Excelsior High School has announced its intention to reinstate its Sixth Form in September 2007. This development follows months of negotiation between the Alumni, the school and the Ministry of Education. The re-introduction of the sixth form will begin with forty students a move which will help to alleviate the general shortage of sixth form places.
The idea to reintroduce the Sixth Form, a long time wish of many members of the alumni community, gathered momentum last year during the yearlong celebration of the school’s 75th Anniversary when a petition was circulated soliciting support for the initiative.
The late Wesley Powell had opted for a Community College to replace the sixth form as a part of his vision for a total education package from PrePrimary to College level
However over the years it became apparent that the absence of a Sixth Form placed Excelsior at significant disadvantage in terms of student mentorship and impacted negatively on leadership and student discipline.
According to Lilieth Deacon, Chairman of Excelsior’s Board of Management the reinstatement of the Sixth Form will be a welcome change to school spirit and the general profile of the school.
“This is the best thing to happen to our school,” She quoted. “It will speak volumes in terms of mentorship, leadership and the quality of student output, because it is at the Sixth Form level that the student’s full potential is realized”.
“I speak as one who came to Excelsior to attend its Sixth Form and it was there that I developed many of my best qualities as a person. I want other students to have the same opportunity”
Moreover, Miss Deacon said that the reintroduction of the Sixth Form would give students in the lower school something tangible to which to aspire.
As to how this will affect the Excelsior Community College into whose Pre-University Department the Sixth Form was absorbed in 1974, Winsome Halliman, who led the alumni lobby group, explained that both Mrs. Beverley Wilson, The Principal of the High School and Mrs. Dahlia Repole, Principal of the Community College were part of the negotiations and have agreed to collaborate to ensure a seamless transition.
Both institutions will entertain dual registrations, share cost and facilities and allow students to take advanced level courses at either campus.
Similar to other schools sixth form will focus primarily on preparing students for University entry level utilizing the CAPE curriculum while the Community College will continue with its regular curriculum.
The sixth form initiative has been met with overwhelming response and the school is in a preparatory mode to ensure that all is in place for September 2007. The various alumni groups have been working earnestly and have pledged to provide the $1.5 million for the refurbishing of the classrooms and the necessary resource materials.