Students are not the only ones going back to classes! During the month of August, Ocean Academy teachers participated in professional development workshops and met with colleagues to discuss curriculum and lesson planning, assessment, differentiated learning, youth engagement, and positive behaviour management plans.
The student Compost and Gardening group was also busy during the summer tending their crops of cilantro, basil, arugula and mint. They returned to school to learn that their project work has been selected as a finalist for the Belize National Youth Recognition Awards in the category of Environmentalism. I'll be sure to post another report when we find out the results.
Ocean Academy classes resumed on August 29th with a full school of 60 students in all four forms. We are excited to welcome 21 new highschoolers out of the class of 28 who graduated from the island primary school. We also have transfer students from the neighbouring island and even the capital city. We need to pay five full-time and two part-time Belizean teachers, as well as our Belizean Principal. A full school also means that we are short on desks and chairs, computers (5 students need to share at present), books and space. Our library hallway is insufficient to hold the resources needed for English classes but we don't have the funds to build a proper room and shelving. Most importantly, many of our students are still hoping for tuition scholarships and sponsors so that they can stay in school this year. If you are willing to donate again it would create tremendous opportunities and make a real difference in a student's life as we start this school year.
In addition to the enclosed photos, I have posted links to our school blog where you can keep up-to-date between reports, as well as links to two short videos. One is a brief history of Ocean Academy, the other is a video the students created to express their sincere appreciation to all the donors, volunteers and supporters. We hope you enjoy "meeting" the students and hearing in their own words what your support means to them and their dreams for the future.
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