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May 25, 2023 – Good Hope Country Day School (GHCDS) will become the U.S. Virgin Islands’ first Cambridge International School when the 2023-24 school year opens in August.
In September 2022, GHCDS set out to reorganize its K-12 curriculum in order to enhance and expand the school’s academic programs. The school researched nine internationally recognized curricula before selecting Cambridge International, a comprehensive, challenging, and accessible program of study and assessment utilized by over 10,000 member schools in 160 countries.
A non-profit division of the world-renowned University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, Cambridge International offers an integrated K-12 curriculum rooted in academic rigor and reflecting the latest educational research. More than 2,200 universities in 90 countries formally recognize Cambridge qualifications, including over 850 in the U.S. and all UK universities.
After undergoing a rigorous approval process with Cambridge International, GHCDS received its official acceptance as a member school this week. There are 560 Cambridge International schools in the U.S. GHCDS will be the first school in the U.S. territories to implement this global curriculum.
“Cambridge International checks all the boxes for what we were seeking in a new curriculum,” said Head of School William Bugg. “The world is changing faster than K-12 education can keep up with. As we incorporate Cambridge programming throughout the school, we will be tapping into the knowledge and experiences of some of the world’s best institutions, and we’ll be well positioned to help our students prepare for whatever the future brings.”
Cambridge International is a compelling choice for GHCDS that comes with numerous benefits, including:
- Enabling students to pursue the optional Cambridge AICE Diploma, a prestigious qualification that provides college credit and enhances their GHCDS diploma.
- Facilitating benchmarking against schools worldwide through an internationally recognized assessment system.
- Aligning our curriculum with the ever changing landscape of research, writing, science, and technology, fostering critical skills necessary for the modern world.
- Comprehensive professional development and networking opportunities for teachers.
“Joining the network of Cambridge International Educational Institutions is an exciting opportunity for our young scholars,” Vanessa Velez-Wyche, Dean of Studies and GHCDS’s new Cambridge Administrator said. “GHCDS has a tradition of excellence, and we are ready for another opportunity to grow as an educational institution.”
“I am excited not only to learn about some new approaches in teaching music, but also to know that I am no longer working alone with the curriculum,” said Tina Thompson, GHCDS band and chorus director. “I will have the support of an entire global community dedicated to bringing the joy of music-making to all students.”
GHCDS spent six months analyzing the school’s academic needs and researching options consistent with the school’s mission. Leading the effort was the Board of Trustees’ Education Committee Task Force, consisting of LynAnn Daisley (chair), Andrea Crikelair, Kye Walker, Michelle Francis, Vanessa Velez-Wyche, Alice Jaffurs, Nancy Thatcher, Dr. Leslie Hamdorf, and William Bugg. Parents provided input through focus groups, and teachers spent professional development time analyzing the Task Force’s top choices.
“It was truly a team effort,” Velez-Wyche said.
“I am excited to see the implementation of the Cambridge program at GHCDS to complement the skill sets of our faculty and staff to ensure the delivery of a strong academic program to our students. One that will teach essential skills needed to succeed in higher education and in their future careers.” Richard Evangelista, chair of the Board of Trustees, said.
The adoption of Cambridge International reflects GHCDS’s commitment to providing an exceptional education that prepares students for success in a rapidly evolving world. By embracing this globally recognized curriculum, GHCDS continues to be at the forefront of educational excellence in St. Croix and the U.S. Virgin Islands.