SXM Local Update: Pharmacy Hours, School Information, Message from Ministry of Education

The weekend is upon us, friends. That is always a good thing and it’s a blessing that we made it to another. So for that, I’m very thankful!

I have a few updates to share with you as we head into the weekend:

  • Visser Pharmacy on Bush Road in Sint Maarten will be open on Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm, and on Sunday from 10 am to 1 pm
  • Visser Pharmacy in the Dutch Quarter will be open from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday, and closed on Sunday
  • Montessori, CIA and Limited Learning will all be open starting Monday morning to all students
  • All public school staff are being instructed to report to work on Monday morning by 8 am. Your manager or director along with the management team will be there to meet with you and discuss the recovery plan
    • Leonald Conner School
    • Marie Genevieve de Weever School,
    • Ruby Labega School,
    • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School,
    • Oranje School,
    • Prins Willem Alexander School, and
    • St. Maarten Vocational Training School

Here’s a message posted today from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sport:

Hurricane Irma has left our island in a critical state. The education infrastructure serves as one of the most important pillars in our society, and has suffered tremendously. In addition, we can also conclude that our (in) tangible cultural heritage and sport facilities are also critically damaged.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport has received many heartfelt messages as well as pledges from International, Caribbean and Kingdom counterparts, to assist in the restoration of Sint Maarten’s educational structure. The Ministry ECYS has already received assistance from the Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR), which assists in the event of a disaster. USAR and local contractors have currently been assisting at public and subsidized schools with the removal of debris, galvanize, and securing of the schools. The pro-active clean up approach of the St. Maarten Academy, Methodist Agogic Center, and Sister Borgia Primary School, along with parents and volunteers, is commendable, as it is imperative that our students return to school in a timely manner. As a Ministry, we are working with the subsidized schools to assess the structural damage. The pre exam and exam students remain a priority to return to school by the target date, however, any and all classes that are able to commence at that date will do so. Further updates will be announced periodically.

The reality is, hurricane Irma brought our nation back in time, and although undesired, we are confident in our ability to rebuild, as we are resilient people. Regaining some normalcy as soon as possible is our highest priority as the Government of Sint Maarten; however, the youth of Sint Maarten is the priority for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. Consequently, the transitional re-opening of the majority of the schools within the next two weeks (October 2nd, 2017), mental support, school materials and assistance to the parents, teachers, and students is a priority. Despite Hurricane Irma’s natural disaster, there are still persons attempting to delay the reopening of schools by trespassing and damaging the school property and stealing the school materials. Persons caught breaking and entering at the school properties will be held according and prosecuted by the laws of the land to the fullest extent.

In these times, our national identity is important to support the perseverance to rebuild Sint Maarten and reinforce our strong nation. Minister Jacobs thanks all stakeholders, International, Caribbean and Kingdom counterparts, who have pledged assistance for the necessary strategic plans, ensure the speedy return of our students, teachers, management and staff back to school.

“We are currently planning how best to take care to meet the needs of our school management, teachers and staff in order for them to meet the needs of our students during this stressful time. Many who are away have pledged to return, and we pledge to offer the structural and emotional support needed to make this workable for all concerned. May God bless us all as we work to rebuild our Sint Maarten even stronger than it was before. We are SXMStrong!”

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Jon Ferlise

I fell in love with the island of Saint Martin the first time I visited to celebrate my 40th birthday in May of 2009. Since then, I've spent most birthdays there, and have visited countless other times getting to know this wonderful place and the friendly locals that make it so special. I adore the culture, the people, the community, and the beauty of this stunning island. SXM Strong is a website that I started to support humanitarian relief efforts following Hurricane Irma. There was no plan, it just evolved as I witnessed the devastation that Irma caused the island and the huge need to communicate and disseminate information about what had happened and how people could help support this island and its people.

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