Head of School 2018-2019 Year End Report

Michael Bornn, Head of School

Michael Bornn, Head of School

VIMSIA’s focus is to raise the bar of education in the Virgin Islands via individual student learning. As one functions at VIMSIA, one should always ask yourself: “What is the impact on student learning?” Everything else falls into place after that.

 We have repaired most of the hurricane damaged facilities. We are embarking on a major construction effort of five facilities: BEC, La Casa, Art Trailer, Dance Trailer and Weight Room. They will rebuilt over the next several years. The first building will be starting this summer. All these facilities will be constructed to a higher standard than the original facilities.

 Our graduates continue to be accepted in their first choice schools with significant amounts of financial aid to enable attendance. Our graduates are well prepared for college. Several have gone on to excel at graduate programs; others have commenced highly gainful and exciting employment.

 For a school with only ten years of graduating classes, the successes of our graduates are very impressive. The IB program prepares our graduates for college. Our graduates have achieved. They are achieving.  And they make us proud. They prove our school is meeting the challenge of quality education.

 VIMSIA will continue to improve in areas of math performance, acquisition of languages, writing skills, classroom management, self-discipline, intrinsic curiosity, collaboration and developing the love of learning. We attempt to reach every child at our school.

 Art, music, dance and theater offerings will continue on their growth path. Speech will also be added as an elective next year. Swimming, sailing and tennis offerings are being developed for next year as well.          

 VIMSIA seeks to educate a diversified student body and our families is reflective of the world at large. We are indeed proud that our teachers have taught in over 70 countries as well as the Virgin Islands. International travel and interactions are a foundation of our school.

 Expanding the Montessori Method to reach every child in the VI is indeed a goal. Early childhood education is critically important and the Montessori Method has been proven to be a leading pedagogy in early childhood education. On island Montessori training for staff and parents will commence this coming school year. 

 VIMSIA now has an endowment to help ensure we have a financial cushion to help mitigate future disasters and more importantly to fund the pursuit of excellence in perpetuity.  Raising money to grow the fund is a priority. 

 The campus is 100% solar energized. A portion of the campus is operating on an off-grid basis with storage batteries and generator back-up.  We are in the process of installing additional storage capacity to take the whole campus off grid. The cost savings of this sustainable program goes directly to improve student learning.

 To further enhance teacher recruitment and retention, we are embarking on two offerings. First, a fleet of electric cars has been donated to the school. They will be available for lease to teachers desiring an electric car. The cars can be charged at our solar powered electric car charging station free of charge, with an estimated annual fuel savings to each teacher of approximately $2,400.

Secondly, we have acquired a two-unit house on Vessup Lane so we will be able to provide affordable housing for our staff close to school. This housing program is a long-term initiative with the goal of acquiring several houses in the area over many years. The vehicle and housing alternatives are purely optional for staff. Providing transportation and housing for faculty is a step in the direction of improving the quality of life for staff, which in turn improves student learning.

 We are working on a proposal to have the concession stand open daily for students and staff to be able to purchase items from a student-run venture. Such will also incorporate existing student fund raising efforts of selling pizza weekly.

None of our achievements and goals would be possible without the amazing support of our staff, students, parents and donors.

Clinton Global Initiative Visits VIMSIA!

Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) representatives were on campus Wednesday to meet with Head of School Michael Bornn about expanding Montessori Education in the Virgin Islands and off grid renewable energy systems. Mr. Bornn also attended the CGI conference at the University of the Virgin Islands earlier this week. We are hoping to gain CGI’s support in our efforts on each of these fronts.

Former President Bill clinton speaks at cgi conference at uvi

Former President Bill clinton speaks at cgi conference at uvi

FBI Visits VIMSIA Students for Community Outreach

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The FBI's Evidence Response Team (ERT) visited VIMSIA this week!  The ERT was on island doing a variety of community outreach and training sessions.  PGIA students learned about countless opportunities to learn and grow as a part of the FBI as well as participated in simulated activities involving forensic science and crime scene investigation. Our on campus end session groups found ways to apply this presentation to computer science, up-cycling, sports science and more!     

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VIMSIA to Acquire Electric Cars

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With the updates to VIMSIA’s solar energy “plant”, VIMSIA will be in a position to overproduce energy for the school’s needs in the coming years. By purchasing electric vehicles, that we can lease back to our teachers, we can take advantage of that surplus by providing it to our staff for their leased electric vehicles. What a great way to provide economic enhancements to our staff and make living on St. Thomas more viable and sustainable. If you have an interest in an electric car please reach out to Mr. Bornn.