St. Maarten Academy
CUL DE SAC–The reopening of St. Maarten Academy’s academic campus has been pushed back to September 2 for the lower forms and students of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE). Form 5 students will begin at the Preparatory Secondary Vocational Education (PSVE) campus on Monday, August 12, starting at 7:30am, in an effort not to affect their preparation for the May/June 2020 examinations.
The later start date for Forms 1-4 and CAPE is the result of a delay in construction, management of St. Maarten Academy said Wednesday. Parents and guardians of new Form 1 students are being advised that orientation will no longer be held today, Thursday, August 8, but will now take place on Wednesday, August 28, starting at 6:00pm.
Academy and its sister school PSVE were operating under a shift system at the PSVE campus in Ebenezer since January 2018 to facilitate the rebuilding of the academic campus. This saw the displaced students having classes into the evening, which placed considerable stress on students, parents and staffers.
The board of the Foundation for Academic and Vocational Education (FAVE), which operates the Academy schools, has been working assiduously over the last 19 months to rebuild the damaged school amid serious financial constraints.
Despite many setbacks, the school board has been pushing ahead to complete construction to ensure that both schools return to their normal schedules.
Chairman of the Board Roland Duncan, while recognising that it had not been an easy year-and-a-half, said FAVE is committed to delivering quality education.
He expressed his appreciation to the parents, students and staff for their understanding and patience, and singled out the Department of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) and the school bus drivers who worked into the evening hours to ensure that all students were transported safely to and from the various districts.
Both schools had to adjust their curricula and schedules to operate out of the PSVE campus in Ebenezer, with classes for PSVE starting at 7:30am and ending at 12:00pm, and academic classes running from 12:30pm and dismissing most students at 6:30pm.
Academic campus principal Tallulah Baly-Vanterpool extended a “heartfelt thank you” to her counterpart Laverne Nelson and the PSVE staff for their “gracious accommodation” over the past 18 months. Baly-Vanterpool said she is “excited” about the return to the refurbished campus although everything may not yet be in place.
“In keeping with the spirit and values of the Academy, management would like to thank all parents, teachers and especially you, the students, for being such troopers and showing the spirit of resilience after such devastation,” Baly-Vanterpool stated.
She added that although there had been times “we felt like we couldn’t go on, we held it together and pushed on. Never were our standards compromised, never was the quality of education we delivered lessened, and despite the devastation and displacement, with the grace of God, we are still standing,” she said.
Letters to parents concerning the new operational arrangements and material lists will be sent out via the student tracking system. Uniforms are being sold at 0-14 Store in Cay Hill, next to Carrefour supermarket, and Penny’s department store in Philipsburg.