Advocating for High Quality Public Education… For Every Child
For the past 10 years, St. Croix Foundation for Community Development has led the charge for building community-wide consensus for comprehensive public education reform. With the fundamental belief that public education equity and excellence is the single greatest insurance for our Territory’s health and welfare, in 2005, St. Croix Foundation launched our Model Schools Initiative, which offered model programs and best practices for literacy and classroom management to our local public schools.
Nationally recognized by the National School Boards Association in 2009, our MSI targeted junior high students and, over a period of five years, invested over $600,000 in educational resources and direct services into our local public education system. In addition to our adopt-a-school initiatives, SCFCD has introduced best practices to our schools, hosted community roundtables, sponsored professional development seminars, and offered strategic grant opportunities to both public schools as well as small private and parochial schools throughout the Territory.
Research, Capacity Building, and Policy Mapping
Today, we are taking a more holistic approach to public system reform. In 2013, the Foundation convened a Policy Mapping Steering Committee comprising a carefully selected cross-section of our community including business leaders, educators from public, private, and parochial schools as well as representatives from the University of the Virgin Islands and public sector agencies.
The overarching objective of the Foundation’s Initiative is to build a Policy Map that will chart, outline, and expose existing local policies in the following areas: (1) student support systems, (2) instructional management that includes student learning standards for the 21st Century and teacher quality, (3) facilities management, (4) public education funding, and (5) organizational design.
Currently in Phase II of this project, the Foundation is hosting stakeholder focus groups to analyze and provide feedback on the work to-date. The completed map will provide policy makers and stakeholders with a databank that will allow them to make informed decisions in support of holistic reform.
With data at the heart of our mapping project, SCFCD is creating a neutral, safe environment for local stakeholders to (re)connect and work toward common goals. In the final phase of our Policy Mapping Initiative, the Foundation will compile all the data collected and develop an interactive web-based map, which will include comparisons between policy and actual practice in the Virgin Islands. The map will also overlay existing USVI policy with recommendations from local stakeholders as well as successful international and national educational models.
In conjunction, SCFCD is currently developing our Teacher Leaders Collaborative, which will be a state-of-the-art Teaching Laboratory and Leadership Consortium through which the Territory can build a sustainable and progressive pool of highly effective teachers and school leaders for students so that they can be prepared for the future. We envision the Collaborative becoming a beacon for educational innovation throughout the Caribbean region (and beyond).
Browse the Foundation’s Education First Editorial Series – In 2014, the St. Croix Foundation published an 18-week editorial series to achieve several goals: to encourage honest dialogue within the community, to create awareness about the importance of public education, and to make system-wide reform the highest priority for policymakers and elected officials.
Read the full Model Schools Initiative Closeout Report – In 2009, we drafted a Comprehensive Report on our Models Schools Initiative, which chronicled five years of our community-based work in the US Virgin Islands public education system.