Above: US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh
By the Caribbean Journal staff
US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh met with members of the territory’s Board of Education this week to discuss a range of topics on public education in the USVI.
In what the Governor’s office called a “frank and candid discussion,” Chairperson Winona Hendricks and other members of the board shared their concerns with the government about changes taking place in the Virgin Islands’ school districts, along with other matters.
“These discussions are an opportunity to allow board members to outline their concerns, and for my office and the Education Department to respond,” Governor de Jongh said. “Such a dialogue ensures we are all on the same page when it comes to improving our school system and the quality of education in the Virgin Islands.”
The territory’s plans for the 2012-2013 school year include the merging and closing of some schools, according to de Jongh, along with “difficult changes” that must take place in the St Croix district.
The Governor also responded to concerns about staffing levels, in light of recent dismissals within the Education Department.
“The territory’s financial situation forced us to reduce the government’s workforce, including some personnel in our schools,” he said. “Adjustments are necessary to ensure this process impacts learning as little as possible, and we manage to preserve arts, sports and extracurricular activities.”