St. Croix School District Makes Reconfiguration Official

Juanita Gardine School is one of three St. Croix schools adding seventh and eighth grades to become K-8 schools/ (File photo)
Juanita Gardine School is one of three St. Croix schools adding seventh and eighth grades to become K-8 schools/ (File photo)

The Department of Education officially confirmed details of how St. Croix schools will be reconfigured for the fall. The outlines have been well known for more than a month but this is the first time the Department of Education has confirmed the school roster and explained the changes in detail.

The new roster also involves some school uniform changes.

Four of the district’s schools will move to a K-8 model and will require changes to school uniforms. All schools in the district will have new start and end times to better accommodate bus schedules, as well as after-school programs and activities for students.

John H. Woodson Jr. High will be the only remaining junior high school, serving just 7th and 8th grades.

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St. Croix Insular Superintendent of Schools Carlos McGregor said the move to a K-8 model was a necessary step in the right direction to alleviate long-standing employee shortages and decreased student enrollment, eliminate use of aging and damaged school buildings, and reduce operational costs.

Student enrollment had been declining slightly before the devastating storms of 2017, with a drop after the 2012 closure of the Hovensa refinery. Multiple schools were condemned after the 2017 hurricanes and temporary buildings were brought in as an emergency measure to provide classrooms.

Education Commissioner Racquel Berry-Benjamin echoed McGregor’s sentiments.

“After an extensive assessment of schools in both districts, we had to make the tough decision to change our operations for the benefit of our students, and in order to appropriately use the financial and human resources we do have,” Berry-Benjamin said.

Eulalie Rivera School will be another K-8 school. (File photo)
Eulalie Rivera School will be another K-8 school. (File photo)

Four schools will expand to include K-8 classes. Pearl B. Larsen, Juanita Gardine and Eulalie Rivera elementary schools will add junior high grades 7 and 8. Arthur A. Richards Jr. High and Alexander Henderson Elementary are now Arthur A. Richards K-8, at the current Arthur A. Richards Jr. High site.

Four others will continue to teach children from kindergarten through sixth grades: Lew Muckle, Ricardo Richards, Alfredo Andrews and Claude O. Markoe.

John H. Woodson Jr. High will continue to serve 7th and 8th graders.

The three high schools, St. Croix Central, St. Croix Educational Complex and St. Croix Technical will continue to serve those populations.

Elena L. Christian Jr. High and Alexander Henderson Elementary will remain closed.

Where students go is somewhat convoluted.

– Current Arthur Richards Jr. High 7th graders who attended the Eulalie Rivera Elementary School will return to Eulalie R. Rivera K-8 for 8th grade.

– Pearl B. Larsen’s current 6th graders will remain at Pearl B. Larsen K-8 for 7th grade.

– Current Elena L. Christian Jr. High School 7th graders who attended Pearl B. Larsen will return to Pearl B. Larsen K-8 for 8th grade.

– Juanita Gardine’s current 6th graders will remain at Juanita Gardine K-8 for 7th grade.

– Current Elena L. Christian Jr. High School 7th graders who attended Juanita Gardine, will return to Juanita Gardine K-8 for 8th grade.

Pearl B. Larsen School (File photo)
Pearl B. Larsen School (File photo)

– Current 7th graders who attended Pearl B. Larsen will return to Pearl B. Larsen K-8 for 8th grade.

– Current 7th graders who attended Juanita Gardine will return to Juanita Gardine K-8 for 8th grade.

– Current 7th graders who attended Lew Muckle Elementary will report to John H. Woodson Jr. High for 8th grade.

Feeder Elementary Schools for John H. Woodson will now be:

– Alfredo Andrews Elementary.
– Ricardo Richards Elementary.
– Lew Muckle Elementary.

Ricardo Richards, Alfredo Andrews and Claude O. Markoe will see no changes.

Start/End Times

– High Schools: 7:30 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.
– Junior Highs: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
– K-8: 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
– Elementary: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Click here to see the uniform changes – STX Uniform Changes

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