Teachers tackle 800 ‘incidents’ at CHHS

| 06/01/2020 | 91 Comments
Cayman News Service
Students attend class at the Clifton Hunter High School

(CNS): Clifton Hunter High School failed to impress during its latest follow-through inspection, making only weak progress on recommendations from earlier inspections in the previous academic year. The report by the Office of Education Standards (OES) reveals that the behaviour of students remains a pressing problem, as records show staff handled 800 “major incidents since the start of the academic year”. While some improvements were noted, the school is failing when it comes to achievement in English, mathematics and science.

This is the second follow-through inspection and the school will now face a third in six months time. During this latest review, completed and published in November, inspectors found that achievement in maths remained low and significantly below the expected level in external examinations.

“There was considerable variability in the quality of teaching within the mathematics department and poor behaviour by a few students in a number of mathematics sessions limited the pace of progress for all,” the inspector wrote in the report.

Attainment in English was improving, with the school appearing to work with a renewed focus on the need to improve by all staff. But at Key Stage 3, students’ attainment was ‘weak’ overall, and in science three-quarters of students failed to achieve the expected level.

But one of the most troublesome issues still holding the school back appears to be the behaviour of some students.

“Importantly, students’ behaviour remained an important weakness because the negative attitude of a few students continued to restrict the learning of their peers,” the inspectors said in the report. “In around one quarter of lessons there remained incidents of low-level disruption and the pace of learning was not sufficiently brisk due to the time required by teachers to address lateness, misbehaviour and disruption.”

Inspectors said students’ behaviour in lessons adversely affected the quality of learning, with students deliberately misbehaving, causing teachers spending a lot of lesson time maintaining order

“Staff had handled over eight hundred major incidents since the start of the academic year,” the report revealed, explaining that this included defiance of staff, truancy, bullying and threatening of peers.

“Incidents were recorded appropriately and staff were vigilant in acting upon reported incidents. Nevertheless, this level of poor behaviour adversely affected the ability of staff to teach effectively and the level of support received by the school from parents was noted to be variable.”

The inspectors noted that while most teachers followed the agreed disciplinary policy, not all did and there were frequent incidents where staff did not de-escalate incidents effectively.

However, there had been some improvements since the last inspection in relation to aspects of students’ behaviour and classroom management strategies. The inspectors also noted that the number of exclusions since the start of the academic year and attendance in the school had improved overall to a satisfactory level.

See the inspection report on the OES website or in the CNS Library


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Category: Education, Government oversight, Local News, Politics

Comments (91)

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  1. Miss Ashby says:

    Wow!
    Folks, these responses are so not helping the students!
    The focus must be on the students!
    They are our future!
    Please know there is something know as the hidden curriculum. Students pick up these faster than the written curriculum.
    There is nothing like a child that cannot learn! Every child CAN learn and can teach everyone something! In addition, teenagers are very resilient and have the ability to live double lives, one for home or a class and another for school or another class. Children respect authority who shows love, care and concern. They have high sensors for persons who care for them.
    Teachers please, let us put aside the political and judging of decisions made, and work with the students before us.
    Love them first and take just two minutes to hear their response after a caring statement as, “What happens, Bo Bo?”
    Parents, time is precious and there is much to be done, but do your best for children to enjoy their childhood, it only happens ONCE. Spend some time with them. It will include some tough love.
    Decision makers, take time to LISTEN to persons who spend the most daylight hours with students. Trust me, they would KNOW the children they teach. You would not!
    School inspectors, theory is excellent, but examine the variables from all sides before making a ruling. Do not try to import a culture into another! More harm than good can result, creating an adverse ripple effect.
    Yep …. I am a teacher, who taught for almost two decades in high school. Each day my students taught me, and each day the love for them grew.
    Let us ALL keep the focus on them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    As a now retired public school teacher, I strongly advocate for the establishment of a Vocational / Technical High School.

    We can no longer pretend that all of our children are going to desire white collar careers.

    A two-tier system must now be established in order that the country honestly craters to the needs of all of our children.

    In doing so, I guarantee that much of the current issues we find occuring in our public schools will decrease.

    In closing, I would like to remind the powers to be that “when you push through an academic only approach, that’s going to disadvantage children who learn better by doing.”

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you to a certain extent. Yes, vocational training should be available locally, but this should be the fall back, not the alternative. We SHOULD be preparing Caymanians for white collar jobs. That should be the goal. Those are the well paying careers. Why take the defeatist attitude of “well, they can’t all be bankers, lawyers and accountants”. Well, they should damn well try, because those are the best careers available here.

      If this was India, do you think Indian parents would be telling their kids, “Oh, well we can’t all be accountants.”? No. They would be telling their kids to TRY. If you fail, the flipping vocational school is there for you to fall back on, but you should be striving to achieve the BEST career available to you!

      • University graduate says:

        Sorry, but you can tell when a student is not university material but they are good with their hands from early on so you forcing those kids to aim for university just makes them feel inadequate and they lash out.

        It is your attitude about “white-collar jobs is where the money is so always steer them that way” is part of the problem.

        By the way my plumber is richer than I am, has a bigger house than I do and I am in one of those “white-collar jobs”.

  3. Shaking my head..... says:

    The largest public schools in this country continue to fail you Caymanians. Yet, most of you ain’t saying bounce about your government focusing sooooooo much time, effort, money (YOUR MONEY!!), and attention on building a flippin’ new cruise port. How blind unna is eh? Your elected leaders aren’t doing F#$% all to fix the biggest problem that YOU face, educating your children! The ONLY thing that will change your kids circumstances FOREVER and improve their lives FOREVER is a quality education. Period (unless unna expecting to hit that number soon?). Yet, unna just lettin’ Alden and Moses build their port and won’t even make the effort to go out to vote no when the time comes. SMH. Why don’t you insist that they fix public education FIRST before trying to build some flippin’ port? Eh? Why don’t you? You all are the ones with the right to vote. You all are the ones with the power to demand change. Yet, you do nothing, but let Alden and Moses and their lot let your children remain dumb and uneducated, while promising you port jobs! SMH.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A Minister that taught PE, and a CO that failed at the school as a Vice Principle. Yeah, I won’t hold my breath.

  5. Anonymous says:

    any comment alden or ppm.???…the folks who bankrupted cayman this white elephant.

  6. Anonymous says:

    what hope have most local kids got?…lazy, ignorant parenting and then cayman public schooling with classic caymanian civil service incompetence at every turn.
    this is a cycle that cannot be broken.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What exactly is the vision for Caymanian people? Is it a well educated balanced respectful society?

    In my opinion the government should be championing the vision for Caymanians and should be setting the example for their people – that will trickle through society and schools.

    What Cayman needs is to support and believe in their own people. Maybe then the kids can have something to aspire to, because it seems right now nobody seems to believe in them.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s the vision but it’s a rather cloudy one right now as our current situation is a free for all. Delinquency breeds more delinquency, this is going to be a hard social aspect to break and will get much worse before innovative solutions are found.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanian kids have persons like McKeeba Bush to look up to. No education and no class. A typical Caymanian Hero.

  8. Anonymous says:

    School buildings, teachers, lessons, money is not part of the problem. It is the islands culture. Some kids are not teachable. Its too late for them. Parents have brought them up to be nothing but a problem for everyone else. Someone that the world would be better off without. Making a school have to deal with a problem kid is like putting water in with your gas. Car won’t work. Don’t put these kids in school. Education is a gift only given to those who deserve it. Kids that want an education should not have to deal with problem kids to get it. Problem kids should be left with the problem causing parents.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you will find that a substantial part of the problem is other Island’s culture.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah yes, the problem is not our failures…its someone else’s fault…

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you’ll find that this school is right here in the Cayman Islands. Pretty big stretch even for the most xenophobic to blame another jurisdiction. Then again you were probably educated here and don’t know better.

        • Anonymous says:

          Think! Where are most of the teachers from? Where are most of the non-teaching staff from? Where are most of the baby daddies from? What you have there is not representative of traditional Caymanian culture.

          • Anonymous says:

            They are still all Caymanian children.

            • Anonymous says:

              Not true at all.

            • Anonymous says:

              Not true. A significant proportion are in fact expats.

              • What have we become? says:

                In the public schools???? please, wake up!! this is everyone in Cayman’s fault…we have all failed these children, stop blaming others. Even if they were not Caymanian children their parents live here and they are all part of our society now and may become Caymanian, because that is the law here. Fix your attitude and you might see a difference in our children….they too might become accountable for their actions, but it needs to begin with us adults Caymanian or not Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think not. But I don’t have the ignorance you do to guide me.

    • Concern Parent says:

      This person is right, what happen with some parents is that the children now become parents to them, as my child said to me some of those kids do not have a bit of respect for nobody, one thing I always said, if a child do not have respect for you, as a parent. he/her will have not respect for nobody. Do not keep them at school they are only liabilities, some kids have the potential and want to be someone in life. This is terrible. Really sad about it this situation. Something needs to be done. We parents lets be parents..

    • Anonymous says:

      All kids can learn. The at risk students need to be identified early and be tracked daily. This can be easily done with a few trained staff. Monitor their attendance, behavior, motivation, homework, class work daily. Get mentors for these students whether that is older students, other teachers or outside community members.For attendance issues and tardiness develop Saturday morning detention. For students missing credits, start a Saturday morning make up session. All students ( not just at risk) with perfect attendance for a term receive I.e. movie tickets, food vouchers or some reward. For the award ceremony, have parents come to a barbecue or banquet.

      Start a sports program that involves “gang members/ at risk students “ vs. local police, fire, EMT etc and run these programs at night starting around 7 pm- 10 pm so when it is over they are tired and less apt to want to “ hang out” . This program competing with local authorities ties in competition, sports, respect.

      Any student who has more than two failing grades ( or one depending on school standards) must attend mandatory homework help class until that grade/s brought up.

  9. Anonymous says:

    People worried about Cayman’s problems like expats taking Caymanian jobs, too many work permits, drugs, alcohol, pathetic gangsta wannabes, teen pregnancy, crime, obesity, corruption etc etc. need to pay attention to this issue. This is the one that leads to all the rest.

  10. Anonymous says:

    We need to stop building Public schools. It’s not working. We need to desperately do a referendum on capping 30 million dollars for a public school for a thousand students. The Public schools are full of drugs especially marijuana. Most of these children have one parent from islands that think drugs don’t cause mental problems. We need to stop the madness.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Every goverment department is failing. No one gives a shit.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Change the security company that i think would help.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Julie, build some more buildings and classrooms without walls, that will help…not..

    The dumbing down of the populace continues for the benefit of the “wotes” for the politicians…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Bring back the paddle.

    Give the school the power to spank some backsides.

    These kids need discipline and a fair amount of them aren’t getting it at home.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear 7:55

      You could not be more wrong. A common reason children are disrespectful, disruptive and violent in school is because they have been emotionally and physically abused at home. They don’t need more violence, you moron.

      #lame

      • Anonymous says:

        Discipline is not violence. Unless your a moron.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry but I went to school here when teachers could spank students, and more students graduated at higher levels then than they do now. However, I do no think it will work in today’s society. Discipline, what ever that means to you, should start in the home.Teachers cannot raise your children on their own.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow! I discipline my children but never hit them. The fact that you went to that assumption speaks volumes.

        • Anonymous says:

          No child ever suffers from the appropriate and measured rule of the rod. Rod, is a metaphor for those of you that don’t get it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I went to school here when teachers were allowed to paddle students and parents had no problem giving you a good whipping when you needed it. Everyone in my high school class graduated on time, the majority went on to college to become doctors, lawyers, accountants and successful business owners, and never do I recall a student being rude to a teacher, threatening a teacher or getting into a fight with a teacher.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wish we could discipline some parents too.

  15. Caymanian Parent says:

    What I got from OES report.

    Despite weak overall progress, the school has shown improvement by making satisfactory progress in three out of six recommendations. This done in just 3 months of having a new principal.

    More positive climate in the school with new management and greater involvement and collaboration among leaders and staff. The report point to the surveys as evidence for this.

    New structures put in place need more time for impact to be seen.

    Low level misbehavior remain a challenge to teaching.

    Progress and achievement remain weak, but improvements seen.

    Perspective is everything. What if we spent our time highlighting what’s working and positive in our schools and build the esteem of our Caymanian children. Take steps to help parents, families and teachers to deal with societies challenges. What a Cayman we would have.

    • Status holder with Cayman at heart. says:

      I totally agree. We have to highlight the positives in our public schools. There’s are some amazing kid’s doing amazing things at this and other public schools. Yes there are issues but please some positive news is needed.

    • Anonymous says:

      I get a very different story from both parents and teachers. There is clearly a cover-up and the situation at the school ‘could not be worse”. Poor leadership is only part of the problem. It is clear that the current staff and decision makers at the highest level in education are clearly unqualified to lead this school into the future.

    • Anonymous says:

      Improvements reported but not seen.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Many years ago it was argued that to build a secondary school in the east would be a bad idea as it would be overstocked by the low performing, low motivation riff raff from East End, Bodden Town and North Side (NS very small but with some serious riff raff) without any of the more stabilizing better behaved students from the Catholic School and Prep School which were at the time, since they lacked their own secondary schools, going to the middle and high schools in George Town and diluted the mixture. The early fears have come to pass.

    • Anonymous says:

      thanks you for the honesty. and thank you cns for posting this.
      if we cannot be honest and address the issues, we are doomed.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Kids having kids. The parent’s behavior is probably worse. People like to blame the schools and teachers, but the real problem is the ministry as they will NOT remove these misbehaving children from the student population. Instead they hire expensive “inclusion specialists” from America to say the kids need to stay in the classroom…. so that no one can learn. The same inclusion specialists have no best interests for the local kids, they don’t even send their own kids to the schools they are suppose to be working to improve. A proper joke!

    I’m a concerned spouse of a Caymanian teacher who is in the public schools. The system is set up to fail the children and society quite frankly. Some parents don’t care, teachers have resources…. but no power. They are forced to keep the misbehaved children and hope that they get 15 mins of instruction time to the class.

    An alternative school is needed for those that have mental, behavioral, and emotional problems. Too much inclusion is adhering the general school population from learning. Teachers spend all day documenting this and documenting that…. where is the teaching?

    But sure, let’s build the port and get another 25k people on this rock. Keep ignoring this problem, but it will impact all of society. Even Dart.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so right about the inclusion specialists. They serve no purpose whatsoever except to annoy the teachers and give the misbehaving students ammunitions to destroy the classroom.

      As it relates to the misbehaving students, I’m afraid the only solution is to ignore the negative attitudes and focus on those that actually want to learn. I really believe some children are sent to school to stop the others from learning and that is very sad.

      What will the ministry do other than changing curriculum and buying fancy resources? The ministry needs to visit the schools, speak to teachers and take action!! I wish there was a way to speak to someone who will actually listen.

  18. Anonymous says:

    You can’t change the spots on a sh*t leopard…

  19. Anonymous says:

    Be interesting to hear how many parents were part of these ‘incidents’. In the UK, where I come from, the biggest problem schools have been experiencing is parents not just interfering in attempts to discipline their feral children but threatening and attacking the school staff involved.

    This is a story from early last year – https://schoolsweek.co.uk/teachers-threatened-with-an-axe-and-forced-to-leave-in-groups-as-parent-rows-escalate/

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are a teacher and let it happen then you are squarely at fault and should be dealt with forthwith.

      • Anonymous says:

        10:17 And exactly what are the teachers supposed to do? What do you want – teachers taking self-defence classes and being issued with mace or tasers to take the aggressive parents down? It’s an issue of respect and if parents think their disruptive little darlings are untouchable they’re the problem, not the school staff. The only people who need to be dealt with ‘forthwith’ are the parents who do this.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wait….what??

        Did you just blame the victim (teacher) and actually suggest they get disciplined if they “let” the threats or incidents happen?

        Either you did not express yourself correctly or you are a shameful person, who hopefully is not in a position of authority.

    • Anonymous says:

      That happens here too with parents. Instead of supporting the teacher they get all offended and defensive, then tempers flare, and so on.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would have to say I agree with this comment. I have two children attending CHHS for which one has had spells of misbehaving and being disruptive at times. When those incidents happened he was made to apologies to the teacher and his learning mentor. I advised the learning mentor that should this continue he will have to apologize to the entire class and then his year at school assembly for disrupting his peers from learning. All of his teachers have my number and know I am available at anytime to discuss any issues with him. We ( he and I ) had discussions where he would say this friend parent went to the school and curse out the teacher etc. He would tell me that I am always siding with the teacher etc. I said to him that is correct, as there cannot be something wrong with all his teachers and as I saw it the common denominator was him and he needed to work on his behavior and attitude and then lets see how the teachers react to him.

        This has been a long and painful process ( and it continues ) . I share a glimpse of my story to demonstrate that these ( “misbehaving children”) are not out of reach for getting help and getting on the right path. They just need patience and understanding. I had to make sure that my son understood that there was nothing wrong with him but his behavior was not acceptable and would not be tolerated. I explained to him that I would always support and be behind 100% and would defend him in instances where he was right and not when he was wrong. This journey continues and he has come a long way, he has slip ups now and then but we re-access, revamp, refocus and continue on. I would also share that I am a single parent working full time, but I make the time to sit down and listen to him and handle this situation along with everything else going on in our family household.

        • Anonymous says:

          9:10 Your children are very fortunate to have you looking after them.

        • Anonymous says:

          Remove the misbehaved from the population. Stop this over inclusion nonsense.

          • Anonymous says:

            yes, because you and your entire family are prefect upstanding people in society with prefect children that do absolutely nothing wrong. At least these kids show their true colors and you see the issues upfront and don’t have to worry about that the “prefect well behave kids ” are doing when you are not around. Trust me the “prefect kids” are in a lot more trouble than the “misbehaving ” ones. Continue living in your willful ignorance bubble.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you for having the courage to post this. Not easy, and keep going. your kid(s) will thank you.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you. As a parent who wants nothing but the best for my children and aspire to see them succeed way beyond what I have accomplished ( I have my masters and is professionally qualified in my area of work), I don’t have a choice but to continue to work on the issues my child is facing. I refuse to give up on him and disregard him because it is easy to isolate and toss these kids aside. For those that have well behaved, perfect kids its easy to say ” remove the misbehaved from the population” . Keep living in your perfect bubble.

  20. Disgusted. says:

    I guarantee we will hear nothing from the Minister on this very serious situation if the past is anything to go by.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh please, have you seen those photos of Julie with Anthony outside the courthouse panicking about the fact two female people in love might get equal rights under our Bill of Rights? Did you hear that ridiculous near speaking in tongues lengthy prayer in the LA she gave when the case was on? Have you ever heard her praying and speaking in tongues about education with the same mad obsession she displayed that day in ( shamefully) our Parliament?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Fun fact: as of 2014, in the Cayman Islands, you could graduate high school with G-grade or better in 5 subjects, less than 15 days total disciplinary suspension time, and while ditching 10% of all non-disciplinary, non-sick-leave adjusted normal classes. Before 2014 there were no academic criteria. Read that again.

    Explains everything.

    http://www.education.gov.ky/portal/page/portal/mehhome/education/features/newgraduationcriteria#2

  22. Anonymous says:

    The problems, as always, is with unconcerned and uncaring parents. We need to immediately introduce school fees with the option to have the fees reduced or removed based on the performance of parents. We can no longer ask the taxpayer’s of the country to pay for this disaster.

  23. Anonymous says:

    We attended a tournament at CHHS and there were enrolled kids, possibly out of class, in full view of their supervisory staff, pelting stones at the visiting friendly competitors as they disembarked buses from various on-island schools. It was remarkable that no behavioral abnormality was registered with either attending staff or with their miscreant charges. After witnessing that, all I can say is, good luck to all the CHHS parents.

  24. Dunce Cap says:

    These unruly students are very lucky we don’t have a Borstal here, but sounds like we badly need one.

    • Cayman at heart says:

      What on earth do you know? Not much it seems. These are kids who are being failed by parents, teachers, ministers, and a society full of people like you. Urrrggg this saddens me so much.

      • Anonymous says:

        And just what duth your bleeding heart thinks should be done about it, sniff 😢, spare the rod and spoil the child???
        Toughness is the only way to treat this wreckage.

        • Helping others might help you. says:

          So you are saying that all good kids have tough parents with a rod, it has nothing to do with the love, kindness, respect, guidance and support they receive from their parents and then from schools and it goes on?? You cannot spoil a child with love, love does not mean soft, love means all of the above. So you would go in and beat a child with a rod at school when he/she might already being beaten at home by a deadbeat dad or alcoholic mother..that sounds like a perfect solution, there are lots of examples of that helping NOT!.

          We need to be a collective in bringing these kids up, they need support and love not ostracization and judgement. Love and empathy are missing from you, I feel sorry for you. Maybe try helping someone different from you, you might be surprised at how rewarding it is and it might take away some of that bitterness you hold on to.

  25. Anonymous says:

    And our fool government worried about bigger dock and more tourist. Should be paying attention to education and fixing the damn dump.

    • Anonymous says:

      That won’t line their pockets though will it? No money for them if the kids are better educated. Just more chance of the smarter kids seeing through their BS and eventually forcing change on this pebble (it ain’t no rock!).

  26. Anonymous says:

    Good behavior starts at home. It’s up to the parents to teach their children respect and discipline. Kids that don’t respect their parents are unlikely to respect their teachers and in later life their employers (that is assuming that their behavior lands them a job in the first place). I’m not saying beat your children but please teach your children manners and to respect and pay attention to their elders.

    • Anonymous says:

      My dad was an alcoholic and daily scenes were the norm. When sober he was a good dad. He was also very smart, educated. Neither mom nor dad spent much time with me helping with homework, etc. They were busy working. Mom worked in shifts. What we did a lot was playing board games. Chess, checkers and many other board games. We weren’t taught respect and discipline at home. Respecting elders and authority was something that we didn’t have to LEARN, it was the way of life. I got strait As all the way through high school. I loved to learn.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Close it down. Give the parents vouchers and let the private sector deal with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Effectively the state sector have ended up with sink schools because over 30% of the best kids go to private schools.The misguided policy of a past governments has a part to blame in the issues facing schools. Of course the home environment is important but its not the only issue facing schools. You can only reverse the current situation in schools in regard to problematic behaviour when only the best teachers are hired, when teachers are given effective behaviour management techniques, strong leadership and consistently implement behaviour strategies. Sadly many of these are missing in our schools.

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