Like many other jurisdictions, children, parents, and teachers are preparing to head back to school in the US Virgin Islands. September 3rd marks the start of the 2019-2020 school year in the Virgin Islands, just days before September 6th will mark the 2 year anniversary of Hurricane Irma's landfall.
Photograph of the front page of the Virgin Islands Daily News, August 8, 2019
As the return to school fast approaches, the US Virgin Islands is taking steps to ensure students have a safe learning environment. In early August, acting Governor Roach signed an executive order which declared a state of emergency regarding education. This will allow the USVI Department of Education to expend funds in a more expeditious manner.
Several of the schools on the islands are in need of repair since the hurricane. In August, the Department of Education announced plans to expand four St. Croix schools from K-6 to K-8. This will help address decreased student enrollment, staffing shortages, eliminate the use of damaged buildings and decrease overall operational costs. Schools impacted by these changes include:
Pearl B. Larson Elementary School - will expand from K-6 to K-8.
Juanita Gardine Elementary School - will expand from K-6 to K-8.
Elena L. Christian Jr. High School will not reopen
Arthur A. Richards Jr. High and Alexander Henderson Elementary will merge, creating Arthur A. Richards K-8
Eulalie R. Rivera Elementary School - will expand from K-6 to K-8.
In St. Thomas and St. John, two K-6 schools will change to K-5; one K-3 will change to K-5, and Leonard Dober Elementary School will not reopen as an elementary school. Plans for Charlotte Amalie High School, which has a reported 28 classrooms condemned have not yet been announced.
Photo above: Children on St. Croix enjoy playing outdoors as the summer break winds down.