Welcome to Belize’s Largest High School!
The Belmopan Comprehensive School, also affectionately known as “Compre”, was established in 1970 and dates back to the birth of the City of Belmopan. Belmopan was established in August 1970 and BCS opened its doors in September of that same year. Compre is a co-ed school funded primarily by the Government of Belize. The school caters to students between the average ages of 12 and 18.
BCS started as an open admission school encouraging students between the ages of 12 and 14 years to be enrolled regardless of what level of primary education was completed. There was no entrance examination. In fact, there were no requirements for promotion and graduation. These were attained solely based on age and not by merit. The earliest recorded enrollment was 73 students (37 boys and 36 girls). Of this number, 35 students were from outside Belmopan. There were 7 teachers in addition to the Principal, Sr. Sarita Vasquez, R.S.M. There were one Pre-Year class, one First Year Class and one Second Year class. The curriculum was comprised of the Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Spanish, Geography, History, Art, Typing, Civics and Home Economics.
To provide a safe teaching and learning environment where staff, parents, and the community work together as partners to foster the academic, emotional, physical and social growth of our students. The Belmopan Comprehensive School will work tirelessly to promote the development of productive relationships between home, school, and the larger community on education and issues of mutual interest.
In 1977 Sr. Sarita, the first Principal, resigned and was then replaced by Mr. Michael Price who lead the insitution until his retirement in 1999; he was then replaced by Mr. Rudolph Anthony.
At the end of the second school term in 2000, Mr. Alejandro Salazar, the then vice-principal took the reign for a some months. In August 2001, Mrs. Barrette Belisle became the Principal until 2003 when Mr. Salazar came out of retirement to become Principal on a one-year contract. Over the years that followed several principals have come and gone; the last three to have served the institution include Mr. Walter Garbutt, Mr. Israel Gonzalez and now Ms. Maria Hutchinson.
In 1980, the open admission policy was changed because of the policies regarding primary schools, the introduction of exams and the increasing enrollment of students. Since then, admission has been selective, based on the Primary School Exam (PSE) and Promotion and Diploma examinations were introduced.
As a result of the Ministry of Education’s effort to provide more opportunities for students to pursue secondary education in 1992, BCS introduced a High School Alternative Program (HSAP). The program started with 60 students and offered only the core subjects. The HSAP was designed to attract students who did not pass the entrance examination required to enter High School.
In 1999, due to the rapid expansion of the program, it evolved into a second shift system whereby a wider course selection was offered to students. Due to inadequate transportation and security concerns for students, the second shift was temporarily relocated to a satellite campus on the University of Belize compound in 2002 and offered classes during the day. Upon completion of the two-year lease with the University of Belize in 2004, both shifts were amalgamated at BCS main campus on Ring Road.
Presently, total enrollment of students amounts to over 1,100 students. The staff complement of teachers is comprised of 62 full time and occasionally some temporary teachers. There is also an administrative and support staff of 14. BCS has a twelve-member Board of Management, who serves as an advisory committee and comprised of representatives drawn from the Community, Religious Denominations, the Ministry of Education and the Belmopan City Council. A Staff member and a Parent Representatives also sit on the Board. The school is operated by one Principal and two Vice Principals; one assigned for Students Services and the other for Staff Administration. There are eight Heads of Department who support the administrative team.
The school’s curriculum has also expanded tremendously since the early years. It now has 4 programs (Science, Business, Arts and Technical) that encompass a range of 23 subjects. During the first two years, students are exposed to a general education, which includes the Arts, Humanities, Sciences and Vocational subjects. At the beginning of the Third Year, students are then guided into a career path.
Although the school is no longer comprehensive in the sense of being non-selective, the school continues to cater to a wide range of students of varying levels of ability and socio-economic status.