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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, May 23, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesCLASSES OFF THEN ON AT ELENA CHRISTIAN JUNIOR HIGH

CLASSES OFF THEN ON AT ELENA CHRISTIAN JUNIOR HIGH

A bad judgment call has cost students of the Elena Christian Junior High School on St. Croix three school days.
After announcing Sunday that classes at Christian Junior High would be suspended due to structural deficiencies in one wing of the school, Education Department officials said Wednesday the assessment was flawed and that normal class schedules would resume Thursday.
"The double session for students attending the Elena Christian Junior High School has been canceled," Insular Superintendent Terence Joseph said Wednesday afternoon in a press statement.
Joseph said after assessments by two private teams of structural engineers on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, it was determined that the original assessment had errors.
Virgin Islands Source has learned that the assessment, which led the school’s principal to recommend a shutdown of the school on Sunday, was carried out by a licensed engineer.
But Joseph said that "the information given to the principal, upon which we based our decision to cancel classes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, was erroneous."
He said the first team of private engineers made its assessment on Tuesday afternoon and a second team carried out another assessment on Wednesday morning. Each assured the department that the wing, which was originally closed, was not structurally deficient.
However, Joseph noted, "There are three classrooms at Elena Christian Junior High School in which there are holes which must be fixed, and these rooms will remain closed until the repairs are completed."
While Joseph said he looked forward to welcoming students back for a normal day of classes on Thursday morning, teachers gathered outside the school to protest the department’s handling of the situation at Elena Christian.
Teachers said the department has been inconsistent. "One day the building is condemned, the next day they want you to return to teach in the same classrooms," one teacher remarked.
Other teachers and staff doubted that any assessment had been done. "We’ve been here all day and have not seen a single engineer at the school looking at the area they said was unsafe."

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A bad judgment call has cost students of the Elena Christian Junior High School on St. Croix three school days.
After announcing Sunday that classes at Christian Junior High would be suspended due to structural deficiencies in one wing of the school, Education Department officials said Wednesday the assessment was flawed and that normal class schedules would resume Thursday.
"The double session for students attending the Elena Christian Junior High School has been canceled," Insular Superintendent Terence Joseph said Wednesday afternoon in a press statement.
Joseph said after assessments by two private teams of structural engineers on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, it was determined that the original assessment had errors.
Virgin Islands Source has learned that the assessment, which led the school’s principal to recommend a shutdown of the school on Sunday, was carried out by a licensed engineer.
But Joseph said that "the information given to the principal, upon which we based our decision to cancel classes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, was erroneous."
He said the first team of private engineers made its assessment on Tuesday afternoon and a second team carried out another assessment on Wednesday morning. Each assured the department that the wing, which was originally closed, was not structurally deficient.
However, Joseph noted, "There are three classrooms at Elena Christian Junior High School in which there are holes which must be fixed, and these rooms will remain closed until the repairs are completed."
While Joseph said he looked forward to welcoming students back for a normal day of classes on Thursday morning, teachers gathered outside the school to protest the department’s handling of the situation at Elena Christian.
Teachers said the department has been inconsistent. "One day the building is condemned, the next day they want you to return to teach in the same classrooms," one teacher remarked.
Other teachers and staff doubted that any assessment had been done. "We’ve been here all day and have not seen a single engineer at the school looking at the area they said was unsafe."