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southernlala
(@southernlala)
Active Member

Good evening, my daughter and I are moving to St. Thomas the end of Aug. We looked at the website for CAHS. Are there any Caucasian students, if there are there are not any in the pictures.

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Topic starter Posted : July 26, 2007 2:29 am
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

There are. I pass by there all the time when school's in session but the numbers seem to be low.

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Posted : July 26, 2007 9:12 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

The population of the VI is about 85% non-anglo. And many of the whites here are either older or young people without children.

The public schools have the same challenges as any school in a poor area. People who can afford private schools usually take that option, especially for high school.

There has been lots said on this board re schools. The concensus is that, for most people, sending a white child from the states to a public high school here is not the way to go.

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Posted : July 26, 2007 9:27 am
southernlala
(@southernlala)
Active Member

Thanks for your replies. Unfortunately at this time we can't do the private schools. My daughter has been in private schooling in the past but does not prefer it, she would rather go to public school. She is seventeen, very outgoing and has been blessed to be able to travel to 7 countries and loves to meet new people. She loves to learn about new cultures and would like to teach when she finishes college. She loves to act and will try out for parts in the community theater, so we hope to see you all soon.

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Topic starter Posted : July 27, 2007 12:18 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Love to hear from you after she has been in school there for a couple of months, to see if you still feel the same way and see if the general concensus is on the right track. There are private schools in every price range because even the locals try to avoid public schooling. Just saying go with an open mind but price a few private schools to be safe. It can often be hard for an statesider to fit in and can only imagine that it would be worse in high school especially for your last year.

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Posted : July 27, 2007 12:30 pm
southernlala
(@southernlala)
Active Member

Betty
Thank you, this is a big move for us. I have tried to explain to my daughter that this could possibly happen with her not liking the school.
She goes to a very large high school now. When I first asked her to consider the move, I thought she would completely balk at the idea, you know leaving her friends and all.
But she is more excited than I am. We both love the beach and have always had to work as a team. She has already visited 7 countries in her young life.
She would like to teach when she finishes college. And loves history and new cultures. She is very outgoing and will audition for the community theater as well.
I will continue to post on how she does on the island, you may very well be right. I hope we are as openminded as we think we are, we do have family on the island now. So that will help with some of the transitions to island life.

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Topic starter Posted : July 27, 2007 12:44 pm
Onika
(@Onika)
Trusted Member

Lala, you and I just corresponded on another issue but I wanted to chime in on here...

Although your daughter may be super adaptable, I would still look at some of the private schools as options. This does not necessarily mean the most expensive ones, but there are some parochial schools that have very good evaluations from parents. I am the daughter of an anthropologist and spent my entire youth in new and decidedly unfamiliar countries acting as a sponge and chameloeon and even I think I would have struggled at CAHS. JMHO.

As for local theater, there are options here where she can be a local star. 🙂

LAstly, having local family is invaluable and already puts you miles ahead others who move here without a support group.

Good luck!

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Posted : July 27, 2007 1:40 pm
southernlala
(@southernlala)
Active Member

Thanks Onika, I am glad you did respond, I do need alot of feedback, in order to make those decisions. I will check into all of it, and maybe even home schooling maybe an option, now that I think of it. She is used to working and enjoys making her own money, so this might be away for her to do both. I will look into all options.
Laura

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Topic starter Posted : July 27, 2007 2:07 pm
bkstx
(@bkstx)
New Member

I am not sure if you guys realize this, but caucasians are not the only ones who read this website, nor are they the only ones who possibly want a good education for their children!

I am mixed, but I was HIGHLY offended with this email. It made me wonder if this is the line of thinking that occurs among white Afrikaners in the aftermath of apartheid. Yes, the schools in the USVI SUCK. So do many of the schools stateside.

It is interesting that my parents just wanted a good education for me and my siblings and it did not matter to them that we might feel out of place as a minority. We adjusted. Every day black, asian, latino & mixed students go to schools that are predominantly white and they adjust. They do what they have to do in order to succeed..why is it a big deal (quality standards aside) for a white student to find him or herself in the minority? The thousands of us who have had to walk down this road didn't just survive, we thrived and will continue to succeed.

I understand that quality of education is a big consideration, but it should not be couched in racial terms. Concern for your children's future cuts across racial boundaries.

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Posted : July 27, 2007 7:47 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

You are assuming the people who answered on this thread are caucasian. I've always used the term statesider. Stateside african americans, asians etc will run into the same problems a caucasian statesider will run into living here. This is a relocation board. People moving from stateside will be experiencing a much different culture then the one they are most likely used to but often don't realize that as we fly under the american flag. Be careful before you assume and judge.

How would you feel moving to a new place where you can barely understand what the teacher is saying but you will be graded on it?? The accent is tough for many newcomers to learn and one of the few challenges of relocating here.

Yes the schools suck here but the difference stateside is you can move to a different side or town or to a different town and put your child in a better school district. Theres no better public school district on stx.

And I dont think you've been stateside lately if you think the schools are predominately white. Having grown up in the south and the southwest I can tell you clearly that is not the cause. American has many colors, so what? Everyone has to adjust all the time thats life.

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Posted : July 27, 2007 8:22 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

"I am not sure if you guys realize this, but caucasians are not the only ones who read this website, nor are they the only ones who possibly want a good education for their children! "

Bkstx, the purpose of this forum (at least I thought it was) is to answer questions & provide information. The original poster asked if there were many Caucasians at CAHS. She was answered.

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Posted : July 27, 2007 10:40 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Bkstx,

You will obviously be surprised to learn that, at the least, one person who has answered this post is NOT caucasian.

I, for one, was trying to answer the question honestly. It is a FACT that a caucasian teen will be in the vast minority in a public high school on either STT or STX. A parent need to know that and be prepared.

It is what it is.

Linda J

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Posted : July 28, 2007 1:05 am
bkstx
(@bkstx)
New Member

For the record, I just relocated from stateside, where my sister is a schoolteacher, so yes, I have been stateside recently and I never said that schools there are predominantly white. What I said was, "Every day black, asian, latino & mixed students go to schools that are predominantly white and they adjust." For the record, I was speaking of top public schools, like Stuyvesant in Manhattan (NYC) or Fayetteville-Manlius in NYS. I know for a fact that FM is predominantly white and the minority students who attend these schools are just that...in the minority. In fact, I will apologize profusely if anyone can name a top or even above-average American high school that is predominantly minority. I mean it sure isn't Great Neck North or Great Neck South or one of the better high schools in Westchester County, NY.

Trade, I do realize that this board is designed to answer questions, which doesn't mean that how the question is framed and answered is not patently offensive. In fact, I wasn't so much offended by the question asked, but by the very idea that "The concensus is that, for most people, sending a white child from the states to a public high school here is not the way to go." On its face, it seems to suggest that ,well, sending an asian, latino or black child to public high school here is a-ok. Why? Because somehow they can better deal with the accents or the lack of quality education. Let me guess, because they are black or latino, somehow they are better able to understand the teachers in the USVI educational system. Or wait, because they look like the locals, they will better adjust or be accepted? How about most stateside teens might have a difficult time adjusting, no matter what their ethnic background? The VI is totally different culture, although it is equally American. Personally, I wouldn't send my children to public schools here or stateside, but I would never frame my question or answer in terms of race. In this day and age, it is just in poor taste. Just my opinion.

Finally, I would not be surprised to learn that at least on non-Caucasian responded to this post-heck I wouldn't be surprised if the person who wrote the original post isn't a person of color. Clarence Thomas himself is viable proof that not all people of color think or act alike.

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Posted : July 28, 2007 3:58 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Why is it "poor taste" to discuss race when talking about a child's adjustment to school? One's race, whatever it is, is not an embarassing subject. The racial make-up of a school is certainly one factor to consider, when choosing.

And, of course, many minority children do just fine in predominately white schools. But here in the USVI a white teen in a public high school would not be a 15% minority, more likely a 1/2 of one percent minority. And that is a factor which has be be considered, along with other factors when deciding if public school is right for your child.

The original poster asked if the school was all non-anglo, or if there were caucasian students attending. The answer is, there are black, hispanic and very few white students attending public schools in the USVI..

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Posted : July 28, 2007 10:55 am
Onika
(@Onika)
Trusted Member

I am one of the people who responded who is NOT WHITE.

Since you are clearly familiar with NY magnet schools, I will at the outset let you know I went to Bronx HS of Science, which was, in comparison with other institutions, nicely integrated. However, I also attended many schools where I was the ONLY black person who was not servicing the grounds.

My mother would have done me a great disservice to have failed to discuss race and its implications, I might have ended up like Clarence Thomas (of whom we apparently share the same opinion). Not talking about race or pretending it is not a factor leads to bizarre and, arguably, racist consequences, see e.g., the lastest Sup. Ct case re. affirm. action in Seattle schools. That applies equally whether you are talking about a black child in a predominately white inst. or vice versa.

Lastly, any prospective difficulties that I imagined for Lala's daughter were primarily due to the cultural differences. I have had an extraordinarily difficult time adjusting to STT and sharing the same skin color with the majority residents has not changed that.

Editted for grammar/spelling (got to use spellcheck!!)

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Posted : July 28, 2007 11:31 am
Onika
(@Onika)
Trusted Member

BTW, i just looked over the original responses before you chimed in and I don't think anyone specifically asserted that the VI PS system was inappropriate for Lala's daughter solely b/c of race. Everyone pretty much urged what you yourself admit, that the public schools are not an option.

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Posted : July 28, 2007 11:40 am
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

"On its face, it seems to suggest that ,well, sending an asian, latino or black child to public high school here is a-ok. "

The OP asked about CAUCASIAN, that's why Asian, Latino, etc. wasn't discussed. Quit looking for things that aren't there.

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Posted : July 28, 2007 12:56 pm
southernlala
(@southernlala)
Active Member

I apologize if I offended anyone, that was not my intention at all. I just needed to know all of the facts. I also appreciate everyones feedback, we all have our own opinions and I welcome all of them. I did say that my daughter had attended private school in the past and we found that the private schooling just cost money that I did not have to throw away because it was supposed to be better schooling. In fact in our opinion she was looked over because she was not a genius and was not in the upper class financially. I have found that in both settings there are some caring teachers that are there for the students and there are also teachers there that didn't give a crap except to get their pay check each month. We are from Oklahoma (remember well the scandal about Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas and wasn't impressed with him then either) and have been called redneck and hicks from time to time. And I may be at times. Because it is part of our culture here. But it has never hurt my feelings or offended me, people think what they want to think because of their environmental education. My daughter now attends a public high school that is predominately Latino and many are illegal. But I have taught my daughter to consider the feelings of each human being and you never know what someone has been through to make it better for their children. As a single mother and have been since my daughter was born, with never any child support and no college degree. I have worked hard to be able to send my daughter to visit other countries and experience other cultures. I want her to realize that no matter what color a mother or father might be, we want the best of all worlds for our children. It is also the reason I have already spent all of my savings to be able to send her to other countries to realize how much we are really alike in many ways. I however did wonder why there were not any non-Anglo pictures of students. Since I got a response that said there were a few, it raised the thought that maybe the powers that be in the public school were possibly racists against whites. And had there been pictures of any Latino, Asian, or whites the question would have never arrived. And by the way my daughter and I are also Cherokee Indian as well as from British decent. And our own tribe does not acknowledge us since my grandfather gave up his rights as an Indian to be able to vote. And on one other note my daughters best friend is Ethiopian and to quote her friend " alot of blacks can be just as racist as whites". I myself was educated in the public schools of Oklahoma and I think that if most us work hard wherever it may be, we can succeed. And I believe that we all have different ideas of what success is to us individually. This does not at all make me want to stay in Oklahoma. I quite preferably like the laid back life of the beach. And I am very glad to know when I get there, I will be challenged in my thinking. I love the fact that we can all express our individual opinions. Have a good day all.
Lala

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Topic starter Posted : July 28, 2007 4:10 pm
sensei
(@sensei)
Advanced Member

I am a White guy who taught in Japan on a poor island so I am used to being in the minority and being in a population of hard working-class people. Who really gives a damn about skin color anyway? My concern is the character of the schools and of the administration. Being poor is no excuse to having a lack of integrity - and that means the administration as much as the kids/parents.

Does the DOE recognize the need to recruit better teachers with higher pay or is it like Hawai'i in not giving a damn about anything other than keeping the paychecks coming in?

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Posted : August 5, 2007 5:58 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

"Does the DOE recognize the need to recruit better teachers with higher pay or is it like Hawai'i in not giving a damn about anything other than keeping the paychecks coming in?"

The issues are far more complex than your either/or question.

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Posted : August 5, 2007 7:22 pm
antiqueone
(@antiqueone)
Advanced Member

The powers that be just want the checks to keep coming in, there is too little integrity for those positions of power and elsewhere, there is rampant nepotism, the money, what there is of it, is kept in St. Thomas, there is near anarchy in the schools and on too many of the streets but the trouble is all caused by somebody's cousin so you can't expect much.....and even if you did raise your voice against the absurdities, you might get mugged next week because you said something. Do you remember the story of the emporer's new clothes? It is what it is and it ain't gone change yet. So be prepared to swallow it, keep smiling and don't forget that you are in paradise. And mind you, I am NOT down on the islands. I like it here. My heart aches when I think of what could be instead of what IS.

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Posted : August 5, 2007 7:45 pm
sensei
(@sensei)
Advanced Member

I taught at what is called "an academic high school" on a very small island off of Okinawa - it is only slightly larger than St. Thomas - and the experience there was truly paradise as the weather/ocean/terrain/latitude is very similar and the culture was very respectful. Living on a remote island, the locals were glad to have foreign teachers there and I was too was glad to be there. Not a utopia by any means, but it remains THE best place I've ever been in my life.

I have the same expectations for the USVI, not because I am naive, but because I expect and demand a great deal from myself before I ever ask a thing of my students. I grew up in a Working Class home where I am glad to say is now Middle Class. I can forgive a lot if I see ambition and a good heart as I was not the ideal student either.

Having said this though, has any outsider ever been accepted "into the fold" and been able to make changes? I grew up in a small town and in the past year, the "gold ole boy" redneck posse on the school board finally made life hell enough for our out-of-state Director of Schools to leave and take his progressive building plan with him and hired the former building trades/drafting teacher as our new Director of Schools and the former Agriculture teacher as his deputy who is in charge of buying more and more portables while asking for more money for portables. Nepotism runs amok here as well and this is why I cannot get a job locally.

I grew up in hillbilly hill scoggin hell, so I am more used to it than I'd say most people who grew up in civilization. Especially after living in Japan, I know what schools can be like and I think, rightly or wrongly, that the USVI is a place that can yield positive change and actually be a leader in education reform.....if the right people are in office and bribes can be secured.

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Posted : August 5, 2007 9:19 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

"...I know what schools can be like and I think, rightly or wrongly, that the USVI is a place that can yield positive change and actually be a leader in education reform.....if the right people are in office and bribes can be secured."

There may be many things here, including the public school system, that you perceive would benefit from change but the West Indian majority are not receptive to non-West Indians enumerating USVI shortcomings and plans to rectify those shortcomings.

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Posted : August 6, 2007 12:16 am
SuzanneB
(@SuzanneB)
Advanced Member

Ok, here I am with my 2 cents:

I happen to be a white stateside female who is the CAHS webmaster. Here are a few links to photos on the site that you may have missed:

ELL Students:

http://www.cahsvi.com/education/staff/staff.php?sectiondetailid=957&sc_id=1158639461

and

http://www.cahsvi.com/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=958&sc_id=1186370298

We have also hired over 32 foreign teachers to teach in the STTJ/STX school district, hailing mainly from the Philippines:
http://www.virginislandsdailynews.com/index.pl/article_archive?id=13376327

The information below comes from the school's strategic school profile, 2002:

Student Characteristic:
ETHNICITY_____
Percent of Student Body Now Percent of Student Body Five Years Ago
BLACK 93.2% (1483) 94.0% (1763)
WHITE 1.0% (16) 1.0% (18)
HISPANIC 5.2% (83) 4.6% (86)
ASIAN 0.4% (6) 0.3% (6)
INDIAN 0.1% (2) 0.1% (2)
NATIVE AMERICAN 0% 0% (0)
TOTAL 100% (1590) 100% (1875)

As you can see, the Caucasian numbers are low, but your daughter would not be alone.

Finally, this is me:
http://www.cahsvi.com/education/dept/dept.php?sectionid=43&sc_id=1186370711

Let the debate rage on!

-Suzanne

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Posted : August 6, 2007 3:38 am
sensei
(@sensei)
Advanced Member

"There may be many things here, including the public school system, that you perceive would benefit from change but the West Indian majority are not receptive to non-West Indians enumerating USVI shortcomings and plans to rectify those shortcomings."

There are no West Indians of ambition on the islands? They all leave? Surely the islands are not Detroit with better weather.....?

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Posted : August 6, 2007 4:48 am
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