Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said this move is expected to accommodate senior school students presently housed at Pasea Estate. The new buildings are also for the school’s growing population of junior school students.
According to Dr Wheatley, construction is expected to be completed in early 2022.
The Recovery & Development Agency is managing this project while funding will come through the Ministry of Finance.
Dr Wheatley shared news of the project while announcing late last evening that all students of ESHS are expected to return to face-to-face instruction for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year.
Only some students at the school were able to experience face-to-face instruction for the previous academic year. While a few only had the benefit of online instruction, another segment had hybrid learning options available for on-campus and off-campus learning.
The minister said all of the students will attend classes utilising a half-day shift system. Students on the morning shift are expected to begin at 8 am while students on the afternoon session will begin at 12:30 pm.
The decision to have a shift system, the education minister explained, is to ensure that all students have an opportunity to experience the school environment.
Adding a personal anecdote to bolster his position, Dr Wheatley stated: “My daughter who was just promoted from seventh grade, never met her classmates and never spent a day on campus. She did her entire seventh grade online. This shift will allow her and all other students to have some time on campus.”
Dr Wheatley further noted that all of the secondary schools in the territory besides Elmore Stoutt High School will have a full day of classes.
The ministry has procured school furniture through the Caribbean Development Bank’s $65 million-dollar loan to the BVI and they are expected to arrive before the beginning of school.
Dr Wheatley said this furniture will allow more students to be accommodated in the schools’ classrooms.
With regards to tertiary education, classes begin at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) on August 25, with new student orientation and registration taking place on August 10 and 11.
Returning students are allowed to register between August 16 and 23 while August 31 is the last day to add classes, the minister stated.
He advised that all courses which require face-to-face delivery will be offered. However, these face-to-face classes will have restrictions on the numbers per session. The minister said there will also be a possible increase of sessions to accommodate additional demand.
All courses which do not require face-to-face delivery will be offered online, in the first instance — four to six weeks. However, this timeline is subject to review at the midpoint, Dr Wheatley stated.
Academic support services will be delivered mainly virtually with on-campus access strictly by appointment only. The college can be contacted at 284-494-4994 for more information.