Inspectors find excellence at GT pre-school

| 24/10/2019 | 36 Comments
Cayman News Service
Montessori del Sol

(CNS): Another Montessori-style pre-school has been rated ‘good’ overall by the government’s school inspectors this month, as this particular model of early learning appears to be topping the list of nurseries in the Cayman Islands. Montessori del Sol in South Sound, George Town, was graded ‘good’ but achieved ‘excellent’ ratings in several areas examined by the inspectors. In their report they said the school performed well in all major aspects of its work.

“The school directors were proactive and forward thinking and demonstrated a strong focus on raising standards across the school,” the report stated.

“Across all quality indicators, a majority of judgements were excellent… Montessori del Sol was judged to be a good school overall, with a number of excellent features. The school is in a strong position to build on its existing strengths and, in developing aspects of self-evaluation, teaching and assessment, is well placed to continue to improve even further,” the inspectors added in the glowing assessment.

The top marks come after several other pre-school centres have been found wanting, with most receiving ‘weak’ or just ‘satisfactory’ grades. But all four of the kindergartens following the Montessori model have received good grades.

However, Little Trotters Farm and Nursery School is the only pre-school inspected so far that achieved an ‘excellent’ grade.

See all school inspection reports on the OES website or the CNS Library

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Category: Education, Local News, Politics, Private Sector Oversight

Comments (36)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How many of the MLA’s send their children/grandchildren to the public schools? #justwondering

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good job guys fr BRACKA!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Possibly the reason for this is that (as I understand it) Montessori operate a zero tolerance policy to any misconduct in or out of school. Basically, their staff have to be model citizens and they pass that on to the kids there.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The cheaper preschools hire staff from Jamaica who are not qualified.

    • Anonymous says:

      And Immigration gives permits to all the teachers who are not qualified.

    • Jamaican Love says:

      I guess because you’re not qualified as well, that’s why you’re not able to contribute to any success, I think you deserve a certificate in being stupid

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not about the country. It just happens that they hire Jamaicans and they are unqualified. It’s not to say that Jamaicans can’t be qualified. Just the ones that are hired are not. It also means the employer doesn’t have to pay them much. It just shows in the children.

  5. One angry Caymanian says:

    It is absolutely ridiculous that low to median income earning Caymanians are forced to educate their children in expensive private schools. In the 90’s when the government came up with the bright idea of pushing the children of expats out of the public school system, the few private schools on island at the time grew quickly as a result. These private schools initially catered to median to high income expatriates in the financial and tourism industries. Over the years, more and more low to median income earning Caymanians have pulled their children out of the public school system, as the quality of public school education declined. Ever changing curriculums, government’s apathy, poor disciplinary policies, lack of support from parents, all have led to the abysmal state of public schooling in this country. Now, Caymanians of modest means who value their children’s education are forced to send them to private schools. Do the math and you’ll find that the average monthly tuition for private primary schools is about CI$1,000 per month. At the middle to high school levels, private school tuition is about CI$1,350. That means a family with two children will fork out about CI$32,400 per annum, or almost US$40,000 per year, just to get two children through high school. Caymanians that are fortunate enough to earn the median of about US$60,000 a year will spend almost an entire annual income towards private school tuition alone! And that does not even take into account the numerous extra-curricular activity related expenses, lunch money, etc.! For a country with such a high tax rate on its citizens (roughly 30% on many food items and most household items, 30-42% on automobiles) and for a country that collects hundreds of millions of dollars from import duties, regulatory annual fees, work permit fees and licenses, and with a relatively small number of primary and high school aged Caymanian children to educate every year, why are average Caymanians forced to educate their children in private schools? With the huge amount of revenue generated by government, compared to the relatively small number of Caymanian students, the public school system in this country should be among the best in the world! So why isn’t it and why aren’t low to median income Caymanians demanding better public schools? Caymanians with two children in the private school system will end up paying close to US$500,000 in tuition from grade 1 through grade 12. Half a million dollars! That money should be going towards buying property and building our homes and towards our retirement savings!

    The way I see it, any Caymanian that is ok with government putting hundreds of millions of dollars of our tax-payer dollars towards a cruise port terminal should reconsider their priorities. If we Caymanians value our children’s education, we should be demanding that government focus its time, considerable financial resources and full attention on fixing the public school system in this country. A well educated Caymanian populous will bring long-term financial stability to Caymanian families. Education is the better way to ensure our future. The cruise industry in this country is ALREADY doing well, so why not focus our resources on educating our children?

    • Anonymous says:

      10:43 Brilliantly put! 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      🎯 exactly 10:43! As another Caymanian parent I could not agree with your response any more! It’s really sad that there is more uproar about a gay marriage or this cruise berthing facility then the Ministry of Education being held accountable for their inability to do their job and secure the system for OUR children!! My family tried the public education route, it was good for one year, the next was a complete disaster and now both of our kids go to private and are doing great. We fall into the category you write about, and it pains me to see our hard-earned paychecks going primarily to their elementary education… knowing full well that there’s no end in sight of the tuition we will encounter once they leave high school and go to university! If we could send them to public, all that money we would save could be used for university, as well as our retirement! When on earth will the people of this island show this pathetic government, and specifically the Dept of Education cronies, that they are NOT enough! They are NOT doing their jobs, and OUR children (and our wallets) are the ones who are suffering! It’s really disheartening!

      Not to take away from the efforts of this Montessori school, I’m so glad to hear that they scored well. I’m a firm believer in their methods of teaching, and witness first hand how well our children flourish in this type of environment. Perhaps our Ministry of Education needs to sit in on some lessons at these schools and turn the bus around for the public schools once and for all!!

      • Anonymous says:

        The Ministry of Education is trying hard and on a forward role, however it will take quite a while to get back to where we were. There are too many mediocre teachers kept in the system for various reasons. Sometimes it’s extra curricular involvement such as cadets, sometimes it’s religious affiliation (such as SDA), and sometimes it’s just not an attractive enough salary to replace them with better.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your comments are noted, but I am sorry, your contract will not be renewed.

    • Anonymous says:

      So the parents who pay for their kids to go to private schools should have their businesses destroyed? How about understanding Government paid over 100 million Cayman Island dollars to build a public high school in Frank Sound. Government will spend another 100 million Cayman Island dollars on John Gray High School for approximately 800 students each. Government will increase school teachers pay to CI$ 60,000 per year. None of the private schools have paid 10% of that amount. How about going back to the model of the 70’s? “O” levels and “A” levels? How about placing problem (discipline) children in a class with male school teachers? Since a lot of these problems are with teenager boys who have no male figure?
      Government sinking money into a failing system that has proven over and over again money doesn’t solve it. At least the Cargo/cruise ship facilities will recover every penny it will spend. Just try to remember that.

    • Anonymous says:

      @10:43 – well said and spot on! Additionally, teachers at private schools make between $3000 – $4000, which is what I understand, around the same that our government teachers make. So why can’t we attract the same quality of teachers for our government schools?

      • Anonymous says:

        Won’t put up with the bull$h!t from the kids and lack o f support from management and the ministry…

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry, but this is incorrect. The private school teachers earn a lot less than the govt school ones. Govt school teachers starting salary (for a newly qualified teacher just starting out their career) is $5000pm. No deductions as CIG covers it all. I work at a private school, and am a teacher with over 10 years’ experience, and I’m on more that $1000pm less than that, before health insurance and pension deductions.

  6. Anonymous says:

    They all have the abcense of the bible in common.
    That’s the key.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you sure it’s not the abscess of the Bible that they have in common?

      • Anonymous says:

        You should visit a doctor to have that abscess drained… education and religious should be kept separate. Church is for religion. School is for learning!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Seems like they are biased against WB schools.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not the schools. It’s the lack of parental involvement. Which child willingly studies without the parents asking them? Few if any at all. Children will choose to play before they study or ask for extra help on topics they don’t understand. It is the parents responsibility to instill values such as hard work, dedication, perseverance and ambition. This is not the responsibility of a school or the government.

      If children cannot pass the exams, then the parents should look at themselves. Take the extra time for your children.

      For the one that wants to say this is a class level, the wealthy do want to keep their children wealthy by ensuring they get the best possible education (aka paying) to give them a better chance. But it is not that the so called poorer cannot do well themselves. However those from the lower socioeconomic class that get out of it usually have parents that push their children to perform.

  8. Anonymous says:

    At what point will they admit this is a class issue? You get what you pay for.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:16 – wrong. If you read some of the reports for other private schools (Wesleyan, Triple C) they scored below average. So your comment doesn’t hold up.

      • Anonymous says:

        Now, you go do a cost comparison of the private schools and get back to me. I already know what you’ll find.

      • Anonymous says:

        Those schools are at the bottom end of cost. Just because it is private doesn’t make it good. Those schools always had a reputation for being poor quality.

        However there is one school that doesn’t break the bank and the children still do well – It’s the Adventist School.

        • Anonymous says:

          A child will do well where ever they are if there is full parental involvement.

          • Anonymous says:

            With the exception of wesleyan, grace and triple C. The children may have the appearance of achieving but against the schools curriculum which had no international basis. The children cannot achieve anything outside of those schools.

          • Anonymous says:

            They are still crappy schools. Lol

        • Anonymous says:

          The other issue is the inspectorate. Subjective 3 day overview. Overpaid too.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like they should all use the little trotters model!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps all the preschools on island should use the Montessori’s methods. Of course the fees will be higher!, I think it would be a great idea if the government could subsidies the fees. By doing so it would really benefit the entire island’s children. A win win for one and all!!

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