School inspections: Layman Scott, Grace Christian Academy rated satisfactory

Layman E. Scott High School

New inspection reports on Layman E. Scott High School and Grace Christian Academy show both schools operating at a satisfactory level.

The Office of Education Standards posted the reports late Monday.

Layman E. Scott inspection

Inspectors said the performance and progress of students at Layman Scott school in Cayman Brac was satisfactory in major subjects, with an expectation of improvement.

“In the current academic session, students’ progress had improved and was judged to be on track to be good in English and mathematics and satisfactory in science,” the report said.

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It also praised the school’s performance in making sure students were ready to move on.

“The Year 12 curriculum was effective in preparing students for university studies or starting a career in the world of work,” it said.

The Brac school’s curriculum, student support, behavior and attendance were all deemed to be good, along with students’ understanding of civics and environmental issues.

Inspectors were concerned about the security of the school because of a break in the fencing. The breach, they said, meant students could potentially leave the school and the public could gain access. It also faulted the school’s signing-in procedures as “not sufficiently robust.”

School officials were asked to “work urgently with the Department of Education Services to access resources that will adequately secure the site.”

Inspectors said the school has not yet fully adopted the new evaluation framework. As a result, they said, “the self-evaluation and improvement planning processes were weak.”

A parent survey found 71 percent were satisfied with the education being provided to their children at Layman Scott. Teachers responded to the same question with an approval rating of 94 percent, while 83 percent of students said they were satisfied.

While inspectors said behavior at the school was good, just 50 percent of students surveyed agreed, while 36 percent said they disagreed. And while 77 percent of parents felt students were well behaved, when asked about bullying, 34 percent said such instances were not adequately dealt with.

Schools are on holiday this week and attempts to reach Adrian Jones, Layman Scott’s principal, were unsuccessful.

Grace Christian Academy inspection

The overall satisfaction rates at Grace Christian Academy were similar. There, 77 percent of parents said they felt their child was being well educated. In a rare instance, staff at the school actually responded positively at a lower rate, at 63 percent, while 54 percent of students agreed they were satisfied with the school’s overall performance.

Inspectors found weaknesses in the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes, but teaching in the elementary, middle and high schools was deemed “good.”

Middle school student achievement was found to be weak in English, but was rated satisfactory or good in other major subjects for all students beyond kindergarten. Progress for those same students was good or satisfactory in all areas.

Principal Bernice Scott said she was pleased with the report.

“Overall, we were happy with it,” Ms. Scott said.

She said it had been 10 years since the school had been evaluated. She’s hoping it can be done more frequently.

“I think it’s a valuable tool,” she said.

“I like the framework,” she added, referring to the new set of guidelines approved this summer. “However, I still feel it’s a bit subjective. The difference between American schools [the model Grace uses] and British schools needs to be taken into account.”

She said she had to explain to inspectors how advanced placement courses work.

The report recommended making improvements in teaching and the curriculum in early year classes and further developing the school’s “information and communication technology curriculum and resources.”

Ms. Scott said the school is in the process of constructing some new buildings. As a result, she said, students temporarily do not have access to some classroom computers. That situation, she said, along with the other deficiencies noted in the report, is something the school is already addressing.

“We’ll still keep working to improve,” she said.

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