education on St. Cr...
 
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education on St. Croix

 
tecara
 tecara
(@tecara)
Guest

Hi,
I was very pleased to find this message board, it is a great source of information. My husband and I are hoping to move to St. Croix in the next couple of years and we like to have as much information as we can before we make the move.
I was wondering about the educational environment there. I would like some information about the school systems, if home schooling is popular or if there are tutors available. I have heard lots of stories about the schools and am not quite sure what to believe.
Thanks for any information you can give me.
tecara

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Topic starter Posted : November 24, 2006 4:09 am
MelissaS
(@MelissaS)
Advanced Member

Home schooling is a necessity for those that don't have the 900 to 1000 bucks per month to send each child to private school. Don't know about tutors. DO NOT send your children to public school here. It's not safe. I've researched the topic and I've talked islanders and transplants alike. In fact, if you have children, you should just stay away from here altogether. You'll be sorry if you don't. Sorry to burst you're bubble, but mine was burst too late (I'm just one of those stubborn types who have to see things for myself). Too bad for me. Anyway, I'm just trying to save you a lot of hassle, money, and heartache.

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Posted : November 24, 2006 7:31 am
jane
 jane
(@jane)
Trusted Member

Public school system is not an option in my humble opinion - too many problems stacked up against an ill run system. Private schools range from the very expensive college prep schools to the less expensive parochial and alternative schools. Home schooling would be an option, but watch out for isolation. My daughter spent her HS years on StX and I deeply regret those years for the lack of opportunity and breadth that existed in the VI. if I had younger children, would I move to the VI again - probably not...too small, too backward and too isolated.
Read the many posts on this subject and you will be able to pick out common threads.
That said, if the new Governor delivers on his promises...who knows what the Islands could become.

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Posted : November 25, 2006 12:35 am
tecara
 tecara
(@tecara)
Guest

Perhaps I should explain myself a bit. I am interested in the educational environment because I am a teacher. I have taught for over 20 years. I will be looking for a job when I go to St. Croix, and have not had much luck with the school system yet. One of the things I am considering is that I may look into a tutoring business when I move, for students with special needs, in need of enrichment and to offer consulting services to home schoolers. I have had a difficult time finding any information about home schooling, and getting a feel for the importance or attitude toward education on St. Croix. I really need to know what the attitude toward education is, especially if the public school system is that bad and the private schools that expensive. How committed are parents to having quality education for their students. We have spent several weeks in St. Croix on 3 different occasions, and the stories I hear are very scattered. I need as much information as possible.
Thanks for your input.
tecara

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Topic starter Posted : November 25, 2006 7:32 pm
Kawalter
 Kawalter
(@Kawalter)
Guest

My family and I just spent a week on St. Croix. We are also considering moving there in a couple of years. I picked many people's brains about moving there. I was told to purchase the book "the Settlers Handbook". I have not received this book yet, but it has much information on everything you would want to know about moving to the island. If you don't have this book, I would consider getting it. I have two children that I homeschool and not one person told me NOT to move there.
Hope this helps!

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Posted : November 27, 2006 7:20 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

I live on STT and am the parent of a teenager who has never been to school. In my experience, many home schoolers here educate their children under the radar. Everyone knows there are homeschooled children here but few who homeschool discuss the matter with folks they don't know. Puerto Rico falls under the jurisdiction of the US Constitution and the right to home school is guaranteed to parents under the 14th Amendment (and if home schooling with religious conviction the 1st Amendment) but in the USVI we do not enjoy the protections of the US Constitution and the Revised Organic Act does not protect home schooling. In the USVI, law enforcement personnel seem unable to resolve serious criminal cases, like homicide, but they are very enthusiastic about citing minor infractions, like failure to wear a seatbelt. Homeschooling parents are disinclined to admit they homeschool because they don't want their educational endeavors to become a new pet project for the government and/or law enforcement.

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Posted : November 27, 2006 10:32 pm
tecara
 tecara
(@tecara)
Guest

That is very interesting - I knew that some states deal differently with home schooling than others, but most of the situations that I have been associated with work together with the school system very well. I have been following some of the home school opportunities in P.R., that group seems very strong. I read recently that homeschooling in the U.S.V.I. was legal with no problems, so this news comes as a surprise. I don't blame the parents for avoiding confrontation with the issue, educating your child is extremely important and can be difficult even without having additional issues. Hopefully the educational system will improve with work and time.
Thanks for the info.
Cara

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Topic starter Posted : November 28, 2006 10:32 pm
DL
 DL
(@DL)
Advanced Member

So why doesn't the USVI "not enjoy the protections of the US Constitution"? I thought most of it was applicable to the USVI.

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Posted : November 28, 2006 10:59 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

Hi Tecara
I have heard that there is no problem with home schooling but I am new on the island. Maybe someone will respond that home schools here.

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Posted : November 29, 2006 1:11 am
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

I do home school here and it is legal.

In Puerto Rico home schools are considered a non-governmental school as defined in the Puerto Rico Constitution, Article 2, section 5. No notification of or permission request to home school to the Department of Education or any other official entity is necessary.

Title 17, Section 84 of the Virgin Islands Code allows parents of children over five years of age and under seventeen years of age to educate their children at home but parents must comply with the Virgin Islands Code and regulations of the Virgin Islands Board of Education. Parents must file a Notice of Intent Home Instruction of Student At Home form each year with the Commissioner of Education within ten days of the start of the home instruction program. The Commissioner provides copies of the completed Notice of Intent to the Division of Curriculum and Assessment of the Department, the appropriate District Superintendent of Education and the Board of Education. and the Department of Education conducts a semi-annual Portfolio Review. Regulations require parents to seek the Commissioner of Education’s approval of the qualifications of the tutor and the proposed courses of study, and the Commissioner of Education may require that pupils be examined by a representative of the Department of Education.

The home schoolers I know do not consider the VI government good at educating children (visit a local public school). Also, everyday bureaucratic requirements are difficult but uncommon bureaucratic requirements can require many days of running around to satisfy because nobody you'll encounter knows what to do and when you follow someone's instructions you can be sure that they won't be around on your return visit and whomever is around will have an entirely different set of paperwork they'll need from you. The home schoolers I know do not comply with VI home schooling regulations and remain silent about their schooling endeavors so as not to attract attention from the government and law enforcement. My teenager is working on a college curriculum so we're fortunate to no longer have to contend with the VI Board of Education.

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Posted : November 29, 2006 4:30 pm
tecara
 tecara
(@tecara)
Guest

It sounds to me like there is much interest in St. Croix in homeschooling and education in general. That has got to be good for the Island. I am glad that this thread has a positive outlook, some of the others are a bit negative right now. St. Croix is a beautiful place and I have really enjoyed the people I have met there so far. We are going to be there for Christmas this year and are looking forward to seeing the Island at Christmas.
Thanks for the detailed information.

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Topic starter Posted : November 30, 2006 12:36 am
tecara
 tecara
(@tecara)
Guest

So I have read lots on this site about education and life in general in STX, which is where we would like to be. We have been there several times, (3 for me and 4 for my husband) staying from 2 - 4 weeks each time. We already own property there, so we are familiar with some of the eccentricities of Island time and the differences of doing things there (such as getting a phone line and/or Internet set up) as opposed to here in Florida. We like the people and found them to be reserved but friendly after some time - we have encountered some prejudice, but we kind of expected due to having traveled in lots of countries. Yes, we still have lots to learn about the Islands. We are interested in a slower pace, but more than that, more control of our lives, which is hard when you work for the public schools - their time lines are really rigid, of necessity, but it is hard to have any time off other than a couple weeks in the summer.

That said, I would like some opinions from this group on the viability of a educational tutoring business making it on STX. I have been looking into different educational franchise based businesses and am also considering going it on my own based on experience that ranges from teaching students and families with special needs to working with gifted students and educational consulting in special education, autism, reading and classroom management. What do you think? My other options are to look into teaching in the private or public schools there on STX. - which gets into that timeline thing, plus I know the salary would be far less than I am making now. If I am going to work at the same job, it is hard to take a $20K hit plus the cost of moving.
Give me your opinion please - especially those who are familiar with the Island systems and people with children who might need that type of service.
Thanks for the info.
Tecara

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Topic starter Posted : December 2, 2006 12:39 pm
Island Ed
(@Island_Ed)
Advanced Member

Tecara,
Please email me at islandedvi@yahoo.com. I'm on the board of advisors for a company that specializes in providing educational and technological solutions to economically challenged-communities that produce the lowest numbers of students pursuing education beyond high school. We have not pursued the market in the VI because the government doesn't pay its bills. We can explore working with you and others to bring this to the VI community privately.

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Posted : December 2, 2006 1:20 pm
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