BVI News

All schools now permitted to allow face-to-face classes but in phases

Seventh District Representative Dr Natalio Wheatley.

The Ministry of Education has been given the ‘green light’ from Cabinet to allow all schools in the territory to reopen for face-to-face classes using a phased approach.

However, no visitors or vendors will be permitted during the first phase. Deputy Premier and Education Minister, Dr Natalio Wheatley made that announcement late Wednesday during a scheduled live presentation.

He said Cabinet had conducted a special meeting on October 19 and decided that schools be granted permission on the basis that students adhere to the established social distancing guidelines.

“This is good news, the Ministry of Education has been given the green light to phase in all students in public schools by grade levels, in the way which best suits their circumstance and which will ensure the best for the students in attendance,” the minister said.

“I wish to state that while preparations for six-feet social distancing measures have been ongoing at schools, given the number of students in classes, it will not be possible to accommodate all students at the same time like we did prior to the pandemic,” he added.

Strict rules – (Wearing of masks, no visitors, no vendors)

Dr Wheatley also said all persons on school campuses including staff and students must wear either a mask or a face shield.

“Students are expected to come to on-site classes with a mask or shield and their personal bottle of hand sanitizer. Visitors to school campuses will be restricted. Each school will decide how visitors will be accommodated with the restricted guidelines.”

“It will be required for students to carry a pack lunch or parents should make the necessary arrangements for lunch to be delivered to the child at the school, as school vendors will not be available on campus during this phase,” the minister said.

Proposed phased dates revealed

Dr Wheatley further said the dates for the phases will be determined by the Chief Education Officer and the Environmental Health Division in consultation with himself.

He announced some of the reopening dates proposed thus far.

“Beginning on Monday the 26th of October, kindergarten, Grade One and Grade Two will be allowed in. Specific reporting days will be communicated by the respective principals of schools. Beginning on Monday the 9th of November, grades three through six and grades 10 through 12 will be allowed in and beginning on Monday the 4th of January, grades seven through nine will be allowed in,” he explained.

Blended/hybrid learning model

The phases will see the introduction of a blended/hybrid learning model of instruction in schools.

This model of learning involves face-to-face class sessions that are accompanied by online materials and activities.

Dr Wheatley also said that in some cases, schools will have to engage in a staggered schedule or shift system to ensure the best results.

 “Even in the classroom, I wish to emphasize that schools should continue to engage students through a series of online interactive sessions, utilising Cisco, WebEx, Zoom Online Platform, Class Dojo, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangout, combined with the Google Classroom emails and PowerSchool for sending and receiving assignments.”

He added: “Educators and parents of students with underlying conditions must seek and obtain permission from the principal to operate away from school for a portion or all of the period in which blended learning is taking place.”

Bus drivers to be trained

In the meantime, Dr Wheatley urged all parents to assume responsibility for transporting students to and from school between October 26 and November 6.

He said that during the aforementioned period, bus drivers will be undergoing a number of training sessions to incorporate the new socially distanced measures in their service.

The bus service will resume on November 9.

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35 Comments

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  1. Tool says:

    Where you clowns come up with this $h** is beyond me!

    Like 14
    Dislike 3
  2. Heckler says:

    Lol clap for clap. He clap back as the bald headed one been on his case and rightfuly so.

    Like 3
    Dislike 6
    • @Heckler says:

      You mean slap himself! What he outlined is a clear knee-jerk and makes no damn sense whatsoever. School will either be open or it wont, this half-baked announcement is just so they can say that schools are opened when challenged. Territory opening 1 December and we are all still waiting on the protocols.

      Like 11
      Dislike 1
  3. All I would say says:

    I am so glad I don’t have school age children. My son was the class of 2019.

    Like 7
    Dislike 2
  4. BS says:

    Phases what!!! This childish nonsense needs to stop, this was only done because the former Minister of Education put them on blast. Every decision they make is in response to being bashed instead of having a F—ING PLAN! What kind of school opening is this? You open school in f–king November? This makes sense? A plan should have been in place from September so parents could plan accordingly. The islands are reopening, tourists will be returning, which means businesses need their employees. Who will be minding the kids that remain at home? Parents are being asked to supervise their kids and make sure they are doing their classes, HOW? If you have kids under 12 at home alone because parents have no alternatives, how will they supervise them? How will parents who are construction workers, waitresses, bartenders, hosts, chefs, messengers, boat captains etc. are going to supervise at home kids? All the other caribbean islands worked out that if they were to really open businesses the schools had to reopen as well and they did it. Our Government had SINCE MARCH to plan for this and nothing.

    Like 34
    Dislike 4
    • Me says:

      I tried to like this comment 100 times

    • J says:

      Hello remember its not about you if u have a problem with it sort out ur problem if they say phase its phase alot of u parents are afraid of ur own kidsstaying home

      Like 3
      Dislike 4
    • Daffy Duck says:

      I’ve always known that BVISLANDERS are dumb and backwards.
      There are other places in the Caribbean that has active covid cases and schools has been opened from September, they put measures in place and they follow protocols, what was so hard for you Nimrods? I don’t thing the education Minister nor his minions have these children’s best interests at heart. Why open school in November? Who the heck is steering that ship? BVI kids has a better chance on the Titanic.
      Then ine wonders why the BVI has all the social misfits, delinquents and societal rejects roaming the streets terrorizing neighborhoods.

      Like 5
      Dislike 2
      • ybaba says:

        What is hard is that they have tried many a measures over a period of time and YOU NUMSKULLS went and disregard all that was put in place. Breaking the LAWS left right and center. When I say YOU I meant EXPATS and LOCALS alike. So if the Government taking step by step is because it will help restrict YOUR B–Sides who seem not to understand or DON’T GIVE A DAMN about nobody but you self. Have a blessed day all.

  5. Hmmmm says:

    All I can say is that for a person that holds a Doctorate in the field of Education and a past Teacher/Professor to be making such decisions under the Ministry of Education is pretty scary to say the least! Wow!

    Like 10
    Dislike 2
    • Shorty says:

      His Phd is not in education but in African studies. I too thought it was in education but to my surprise 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ I totally agree with you, a former educator his performance is disappointing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why all the way in January for 10th through 12th grade to return?

    That appear a bit not well thoughout for many reasons that will not be mentioned at this time.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  7. He too callous says:

    This dude does not impress me at all. It was a tragedy when Foy appointed him as Deputy. His head done full of air and no sense. Humble yourself and treat people the way you want to be treated.

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
  8. Anonymous says:

    I need to know if the tablet which was given by path should return back to school at the end of the year. I have a son which is asthma how that goes

  9. Early Childhood Teacher says:

    Can someone help me understand what i just read? Why should the younger students go out to test the waters ,first? Why reopen school before designated buses are ready to transport the children? Will these buses be accessible to all students who must be transported to school?

    • Agreed says:

      I thought no one would mention this my son is in grade 2 and am not comfortable sending him so soon to expose. From thus virus reach my kids don’t go to road

  10. Who making these decisions? says:

    I am now hearing that some technical classes in high school will return to face to face. But how are working parents to cope with getting children to school for one class. How will parents get them there and back in time for their other virtual classes??? Except if they live close to ESHS. NOT A WORD on transportation needs!

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is hog wash foolishness the government protocol not keeping the elderly safe who is in bed how it going to keep our energetic children safe when them over. where is the protocol on the bus.we don’t have bus to take us to work the protocol not not practicing in the bus people come in maskup just to enter and take it off. when the children start kill off dem parents with covid teachers and government a go care for them. just before covid teacher want to run from class room Y the hurry covid is still deh yah. Y not wait till January elections going call like what was done in August. Beach open have to lock. people is not ediat when covid brok out in school uno start run up pon dun like when dem chop off foul head kmt kmt.look 19 worker in one home 16 in one how much children and parents this time.wish uno luck kmt

  12. Anonymous says:

    Right now all am hearing is pure Rubbish because they don’t have a proper plan in action for school to reopen

  13. Anonymous says:

    Please stop fooling people

  14. Anonymous says:

    Uno need to think logically. I’m so annoyed by this inability to make and stick to a solid decision.

    • Sh says:

      School cannot be open for people to send there kids out to die wake up dont send your kids goverment dont Care it Will just be a Next number dead for them protect uno kids is whos kids your are ministry are goverment

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
  15. Anonymous says:

    My daughter is 4 years old and she staying home. If adult not adhering to the rules of wearing mask etc how do you expect these small children. Covid as u said is not at the peek as yet. I rather pay the money let her do online classes.

  16. Anonymous says:

    All me know my son won’t be going to school if it reopens because he is asthmatic and so am I and I’m living with my grandmother who is 85 with diabetes and high blood pressure. I am the only parent of my three children if anything happens to me who will care for them. Not saying I can’t die by other means but I will do my best to protect myself and my home

  17. Anonymous says:

    Foolishness I’m not sure who’s sending their child out to school right now but not me I already lost his dad almost 4 years ago by the hands of hoodlums and all now they government can’t find the killer my son is asthmatic and I’m not putting him in harm’s way without proper protocols to reopening of schools kmt.

  18. Anonymous says:

    What about parents going to work get infected with this virus guh home pass it on to the kids and they in return pass it on to those at school .I think this decision is too abrupt they need to plan more and give parents time to be ready for this “even though some parents are stressed with this online schooling”

  19. TDW-W says:

    No, ya’ll must be working with trump with all this stupidity. This plan need to be reviewed. And give parents adequate time to prepare for these even for God sake it is ‘Pandemic’ and there was a lot of parents who lost their jobs how will they prepare their child/children for school on this short notice, I was still able to work but ofcourse it can be difficult at times. Be considerate. Cum up wid a betta plan or give parents time to prepare

  20. Anonymous says:

    So here we are talking about protecting our children and yet they say send the babies out first….the ones who hardly understand how to clean their own a**….

  21. Anonymous says:

    Will the world end or stop if school reopen January with option where in a parent can get there child to repeat the class that they were in prior to this covid…has alot of kids has fallen behind worse the slower ones ….the ones who didnt get any online classes from march till now for various reasons….will we world end if kids leave school at yr later….

  22. Kelsie ann porter says:

    I understand y’all comments but remember we are strugglibg too as a university student its a problen bear with them and understand

  23. Anonymous says:

    The public transport is all seated now you cant even get bus to go work when all them kids come out to join what going to happen them ever go down town and see the bus stop them a evening time with the children them crazy this is total rubbish its best to give it more time and sort out until january

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