Written by: Kelsie Wright
From “PLACE aides brigades” to “bush dogs” to “links of effort”, naming the student monitoring program at PLACE (Pearl Lagoon Academy of Excellence) was a memorable moment for everyone involved. PLACE Patrollers came out on top and this is how the group of children will be identified. What led to this amazing group of children coming together to help their school was a lot of patience and a lot of work.
At first efforts to meet with the parents board failed 3 times, but try number 4 was a success. This just goes to show that the third time is not always the charm, you just can’t ever give up! After a few meetings with the parents board at PLACE trying to find out ways we (parent liaisons) could help them reach their goals, we decided to create a parents council.
The meetings ended up being 100% worth the wait, and the decision to start a Parent Council has proven to be an invaluable asset to the school. The Parent Council consists of five members; Lilha, Nelia, Warren, Kaysie and Roani. When this group gets together you can expect great ideas and way to much laughing. Working with students, this group has a way of bringing everyone together and making the new PLACE Patrollers feel like they are a part of something important. And of course, in great creole fashion, they always find a way to discretely throw in some adult rated conversation to keep everyone entertained.
The place patrollers are the parent council’s first project. The Council chose to create the patrollers because they wanted to have them help with some school issues that the parents board hadn’t had time for. These included: lack of supervision during break times, keeping the children in their classes during class time, and to help prevent violence in the school.
It has been a few busy months for the Council! Thus far, the Council has reviewed the by-laws of the school, divided them into categories with subsequent consequences, and the actions the PLACE Patrollers should take. The committee asked the teachers of level 4, 5, and 6 to select 2 or 3 students from their classes. There was a meeting with the teachers about choosing the students who were not necessarily the top of their class, but who were leaders with a lot of energy, that they think would learn and be respected in the role. After choosing the primary level patrollers, the council decided it would be more beneficial and make a bigger impact if they also included the secondary level students. After speaking with the director at the secondary level our number of participants went from 15 to 30. We held our first meeting with both primary and secondary level students to inform them about the program and make sure they all wanted to participate. Some of the kids were really excited about the leadership opportunity and others were excited about being presented at an assembly – regardless of the reason, it was a room full of excitement!
After the meeting with all 30 students, we had a meeting with the students’ parents to ensure they had permission to take part in the program. In addition, we wanted to keep parents in the loop and educated about what their children were doing and to ensure we had their support from home.
The next step was running a workshop for the PLACE Patrollers about their responsibilities, and dealing with conflict. The workshop was extremely successful and the students ended up creating their name, logo, and skits to present the rules and consequences to the school community at the next assembly.
At this point the Parent Council at PLACE is currently preparing for the assembly where they will introduce the program. We are in the works of creating badges or arm-bands for the patrollers to be identified during school hours. The PLACE Patrollers are also excited about participating in a march that will take place throughout Pearl Lagoon on the 30th as part of the celebration for Autonomy Day.