Public School system
Would love to know from someone who has school age children in public or private schools what your opinions are of the school system. We are thinking of relocating to STT. We have 2 daughters in Jr. High and are wondering if the public schools are adequate or would it have to be a private school choice for us.
You would be best to do a search for "school" in the forums for the last year. This is an extremely touchy subject for a lot of the posters here, and I doubt that you will have many responses because of that. Good luck on your decision!
as someone who survived a less than perfect school system in new york, i know many well-educated and successful virgin islanders who have graduated from the public school system here... but lack of funds and what i consider misplaced priorities result in less attention per student, dreary surroundings, and overworked teachers.
might be a bit much for your jr. high school aged girls to adjust to. keep in mind, the container is one thing, the contents quite another. children are children no matter what the school and this does not guarantee that your daughters will have a perfect time in private school. as for the physical conditions, student to teacher ratio and curriculum, the private school experience is likely to be more similar to what they are leaving.
there is no need to prove a point by putting your children into public school here, but this depends on your children and their adaptability. it's VERY different. just as most everyday activities will very different for you, as island life is wont to be.
I'll comment from a teacher's perspective --
My partner and I both just got private school jobs in STT - he at the VI Montessori School and International Academy and I at Sts. Peter and Paul School. I cannot comment on the public school system but from what I've observed thus far at both of our schools, they are full of dedicated and professional teachers.
We both considered applying to the VI public school system, however, we chose to go private because we felt a better sense of community, vision, and flexibility would be available there. If you choose private, your girls will probably enjoy smaller class sizes and more abundant resources.
VI Montessori seems to be a favorite of ex pats' kids, while Sts. Peter and Paul seems to attract more native islanders.
I hope that helps. Best of luck to you.
I don't believe there are many -- perhaps not any -- "ex pats' kids" at VI Montessori; just about all, and perhaps all, are children of U.S. citizens. However, Montessori has more continentals and Sts. Peter and Paul has more West Indians.
My family and I greatly appreciate all the information given. This is a great forum for getting information, we are glad we found it. Thank you all so much for taking the time to answer our question.
Your information was very helpful. What would be our cost for private schooling for our 7th and 8th grader? We also have a 4 year old (just turned 4 in May). What is the kindergarten start age cut off? Also, do you know about the home schooling should we choose to do that? My job would be 3 on 4 off for the US government. Also what kind of sports might be available to them. Any and all information concerning schooling and anything that might pertain to raising teens and smaller children on the island would be greatly appreciated.
ByTheBodhiTree can probably give you specifics about pricing for their schools, but on STX, I just submitted an expense request to my husband's company for private school tuition here. It was $11,850 for my daughter entering third grade and $12,050 for my son entering sixth grade. That's a total of $23,900 per year for just two kids. I can only assume that, since STT is generally more expensive, you'd be looking in the neighborhood of $36K per year for three kids in school there.
The only sports I'm aware of here are baseball, soccer, swimming and horsemanship. Soccer is through AYSO (like recreation league in the states) and the school, I'm not sure about baseball, swimming is through the school, and horsemanship is through the pony club. Again, these are all on STX, so STT may vary.
I know nothing about homeschooling -- sorry.
Hope this answers some of your questions. I agree with everything that Anita (above) said. Your kids are your most important priority, so please make sure that you make the best schooling decision(s) for them, and good luck!
Anita: I vote for you to be in the diplomatic corps! That is pronounced "core" not "corps" 😀
And Bodhi: There are no "ex-pats" here. We 'merican! Montessori is great. Have many small friends who attend.
oh, east ender, you just gave me my laff of the day!!:@)
Ditto what East Ender said, Anita. You rock. I always look forward to what you have to say. You are a very clear example of the notion that it is possible to inform without inflaming, and to disagree without being disagreeable.
Ojalá que tengamos more people like you on this list.
First time posting a link here - hope this works! Here's cost info for attending All Saints school, another option for private schools in St. Thomas.
Tuition at Antilles School or Montessori/VIMSIA would be higher. I would definitely recommend visiting the private schools before making a final choice.
thanks so much islandlola... sometimes it can be challenging, but i remember that my words will be there, for always, in someone's mind once they are read.