Feb. 12, 2005 Principal Kent Moorehead and other stakeholders of St. Croix's Central High School are concerned about the slow pace of structural improvements to the school's facility, which may delay the reaccreditation process of the school.
Moorehead told the Source Thursday that the school's faculty had completed its self-study report and other requirements of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools within its power.
However, Moorehead said several structural improvements to the school's facility, which were recommended by Middle States, have not yet been completed. Moorehead said the school needs the assistance of the Education Department, in terms of funding and necessary contracts, to make the necessary recommended improvements.
Two improvements that must be implemented are the resurfacing of the school's parking lot and the construction of adequate science labs for the school's students.
"Right now we don't have a date," Moorehead said in regard to when the Middle States accreditation team would come visit the school's facility. "Once those improvements are completed, we will have met all the requirements for the site visit."
Moorehead said the school would not receive a date for visitation unless the parking lot and Science lab have been improved.
The site visit is the final hurdle in the accreditation process before Middle States makes its decision on whether to reaccredit Central High. Both the Charlotte Amalie and the Ivanna Eudora Kean high schools have completed this final step of the reaccreditation process and are awaiting the final decision of Middle States. Central High and the St. Croix Educational Complex are still awaiting their site visit.
Central High school, like CAHS and Kean, had its accredited status pulled in 2001 by Middle States. The Educational Complex, a relatively new school, has never been accredited.
Moorehead said both he and members of the school's accreditation committee have spoken to Education officials about the urgency of making the necessary improvements. He added Education Commissioner Noreen Michael had indicated that they would take care of it, although no structural improvements on the school campus have yet been done.
"We are optimistic that everything will be completed," Moorehead said.
On Wednesday, Samuel Baptiste, president of Team St. Croix and a member of Central High's accreditation committee, urged members of the 26th Legislature, in particular the St. Croix senators, to visit the school and assist the Education Department in ensuring the school receives the help it needs in gaining accreditation.
"I, along with other members of the team, believe that the Central High School may not receive a visit from Middle States," Baptiste said, if the government doesn't take action to ensure the structural improvements to the school are completed on a timely basis.
Michael did not return call from the Source Thursday or Friday.
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