St. Thomas-St. John District Announces Return to In-Person Instruction on March 16

Lockhart Elementary School kindergarten classroom outfitted with Plexiglass barriers and social-distancing floor markings in preparation to reopen to in-person instruction on March 16.


Public schools in the St. Thomas-St. John District will open for in-person instruction beginning March 16, with additional student groups returning on March 22 and March 29. 

District Superintendent Dr. Stefan Jurgen expressed his pleasure at the reopening of school campuses. 

“The St. Thomas-St. John District is pleased to welcome students and faculty back to our classrooms for in-person instruction after nearly a year,” he said. “We have met our targeted goal of reopening during the month of March, and this is an exciting time for all of us in the district. Our school administrators and employees have worked diligently, with the help of the Department of Health and many other partners, to ensure schools can reopen safely.” 

Jurgen pointed out that the district received approval to resume in-person instruction from the Virgin Islands Board of Education after undergoing a series of inspections from the Board itself, the V.I. Department of Health-Environmental Health Division, the V.I. Fire Service-Fire Prevention Unit, AFT Local 1825, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, and members of the 34th Legislature.


Who Returns and When 

Students will return to school on a staggered schedule:    


School schedules are as follows:  

Instruction will follow a hybrid model of in-person and virtual learning on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with a few exceptions where social distancing requirements can be met for students to attend in-person classes five days per week. 

On Wednesdays, all students will learn online at their own pace, as well as engage in small-group intervention supports.  


Virtual Learning 

General education students in grades 4-12 will continue learning virtually. Some PreK-3rd grade parents have opted to continue to have their children learn virtually; these students will follow the same schedule as their classmates who are engaged in in-person instruction.  


Preparations to Return to In-Person Instruction  

Early preparations for students and staff to safely return to in-person instruction began last summer when the Department of Education received funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  

Jurgen pointed out that while funding was made available to reopen school buildings safely, the process to secure required items on island has been lengthy.  

“The department has continued to procure these resources and outfit schools with the recommended items, in compliance with CDC requirements for in-person learning,” he said. 

Newly installed or retrofitted features include: 

i.e., staying six feet apart, washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, wearing masks, etc.  


Additional Safety Procedures on Campuses 

Students, faculty and staff returning to campuses will find a variety of new safety procedures in effect. 


Bus Transportation   








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