School reopens for new academic year


~ Jacobs calls for attitude of excellence in schools ~

PHILIPSBURG–The roads will be busy again today as hundreds of students and teachers return to school for the start of the 2017-2018 academic year.

Motorists should exercise caution particularly when around school zones.


In her back to school message issued on Sunday, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Silveria Jacobs said government pledges to continue doing all it can to ensure the success of each child because the administration aims to have schools of excellence.

She said the beginning of the school year is an exciting time for students, parents and teachers. “Many students enjoyed the summer vacation, had fun at camps with friends and family, but now is the time to have fun while learning,” she said.

“The new school year will bring new challenges, new experiences and for students, you’ll be unlocking a new characteristic or trait you didn’t know existed last year and you’ll definitely learn new skills,” Jacobs said. “You’ll be encountering new faces in the classroom both as teachers and fellow classmates; embrace these changes and let the community of St. Maarten see the best you, you can be.”

She said for many, it will be a completely new experience, whether at a new school, a transition from elementary to secondary school, or moving up a grade or form. “To those repeating this year, I would like to encourage you to not be discouraged. Utilize this stumbling block as your stepping stone to prove what you are made of. Do it this year better, stronger and show everyone what you are working with. For those who have been successful and moving on, keep doing what you did right and improve on it. We must create an attitude of excellence in all of our schools. Parents should no longer wonder which school to place their child, as each school should be striving for excellence.”

She encouraged teachers, management and staff of the various schools to use their roles to prepare students to be future leaders and to use their influence for good. “Each child deserves a chance and we are aware of the challenges we face in our educational system. However, each day is a new day to make a difference. We do appreciate you as teachers, and we expect you to continue to put your best foot forward, as you make a difference for our youth and the future of St. Maarten.”

She urged parents to continue to push and prod their children in the right direction. “Continue to motivate and encourage them to be the very best versions of themselves, in and outside of the classroom. Parents, you can be the best examples for your children by modelling the type of behaviour they can follow. We must not only say what we would like our children to do, but also do it as well. The relationship between parents and school is the most important for your child’s success. Make it your duty, as a parent or guardian, to visit and check in with your child’s teachers, student care coordinators and counsellors to see how your child is progressing. Your child and the school will appreciate it and your child will be the biggest winner. Together, we can make a difference, not just the students and the teachers, but parents, the community and Government alike.”

She wished students, teachers, parents, school managements, and all who make school possible, a happy and productive 2017-2018. “May your hard work bare fruition when the school year ends.

Source: The Daily Herald