Is Partial Zoning Impartial Zoning?

As referenced in a former article, secondary schools in Barbados are separated into three zones:

Zone 1 – Parishes of St. Lucy, St. Peter, St. James and parts of St. Thomas (west of Highway of 2A) and parts of St. Michael (please see 2014 Guide for more details)

·        Alexandra

·        Alma Parris

·        Coleridge & Parry

·        Darryl Jordan Secondary (formerly St. Lucy Secondary)

·        Ellerslie

·        Frederick Smith Secondary (formerly St. James Secondary)

·        Queen’s College

·        Springer Memorial (girls only)

·        St. Leonard’s Boys (boys only)

Zone2 – Parishes of St. Andrew, St. Joseph, St. George, St. Thomas (east of Highway 2A) and parts of St. Michael (please see 2014 Guide for more details)

·        Alleyne

·        Combermere

·        Grantley Adams

·        Harrison College

·        Parkinson Memorial

·        Springer Memorial (girls only)

·        St. George Secondary

·        St. Leonard’s Boys’ (boys only)

·        The Lester Vaughan School

Zone 3 – The parishes of St. John, St. Philip and Christ Church

·        Christ Church Foundation

·        Deighton Griffith

·        Graydon Sealy Secondary (formerly Garrison)

·        The Lodge School

·        Princess Margaret

·        Springer Memorial (girls only)

·        St. Leonard’s Boys’ (boys only)

·        The St. Michael School

Parents are given two open options, then the others must be chosen from one’s zone. If these zones are carefully examined, it is revealed that Zones 1 and 2 are more limited in access to the island’s top tier schools. Whereas Zone 3 could easily have 5 of the top six schools represented in its choices, Zones 1 and 2 may only have 2 and 3 as a maximum respectively.

For example, if a parent from Zone 1 would like to make a choice based on the traditional ranking of schools, the choices would be Harrison College, Queen’s College (ranked 1st and 2nd), then the next choice would have to be Alexandra (7th). A Zone 2 parent, making a similar choice would select Harrison College, Queen’s College, Combermere and the Alleyne (1st, 2nd, 4th, and 9th). A Zone 3 parent may select Harrison College, Queen’s College, St. Michael’s, Christ Church Foundation, and the Lodge School (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th).

A Zone 1 parent may ask, so what if I decided to go with Harrison College and St. Michael School as my first and 2nd choices and put Queen’s as my third? Would I not have 3 choices then? Yes and no.  Unfortunately, the way how the computer that issues the allocations work, it would mean that you are essentially forfeiting Queen’s College. The computer is programmed to allocate based on school preference as well as grades. So if St. Michael School is your second choice and Queen’s College is your third, those people who have Queen’s as a first and second choice will fill the Queen’s College spaces first. Therefore, by the time the computer gets to your child, all of the allotted spaces for that school may be full.

A Zone 2 parent may ask, if I put Queen’s College and the St. Michael School as my first two choices, and Harrison College and Combermere as my third and fourth, would that not increase my top-tier choices to four? Again, as discussed in the previous paragraph, by making Harrison College your child’s third choice, you are forfeiting the school. Even if your child achieves “Harrison College marks”, just by putting Harrison College as a third choice, it is likely your child will miss the allocation for that school and be sent to his/her first choice instead.

As it currently stands, the best tactic is to keep tabs on your child’s performance in school and make choices based on the schools you believe will best fit his/her needs. You have to work with what you have. If you had a choice though, what would you prefer? Take the poll below and let yourself be heard.

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Posted on January 21, 2014, in Education and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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