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ErikaNewby
(@ErikaNewby)
New Member

Hello all!!! Im so happy to have found this message board. I have, of course, read through dozens of posts and appreciate all the insight you all have provide thus far. My family and I (husband and 3 children) will be moving to St. Croix next year (summer 2015). My husband has close relatives on St Thomas but have decided St Croix has more to offer us as a family ; slower pace, cheaper living and HORSES 🙂

We are currently trying to make some decisions about our children's education: homeschooling vs public school (private schools are not an option at this time $$$$$). Does anyone have personal experience with the public schools on St. Croix? All of our children will all be in elementary school.

Also, I am a clinical social worker and have looked into employment at the residential facility for children on St Croix. Does anyone have any information about this facility?

Im sure as our planning continues I will have many more questions. Thank you in advance for your help!

Any advice is welcomed!

Thanks

Erika

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Topic starter Posted : February 3, 2014 1:22 am
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

Hopefully Yearasta will reply. He is very active in the public school system and has two children who attend public school.

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Posted : February 3, 2014 2:58 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

welcome to the forum

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Posted : February 3, 2014 11:57 am
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
Trusted Member

Erika, It is so much easier putting kids in elementary school here, as opposed and sticking them straight into high school. When we moved here I put my son in Elementary (Lew Muckle and Pearl B) he is in Elena Christian now. My daughter initially went to Elena and is now a senior in complex.

While the private schools are great, nice campuses smaller class sizes and so on the public schools academics are on par. While a lot of the public schools are mostly run down they are not that bad. You can compare them to inner city schools. I actually prefer the public schools because my blond haired son, knows the culture WELL, I have met kids in the private schools that IN MY OPINION knew nothing about this island and its culture, most didnt even know what quelbe is(The official music of the Virgin Islands), and since my son has been in the public school system for almost 6 years he has made local friends and they all follow each other all the way to high school. They have never felt threathened or exposed to drugs or anything like that. The problems I have is...him talking to much; I have had quite a few parent-teacher conferences regarding that.

From day one this board it has upset me in regards to the constant passing of hearsay. Governors, Senators, Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers have gone to public school here including me...I went to central high in the 80's.....It really irks me when people are told that you should not move here if you cant afford to put your children in private school, others put a hurting on their pockets paying for private school which diminishes any enjoyment of the island you could have had. When we first moved back here my son was the only white kid in the school, lately I have been seeing more and morestateside kids popping up in the public schools and they are all fine. So maybe the advice of the naysayers are finally being ignored. If you were to listen to the advice on this board...well first of all you will feel like you are moving to a war zone and then your kids will be in fights every day and turn out to be idiots and on drugs.

Please feel to ask anything you like, you can also PM me.

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Posted : February 4, 2014 3:35 pm
ikory
(@ikory)
Advanced Member

Yearasta, well said. I had a professor at uvi just say a lot of good things about the public schools.

Erika, I don't have really anything to add.Your family will love St. Croix. My kids have never been happier than I saw them on this island. So many amazing friendly people.

Only negative I have is electricity, but that just forces the family to do more outdoor activities.

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Posted : February 4, 2014 8:33 pm
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
Trusted Member

YES!!! The electricity issue is killing everyone....I remember going crazy one year when our bill hit $180 (this was in the states)...made the kids turn everything off and just went "para".......I wish I had that $180 bill now....I am hoping they keep their word and we see a 25-30 percent reduction in about 8 months...fingers crossed

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Posted : February 4, 2014 8:46 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

A few anecdotes -

A friend of mine teaches freshmen at UVI and she told me about a year ago that all the students she sees coming in from all the schools - public and private - generally are about the same level. Her joke was that she has to "retrain" them all, ha ha! (She teaches Biology). She said that sometimes the private school kids are actually harder to work with because they are used to more individual attention. So in her opinion public vs. private on St. Croix is not very different.

I also have a friend who moved down last year with two children in public elementary school - she says her children are working harder and being more challenged then they were in the states.

We were going to put our daughter in private school mainly for swim team and social reasons - but she would have been moving in high school. Ultimately this is why we/she decided against her relocating to STX for school. We did get the private school "pitch" that paying for private school means she will get into the college of her choice with a scholarship - and ultimately cheaper in the long run - and yes, while I've seen that happen, it's not a guarantee.

You need to do what's right for you and your family first and foremost. There's a lot of really good kids on St. Croix in all schools.

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Posted : February 4, 2014 9:21 pm
sheiba
(@sheiba)
Advanced Member

The private schools are not in any better physical condition then public schools.

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Posted : February 4, 2014 10:34 pm
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
Trusted Member

@JulieKay I have to agree with you about the social reasons. My daughter can easily pass for a local until she opens her mouth and a little southern drawl comes out, so I had no problem moving here and putting her straight into middle school...I probably would have even put her straight into highschool....my son on the other hand is blond hair, green eyed long haired beiber clone (ugh)...we moved here and he went into elementary school, i doubt I would have put him straight into highschool. Not that I feared for his safety but for social reason. It is hard enough going to a new school much less going to a new school where cultures are different and many other factors that would be stressing on the child exsist. He made lots of friends from the 3rd grade and they are still friends, by the time he gets to high school he's well known....actually he pretty much already is, everywhere we go we hear kids calling out his name and hailing him up...as a matter of fact because they are in public school they both are well known...I have no problem with them going anywhere, village, movies, sunny isle i let them go do their thing.

and as far as the "paying for private school means she will get into the college of her choice with a scholarship"....I know students from Central and Complex that are in MIT, Yale, Howard, Brown I could go on...my daughter has already been accepted to a few great colleges

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Posted : February 4, 2014 10:44 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

@JulieKay I have to agree with you about the social reasons. My daughter can easily pass for a local until she opens her mouth and a little southern drawl comes out, so I had no problem moving here and putting her straight into middle school...I probably would have even put her straight into highschool....my son on the other hand is blond hair, green eyed long haired beiber clone (ugh)...we moved here and he went into elementary school, i doubt I would have put him straight into highschool. Not that I feared for his safety but for social reason. It is hard enough going to a new school much less going to a new school where cultures are different and many other factors that would be stressing on the child exsist. He made lots of friends from the 3rd grade and they are still friends, by the time he gets to high school he's well known....actually he pretty much already is, everywhere we go we hear kids calling out his name and hailing him up...as a matter of fact because they are in public school they both are well known...I have no problem with them going anywhere, village, movies, sunny isle i let them go do their thing.

and as far as the "paying for private school means she will get into the college of her choice with a scholarship"....I know students from Central and Complex that are in MIT, Yale, Howard, Brown I could go on...my daughter has already been accepted to a few great colleges

Yep, and I know private school kids that are now adults waiting tables. It's really all up to the kid - nothing is a magic bullet.

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Posted : February 5, 2014 2:02 am
ErikaNewby
(@ErikaNewby)
New Member

This information has been invaluable! Thank you all some much for the feedback.

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Topic starter Posted : February 5, 2014 2:50 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

You REALLY need to visit first and see what's going to work for you.

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Posted : February 5, 2014 2:57 pm
ErikaNewby
(@ErikaNewby)
New Member

Yes, we have visited St Thomas several times but never with the intention to move. We will be visiting St. Croix this summer for a 2 week period...with the kids!
Thanks!

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Topic starter Posted : February 6, 2014 9:01 pm
Cruz
 Cruz
(@Cruz)
Advanced Member

From day one this board it has upset me in regards to the constant passing of hearsay. Governors, Senators, Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers have gone to public school here including me...I went to central high in the 80's.....It really irks me when people are told that you should not move here if you cant afford to put your children in private school, others put a hurting on their pockets paying for private school which diminishes any enjoyment of the island you could have had. When we first moved back here my son was the only white kid in the school, lately I have been seeing more and morestateside kids popping up in the public schools and they are all fine. So maybe the advice of the naysayers are finally being ignored. If you were to listen to the advice on this board...well first of all you will feel like you are moving to a war zone and then your kids will be in fights every day and turn out to be idiots and on drugs.

(tu)(tu)(tu)

one of the realest things EVER said on this board. Two thumbs up wasn't enough, had to make it three!

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Posted : February 7, 2014 3:02 am
Sinnottjj
(@Sinnottjj)
Active Member

I feel a little better after reading this. We are moving in July from Pennsylvania. We have two daughters ( 2 & 8months) and an 8yr old son who's in 2nd grade. Our son is extremely social and an above average student. My husband is coming down in a few weeks to work and get the feel for things in his new position. It's the same employer just a location change(how could we pass up this opportunity? Lol) he's only staying for about 3weeks and them coming back to help get us ready for the big move. Lots and lots too do!

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Posted : February 10, 2014 5:34 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

you will have a wonderful time. though at times it might seem we are negative, i like to think we are trying to show you the "real" island life and not what is portrayed in the movies.

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Posted : February 10, 2014 6:53 pm
kristinthomas
(@kristinthomas)
Active Member

Ericka-
My family and I have almost the same situation as yours, I'm thrilled to see someone I can relate to on this message board! Is like to keep I touch as I'm moving around the same time as you and have children similar ages (8 months, 3 and 5).

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Posted : February 17, 2014 4:52 pm
Texas
(@Texas)
Active Member

YES!!! The electricity issue is killing everyone....I remember going crazy one year when our bill hit $180 (this was in the states)...made the kids turn everything off and just went "para".......I wish I had that $180 bill now....I am hoping they keep their word and we see a 25-30 percent reduction in about 8 months...fingers crossed

What are you Electric Bills looking like on average? I'm averaging $500 + in the Summer here in Texas and $200.00 in the Winter. There is no Spring or Fall here. It is either Hot or Cold.

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Posted : February 17, 2014 11:25 pm
sunshinefun
(@sunshinefun)
Trusted Member

Don't get your hopes up. There will be no decrease in electricity rates in my opinion. Just more WAPA and GVI lies.

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Posted : February 18, 2014 12:05 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

so it sounds like you love a/c-if you use that here look at paying 500 plus every month

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Posted : February 18, 2014 12:10 pm
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
Trusted Member

It's been as high as 1200...but mostly in the 7-800 range

YES!!! The electricity issue is killing everyone....I remember going crazy one year when our bill hit $180 (this was in the states)...made the kids turn everything off and just went "para".......I wish I had that $180 bill now....I am hoping they keep their word and we see a 25-30 percent reduction in about 8 months...fingers crossed

What are you Electric Bills looking like on average? I'm averaging $500 + in the Summer here in Texas and $200.00 in the Winter. There is no Spring or Fall here. It is either Hot or Cold.

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Posted : February 18, 2014 12:15 pm
kristinthomas
(@kristinthomas)
Active Member

I love this response. I have a very similar situation as ericka, this board really is such a great tool!

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Posted : February 19, 2014 1:42 am
richardrblc
(@richardrblc)
Advanced Member

i moved here in september grew up in kentucky but for the last 25 years lived in newjersey the people here are on par with people from the south always have a kind word and a good morning ect for you i waited till kids where grown to take offer to move here only planned on my two year contract but this island and its people and culture are easy to fall in love with and moving from newjersey cost of living here except for WAPA is cheaper or at very least on par with newjersey i fortunatly was able to keep my state side insurance and banking ie USAA i started reading this board and watching channel 2 news online in feburuary all of witch helped with my decisiion to take offer of employement here
but untill you meet the people see the love and respect they show everyone you will not know why people come here fall in love and could never leave i found my apartment on here found my car on here there are not enough words of praise for this site and the great people who take time out of there lives to make all of our moves here as easy as possible

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Posted : February 23, 2014 1:13 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

... except for WAPA is cheaper or at very least on par with newjersey

I'm not sure you've got that right. I think the average rate in NJ is around 0.11/kWh. Here it's over 0.50/kWh. Don't go crazy with that A/C as you may end up with a huge surprise when you get your utility bill!

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Posted : February 24, 2014 2:11 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

YES!!! The electricity issue is killing everyone....I remember going crazy one year when our bill hit $180 (this was in the states)...made the kids turn everything off and just went "para".......I wish I had that $180 bill now....I am hoping they keep their word and we see a 25-30 percent reduction in about 8 months...fingers crossed

What are you Electric Bills looking like on average? I'm averaging $500 + in the Summer here in Texas and $200.00 in the Winter. There is no Spring or Fall here. It is either Hot or Cold.

I always said our electric bill on St. Croix mirrored my old electric bill in Texas during the summer - except year 'round, and without AC. We paid on average $450/month on STX.

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Posted : February 24, 2014 2:20 pm
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