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School starts – Underhill upbeat despite hiccups

UNDERHILL – “There are still quite a few hiccups that we still need to iron out, and we are listing them as we go through. But we are operational; we are functional; we have all the major things under control.”

Today marked the official start of the academic year for senior students of Elmore Stoutt High School, and Principal Sandy Underhill said she is confident that the senior students will catch up in time to do well in exams administered by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).

The academic year was delayed due to severe damage to school infrastructure, resulting from a tropical wave on August 7 and category 5 Hurricane Irma on September 6.

Five of the 16 public schools were severely  affected and were deemed unusable. As a result, a number of schools are operating on a shift system or from temporary locations.

Students of the territory’s largest secondary school – Elmore Stoutt High – showed up for classes this morning, but not at the school.

They are being housed temporarily at the former Clarence Thomas Limited (CTL) building located in Pasea Estate, Tortola.

Underhill told BVI News Online today that transition to the CTL building has a few challenges, but they will be overcome.

“There are still quite a few hiccups that we still need to iron out, and we are listing them as we go through. But we are operational; we are functional; we have all the major things under control — running water, fans, and air conditioning. Some of the A/C units are still being worked on, but we are functional enough for us to have a very productive first day,” Underhill further told BVI News Online.

“The energy here was very, very high. Students again were just so happy to be here. Today was a very very good day.”

The principal further said her 154 educators are ready for the post-Hurricane Irma challenges.

“I know that my teachers will step up to the plate and get it done. It will be a good year because we started from the bottom and there is only one way to go and that is up,” Underhill added.

Meanwhile, junior students of Elmore Stoutt High are expected to start classes on November 6.

Underhill said work is being done to have the juniors based at the said CTL location.

 

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