To make up for class time lost when St. Croix Central High closed in February and March due to odor complaints, the Education Department has scheduled make-up instructional days for the week of April 28-May 2.
After several sporadic school closures in February and March, on March 18, at least 30 students sought medical attention, describing symptoms of nausea, dizziness and vomiting after exposure to a strong sulfurous smell. Central High has been closed since that time, and after a week of work to try to find a source for the odors, sulfur dioxide from a section of sewer near the school property became a prime suspect.
But without more conclusive findings, after missing a week of classes, Central High students returned to school at St. Croix Educational Complex, with both schools using the same facilities in split session.
During the week beginning April 28, Central classes will convene on the St. Croix Educational Complex campus beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 4:45 p.m.
“It is necessary for us to give students the opportunity to make up the 48 hours of instructional time lost when Central High School was closed from March 19-28,” Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory said in a statement Tuesday.
“While we understand that school is generally out during the time period we have proposed for the make-ups, it necessary for us to ensure that our students get to complete all the work they missed during the days Central was closed. This proposal allows us to make up 40 of the lost hours, and the few remaining hours will be made up with additional assignments given to the students by their teachers," she said.
Frett-Gregory added that it is important for parents to partner with the department by encouraging their children to be in school during the make-up days.
“We all have to work together to ensure that there is no impact on our students’ academic performance,” Frett-Gregory said. “We must take care of this now to ensure that our students recover as much of the necessary academic hours as possible.”