Nevis education official gives update on school closure

Ms. Zahnela Claxton, Principal Education Officer in the Department of Education on Nevis
Ms. Zahnela Claxton, Principal Education Officer in the Department of Education on Nevis

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (May 27, 2021) – The following is a statement by Ms. Zahnela Claxton, Principal Education Officer (PEO) in the Department of Education in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA)

On Monday 24th May, 2021, we received word that on the advice of the COVID-19 Task Force, all schools are to be physically closed effective May 25th, 2021.

The closure should be for a period of two weeks in the first instance. This is the time for us to put into effect our continuity of learning plan.

The Department of Education has worked closely with our schools during the past school year to ensure that we have our Microsoft Teams populated for all primary and secondary schools. This was completed in Term I of the academic year. All schools were also asked to provide opportunities for our students to practise on the assigned platform.

All this work was not only done in preparation for closure but to ensure that we are in a position to offer our students access to technology as we provide education for the future.

I am pleased to announce that we have been able to provide opportunities to support students across the system at all levels.

At our pre-schools we have prepared Take Home Packets. Each packet includes:

  • Letters which reflect the student’s first name
  • Shape of the Week
  • Color of the Week
  • Word of the Week; and
  • Number of the Week

Resources such as popsicles sticks, pipe cleaners and glue also accompany the packets. School supervisors will share expectations with parents in relation to the assigned activities.

At the primary school level, to date all primary schools have recorded interactions for students via virtual platforms as well as take home packets and other learning resources.

Teachers are in contact with parents and are providing support through packages, workbooks and textbooks and virtual instruction. We thank all parents for allowing teachers time to transition in an effort to prepare for your students.

Please ensure that your students complete assigned activities. Teachers should provide a daily schedule for students with the expectation of what the students are to complete. Schedules should be shared to parents as well.

At the secondary level, I am also pleased to announce that our secondary schools are on line. Secondary school students should follow their regular timetables for instruction. Teachers will provide both online and offline activities for students to complete during their assigned class periods. They should also implement mechanisms for submission of assignments.

All schools should have had parent meetings or some form of interaction to allow parents an opportunity to understand the way forward. They should have provided guidelines for you parents, and you should have had an opportunity to ask questions and  had those interactions.

Parents, we ask for your continued support during this process. We have put the mechanisms in place to serve our students, and we need you to ensure that the assigned work both online and offline is completed.

We thank our education officials, school leaders, teachers and instructional staff members for their commitment to the holistic development of our students. We look forward to navigating the next two weeks together, and to providing our students with several opportunities for continued growth and development.

We thank the parents and the general community for their support and understanding during this process. We encourage everyone to continue to remain safe and to take the necessary precautionary measures to protect themselves and our students while they are at home.

At the Department of Education we strive to provide education for the future.

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