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what is a good reason to move to the VI?

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Active Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 6
November 27, 2011 3:51 am  

I would like to comment on the fact that you have two young kids. Others have commented on your other topics.

My advice is do not move to the USVI with young kids. I live in St Thomas, have three kids under 5 and speak from experience. The public schools are way below average on all three islands. Not because of the teachers who, for the most part are qualified and caring. They work for less than half of what they would get in the states. It's the government that has not prioritized education. The schools lack basic supplies like books and paper as well as working copiers, fax machines, computers, printers, etc.  Maintenance is nearly non-existent for both the physical structure and the equipment/technology. It takes weeks for them to defficiently repair something.  Now, of course there are some public schools that are better than others but even the best is below the national average.

Private/parochial isn't much better. Their teachers are paid less and are generally not certified/trained. The better schools cost about $10,500 to $13,000 a year. I've spent that much for my oldest and wondered "what am I or my kids getting for this?" There are few, if any, after school or enrichment programs. Those cost extra, which could run in the hundreds.  There really is no sports program either. The private and parochial schools had to combine there fledging programs to create one team "the Arawaks" to play against the public schools, but the fields for the public schools need repair that the Government has failed to provide. So no one plays.

Pre-school/daycare is equally depressing in terms of trained care givers, academic and social programs and facilities.  There are a few shinning exceptions, which are expensive and hard to get into.  I pay $1550 a month for my two youngest at pre-school, but I'm happy with the place.

There are no "real" public parks or playgrounds either and for the few there are, Maintenance has been defferred too long so bridges, slides and turf remains broken and dangerous.  There are no museums other than small historic houses, and no year-round activities. The only real options for young kids are the beach, movies (which does costs less than the states), and the "marine park" Coral World, whose hay day has long past. Older kids have water activities as an option.

Groceries are a whole other problem! I cannot find everything in one place and the various stores on St. Thomas appear to triple the price of baby food and other children necessities. Each week I spend about $300 on groceries and household needs (cleaning supplies, tissues) at a minimum. Lately it's been more as my youngest turns 1.

Gas and car maintenance is something else to consider. In St Thomas, a gallon of low grade gas costs 4.10. I can go on. Take a trip if you like, but honestly look at the islands for what they are. As someone else said, this is a great place for singles and couples, but not for families.

Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3111
November 27, 2011 2:43 pm  

InTheHills, That's an excellent summary.

Come election time, you'll hear all about how we have to put our children first, they are the future, blah, blah, blah....and that's all it is! Next year, the schools will still be a mess and the education will still be inferior. Before I get blasted for that, let me say that I do know there are very well educated and talented kids coming out of the public schools, but they are the exception. They have worked harder because of their at home situation or they are just brighter, period. The "average" kid isn't on a par with other places because they lack the normal advantages, not becuase they are dumb.

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