I have read the past threads way back on this board as well as researched several other resources to find information on raising kids on STX but I still find myself needing more Info before our PMV. I have found many negative posts and many warnings as well as many folks who have said their kids thrived on the island and loved growing up there. we understand our kids will go to private school and both CD and GH seem like great schools. My kids are girls 10 & 11 and a boy 5. Our reason for considering STX is that my wife is from Puerto Rico and has survived 15 years in Pennsylvania, but would like to be closer to her parents as they get up in years. Living on St Croix would allow us to be closer to PR and still be in a somewhat English speaking community. We really would love to take the plunge but frankly these boards really paint a somewhat scary picture concerning crime and discrimination especially as it relates to kids. I am looking for more input about safety for kids, would continental kids have a tough time making good friends, are their more kid friendly areas of the islands, just how much will the white continental label be applied to our kids and US. I should mention that I will be employed in the retail sector and I am some what worried how I will be accepted by the community? Please feel free to PM me if you have thoughts that may be too long or inappropriate for the board. Thank you to all who post for your honest and helpful info for those of us considering THE MOVE.
The only way you can know for sure if STX is for you is to come and see for yourselves. I would suggest staying in a condo or someplace like Cottages by the Sea, renting a car and staying for at least 2 weeks. Visit the grocery stores, library, shopping centers. What do the kids like to do best? See if there is something similar on the island. Drive around, stop at playgrounds, ball parks. Visit the two schools you mentioned.
You will be able to get a feel for the island and whether it is right for you. I know this is an expense you hadn't planned on, but in the long run it may be a huge money saver. You certainly don't want to drag everyone down here and find out in a month that it isn't for you.
Honestly??? Are you moving to St croix because you want a more English ( Language) Environment that you will in the Commonwealth of Puerto rico? I was born and grew up all my life In Puerto rico Both My parents are Cubans and i tell you going to St Croix traveling working as an Engineer i had job calls in Hovensa, Alcoa plants more than half of the Population of St Croix is Puertorican and i have to say that Spanish is very widely spoken as well as Puertorican culture is very dominant in areas in St Croix. In regards to getting a more stateside feel as well conveniences that you are used to having in the Mainland Puerto rico is the closest thing you will find in the Caribbean. There is a vibrant English speaking community in Puero rico in San Juan most people Speak and Understand English very well. There are a good amount of all english private schools like: Baldwin, St John, Commonwealth, parkville, Cupeyville, Robinson and Antilles schools just to mention a few. This schools are 100% english courses and beside being accredited by Stateside regulators they are Prep Schools consider to be in the top 10% of mainland schools. Most kids that graduate this schools in puerto rico go to IV League Universities. My suggestion is that you go to St Croix and see the Island before you make the move.
I am not an expert in VI living that is why i started to frequent this forums. But i probably know more about island living than you living most of my life in Puerto rico and having a Father that was a Yacht Enthusiast we will spend a month or 2 during summer time in the Islands. Since i was 8 years old my father will bring his yacht either to Red hook area or the Old Yacht haven Marina and we will rent either a house in the Cowpet bay area there was no Ritz Carlton like now. I remember power outages???? lack of water, bad food slow or very bad service, I remember going to the Old Grand Union Spkts 80's there was no milk???? on Sundays town was Dead???? I remember my dad going to a gas station that had no gas the next one was closed. Many little things like that than now have improve to acceptable levels but they are still far behind the states. Virgin Islanders are very nice Happy people in the Most part they are very very lay back. When i say that they have 2 speeds slow and super slow so don"t rush yourself with problems be a problem solver and deal with it. One thing that i have notice specially in St thomas the most cosmopolitan and touristy of the Islands that due to great travel and sea connection allot of State Residents have move to the Islands bringing together with them a work culture that means there is more availability of good service. Infrastructure still not as good as the states but Power outages that still occur are very controlled and most happen when storm hits the Island. The water situation is a self service system you must have a cistern and either collect and treat your own water or call a truck that will fill up your cistern that depending on size will last you days or weeks. Only in the Urban Areas WAPA provides water and it is very expensive. My reason for moving to the Islands is that i pretty much know what to expect and a great business opportunity has been given to me. I also have the comfort that 30 minutes in Plane i am in San Juan if i need to do anything or buy anything i cannot get in the islands.
Rokipel, half of stx population is not puerto rican. There are definitely many puerto ricans here but there are also many dominicans. The majority of the population is definitely West Indian and not by a little.
If your kids are going to good hope of country day they are not going to have any trouble fitting in, at least not because they are continentals or white. Both schools have plenty of continentals. There is no white continental label. You are either a local or you are a statesider (no matter what color your skin is). If you put them in public school well I can't think of anything good about that and would beg you to stay stateside rather then put your kids in public school here.
It usually takes a while for the local community to accept you. Some are very friendly right away others kinda wait and see if you stick around and if you adapt to their customs. So somewhere between 6 months to a year usually. Be friendly and outgoing (not fake or overly polite, be real) and don't take anything to personnally until you get a feel for the customs here.
East end of the island usually has more statesiders.
Some kids intergrate well here and some don't, you really need to judge your kids ability to adapt. Every kid is different. Usually the kids will learn how to speak crucian while their parents are still saying What'd you say?
I bet you that 50% of the crucian population is either Puertorican or Puerto rican descend?????? It may be your appreciation but i will get the figure that i saw from the last us census i am pretty sure that 40-50% of the Population of St croix consider themselves Puertorican or with puertorican roots.
go to the top of the page, hit virgin island moving center, go to navigation in blue hit stats, look at the 4% number. I think you lost your bet!
I live here and no way we have that many hispanics, much less people of Puerto Rican origin. Although we do have many more spanish speakers than STT or STJ.
Since I win the bet will you please stop with the ???????
I am postin US census link??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Didn't understand what you were trying to say with your last post. Use the question marks as much as you want they just make you come across as very excitable. Not generally a good thing in the usvi, but here's the link for the US census, which was last done in 2000.
It also says 4%.
Their are many puerto ricans on the island but there are also many statesiders but we are still the minority. There are many west indian cultures that speak spanish, maybe this is what confused you?
Wow...looking at some of the education stats is sad, only 60% high school graduation, reminds me of growing up in a border town. Very interesting document.
Moving anywhere with children is a challenge. How well your children do here would depend on how adaptable they are. Some kids have a hard time with change. In my experience most children do well if their parents are happy. My 4 year old does fine here but he has spent more time in the VI since he was born than he has in the states. He has a harder time in the states because he expects people there to say good morning, afternoon and goodnight upon greeting and often people in the states do not respond to his greeting or acknowledge him at all.
He often plays with West Indian children and they are very accepting and kind to him.
I don't know anything at all about how large the Hispanic population is here so I won't comment on that. I do know however that the English speaking population on PR is quite large so maybe there wouldn't be much of a language barrier for your children on PR. I have heard that people who move there become bilingual quickly and you would also have the support of your wife's family. Just a thought.
In any case, both are beautiful islands. Good luck on your decision.
hi foltzie, don't be scared it's like moving to another state especially that your wife is from PR there is a strong PR community here so she would be welcome and so will you ,i moved here last july without a pmv when i searched this board i found good and bad comments its a disgrace how some folks paint stx but you just have to look into everything that's there.i moved with 3 young kids, and they are in public school it all depends on what part of island you'r planning on living ,stx do have great public schools, here with qualified teachers, the kids might not readily accept them but every body gradually adjusts after a while my kid are ages 10,7&5. we still feel like we are on vacation.i am also in retail , white , blue pinkor black crucians are a loving set of people who love people ,just remember your good manners every where when you'r on island and don't be bashful about it and you'll be ok ,GOOD LUCK,ON YOUR DECISION, DONT BE AFRAID TAKE THE PLUNGE YOU'LL NEVER REGRET IT.
"...stx do have great public schools..."
I learn something new every day...
barbie's in her barbie world...
barbie - it's great if your kids have had a good transition to the island and a positive experience with the public schools. That doesn't seem to be the usual report. What school are your kids in? Have you checked out other teachers at the school to see if your kids will likely have good instruction next school year as they move up to a new class?
I'd certainly love to have some positive changes happening in the public schools so that kids from the mainland could have options other than expensive private schools since clearly that doesn't fit everyone's budget. New arrivals should still do some thorough evaluation of any school, public or private, that they consider for enrolling their children. I don't doubt that some great teachers can be found on-island. When that becomes the norm rather than the exception, everyone will be thrilled.
I think that stx does have some great public schools. Not all of them but some, which is a major issue. I think all the schools show be wonderful schools. For elementary schools, Lew Muckle is a great elementary school, also Ricardo Richards, and I've heard that Pearl B is pretty good, not totally sure though. It seems like Elana Christian, is stepping up in the curriculum area, and I think Educational Complex is pretty god, besides the drama with the fire 2 weeks or so ago.
That's just my opinion!
The local West Indian people I know say Pearl B is excellent and encouraged me to put my son there. I also see white children there when I drive by. A very good friend of mine has a daughter who teaches there and she says it is a good school as well.
If you go to the VI Dept of Ed website - you can pull up the individual school reports and remediation plans for each school on the island - St J and St T have theirs too. You can find all the standardized test scores etc - promotability numbers, teachers teaching out of speciality etc.
This will give you a cold clear look at the educational experience your child will have at any particular school. Rather than anecdotal evidence which is subjective at best.
I think that Department of Education stats and the like may be useful in assessing school quality but only up to a point. I once selected a public school system for my kids using stats like this--I was moving to a new area and knew no one to ask. The stats indicated that this was one of the best schools in the state. My realtor agreed. What I was found was a bunch of thoroughly anti-intellectual, mean spirited , nouveau rich snobs--kids and parents alike. The only thing they valued was standardized test scores and in keeping with that the curriculum was entirely geared towards such tests. Creativity and spontaneity were frowned upon. If it wasn't on some standardized test you could forget about learning it. My kids were routinely ribbed for being geeky and "over smart". Even in this supposedly outstanding district, it turned out that anyone who really cared about education sent their kids to private schools. I made for the exit as quickly as I could. I still have nightmares about my kids going there.
So, I think that it is well to gather and consider as much information as possible--"objective" stats and anecdotal evidence alike-- before making a decision.
Thanks everyone for your input. I was happy to hear that some kids are doing great in the public schools, but we have done our research and are pretty sold on Good Hope or Country Day for our kids. How about activities like little league and scouting are continental kids accepted and participating in these activities on Island? Has anyone lived for an extended time with kids in a condo? did the kids like it?
hey guys, yuo are right i'm still in barbie world, i'm basically a very happy person ,nothing negative here, my babies go to Ricardo richards, one thing i'm sure of is the teachers are very much qualified there ,that's public school. and i know for a fact that there are private schools on island with teachers with no kind of degrees what so ever when i found this out i nearly fall out, guys theese are facts. at least we know the public schools the teachers all have at least the basic qualification to be there.all my teachers are great and i'm up in that school 24/7 so i know, i dont just send them to school i go to school too.LOL.........
Barbie, Ricardo was one of the schools that I mention, and it is true what you are saying. I've heard a lot of good things about that school. When my little one starts to go to school, I'm hoping to get him into Ricardo, or Lew Muckle. dougtamjj, thanks for your post, I did hear that Pearl B was pretty good, but I wasn't totally sure. I did have 3 cousins that went there though, so I should have ask them.
I have heard alot about Good Hope and Country Day schools. Does anyone know anything about Manor School?
There is a poster on the board that teaches at Manor. Yvonne care to chime in.