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p2niak
(@p2niak)
Active Member

Hello all,

Are the public schools on STT decent? I may be moving down there from Utah for nursing school (UVI) with my school age daughters. I've read through older posts and wasn't able to find anything about it. I'm a little concerned because I remember reading somewhere that the public schools on STX are horrible. Private school tuition is astronomical, so that's pretty much out of the question.

Thanks!

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Topic starter Posted : May 12, 2009 12:05 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Most people feel that USVI public schools are not an option for state-side children. I would suggest you search prior posts for further information.

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Posted : May 12, 2009 2:44 am
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
Trusted Member

It all depends on the age of the child in my opinion. I have 2 kids in public school on STX.

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Posted : May 12, 2009 2:31 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

"I've read through older posts and wasn't able to find anything about it."

Crime and schools are perhaps the two most discussed issues on this forum, so it is surprising you were unable to find any relevant discussions. Yearasta's experience is not the norm; the vast majority of people who come here from the states find the public schools unacceptable for both academic and non-academic reasons. Have you done a pre-move visit to investigate the schools and other aspects of VI life that would be important to you?

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Posted : May 12, 2009 4:05 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

Put schools in the search box but enter ALL DATES down at the bottom when it asks for a time frame such as past year, etc.

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Posted : May 12, 2009 4:58 pm
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
Trusted Member

I agree with dntw8up...most people would find the public schools here unacceptable. I do also in a few areas. I have my kids there not because I can't afford it. I have them there because it would be hypocritical of me have them in private school while I am an advocate of our public school system. Our youngest is blonde hair blue eyed and he is in the 3rd grade at Lew Muckle elementary school, he loves it an get along with everyone and is quite popular. My daughter on the other hand looks like me...like an islander...she is in Elena Jr High...she loves it, they just got back from a field trip to Puerto Rico...Now had my son been high school aged I might have had second thoughts about bringing him here and throwing him into a public high school...which is where i think most of the problems are...It's been almost a year...with no problems. I am very active in the schools though..I am a PTSA Officer...If you have any questions at all feel free to message me.

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Posted : May 12, 2009 10:30 pm
Sauceress
(@Sauceress)
Advanced Member

I commend you Yearasta. As a great actor once said, you took the bull by the horns and faced the situation. Good for you. If more people got involved instead of complaining most public schools might improve.

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Posted : May 13, 2009 4:22 am
SuzanneB
(@SuzanneB)
Advanced Member

Hi,

I have one child in public school (daughter, 12 years old, blonde/blue eyes, graduating Sibilly this year, then off to Cancryn) and one child in private school (daughter, 15 years old, brunette, at All Saints). It really depends on the temperament of the child. My youngest has grown up here and can walk and talk like a St. Thomian, public school is where all of her friends are and she wants to stay with her posse. My older daughter is more of the loner type and we made the decision to place her in private school. I used to teach at Charlotte Amalie High School and I am a big public school advocate. I would say to try the kids in public school and then you could always move them if you/they felt uncomfortable.
Best of luck!

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Posted : May 18, 2009 3:56 pm
Cheeseheads
(@Cheeseheads)
Advanced Member

Suz and Year,

Could you share your opinions of the quality of education public system compared to private ,since you both are involved in the system.

TY

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Posted : May 18, 2009 4:53 pm
SuzanneB
(@SuzanneB)
Advanced Member

All Saints is run down (broken desks/chairs, leaks, old computers) and is located in a (sometimes) shady area and has very limited extra-curricular activities but the quality of teachers, the subject matter/standards and teacher/student ratio are excellent . On the other hand, the public schools have greater access to resources, newer computer equipment, better furnishings, AC, etc. but the teacher/student ratio is high and all students are accepted despite behavior problems. I am concerned about my daughter attending Cancryn but I'm willing to let her try it out. If it's not a match, I'll move her to All Saints with her sister. There are a lot more sub-standard teachers in the public schools as we are short on teaching staff and sometimes a 'live body' in the room is the only requirement. I plan on being involved with the PTA and speaking with the principal this summer to make sure that my daughter is placed in all honors classes.

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Posted : May 18, 2009 5:08 pm
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
Trusted Member

My daughter is in all honors classes, her curriculum is neck and neck with her friends that are in good hope. They are not behind. If anything in my opinion they get a better feel for the island. Now there is an excellent program at Complex, the students have to test to get into. The schools are run down, compare them to inner schools in the states.

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Posted : May 19, 2009 1:47 pm
p2niak
(@p2niak)
Active Member

I didn't know how to use the search function, and I gave up after digging through 20 pages or so 🙂

We haven't done the pre-move visit yet, but will be doing that soon.

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Topic starter Posted : May 24, 2009 5:48 am
p2niak
(@p2niak)
Active Member

This is extremely helpful!

I really think my girls will be fine - they'll be 7 and 10 when we make the move in the spring. They are part Navajo, and had lived on the Navajo reservation for much of their lives. We're now in Salt Lake City, and they had no problem adjusting to the primarily white schools here (I'm a green eyed blondie myself). I'm sure they'll adjust to island life / school / culture with no problem.

My greatest concerns were that (A) the public schools in STT would be sub-par to the point of being hazardous to their academic progress, and (B) they wouldn't be safe.

I'm hoping to go down for my pre-move visit later this summer and will definitely check out the schools. I'll be going to UVI, but am not sure where we will live on the island. If I can find one of the better public schools, I'll probably try to live near there.

Thank you all for your responses! I'm still in the research stages of the move, so it's all very confusing at this point; but it's starting to come together.

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Topic starter Posted : May 24, 2009 5:57 am
Edward
(@Edward)
Trusted Member

P2, Near UVI's STT campus? Beautiful area. UVI has its own really nice beach - one of my favorites. Easy access to the airport and to Charlotte Amalie town.

But West End housing is not as plentiful as other places on the island, and I don't know of any schools in that area. Some places opposite the airport.

Maybe others in this forum can give their estimates of schools and affordable digs on the West End. You may find UVI close but schools not so close and vice versa.

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Posted : May 24, 2009 8:07 am
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

"My greatest concerns were that (A) the public schools in STT would be sub-par to the point of being hazardous to their academic progress, and (B) they wouldn't be safe."

Very valid concerns. Since you haven't been here I suspect you will be surprised when you visit. Mormons may be insular, but Mormon children are generally more respectful of differences among their peers than many local children.

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Posted : May 24, 2009 2:59 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

P2: For clarification- are you going to UVI on St Croix or St Thomas? Your posts indicate both...:S

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Posted : May 24, 2009 3:27 pm
p2niak
(@p2niak)
Active Member

East Ender: Sorry - I'll be at the STT campus. And yes, I've noticed there's not much housing and no elementary schools on the west end. Bummer.

dntw8up: Oh, I plan to be surprised when I visit! I've never even been to an island, so it's sure to be a new experience. I'm open minded, and the bottom line is I have to move there for school, no matter what. If it's not feasible to bring my girls, they can stay up here with their dad (we're divorced). I'd rather have them with me, but I know it will be a huge adjustment (culture shock, climate shock, etc) and it might not be in their best interest to bring them. Not at first, anyway.

Oh, and I have looked into the private schools - their tuition is higher than UVI! Ouch!

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Topic starter Posted : May 24, 2009 5:58 pm
p2niak
(@p2niak)
Active Member

Thanks, Suzanne! I've heard both good and bad about public schools on STT; sadly, most has been bad (terrible conditions, bullies, etc). We'll be doing a PMV in a couple months, so I'll just have to see for myself what it's really like. Kids are extremely resilient, and they tend to adapt to new situations very well. Mine are still relatively young (elementary school age). I wouldn't dream of moving them down there if they were in junior high / high school. That's due to my own personal experience of being uprooted and moved to the middle of the Navajo reservation when I was a freshman in high school. That was pretty much disastrous 🙂

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Topic starter Posted : May 24, 2009 6:02 pm
p2niak
(@p2niak)
Active Member

So all, I've decided I won't bring my daughters with me at first. The transition will be rough on me, and I'll be busy with school, so it won't be fair to drag them along and essentially dump them off at a new school in the middle of the school year. Once I'm down there and get settled in I'll get a better feel for STT life.

Thanks, everyone, for your helpful posts!

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Topic starter Posted : May 25, 2009 3:58 am
BeachPhilosopher
(@BeachPhilosopher)
Advanced Member

Most people feel that USVI public schools are not an option for state-side children.

Why would most people feel they're not an option for state-side children, but presumably they're an option for 'native' children? If it's not good enough for one it shouldn't be good enough for the other.

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Posted : May 26, 2009 5:07 am
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

Linda didn't say anything about "good enough." Whether schools here are academically comparable to the states is debatable, but ignoring academics, local schools are generally problematic socially for kids from the states.

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Posted : May 26, 2009 2:53 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Its not a matter of good enough but fianances. Those locals that can afford it usually do send their kids to private schools. These private school are by no means full of just transplants.

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Posted : May 26, 2009 3:09 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

On a good note concerning the public schools, I had the privilege of seeing the science fair displays at Sunshine Mall last week. Excellent work. I was extremely impressed.

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Posted : May 26, 2009 3:22 pm
BeachPhilosopher
(@BeachPhilosopher)
Advanced Member

Thanks for the clarification.

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Posted : May 26, 2009 6:21 pm
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
Trusted Member

After having kids in public school for almost a year...I am happy with it.

My daughter is now almost a little ahead of her friend in the same class at Good Hope...believe i have been monitoring the curriculum very closely...

I see NOTHING wrong with a stateside family putting their child in elementary school here..they will be FINE...especially in Pearl B, Strawberry or Lew Muckle.

Junior High...a stateside child moving up with his elementary class will be just fine (like from Pearl B to Elena)...Transitioning from the states to Jr high here...will be a little tougher but It can be done...my daughter did it just fine...Elena is fine...just in a crappy area, Woodson conditions SUCK....Alfredo...tough

High School...Central High...although I went there as well as some of our current Senators and Government higher ups...Don't do it...not right now....Complex...good school

To me the bad in public schools is not about the academics...it's about the conditions...they schools are run down, most of the teachers are GREAT. The students are very respectful...every time I walk into the school I get nothing but respect from the children.

Although I am a big public school advocate...if things stay the same at Central next year when my daughter is ready for high school...she WILL be going to a private school If I cannot get her into Complex.

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Posted : May 26, 2009 6:45 pm
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