Crisp uniforms, clean shoes, neat hair styles, new bags were the order of the morning for scores of Lester Vaughan School students today. It was orientation time for the shy and nervous first formers, who were accompanied by parents, guardians, siblings and other relatives.
It was held in the auditorium. Both they and the adults listened attentively as Principal Diana Wilson, Deputy Principal Sonja Goodridge, year head Carson Bancroft and Acting Guidance Counsellor Andrea Baptiste welcomed them to their new family at the Cane Garden, St. Thomas school.
The officials told both students and adults what they should expect, what was expected of them and what they should aim to do during their educational journey.
Goodridge told the children to choose their friends wisely, use their initiative, to respect themselves, the uniform, the school and others, be true to themselves and not let others change them. Additionally, the deputy principal urged them to yearn to be the best, get involved in extra curricular activities, have a good and positive attitude even if sometimes they become annoyed with others, and to accept responsibility for their actions.
After the students headed for their classrooms where they got their timetables, chatted with their teachers, and wrote a diagnostic English exam, which was applauded by the parents, it was discussion time. Bancroft reminded them of the rules, as well as addressed a number of issues, including the importance of doing all homework assignments.
Principal Wilson allayed the fears and concerns parents had during the lively discussion session when issues such as bullying and the use of cell phones in school were raised. Parents also asked about school buses, books, lunch, the canteen system for first formers and before- and after-school activities.
The importance of providing letters of absence, and being a part of their children’s lives was underscored. Secretary of the PTA, Rita Batson, who also addressed the audience, encouraged the parents to attend meetings and get involved in activities. One of the issues addressed by the Acting Guidance Counsellor was the need for the students to believe in themselves, their ability and their school. S
he also told the parents that those who wanted assistance from the school would be assessed, not only socially, but psychologically, and programmes implemented to help remedy any problems being experienced. (DS)