Pell River Primary students receive home-delivered graduation certificates


Pell River Primary students receive home-delivered graduation certificates

Thursday, July 09, 2020

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PELL RIVER, Hanover - While many schools across the island are having online and drive-through graduation exercises this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, 23 students from the Pell River Primary School in Hanover recently received home-delivered graduation certificates in various communities across the parish, including Spring Mountain, Pell River, Caldwell, Prospect, and Green Island.

The students, who were clad in their graduation gowns, and who will attend high schools in September, expressed delight at receiving their certificates.

Acting principal Sherine Clarke explained that due to the social distancing guidelines brought on by the pandemic, the school had to become creative in showing appreciation to the students who have worked hard.

“Due to COVID-19, we can't have graduation as in normal. So, we had to go with the new normal by being innovative and to create new ways of reaching to the students to let them feel welcome,” stated Clarke.

“These set of students are very special to us. They are like our biological children. So, we have to do this for them to let them feel very good. They always participate in a lot of activities such as JCDC (Jamaica Cultural Development Commission), [and] 4-H Club. They are like leaders, so we had to go out there because all of these children are important to us.”

She noted that all 23 students did exceptionally well in their Primary Exit Profile (PEP) assessments, especially Christian Bernard and Jaydon Irving.

The Government had ordered schools closed on March 13 - three days after the country recorded its first confirmed case - in an effort to control the spread of the virus.

Due to the closure, school administrators had to resort to online learning and other methods of educating their students.

Clarke disclosed that her team came up with a data bank drive in which past students, parents, and persons overseas contributed to the drive that managed to raise over $50,000, which was used to purchase data for students to facilitate their online learning.

Additionally, the school photocopied worksheets and sent them to parents and also created a YouTube channel for teaching purposes.

Graduation coordinator Alicia Heron said the school wanted to make the house-to-house graduation exercise memorable, and as such collaborated with taxi drivers in the area to make the exercise a reality.

Jaydon Irving was awarded certificates, and a $2,000 book voucher by the school for being the top performer in social studies, mathematics, mental ability, and for being the top boy. He also received a $5,000 scholarship.

Irving, who is heading to Rusea's High School in September, said he felt very good to be the top student.

His proud mother Gerlina Irving said, “I am so happy for his achievement. He has exceeded my expectations. The graduation was awesome and we have enjoyed it.”

Top girl Christian Bernard, who will be heading to the Manning's School in September, received book vouchers for $2,000 for being the top performer in mental ability and language arts. She is also on the school's honour roll.

Bernard's father, Lynford Bernard, who is the pastor of the Moreland Hill Lighthouse Church in Westmoreland, was elated. “ Right now I am telling you the truth, I really thank God, thank the school, the teachers, and every support that came from the Government,” he said.

“It was very challenging, but thanks be to God… the teachers as well help me with credit for her [Christian] to do her homework online. So, they play a great role in her life, and every moment that she gets, she tries her best to do the best of her ability,” added Bernard, registering his delight with the house-to-house graduation initiative by the school.

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