Buying of Closed Schools Accelerated in 2019 and It Was a Good Deal for Some Investors

A good shove to the rusty gate and ducking woodbrush and debris to get to the back of the main building is enough to gain access inside, which is doorless. From the third floor, the windowless classrooms of the Carmen Gómez Tejera School in Aguadilla frame Desecheo Island, while an old sugar dock can be seen through the gap facing North. Time and saltpeter have not rubbed out the paint in some of the school’s hallways where slogans like “Your values are important” or “My trust is placed in you” remain. The US real estate firm The Morgan Reed Group bought for $780,000, the school, built in 1929 located on Agustín Stahl Street, with a privileged view of the Atlantic and on land that holds a pre-Hispanic and colonial site, to develop a 150-room hotel . The purchase of the Carmen Gómez Tejera School included the neighboring Rafael Del Valle School, built in 1925.

Se aceleró la compra de escuelas cerradas en 2019, y fue un buen negocio para algunos inversionistas

Un buen empujón al portón oxidado, esquivar la maleza y los escombros hasta llegar a la parte posterior del edificio principal es suficiente para acceder a su interior, que está sin puertas. Desde el tercer piso, los salones ya sin ventanas de la Escuela Carmen Gómez Tejera en Aguadilla enmarcan la isla Desecheo, mientras que al mirar hacia el norte, se aprecia por el hueco un antiguo muelle de azúcar. En la escuela el tiempo y el salitre no han borrado la pintura de algunos pasillos donde todavía se puede leer “Tus valores cuentan” o “Mi confianza está puesta en ti”. Por $780,000 la firma de bienes raíces estadounidense The Morgan Reed Group compró la escuela construida en 1929 ubicada en la calle Agustín Stahl, con una vista privilegiada al Atlántico y sobre suelos que albergan un yacimiento prehispánico y colonial, para el desarrollo de un hotel de 150 habitaciones. La compra de la Escuela Carmen Gómez Tejera incluyó el vecino plantel Rafael Del Valle, construido en 1925.

Another Year, Another School: The Trauma and Lag Overlooked by the Department of Education

They changed schools three times in three years. That is what Zadiel and David’s education has been like. The first lives in Sabana Grande in the southern region, and had to move from the Francisco Vázquez Pueyo school to the Segunda Unidad David Antongiorgi Córdova. Now he takes online classes as a student in the Santiago Rivera Vocational School in Yauco. The latter lives in San Juan in the North, and his migration has been from the Sofía Rexach School to the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas school, to the Manuel Elzaburu y Vizcarrondo School, where he is enrolled in elementary level of the Montessori method .

Una mudanza al año: el trauma y el rezago ignorados por el Departamento de Educación

Tres mudanzas de escuela en tres años. Esa ha sido la experiencia educativa de Zadiel y David. El primero vive en Sabana Grande, y ha tenido que moverse de la escuela Francisco Vázquez Pueyo a la Segunda Unidad David Antongiorgi Córdova. Ahora toma clases en línea como estudiante de la Escuela Vocacional Santiago Rivera de Yauco. El segundo vive en San Juan, y su peregrinación ha sido de la escuela Sofía Rexach a la escuela Fray Bartolomé de las Casas hasta terminar en la escuela Manuel Elzaburu y Vizcarrondo, donde cursa el Taller I en la filosofía Montessori.

Caribbean Public Education Systems Adrift Due to the Coronavirus

Within days from each other, public education systems in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Cuba suspended classes in schools in March this year to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. With no time, tools or defined public policies to lay down strategies that would somehow ensure and measure student participation and progress, distance learning had predictable results. The structural deficiencies of the education systems, the social inequality experienced by students and teachers, the digital gap, and the absence of processes for the participation of school communities in the design of educational plans, are unsolved dilemmas for back to school, amid the latent threat of COVID-19. “We hardly learned anything,” said a 13-year-old Puerto Rican student about the abrupt change in his learning process since classes were suspended. Another young boy, 14, recalled how difficult it was to adopt a study routine with his younger sister and mother: “I’m a Special Education student and we’re used to a certain pace and support.”

Sin rumbo los sistemas de educación pública en el Caribe ante el coronavirus

Las deficiencias estructurales de los sistemas de enseñanza, la desigualdad social entre estudiantes y maestros, la brecha digital y la ausencia de procesos que integraran a las comunidades escolares en el diseño de los planes educativos, son dilemas no resueltos de cara al regreso a clases, sin que la amenaza de contagio por COVID-19 se haya disipado.

Unsuitable 23% of Shelters Listed by the Government of Puerto Rico for the Hurricane Season

Twenty three percent of the buildings on the list of shelters that the Department of Housing released for the 2020 hurricane season are schools with structural damage due to the earthquakes occurred in the southern part of Puerto Rico about six months ago. Since the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish) warned a week ago that, in the southern region alone, that list includes 14 schools with damages classified as “unsuitable or partially unsuitable,” the agency have not revised the document, despite the fact that the hurricane season is underway. Of the 319 shelters that the Government identified a week ago, 73 are schools damaged from the earthquakes that require repair or shutting down areas, or the damage is so severe that they must close permanently, according to engineers hired by the Department of Education (DE, in Spanish) that inspected them. In addition to the 14 schools in the south, another 59 school shelters were classified “unsuitable” (red) or “partially suitable” (yellow) are located in 64 municipalities in Puerto Rico. Hormigueros, Aguada, Rincón and Manatí would have to cast off shelters whose schools were classified red.