Changes to teacher training, schools

Following the passing of Hurricane Gustav, the Ministry of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports and Culture and the Department of Education Services advises students, parents and all school staff, along with the public, of the following arrangements for government schools across the three Cayman Islands:

Grand Cayman

All Government schools in Grand Cayman will open for the commencement of the new academic year on Thursday. This short delay, which is necessary because many school buildings are used for shelter space, will ensure that all facilities are cleaned and fully operational.

Many government schools in Grand Cayman have special orientation days for new students, some of which are scheduled to take place before the start of term and the return of the rest of the school’s student population. In Grand Cayman, students and parents starting at a new secondary school should note the following arrangements for the George Hicks Campus and the John Gray High School.

The George Hicks Campus held an induction Day Tuesday for all Year 7 students, starting at 8am and finishing at 12.15pm.

All John Gray High School students, including new students, should report on Thursday.

The advice for parents of students beginning a new primary school in Grand Cayman is as follows:

Registration for new students of John A. Cumber Primary took place Tuesday at the school hall.

Parents of students who will be starting any other primary school in Grand Cayman should contact the relevant primary school for any orientation arrangements.

Professional development for education professionals, which was scheduled for last week in Grand Cayman, will now take place on Wednesday at the Westin Hotel. There will only be one day of professional development in Grand Cayman at this time and all education professionals will be advised in due course of the re-scheduling of the second planned day of professional development activities in Grand Cayman.

Cayman Brac

In Cayman Brac, where damage although not severe has nonetheless occurred in some schools, it has been decided to delay the commencement of the new academic year for all government schools until Monday. This should ensure that repairs to all facilities will be completed before students start the school year.

This should also facilitate the planned two days of professional development for education professionals in Cayman Brac. Provided flights can be secured, professional development in Cayman Brac will now take place on Thursday and Friday at the Brac Reef Hotel. As soon as these arrangements can be confirmed, all education professionals will be advised accordingly. In the meantime, all school staff should report to their respective schools.

The schools in Cayman Brac have already completed the orientation for new students earlier in the year, although if parents of students due to join a new school in Cayman Brac are in any way unclear about the arrangements for their child, they are advised to contact the relevant school directly.

Little Cayman

It is also anticipated that the Little Cayman Education Service, which currently caters for two students, will re-open on Monday, although this is dependent upon the resumption of electricity supply. Parents of the students at the Little Cayman Education service will be advised on its re-opening as soon as more information on the electricity supply is available.

Alden McLaughlin, Minister of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports and Culture, said ‘With some minimal delays, the new academic year will commence shortly in all three Cayman Islands.’

‘With many school facilities contributing to the provision of shelter space, this is only possible with the dedication and hard work of school staff, for which I thank each and every one of you,’ he continued.

‘I would also like to express my gratitude to the Department of Education Services, who went to great lengths to ensure that new education professionals who have recently arrived from overseas were well looked after. It has certainly been a challenging start to their careers here in Cayman, but I trust that their dedication will not be diminished and that they are well set to make a valuable contribution to the development of the education service in these Islands.’

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