STATEMENT BY HONOURABLE SHARIE B. DE CASTRO,
MINISTER OF EDUCATION, CULTURE, YOUTH AFFAIRS, AND SPORTS
UPDATE ON THE REOPENING OF SCHOOLS
Friday, August 26th, 2022
Good day all,
In two weeks, teachers and students will returning to the classroom after a long summer break. I wish all teachers and students a productive learning experience as we all work together to transform the lives of our most precious resource - our children.
In July of this year, we informed you of the Ministry of Education’s plans to relocate the staff and students of the Althea Scatliffe Primary School. This action was taken after a structural assessment of the Althea Scatliffe Primary School building, conducted in June by Civil and Structural Engineering Limited, revealed that the building was structurally unsound and unsuitable for continued use.
As a reminder, the health and safety of our children and teachers comes first.
Preparations to house the students at Enis Adams Primary School and Francis Lettsome Primary School were outlined in my statement on July 29th, 2022.
Today we are pleased to announce that the Ministry of Education has partnered with Unite BVI who has agreed to absorb the total cost of the infrastructural works needed to provide a safe and functional learning environment for the students at both Enis Adams and Francis Lettsome Primary Schools.
This is exceptional news for us and we thank the team at Unite BVI for making a difference.
I am pleased to report that the projects will start next week and in the case of Francis Lettsome Primary School, will be completed in phases, with the first phase to be completed in time for the reopening of school. This will allow for the students and teachers to occupy the space in time for the opening of the new school term.
The works needed at Enis Adams Primary School include the completion of the second floor classrooms, which is slated to begin next week.
However, because of the lead time necessary for materials needed to complete the works, this project is estimated to take a bit longer.
In light of this, and after consultation with the technical team at the Ministry of Education and the principal of the school, a decision has been made to implement a hybrid system at the Enis Adams Primary School.
To ensure all students at the institution are afforded face to face instruction on a daily basis, the following schedule will be implemented:
- Students from kindergarten to grade two, including students in the therapeutic kindergarten will attend school for full day instruction from 8:30am – 3:15pm, Monday to Friday.
- Students in grades 3 to 6 will attend on a hybrid schedule with one half of the population attending in the morning from 8:30am – 12 noon and the other half attending in the afternoon from 1:00pm – 4:30pm.
- Consideration has been given to accommodate families who have students in multiple grades so that parents will not have to pick up at two separate times during the day.
A meeting was held to inform the parents of this update.
I want to assure everyone that securing a space suitable for the unique learning needs of the exceptional students of the Eslyn Henley Richez Learning Centre has been a priority of the Ministry.
We are pleased to announce that this group will be housed at the Valarie O. Thomas Community Centre in Sea Cow’s Bay for the upcoming school year. Transportation will be made available for those who need it.
The Ministry of Education takes this time to thank the Social Development Department for allowing the use of this space and helping to ensure that teaching and learning continues for the Eslyn Henley Richez Learning Centre.
The Elmore Stoutt High School which was scheduled to be completed in time for the reopening of the 2022 – 2023 school year has faced some unforeseeable setbacks resulting in a delay of the completion of this project.
More specifically, delays surrounding the arrival time of windows and doors along with other fixtures has led the Ministry to implement a hybrid system for students for the next few weeks. Just this week the Recovery and Development Agency received some of the windows and doors, and next week they hope to receive the balance. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that the school will be completed for October 2022.
This will be organised as follows:
- Students of Grades 7, 10, 11 and 12 will attend face-to-face sessions every day from Monday to Friday.
- Students of Grades 8 and 9 will attend school in a hybrid fashion. On alternate weeks, students from Grade 8 and 9 will attend face-to-face sessions using the following pattern:
- Week 1: Grade 8: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; Grade 9: Thursday, Friday
- Week 2: Grade 9: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; Grade 8: Thursday, Friday
3. Students and parents will be provided with a calendar to indicate the days on which they should attend face-to-face sessions.
4. Students in Junior grade levels will attend in the morning session and senior students will attend the afternoon sessions. The bell schedule for each session will be shared during orientation.
Overall, I am pleased to have provided this very important information.
We want to make sure that all of our teachers and students are taken care of as their health and safety are our first priority. The ministry remains committed to ensuring that all students in the territory are afforded access to education as this is vital to the continued development of this territory.