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Cruz Bay
Monday, July 22, 2024


Public schools in the St. Thomas-St. John District are to reopen on Monday, but it will be at least another week before those on St. Croix do so.
Education Commissioner Ruby Simmonds toured the schools on St. Thomas and St. John Friday and was to fly to St. Croix on Saturday to make a similar tour.
Simmonds said the St. Thomas and St. John schools suffered minimal damage, mainly from water which affected ceiling and floor tiles.
However, she said, reports from Noreen Michael, assistant commissioner, indicated that St. Croix schools "sustained the kind of damage which will require more extensive work before they can be reopened."
She directed Education administrative and maintenance personnel on St. Croix to report to work on Monday and begin the task of making the St. Croix facilities ready to reopen "as soon after the Thanksgiving holiday as possible."
Meantime, if facilities are not quite up to par on St. Thomas and St. John in coming days, Simmonds said, "we ask that our students, faculties and staffs bear with us" as efforts proceed to make the schools "safe, secure and sanitary."
The Education Department is committed "to minimize the loss of instructional time for our students, who have lost so many days already this year," the commissioner said. But, she added, "Even if we are able to make up the days we have lost, we cannot just tack the extra days on at the end of the school year. Our high school students must be ensured of having the required number of days in this semester."
Simmonds said she will convene the School Calendar Task Force "to look at how best we may address the issue."

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