The Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDOE) St. Thomas – St. John District will open its 2017-18 school year on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Due to some facilities requiring extensive repair work, only 10 schools will be ready to receive students on Tuesday; however, by Oct. 16, all schools declared operational in the district will be open for instruction.
While all schools have sustained hurricane-related damage, the DOE has condemned two: Addelita Cancryn Junior High and Emanuel Benjamin Oliver Elementary Schools. The Gladys Abraham Elementary School, although not condemned, will not be operational this school year; therefore, schools in the district will assume regular and split session schedules.
The district’s Curriculum Center and receiving warehouse were severely damaged during the hurricane, and the industrial freezer that housed frozen foods for the school lunch program was also destroyed. DOE has secured refrigerated containers that will store frozen foods as a replenishment supply arrives in the district. Abbreviated meals will be served during the first week of school.
For breakfast, students can expect tuna or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be provided for lunch. Students are welcome to bring their own lunch. Emergency drinking water will also be provided. Hot meals will begin on Oct. 16.
Results of a test drive conducted by the Water and Power Authority (WAPA), the Department of Public Works, School Bus Inc., and the district’s Pupil Transportation Division determined that the normal school bus routes can and will remain the same. Buses will begin traveling on their scheduled routes for morning and regular session schools at 6:15 a.m. Those schools include Bertha C. Boschulte Middle, Ivanna Eudora Kean High, Ulla F. Muller Elementary, Leonard Dober Elementary, Lockhart Elementary, Yvonne Milliner-Bowsky Elementary and Addelita Cancryn Junior High.
Buses will begin pick-up of students attending afternoon session schools at 10:15 a.m. These schools are Gladys Abraham Elementary, E. Benjamin Oliver Elementary and Charlotte Amalie High. Additional buses will be added to pick up students at Kirwan Terrace, Estate Tutu and Hidden Valley.
Education officials have been working with FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other local and federal partners to get school facilities up and running in the territory following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. School restoration efforts include ensuring each operational school facility has electricity from WAPA and/or generators, running water, debris removal, room sanitation and temporary roof repairs.
St. Croix District
The St. Croix District has set a tentative start date for Oct. 16. Similar to the St. Thomas-St. John District, some schools will resume instruction before others. The 2017-18 school year began in the district on Tuesday, Sept. 12 prior to Hurricane Maria’s landfall in the territory. Arthur A. Richards Junior High School has since been condemned, and significant damages have been reported at many of the schools.
St. Thomas – St. John District 2017-2018 School Year Opening Dates
Location – Start Time/ End Time
Leonard Dober Elementary — 7:45 a.m./ 2:45 p.m.
Jane E. Tuitt Primary School — 7:50 a.m./ 2:35 p.m.
Joseph Sibilly Elementary — 7:50 a.m./ 2:30 p.m.
Joseph Gomez Elementary — 7:45 a.m./ 2:40 p.m.
Addelita Cancryn Jr. High School — 7:30 a.m./ 11:30 a.m.
Charlotte Amalie H.S. — Noon/4 p.m.
Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School — 7:25 a.m./ 2:25 p.m.
Edith Williams AA — 8 a.m./ 3:10 p.m.
Raphael O. Wheatley Skills Center — 8 a.m./ 3 p.m.
Day Adult Education — 8 a.m./ 3 p.m.
Ivanna Eudora Kean HS — 7:30 a.m./ 2:50 p.m.
Julius E. Sprauve School (Grades K – 5) — 8 a.m./ Noon
Julius E. Sprauve School (Grades 6 – 8) — 11 a.m./ 4 p.m.
Ulla F. Muller Elementary — 7:30 a.m./ Noon
Gladys Abraham Elementary — 11:15 a.m./ 4:30 p.m.
Lockhart Elementary — 8 a.m./ 2:45 p.m.
**The opening of Yvonne Milliner-Bowsky Elementary, merging with the E. Benjamin Oliver Elementary, will be announced.
Schools listed in bold will assume a split session schedule.
Addelita Cancryn Junior High School will conduct student orientations on Tuesday, Oct. 10; grade 7 will report at 8 a.m.; grade 8 will report at 10 a.m. The school will be in full session on Wednesday, Oct. 11.