Education News - October 2019


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Commissioner Berry-Benjamin's October Report

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!

Racquel Berry-Benjamin
Public Invited to Give Input on Construction of New V.I. Public Schools

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. 

Read more

Granny Preschool Pilot Program Shows Success In Year One

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. 

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Sarah and Addie Movie: Coming November 2019
from the VIDE's Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education
Student of the Month

Read all about this month's inspiring students.

St.Thomas - St.John District

Mila Carty - CAHS Senior & Baker Extraordinaire

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.

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St.Croix District

Aliarysbel Reyes - CHS Sophomore & Outstanding ESL Student

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.

Education News: What do you think are the qualities of an exceptional student?

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.

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Latino Men Read Aloud: A Hispanic Heritage Month Favorite

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.

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Congratulations to the 2020 District Teacher of the Year Candidates

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!

Students Encouraged to Explore Skilled Trades for Careers in Construction Month

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.

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VIDE Videos

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.

St. Croix K-8 Principals Gain Inspiration from Mainland Schools

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.

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Employee Highlights

Celebrating VIDE employees who go the extra mile

St. Croix District

Everson Matthew – Maintenance Team Coordinator

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!

St. Thomas-St.John District

Taya Leonard – Technology Network Technician

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!

VIDE Photo Highlights

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!

October Calendar

New Schools October Public Meetings  

Click date to view event information

St. John New Schools Public Meeting

6 - 8 p.m.
V.I. Legislative Annex





St. Thomas New Schools Public Meeting

6 - 8 p.m.
17 - Ivanna Eudora Kean High School Cafeteria

22 - Charlotte Amalie High School Auditorium

24 - UVI Sports & Fitness Center

St. Croix New Schools Public Meeting

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

Click date to view event information

St. Croix District Teacher of the Year Ceremony

Invitation Only

Breast Cancer Awareness Day

St. Thomas- St. John District


St. Thomas-St. John District

DVICE Pop-Up Workshop

D.C. Canegata Ballpark

9 a.m.




Non Trad Expo

St. Croix District


St. Croix District


SOSE Mediator Training

Registration Deadline: October 18

St. Croix Training: October 21-23

St. Thomas Training: October 24-26

St. Croix Adult Ed. Open House

STX Adult Ed Building

(behind Juanita Gardine K-8 School)

1 p.m.

DVICE Culture Crawl

Registration Deadline: October 15

Call (340)773-1095 ext.7032 to Register

EVERY Saturday - VIDE on Da Vybe (107.9 FM)

9 a.m. - “Education: Everyone’s Responsibility”

10 a.m. - “School Talk”

What’s Cookin’ In School Lunch - October 2019 Menus

See the delicious and nutritious breakfast and lunch menus students are enjoying in October

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Let's Play Ball

Visit the link below to view our exciting sports line up!

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V.I. Department of Education


1834 Kongens Gade

Charlotte Amalie, VI 00802

(340) 774-0100


2133 Hospital Street

Christiansted, St. Croix, VI 00820

(340) 773-1095