PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Rudolphe Samuel has announced that come August 10 schools will start the new school year with on-line learning only as COVID-19 cases in the country continues to rise daily.
The ministry sent out a letter to all parents and guardians on Friday.
The letter stated, “In light of the current developments and in line with the various approaches described in St. Maarten’s Education Continuity Plan — Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, a decision has been made for all schools to start with on-line learning until further notice This decision is based on current evidence, provided by St. Maarten’s health experts, of clusters of cases and community transmission,” said Samuel.
“This means that all students will continue to receive education via distance learning as they were after the closure of school on March 18. In the event your school is unable to begin on August 10, and will start at a later time, you will be informed by August 7.”
The minister assured that the local situation regarding the spread of COVID-19 and the situation on the island will be reviewed within the next three weeks and an update will be provided to the school boards. “Once the situation has been found to have improved significantly and community transmission has been once again brought under control, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport will inform when a return to onsite education at school can be expected.”
He further urged parents and guardians to continue to communicate the importance of education to their child/children and ensure that they are aware of the importance of safe social distancing and the hygiene practices that have been observed to limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus, and to practice same.
“I urge you to remain abreast of developments related to your child’s education by maintaining regular contact with your child’s school and thank you for your cooperation and support in keeping our students safe, particularly during these unprecedented times,” he concluded