VIRGIN ISLANDS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
The Head Start Program received one-time stimulus funding to be given to all Head Start employees. The funds received represent 1.84% of the federal personnel reported. Head Start Program in the Virgin Islands utilizes the Highscope Curriculum to educate its preschoolers. This curriculum requires that three child assessments be conducted in November, February and May. Training is necessary since it has been 10 years since some education staff have had professional Highscope training.
It is anticipated that ARRA funding will provide five consecutive days of on-site service for an estimated 250 employees to include teachers, teacher assistants, food service workers, managers and office staff. Intense curriculum training will be provided to the teacher and teacher assistants and will update their knowledge of the curriculum and provide new techniques for implementation. Presently, we have 120 education staff that are in need of Highscope training.
The appropriate classroom environment is an important part of a preschooler?s learning experience. The Head Start program will utilize funds to update its furniture and provide additional supplies to 24 of our Head Start centers. The roof at the Minnetta Mitchell Head Start Center on St. Thomas leaks excessively during heavy rains. Previous repairs to the roof lasted for only two years. The repairs quoted are to replace sections of the roof that are leaking. This site houses five classrooms and is the largest Head Start center on St. Thomas. Three years ago the local government provided funding to upgrade the playgrounds in the territory by installing new equipment and surfacing at many sites. After the upgrades were completed, it was determined that three of the sites needed additional work. The site where our exclusive special needs classroom is located needs an ADA path and two of our other sites require retaining walls to prevent dirt and gravel from flowing unto the surfacing. Both playgrounds had to be leveled for surfacing to be installed and that left a wall of dirt that constantly falls unto the playgrounds. Funds were requested to assist the program with paying Tuition and books for Teachers to attend the University of the Virgin Islands. Funds have been allocated to repair the F'sted Head Start center to renovate this site that has had no major upgrades in at least 30 years.
Update: This report has a balance of $1,527. Although PO's were encumbered they may have been paid for less than the encumberance. Also, a vendor was unable to supply the item that was needed and because the final date to encumber funds passed, the program was unable to expend the balance of the funds that were available.