USVI Community Pulse

St. Croix District Schools Modify Timings Amidst Intense Heatwave



Amid the escalating heatwave impacting the St. Croix District, the Virgin Islands Department of Education has unveiled altered schedules for six specific schools. Beginning Monday, September 25, these modifications are designed to counteract the soaring temperatures, ensuring the comfort and safety of both students and school personnel.

A Heat Warning was declared for the U.S. Virgin Islands on September 18th, in light of the updated heat risk assessments. The persistent sweltering conditions, not conducive to effective learning, instigated this prompt action by the district.

Facility Evaluations Lead to Changes:

Authorities at the Department of Education in the St. Croix District undertook a detailed examination of school infrastructures. In doing so, they pinpointed six institutions where a significant portion, more than half of the premises, is devoid of operational air conditioning systems. Immediate interventions are underway for these identified schools.

Updated Timetable Details:

  • Juanita Gardine and Eulalie Rivera PreK-8 Schools: Classes are set to commence at 7:30 am, culminating at 12:30 pm. Each class session will span 45 minutes, with lunch timings adjusted to fit the revised schedule.
  • John H. Woodson Jr. High School: This institution will function between 8:00 am to 1:15 pm. The duration for each class is now condensed, from 55 minutes to 45.
  • St. Croix Central High School, St. Croix Educational Complex, and the Career & Educational Technical Center: While the commencement time remains at 7:40 am, the concluding hour is now shifted to 1:05 pm. Each class, previously 75 minutes, will now last for 65.

Transportation Details:

Bus services will remain accessible for students traveling to and from these educational establishments. Specifically, morning routes for Juanita Gardine, Eulalie Rivera PreK-8, and John H. Woodson Jr. High School may kick off at 6:45 am. Buses in the afternoon are synced with the school’s closing times, aligning with when parents can initiate student pickups.

A Transitional Strategy:

The Department of Education emphasizes that these adjustments are provisional, instituted to make the current educational milieu more conducive amidst the heatwave. Continuous monitoring of weather patterns and temperature metrics will guide any further decisions on reverting to typical school durations.

The department candidly recognizes that these shifts are not a permanent remedy. A proactive approach is underway to address the enduring infrastructural needs of the district’s schools. As they navigate this exigent phase, collaboration and patience from parents, students, faculty, and other staff members are earnestly solicited.

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