Opens on September 1969
846 Students enrolled
20 Teachers on staff
Grades 7 - 9 only
Ocho Rios High School (formerly secondary) was one of the schools built under the first World Bank Programmme when the Government embarked on the vast programmme of Junior Secondary Schools in the 1960's.
In September 1969 the school opened its doors under the principalship of Miss Mavis Irwin, a staff of twenty (20) trained teachers and an enrolment of eight hundred and forty-six (846) students.
Its aim was to provide first cycle secondary education for students from Exchange, Beecher Town, Breadnut Hill, supplementary feeder schools; and Ocho Rios Primary, then the only compulsory feeder school. Parents of children attending other All-age schools e.g., St. Ann's Bay, Steer Town, Newstead, Retreat, Moneague, Chalky Hill and others, sought places for their children in this school.
In 1974 the school became a New Secondary School offering a five year course instead of three year course. In addition to the general education subjects, Grades 10 & 11 were required to spend much of their time on a practical area chosen from the following options: Cabinet Making/Carpentry, Child Care, Food & Nutrition/Catering, Business Education, Art & Crafts, Auto Mechanics, Electrical Installation, Beauty Culture, Clothing & Textile and Plumbing.
This called for a larger school with more space for workshops, classrooms and more teachers. So from a small staff of twenty (20) teachers and eight hundred and forty-six (846) students in September 1969, the staff complement soon increased to one hundred and one (101). To accommodate the larger enrolment the straight day school was replaced by two (2) shifts which came into effect in September 1974.
The land on which the school is built was donated to the Anglican Church of Ocho Rios by Colonel Robin Stewart of Shaw Park Estate. This plot, seven (7) acres, was in turned offered to the Government to build a school. As a result our School Board is always headed by the Rector of St. John's Anglican Church. The current Chairman is Reverend Cannon Glen Prince. Former Chairmen have been Reverend Bedloe, Archdeacon Egbert Robertson, and Reverend Harold Daniel (now Bishop).
In September 1988 the school was upgraded to High School with approximately two thousand two hundred (2,200) students on roll and a staff of ninety (90). Eighty (80) students who passed the Common Entrance Examination were sent to us. In September 2000 enrollment was two thousand four hundred and eighteen (2,418).
At the end of the five year programme students sit the CXC, G.C.E., S.S.C. and J.S.C examinations. Graduates enter directly the world of work or continue their training at the H.E.A.R.T. Academies, Community Colleges and other Tertiary Institutions or wherever they can gain entry, while others become self employed or remain unemployed. Our final year students also go on Work Experience three (3) weeks per year in Hotels, Restaurants, Clinics, Hospitals, Insurance Companies and other work stations in the community.
In January 1992, the school saw its second principal in the person of Reverend Horace Richards. He retired after ten (10) years in September 2002. His successor and present principal is Mrs. Monica McIntyre. Since then there have been many innovations, including:
Community outreach has been high on its list of priorities and the school's club and Societies have helped in many ways to keep this school active and productive. It should always be remembered that the school started its own Grade 10 Programme with selected students three (3) years before the Ministry of Education introduced it in 1974. Neither can it be forgotten that it produced its first eight (8) typewriters and started Business Education, a Guidance Programme and Work Experience exercise before it was formally introduced by the Ministry of Education.