school year began with the majority of the staff in place.  Over the year however, some members of staff were unavailable due mainly due to ill-health. We wish to thank teachers who responded and covered the classes for absent colleagues.

The Guidance Councellor, Mr. Lyston Skerritt was transferred to Youth and Sports.  Mrs. Hector served as Guidance Counsellor until December 2018, when her tenure ended.  She has volunteered her services when available since then.  The absence of a Guidance Counsellor, denied student access to that essential support which is a requirement in all schools.  In this regard, Miss Nelson and the Child Protection Unit provided very valuable back-stopping assistance to the school for which we are extremely grateful.

Mr Carlton Braithwaite joined the staff to teach Information Technology.  His tenure was short as he ended his services to the school at the end of term 2.

Miss Ronelle White joined the staff as an English Language teacher.

Mrs Clandine Ryan joined the staff as Executive Officer.

Miss Tamara Agard joined the staff as Clerical Officer.

Miss Jamelia White joined the staff as Laboratory Technician.

Miss Althea Ryan also joined the staff as … .

Miss Gloria Browne continued to head the Pupil Support Unit.  The expertise of Mr. Sylvester Browne and Mrs. Ethlyn Telesford were utilized at the Pupil Support Unit to assist students with special education needs.

Departures

Madam Chair, at this time I express sincerest gratitude to Miss Gloria Browne, Mrs Jamealea O’Brien and Miss Ethan Collins who will all be leaving at the end of the school year. The contributions made by these professionals have positively impacted the MSS and have shaped many young lives.  They will be missed.

Community Support

The school is extremely grateful to the local community for the high level of support that continues to be of benefit to our school.  I will highlight some of these external inputs as follows:

• the various Departments of Government and private businesses which provided work experience for our students and invaluable information on various career paths for the form 3 students during Career Week;

•  the business places and individuals who facilitated field trips and tours;

• the facilitators for the Anti Bullying Symposium;

 • The Youth Affairs Department for their tireless work primarily with our school leavers;

 • individuals and businesses who have provided prizes and awards to students in recognition of outstanding performances to be announced this afternoon.

Message to the Graduands

Having now completed your five years at MSS, you are now required to consider what your next steps will be.  It is hoped that most of you will pursue further and higher education.  After-all, it is essential that you gain some higher form of acceptable and appropriate qualifications if you are to pursue employment and optimal success in your chosen career. Others of you have already decided that you will enter the world of work.  That experience could prove to be invaluable as well.  Whichever path you choose to follow, give of your best at all times.  I urge you not to become complacent with your early successes. Lessons of life have taught us that during this emerging stage, failure walks side by side with success.

If per chance you did not maximize one of your undertakings, do not be discouraged by your challenges. Learn from them.  Reflect on the things that you would have done correctly and strengthen them if you can. For the areas that you would have experienced some difficulty, seek advice. You will find that quite a number of persons will assist you.  Your attitude and behaviour will determine how much assistance you get and how quickly you will advance.  Remember that “success is [guaranteed] when opportunity means preparation”.

A word of caution however, you need to surround yourself with positive persons and you need to be strong enough to stand up and speak out against; and distance yourself from what you know to be wrong.  Do not allow yourself to be pulled along in whatever direction the more vocal among you would wish to go.  Take control of you. Give yourself the best chance at success. Your journey is yours to shape.  The power to succeed is in your hands, so Dream, Believe, Achieve!; because he “who does not progresses, retrogresses”.

Acknowledgements

Madam Chair, I complete my record of thanks by extending gratitude to the staff and students at the MSS and the Pupil Support Unit, who worked through challenging circumstances this year.

Sincerest gratitude to the Principal, staff and students at the Montserrat Community College, who provided us with the much-needed support and space for the conduct of our classes and who gave us access to their Building Construction workshop.  We are indeed anticipating this continued support for the 2019/20 academic year.

Thanks in advance to the engineers, architects and the supporting team at the Public works Department, Project Officer at the Ministry of Education, Miss Cynthia Farrell and her counterpart from DFID, Mr. Martin Partlett for the work that they are doing towards the improvement of the school plant and physical environment ahead of the commencement of school in September 2019.

I also wish to record thanks to all other persons, who provided a range of services to make our school function every day, including the officials and staff at the Ministry of Education.

The School also records its thanks:

To the executive and members of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) for their care, support and encouragement.

I thank you all Ladies and Gentlemen.

Cherlyn S Hogan (Mrs)

Principal

July 3, 2019

The MSS Principal’s Report for the School Year 2018-2019 presented by Cherlyn S Hogan, Principal 1600hrs on Wednesday July 3rd, 2019 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. ​