PRINCIPAL NOTES

“BUILD TO ADAPT”

To our SJC POS Community,

I hope that you and your loved ones are coping as best as possible during these challenging times and I pray for God’s continued blessings and protection on us all. These are indeed very unprecedented times and we are starting the academic year 2020-21 in the midst of a global pandemic. This will call for a great deal of courage and determination as we all try to navigate in unchartered waters. COVID 19 has created a very dynamic and fluid situation, so we ask all our stakeholders to be supportive and patient, understanding that the whole world is searching for solutions on how best to continue educating our young people. As a Government Assisted School we must follow the Policies and Guidelines of the Ministry Of Education. On Saturday 15th August the Prime Minister announced that schools will remain closed. As such we are moving to full Online classes at SJC POS for the period September 1st - December 11Th 2020.

We are happy to report that we were able to have our Online Distance Learning up and running since April 2020 and as such our students were engaged in learning as teachers set out to complete the delivery of the curriculum for the 2019-20 academic year. The work done during that period will be evaluated by all Departments before the Schemes of Work are prepared for First Term 2020.

We are grateful to members of staff who worked tirelessly to give out reports for Term Two so all students received feedback on their performance and parents were able to get communication from the Form Teachers. We were able to use this data to promote all our classes therefore, each student will begin in his/her new class 2020-21. This data was also crucial in helping the Form Threes in their Selection of Subjects and they have all been successfully promoted to begin their CSEC programme September 2020.

Mrs. Anna Pounder - Principal

St. Joseph's Convent

Port of Spain

B.A., Dip. Ed., M. Ed.,

This was only possible because of the dedication and commitment of our teachers who work above and beyond to ensure that teaching and learning continues at SJC POS.

We are thankful as well that all CXC Exams and Orals were successfully completed and we thank God for keeping all our students safe and healthy during the long months of waiting.

We will send out our Guidelines and Protocols for Teachers, Students and Parents as we embark on this journey of Virtual School. We have readjusted the Timetable to give short breaks between classes and to facilitate a combination of synchronous and asynchronous classes.

Twenty one of our teachers attended Training in “Open Educational Resources for Online Learning” presented by the MOE. They will in turn share and train their colleagues so that each department is able to manage our Online Platforms.

During the Lock-down period our Parent Support Group was instrumental in organizing devices for students who did not have and as such all our students were able to be connected to the Online Distance Learning classes that took place between April-June 2020. They also distributed 25-30 hampers fortnightly during the lock-down to our families in need. We are grateful to all our parents and well wishers who supported these ventures.

Our Past Pupils Association have come forward to assist this term to ensure that any student, still in need of a device, will be able to have one for September 2020 so that no child will be left behind.

We will need the support of all our stakeholders to continue to provide for our students and to upkeep our premises so that students can return to a well maintained and secure school. We look forward to your contributions to our School Maintenance Fund.

In April 2021 SJC POS will celebrate its 185th anniversary!! This is a huge milestone. There are so many plans for Infrastructural Repairs and Upgrades which have had to be shelved because of COVID 19. We hope that a collaborative effort between parents, past pupils and other supporters will assist us to get some of these projects off the ground in 2021.

Our Chemistry and General Science Labs are desperately in need of repair and upgrade. Our Beloved Chapel also needs long overdue restoration work on the priceless, stained glass windows and the roof is in need of repair. We also want to continue our upgrades in technology for teaching, learning and testing.

We are beginning the academic year in uncertainty and no one knows what the future will hold. If we have learnt anything from our recent experience it is that change is the only constant and this is why we are adopting the theme for our academic year as: “Build To Adapt”.

For a long time in education the mantra was “Build to last” but COVID 19 has taught us that context and situations around us are changing every day so all our policies and plans have to be flexible.

However, even as we are responsive to changes, we anchor ourselves in the rich traditions of excellence in education built by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny. We know that “to work in education is to answer a call to make a difference to the lives of the young and their families at crucial periods of their development. This vocation has serious implications for the health of our societies” (policy document pg.17.)

We at SJC POS are committed to the integral development of our young people so that each child will come to understand their unique vocation and become the best version of themselves. In doing so we will fulfill our Vision and Mission for the holistic development of our students and that SJC POS continues to be, whether in person or virtually, “a place where all members are valued and encouraged to develop their talents in the service of God and country.”

May God give us all His strength, courage and wisdom to face the challenges that lie ahead and may He keep all our families, friends and members of our SJC POS community safe. Pope Francis has said that “solidarity is the road to take towards a post-pandemic world’. Let us continue to work together so that when this pandemic is over we will emerge stronger, more productive, more resilient and “a more dynamic, stimulating and united school community.” May we find our strength in our unity and community.

Anna Pounder

Principal.