Lighthouse School has become the first Cayman Islands Government school to earn a “good” rating under the new framework for school inspections that was adopted last year.
In a report issued last week, the Office of Education Standards judged the school to be good in eight out of 12 areas that it assessed. It scored excellent in two areas and satisfactory in the remaining two.
Lighthouse School provides services for students with moderate to severe learning disabilities and is the only government school that accepts students of all ages, from 5-17. There are 110 students at the school, with 18 teachers and 37 support staff.
“Exceptionally strong guidance and support enabled students of all abilities to thrive,” the report said. “The principal and senior leaders had created a culture of high expectations where every student mattered, and this vision was embraced by all staff.”
School officials had not responded to requests for comment from the Cayman Compass by press time.
The report rated the school good in the following categories: Students’ attainment and progress in English mathematics and science; positive behavior for good learning; civic and environmental understanding; teaching and learning; curriculum quality; health and safety; leadership; and self-evaluation and improvement planning.
Inspectors found the school was excellent in connecting with the community and in offering support and guidance. It scored satisfactory ratings in staffing, as it relates to the learning environment and assessing students.
In evaluating student achievement, inspectors said, “High-quality support contributed to the strong progress made by [autistic] and [moderate learning difficulty] students. Students were developing literacy skills, including a love of reading, as they enjoyed listening to stories.”
By Year 9, according to the report, students with moderate difficulties “could produce a descriptive piece of writing using a range of punctuation and vocabulary.” Even students with severe learning disabilities “could write a factual piece about a wild animal” by Year 11.
Last fall, the school announced that, for the first time, seven of its students had passed the City & Guilds exams, allowing them to continue their education at the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre.
In a survey of 42 parents, overall satisfaction for the school was 90 percent, with only one person saying they did not agree it was doing a good job and one other answering “not sure.” The amount of homework received the biggest negative response among parents, with 20 people saying it was not appropriate.
Teachers and staff were similarly pleased with the school’s performance. Of 54 respondents, all but one said Lighthouse was doing a good job.