It is our intention to work closely with the right partners on the ground, to ensure we truly do deliver a long-term sustainable educational facility that will form part of a 'new Haiti'
The school is situated on donated land in the commune of Saint-Marc – approximately 60 miles outside Port-au-Prince. We recently completed Phase I of the site and this included the completion of the following:
- Administration building
- Cafeteria in we serve the children 2 meals per day
- Pre-school, Pre-Kindergarten Schools
- Primary and Secondary Schools
- Computer Room
- Music Room
Construction materials have been selected to ensure they meet environmentally friendly standards. The school optimizes the use of renewable energy in addition to tradition energy sources. We are also in the process of replanting 21 acres of land with indigenous trees and have created a school garden in which with plan on supplying the school kitchen with locally grown, organic produce.
The school curriculum will emphasize the need to protect the environment and to think that the economic development of Haiti must be assessed through the long-term sustainability lens. The school starts at nursery level (3-year old) and will end at baccalaureate level. At full capacity, the school will count 720 students, and will be as large as the two best schools of Haiti. The goal is to achieve a 100% success rate at the Haitian baccalaureate exams and 90% at the French baccalaureate exams. Kindergarten students will be taught in English and French, as early as nursery school. As of 1st grade, students will follow the 16-year Haitian curriculum. Creole, French and English will be taught to ensure fluency at the end of the “Ecole Fondamentaie” level (10th grade in the Haitian system.) There are currently 153 students enrolled in Pre-school, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten Schools.
Who can apply?
The school is accessible to all, with a priority given to children not already enrolled in other schools and to residents of the Commune of Saint-Marc and the children of refugees who moved to Saint-Marc further to the earthquake. The selection system will emulate that of US Charter Schools. The intention is to mix students from different socio-cultural backgrounds. It should be noted that the school is free, and priority for selection has been given to the neediest.
How much is the school fee?
There is no school fee or tuition. The school is entirely free of charge, including meals, uniforms and school
What is the school plan?
6 classes of Kindergarten (ages 3 to 5) opened in October 2011, for a total of 153 children. An additional section comprising two classes and 50 children will be added every year until 2019 (Ecole Fondamentale). From 2020 to 2023, a 30-student class for each of the last 4 sections (Secondaire) will be added each year.
Who will be running the school?
The school will be operated by Hand in Hand for Haiti Foundation. It has been endorsed by the Haitian Minister of Education, Monsieur Joel Desrosiers Jean-Pierre, who gave his agreement in principle advising that it was aligned with the strategies and policies of his ministry and Government.
The project also received the strong support from the French Ambassador, Monsieur Didier le Bret, and his Attaché for Cooperation and Cultural Development, Monsieur Alain Sauval, with the promise to allocate 4 "volunteers" that the French Government will assign to Haiti.The Ambassador deems the project the most important investment in the field of education outside of Port-au-Prince in the past 30 years.
The French Lycée of Port-au-Prince will also make it a partner school and help its development.
HIHH will hire both local and foreign teachers trained and experienced in current pedagogic methods.
There will be a continuous focus on the children’s health and development as well. Psychological support as well as a full time practicing nurse has been provided. We are also working on an initiative to have specialized MDs and DDSs – volunteers from France and the US– to visit the school and provide their services. On a more basic level we are providing the children with two nutritious meals/day and have consulted with a nutritionist to help prepare the menus.
Several sport facilities will be built on school ground
- Artificial turf soccer pitch (international regulations)
- 6-lane athletic track
- Basketball court
- Volleyball court
An athletic program will be designed to enhance the academic curriculum and offer the possibility to the best athletes to receive university scholarships.
More information about the Athletic Facility Sponsorship Program will be posted soon.
Community involvement is very important to this project and has been since we first began. We have already created 55 jobs in the community this year and this number will grow to 110 by 2023. We are also working with local suppliers for materials where possible and will be sharing our soccer pitch, when completed, with the community. Perhaps most importantly, we have hired and trained local teachers to provide the children with an equally balanced world-class curriculum.
We are currently working on sponsorship for the Clinic to provide the following full-time on-site staff: registered nurse, social nurse, psychologist, as well as school medicine and preventative care. More information about the Clinic Sponsorship Program will be posted soon.
Environment & Sustainability
Construction materials will be selected, as much as possible, to ensure they meet "environment-friendly standards".
- The school will optimize the use of renewable energy (solar) in addition to traditional energy sources (grid with invertors, generators)
- A minimum of 21 acres of land will be replanted with indigenous trees
- A school garden could be considered to grow fruits and vegetables that could be used to by the school kitchen with potential excess donated to local schools
The school curriculum will emphasize the need to protect the environment and to think that the economic development of Haiti must be assessed through the long-term sustainability lens.