Students and teachers at the Addelita Cancryn Junior High School were excited to begin classes at their newly constructed modular campus on Monday, October 15, following a delay as contractors worked around the clock to ensure the campus was ready to receive them, the Department of Education announced today.
Governor Kenneth Mapp, who toured the campus the day before, expressed his general satisfaction with the school, and shared his readiness to move toward the next phase of construction, according to the release.
“The real work is that we have to now batten down and go through the assessment process and determine what facilities would be demolished and reconstructed new, what facilities would be closed,” the governor explained. “We will work that in tandem with the teachers, the professional staff, and the [Department of Education] to figure it all out and start notifying our federal partners that these are our strategic plans in the territory.”
Sharon Ann McCollum, D.O.E. commissioner, shared her eagerness to open the new campus to the public.
“We’re very excited,” she began, adding, “we are expecting our children, their parents, the teachers, everyone. We do want the community to know this is still a work in progress, but we are safe, we are fully operational, and we are welcoming our students back.”
Cancryn Assistant Principal Judy Edmeade welcomed students and parents as they arrived on campus, now housed on the Charlotte Amalie High School field, and reflected on the school’s new accommodations, D.O.E. said.
“We are in a new facility and, temporary as it may be, we are going to make the most of it,” she said. “The children are happy to be here. The teachers are ecstatic to be in new classrooms that are much larger than the classrooms that we had and are equipped with technology, new desks, and new chairs. So, it’s a wonderful thing to be here and to finally get started.”
Following an orientation held in the school’s multipurpose Sprung structure, students and parents were given a tour to allow them to become acclimated to the new campus.
“I’m very excited to be here, finally,” said Debra Carter, whose son is in the seventh grade. “These modulars look extremely beautiful. The campus is awesome.”
Seventh grade Language Arts teacher Ms. Daley shared feelings of satisfaction with the school’s new accommodations and extended thanks to everyone involved in preparing the campus for the 2018-19 school year.
“I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to get us ready,” she said. “[The Department of Education and AECOM] worked very hard and we thank them. The students are very excited and the teachers are also excited to start today.”
Following the tour of the campus, teachers were eager to get students settled and begin their classes. Principal Dr. Lisa Forde highlighted that a more rigorous curriculum was in store for students this year.
“You’ll find that we are going to be doubling up a lot of the lessons and pushing [students] because we’ve missed a month of school already,” she said. “So, we want to make sure that our children have a quality education and that’s going to be our focus this year.”
With the opening of the Addelita Cancryn Junior High School, all of the Territory’s public schools are now providing a full day of instruction for students. The Arthur A. Richards Junior High School is temporarily being housed on the second floor of the John H. Woodson campus, as the construction of Arthur Richards’ modular campus progresses toward completion.