~ Construction at new campus incomplete ~
Cul de Sac, St. Maarten – Students of St. Maarten Academy’s two schools (the academic and PSVE campuses) will continue to share one building and operate on a shift schedule when school reopens for them on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.
The announcement was initially made on December 18, 2018, during the commencement ceremony for the academic school by Mr. Roland Duncan, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Academic and Vocational Education (FAVE) under which the schools fall.
Duncan touched on the adversities faced by students since January 2018 when the two schools were forced to operate out of the Ebenezer building due to damage sustained to the academic campus during the passage of Hurricane Irma. It was estimated that construction of the academic campus would have taken 11 months, however, Duncan told the audience that “unfortunately, the contractor has passed the deadline, so I regret to announce tonight that we are not going to move by January 9.”
He, nonetheless, emphasized that the rebuild and expansion of the school was necessary due to the growing sixth form programme (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination – CAPE) which now offers students a Caribbean associate degree in the myriad of fields, including Entrepreneurship, Tourism, Accounts, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and Natural Sciences.
“We need to expand the school. The CAPE is growing and going forward, we are producing 100 plus graduates, so we need to make room and have facilities that can cater and provide teaching spaces for our students; hence the sacrifice,” Duncan said.
He lauded the efforts by the Government for the continued subsidies despite problems it faces with organizations such as the World Bank.
Students and parents were informed via letter about the delay in the move back to the academic campus prior to school closing in December. Duncan also met with the teachers of the academic campus on December 20, 2018, during a walkthrough of the construction site to answer questions and explain the reasons for the delay.
The school’s Management has taken into consideration that moving back to the academic campus after March will cause undue disruption to the more than 100 Form 5 and CAPE students preparing for their regional Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) examinations. That, added to the fact that returning to the school in the current state can pose a safety hazard to all students and personnel, were matters discussed at length during several meetings with the board.
As such, classes at PSVE will continue to run from 7:30am until 12:00pm; while classes for the academic school will begin at 12:30pm and end Monday through Thursday at 5:55pm and 6:30pm, depending on the level; and at 5:20pm every Friday.
The Management of the academic school would like to inform all parents that the schedule of all Form 1 students will be adjusted to end at 5:55pm on Monday through Thursday to coincide with the bus pick up time.
The Board and Management would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused, but would like to assure all that the safety of students is paramount as they continue to meet the educational needs of all students.