Welcome to the October issue of Education News. We are pleased to share with you all the wonderful things happening in and around the Department of Education. In my October Report (video above), I share important information on the work the Department is doing with our strategic planning and more. In our articles below, learn more about our New Schools Construction Advisory Board and the public meetings planned for October, as well as the success of year one of the Granny Preschool Bridge Pilot Program on St. Croix, and how our Career & Technical Education Division is preparing students for skilled trades. In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, read how local Latino men are inspiring students. And, be sure to read about our exceptional students of the month and visit the link to see our great sporting line up this season. Enjoy!
The Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE) New Schools Construction Advisory Board will hold a series of meetings in October to share its current work and to gain public input on the planning and construction of new and modernized public schools in the territory.
According to Dionne Wells-Hedrington, Ed.D., VIDE chief operations officer, to date, the Board has developed Guiding Principles, a framework for the Educational Facilities Master Plan, and Industry Standards for the territory’s new and modernized public schools. Furthermore, the group has provided a conceptual footprint of a 21st Century school system the Virgin Islands can better afford to maintain and that will equip students to succeed.
The data is in and it shows that the Virgin Islands Department of Education’s (VIDE) first steps toward providing preschool services at its public schools has been successful with the implementation of the Granny Preschool Bridge Pilot Program in the St. Croix District during the 2018-2019 school year. The program was responsible for equipping 14 preschoolers now enrolled in Kindergarten with critical skills needed to succeed in their new grade.
Read all about this month's inspiring students.
Mila is a young entrepreneur who bakes and sells sweet treats at UVI and to her peers at school.
Education News: What do you think are the qualities of an exceptional student?
Mila Carty: Hard working, modest and versatile.
Aliarysbel was born in Puerto Rico and lived in the Dominican Republic for seven years. She has been living in St. Croix for five years.
Aliarysbel Reyes: They are not easily distracted and they always do their work. I can get distracted easily sometimes, but I’m always on top of my grades.
A highly anticipated activity in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15, is Latino Men Read Aloud hosted by Alfredo Andrews Elementary School’s English as a Second Language (ESL) department that invites prominent local Latino men to read to students and encourage them to excel.
St. Thomas-St. John District (L to R): Mark Joseph Sy, Faith Malvar, Michaelrose Ravalier and Iambakisye Richardson were honored at a luncheon on October 6. One was selected as the District Teacher of the Year.
St. Croix District (L to R): Ericka Hansen, Zahra O’Reilly-Bates, Jordan Albany and Joann Lewis will be honored at a ceremony on October 16, where one will be announced as the District Teacher of the Year.
In our November issue, we will feature the top teachers selected in each district!
October is National Careers in Construction Month and with shortages of skilled tradesmen in the territory, Nancy Callwood, VIDE director of the State Office of Career & Technical Education and Adult Education, said it is important to highlight and promote careers in skilled trade industries, such as construction.
Check out our message on the importance of parental involvement – now showing in Caribbean Cinemas! Plus, see our quick guide to understanding students’ Smarter Balanced Score Report.
Through professional connections with Tampa-based Florida in the Islands Comprehensive Center (FLICC), St. Croix District Superintendent Carlos McGregor along with a team of K-8 administrators and district representatives recently visited two schools in Tampa’s Hillsborough County Public Schools system that are in different stages of K-8 implementation in order to gain inspiration for their own campuses.
Celebrating VIDE employees who go the extra mile
After putting in a full week of work, Everson Matthew was recently seen hard at work on the weekend doing landscaping in the vicinity of Special Education. He is an invaluable team member and the Superintendent’s Office salute him for once again going above and beyond the call of duty!
Taya Leonard has been a trooper in all events of the IT Division success in helping to get schools back to full functionality in St. Thomas-St. John. With her dedication and professionalism, she has taken on many tasks with the determination to provide support to all our schools and activity centers in the district. Along with seeing her professional and technical skills, Ms. Leonard recently received certification in Fiber Optic Technician Course along with her team members. Many may not believe the strength and purpose that follows Ms. Leonards’ drive to help others. She has proven to be totally dedicated to the VIDE’s IT Division and its vision 2020 forward. The IT Division thanks Ms. Leonard for her unwavering dedication and determination to show students what it’s like to have the resources of technology to enrich their minds!
In September, we celebrated dedicated employees in Maintenance, School Lunch, as well as Custodial and Nursing staff in the St. Croix and St. Thomas-St. John Districts who were instrumental in getting schools open on time and assisting in hurricane preparedness efforts. The VIDE thanks you!
New Schools October Public Meetings
Click date to view event information
6 - 8 p.m.
V.I. Legislative Annex
6 - 8 p.m.
17 - Ivanna Eudora Kean High School Cafeteria
22 - Charlotte Amalie High School Auditorium
24 - UVI Sports & Fitness Center
6 - 8 p.m.
28 - Claude O. Markoe Cafeteria
29 - Juanita Gardine K-8 School Auditorium
30 - Central High School Cafeteria
Other VIDE Happenings in October
St. Thomas- St. John District
St. Thomas-St. John District
D.C. Canegata Ballpark
St. Croix District
Registration Deadline: October 18
St. Croix Training: October 21-23
St. Thomas Training: October 24-26
STX Adult Ed Building
(behind Juanita Gardine K-8 School)
Registration Deadline: October 15
Call (340)773-1095 ext.7032 to Register
9 a.m. - “Education: Everyone’s Responsibility”
10 a.m. - “School Talk”
See the delicious and nutritious breakfast and lunch menus students are enjoying in October
Visit the link below to view our exciting sports line up!
1834 Kongens Gade
Charlotte Amalie, VI 00802
2133 Hospital Street
Christiansted, St. Croix, VI 00820