As secondary schools around the island reopened their doors on Monday (June 8) to accommodate fifth- and sixth-form students, principals of two prominent all-boy institutions in Kingston are reporting that the first day went well.

“The reopening today, it was pretty good,” Principal at Calabar High, Albert Corcho, told JIS News.

“By and large, we had a very good day today and we hope that it will continue for the rest of the time,” he said.

He noted that the school will be physically accommodating approximately 400 boys for the current term, along with conducting online classes for the lower school.

There are approximately 15 students in each class and all classrooms are being utilised to ensure that physical distancing is maintained.

“We used the entire campus and we were able to observe the social distancing,” Mr. Corcho said.

He noted that measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of students and staff in keeping with Ministry of Health and Wellness guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

These include handwashing and sanitising stations and physical distancing markers.

Mr. Corcho told JIS News that the students were excited to return to school and greet their friends, whom they had not seen in about three months.

“We had to be reminding them of the requirements for social distancing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Principal of Kingston College (KC), Dave Myrie, told JIS News that things also went smoothly at the institution.

“We had done quite a fair bit of planning prior to now and got most things in place in time for this morning,” he noted.

He said that a timetable was developed to guide the studies of some 622 students from grades 10 to 13, who will be sitting external examinations.

“Students come in for their revision, and once the revision class is finished and once they don’t have another class, they should leave the compound immediately,” he said.

Like Calabar, there are approximately 15 students to each teacher at KC, and all classrooms are being utilised.

At KC, an isolation unit has been set up and stations to check the temperature of all persons who enter the compound.

“We have tape on the ground to indicate where the chairs and tables have to be. We went through and ensured that our classrooms adhere to the policies,” he noted.

There are sanitisation and handwashing facilities around the school compound and signs erected to remind the students of the safety practices.