ROADTOWN, BVI–22nd October 2020–Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. Natalio D. Wheatley has announced that public schools across the Territory will reopen in a phased approach.
This announcement comes a month after the approval of the first phase of the reopening of schools on September 18 which allowed private schools, daycare centers, pre-schools and colleges to open for in-school instruction. Also, during that phase, approved public schools were allowed to open for in-school instruction for the following special groups:
- Technical education students;
- Students with special needs;
- Marginalized students; and
- Adult education students, as specified and approved by the Chief Education Officer.
Wheatley said, “I am pleased to announce that at Cabinet at a special meeting on October 19, it was decided that all schools be granted permission to be opened in a phased approach, provided that they adhere to established health and social distancing guidelines.”
The minister said with proper approvals from the Chief Education Officer and the Environmental Health Division, the following phased timeline for the remainder of students returning schools are:
- Monday, October 26 – Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 (Specific reporting days will be communicated by the respective principals)
- Monday, November 9 – Grades 3 to 6; Grades 10 to 12
- Monday, January 4 – Grades 7 to 9.
Wheatley said schools will continue to use online tools at this time, as the model for learning will be blended, using both face-to-face and online/distance learning.
Parents of students with underlying conditions or home conditions must seek and obtain permission from the principal to operate away from school. They are also reminded that they will be responsible for the transportation of their child to and from the school campus between October 26 and November 6. Bus service with social distancing guidelines is expected to resume on November 9.
Wheatley also encouraged parents to continue supporting students while at home.
“Parents, your supervisory role is essential to the students’ success,” he said, adding, “As classes will continue on-line on some days, I urge you not to neglect to monitor and ensure that your children stay on task with their schoolwork.”
The minister’s full statement delivered on October 21 can be viewed on the Government’s Facebook page or read on the Government’s Website.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture will continue to ensure that all of the key stakeholders are prepared for this next phase of our reopening.
For more information about the phased reopening, parents may call 468-2151.