DH | Schools to gradually reopen on Statia today

Young pupils and staff members at Buzzy Bee Inn Day-Care Centre.

ST. EUSTATIUS–The four primary schools and sole secondary school in St. Eustatius are set to gradually reopen today, Monday, May 11. This also includes some afterschool programmes and day-care centres.

Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis stated that Director of Social Affairs Carol Jack-Roosberg had met with childcare organisations on Wednesday, May 6, concerning each organisation’s approach to the gradual reopening and under what conditions this should take place.

The schools have arranged for splitting up pupils and students into smaller groups so that social distancing can be achieved, Francis said.

Parents are advised to become acquainted with the procedures at their child’s educational facility and to follow requests and guidelines. The approaches of each organisation vary, due to logistics.

Francis said the dialogue continues and details are being worked out and communicated to parents.

Buzzy Bees Day-Care Centre will be reopening today with classes no larger than 15 pupils and two caretakers per class. A washing station will be placed at the entrance of the day-care and children will be collected at the gate by their class teacher. The organisation announced that children will play at different times in different play areas. Parents with children attending Buzzy Bees are advised to remain in close contact with the institution.

The “Gateway to Success” after-school reading programme will be temporarily relocating to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to allow for social distancing.

Other day-care organisations were finalising their protocols for gradually reopening and plan to share the details with parents when they are available.

The Daughters of the King (DOTK) after-school programme for girls will maintain the same shifts as the schools, with the first shift being from 10:30am to 1:30pm, to ensure lunch and homework guidance. The second group will be accommodated from 2:00 to 5:00pm.

At Mega D. Youth Foundation (MYF) the children will be separated into two buildings to prevent more than 15 persons gathering at a time.

“Of course, it will take some manoeuvring on the part of everyone, especially parents. For this to work we need all hands on deck and, therefore, I appeal to parents to have a good talk with your children to prepare them for school. The idea is to coach them, not to scare them.

“Government Commissioner Marnix van Rij and I would like to thank all stakeholders for their commitment and dedication to the cause as teachers and their students reunite. We wish them success,” said Francis.

All non-essential businesses in Statia remain closed and restaurants can only offer takeout and deliveries. Large supermarkets are only allowed 15 persons inside at a time and smaller supermarkets a maximum of five persons with a distance of 1.5 metres between each person in large and small grocery stores.

Statia currently has no active cases of COVID-19. There are 10 persons in self-quarantine and no persons in isolation. The number of persons recovered from the coronavirus stands at two.

The current emergency ordinance is in effect until Friday, May 15. The public entity St. Eustatius stated that it is currently working on measures for the sixth emergency ordinance and that it will announce its content in the near future.

The fifth emergency ordinance calls for no more than 15 persons to gather in one location. The gradual opening of schools on the island is included in the emergency ordinance, with social-distancing guidelines being in effect.

Bron: Daily Herald

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