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Relocating with small children  

 

texaswoz
(@texaswoz)
New Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 3
April 27, 2010 2:20 pm  

First of all - thanks to everyone who participates on this board - what an awesome forum.

My husband and I are in the research phase of deciding if a move to the USVI is a good idea for our family.
We have two kids - 2 and 4. They are our priority.

Living in a suburb of Dallas, we are so tired of the rat-race. Between our jobs and keeping up with all the kids' activities we feel like we aren't really LIVING life. We are concerned about taking "opportunity" away from our kids given we have everything at our fingertips in our large metropolitan area ... however the more I think about it, I don't know if that is really a bad thing.

I think the idea of raising them in a slower-paced environment, where we can spend more time together and hopefully not raise them with such an importance placed on material things (as it is in Dallas) - sounds soooo ideal. I want my kids to appreciate life, appreciate other cultures and be concerned about WHO THEY ARE - - not what others think of them.

From what I've read on these boards it sounds like there are plenty of activities for kids to be involved in. I want to make sure they can participate in things like dance class, sports, theatre, etc.

I would love any and all opinions on raising children in VI - - I'm especially interested in the following:
1. St. Thomas, St. John or St. Croix. Looks like there are pluses and minuses to all but I'd love to hear from parents
2. Sounds like private school is a must?
3 Safety?
4. Are there indeed lots of activities and a community centered around raising kids in VI?
5. Medical Treatment. We are all healthy with no current health issues, but what is the quality of care like on the islands? How about emergency care?

I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY appreciate any information you can provide.
We plan to take this slow, research for now, followed by an extended visit and then hopefully will make a move in three years when my youngest is ready for Kindergarten.

MANY THANKS!


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poorthang
(@poorthang)
Advanced Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 312
April 27, 2010 8:37 pm  

texaswoz...you need to read as much on this board as you can stand....most of your questions are answered ....no one can tell you what is the right thing to do for ...you....However if I had my choice and money wasn't an issue I'd come NOW ...while the kids are pre-school age.....the public schools stink and you could live the dream for a few years until school matters and stay or move back home if the "Dream" didn't work. Don't move at all until youv'e done a Pre-Move visit that lasts more than a month...Money and lots of it are needed to pull this into a reality......just some of my thoughts....Good Luck !!!!


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Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 2402
April 27, 2010 10:09 pm  

There is plenty to do and it is a great place to grow up - any of the USVI - [STJ is more expensive overall but actually a simpler lifestyle] - If the parents can adjust to life here and enjoy it,feel they are good providers, and spend time together as a family the children will adapt and prosper.


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vi mastiffs
(@vi_mastiffs)
Active Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 9
April 27, 2010 11:42 pm  

man i completely disagree with you that the public schools suck you have your opinion but as a father who was in St. Croix with three children from the states in public schools I never had a problem.My kids were straight a students at Juanita Gardine and are here in the states again They had a cultural experience that can never be taken from them and we plan on moving back in three years permanently and yes they will attend public school. Theyre is a ton of field trips and they are always supporting some cause (sea turtle nesting grounds etc) and my wife was very involved in there activities. Now they still do believe in a child getting disciplined by a teacher but again we never had a problem and specifically the issue was brought up because of our cultural differences and I told the principal smack em if they have it coming. they never did. please check the schools out yourself and dont take this boards word for it.

A father who was there


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dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1866
April 28, 2010 12:55 am  

texaswoz -

Unlike vi mastiffs I am not a "smack em if they have it coming" sort of parent, so I did not enroll my kid in a local public school. Education in the VI has been thoroughly discussed on this forum, so if you 'Search' for information about 'schools' by 'all dates' there should be plenty for you to read on the subject.


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STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2138
April 28, 2010 1:28 am  

texaswoz: There is a nice pro-public shool posting by meowruff. You might want to read the whole thread:

Subject: "Island life with young kids" https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,133449,133463#msg-133463

"...not all public schools are awful. If your children are at the elementary level, they may be able to fit in and be successful."


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texaswoz
(@texaswoz)
New Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 3
April 28, 2010 1:44 am  

Thanks everyone for your info thus far. We are going into the experience with a very open mind, so all of your comments are very much appreciated. I'll continue to search the forum for related posts! The idea of raising my kids in a more cultured and different environment is so attractive ... whether it be public or private. I think the ocean really soothes the soul - - we hope to get there soon. Looking forward to "getting to know you" through this forum.


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stxer
(@stxer)
Advanced Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 184
April 28, 2010 3:11 am  

Do it. A lot depends on your expectations. The right kids and the right parents can do well here and have for a long time.. Do not try to fool yourself and be sure you are honest about your expectations. If you are the least bit (even closet) racist, you and your children will not be happy here or do well in the public schools.

Remember, the Virgin Islands is mostly populated by former 'African' slaves. We are talking about people with a history that cannot and should not be forgotten. These slave descendants are loving, friendly, helpful,honest,hardworking .... (sounds like the Boy Scouts) but now despite being Senators and business owners and professionals, many still display an element of anger, fear and mistrust that still effects the islands. Because of this we still have problems of understanding between the races.

I have always tried to speak plainly and clearly to my friends. It is my hope that by openly talking about what divides us that we can find things that unite us. The St Croix (all USVI) public schools have some problems, not doubt about it. I would not enroll my high school age kids in school here. The verbal abuse they would have to deal with would be too much. However with education and change things might get better in the future.


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imij
 imij
(@imij)
Advanced Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 41
April 28, 2010 3:35 am  

Hey there Texaswoz.....
Just to let you know, My husband and I have been researching this for 1 1/2 years....and from what we have read and learned is this:

1. Elementary schools are probably a must (for the culture "shock" value) and they are pretty good with academics.

2.Middle and high school, well, you should look into home school or even parochial schools on the island (much cheaper than Private) and we looked into Parochial Schools and we aren't even religious! You can have them exempt from religious teachings is you so desire.
BONUS FROM HOME SCHOOL: you get extra time with the kids (especially at that age, when they really need it)

I've got a 16 year old, 8 year old and 1 1/2 year old....(yes they are spread out, but that's besides the point)......Anyways, having that I've not actually ever lived there....I can probably go ON and ON about what I've heard.

I have found out the National Drop out rate to be 16% as where the USVI is 14% (not great, but not horrible) here are the links:

usvi drop out rates

US rates

The web is a wonderful tool.......Good luck to you, and I hope to have you as a neighbor in the future!


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StCroix
(@StCroix)
Advanced Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 102
April 28, 2010 8:20 pm  

First of all - thanks to everyone who participates on this board - what an awesome forum.

My husband and I are in the research phase of deciding if a move to the USVI is a good idea for our family.
We have two kids - 2 and 4. They are our priority.

Living in a suburb of Dallas, we are so tired of the rat-race. Between our jobs and keeping up with all the kids' activities we feel like we aren't really LIVING life. We are concerned about taking "opportunity" away from our kids given we have everything at our fingertips in our large metropolitan area ... however the more I think about it, I don't know if that is really a bad thing.

I think the idea of raising them in a slower-paced environment, where we can spend more time together and hopefully not raise them with such an importance placed on material things (as it is in Dallas) - sounds soooo ideal. I want my kids to appreciate life, appreciate other cultures and be concerned about WHO THEY ARE - - not what others think of them.

From what I've read on these boards it sounds like there are plenty of activities for kids to be involved in. I want to make sure they can participate in things like dance class, sports, theatre, etc.

I would love any and all opinions on raising children in VI - - I'm especially interested in the following:
1. St. Thomas, St. John or St. Croix. Looks like there are pluses and minuses to all but I'd love to hear from parents
2. Sounds like private school is a must?
3 Safety?
4. Are there indeed lots of activities and a community centered around raising kids in VI?
5. Medical Treatment. We are all healthy with no current health issues, but what is the quality of care like on the islands? How about emergency care?

I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY appreciate any information you can provide.
We plan to take this slow, research for now, followed by an extended visit and then hopefully will make a move in three years when my youngest is ready for Kindergarten.

MANY THANKS!

Rat Race: There are people down here engaged in it, especially those who have to work extra hard to afford to live here.

STT/STX: Both are very nice and have their negatives. STX will feel less crowded and a little more laid back.

Schools: Elementary schools ok. Mid-High "Hell-to-the-No." Fact: There are more private schools than public on StX. Even many of the locals don't want their kids in the secondary schools. Secondary public schools have poorer facilities and supplies.

Safety: No problem. Just lock your house up, don't leave stuff in your car, and don't go walking around at night where you shouldn't be.

Kids: Tons of stuff to do. In general, the kids here are more laid back.

Healthcare: Plenty of good doctors, and two decent hospitals for the kind of issues your family would probably encounter.

Emergency Rooms: Good.

Emergency Ambulances: Drive yourself.


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