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Sunday, July 21, 2024


Teacher sickouts, contaminated water, swarms of bees, a sewage line break, heavy rains and a close call from a hurricane. All in all, in the words of Education spokeswoman June Archibald, "this has not been a pretty year" for Virgin Islands schools.
All public schools closed at least two days for weather-related problems. Individual schools were empty on a rotating basis by the teacher job actions, and some, particularly Joseph Sibilly Elementary School, were plagued by maintenance problems.
Archibald said the school superintendents are compiling a list of the number of closings for each district, school by school.
It will be needed when the school calendar task force meets Nov. 10 to decide what to do about make-up days, she said.
On the task force are Rosalia Payne, superintendent for St. Thomas-St. John, and Terrence T. Joseph, her St. Croix counterpart; Tregenza Roach, attorney for Education; and Milton Potter, from the government Office of Collective Bargaining.
Union representatives on the task force are Glen Smith and Cecil Benjamin, presidents of the St. Thomas-St. John and the St. Croix Federation of Teachers, respectively; and Carver Farrow and Antonio Steele, heads of the Educational Administrators Association.
The group is expected to present its recommendations of Education Commissioner Ruby Simmonds.
Archibald said the issue is critical, particularly for high schools which are on a semester system. Days missed in the fall semester must be made up before the end of December when the semester ends.

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