Frequently Asked Questions

CONTENTS

Q1. When did the consolidation officially start?

Q2. Which schools were closed by consolidation in 2016-2017?

Q3. Why is Warwick Public Schools consolidating?

Q4. When will we transition to a middle school model?

Q5. When will I know where my child is going to school next year?

Q6. How will consolidation affect special education programs and services?

Q7. Can the remaining schools accommodate more students in the existing space?

Q8. When will the staff and administrative teams be assembled for secondary schools?

Q9. What will be done to make the transition easier for all students?

Q10. Is it possible that the school district would reorganize further in the future?

Q11. How are students involved in the consolidation process?

Q12. How can I get involved?

Q13. Next year, will there be any curricular enhancements at the junior high level?

Q14. Will there be any change for students attending the Career Tech Center?

Q15. Will the names of the schools be changing?

Teacher and Classified Staff Information

Q1. When did the consolidation process officially start?

A1. September, 2016.

Q2. Which schools were closed by consolidation in 2016-2017?

A2. Gorton Junior High and Aldrich Junior High were closed in June 2016, along with Warwick Veterans Memorial High School. The Veterans building was repurposed as a junior high in September 2016 and subsequently underwent major renovations over the summer of 2017 to install a new elevator and HVAC system, among other work. The Gorton building has been repurposed as a consolidated administration building for all district administrative staff.

Q3. Why is Warwick Public Schools consolidating?

A3. As reported by the district’s planning consultant, SMMA, district enrollment has declined in recent years. The consolidation will enable the district to provide the best quality education possible in a fiscally responsible way.

Q4. When will we transition to a middle school model?

A4. All junior highs will transition to middle schools in 2018-2019. All grade 6 students will move from the elementary schools to the two middle schools.

Q5. When will I know where my child is going to school next year?

A5. The School Committee has voted on a feeder school configuration which was based on the October 1st enrollment. The School Committee may have to adjust school boundary lines to accommodate the final schedule run in the winter. Letters will be going out in to all families beginning February 2018 detailing the changes for each household.

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Q6. How will consolidation affect special education programs and services?

A6. All students with disabilities will continue to receive appropriate special education services as outlined in their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Some Special Services programs currently housed in specific elementary schools will need to be relocated to new school buildings over the summer of 2018 due to shifting student enrollment and space considerations. More information to follow on the specifics of those moves, we’re working hard on getting that communication together.

Q7. Can the remaining schools accommodate more students in the existing space?

A7. There will be adequate room. SMMA’s study found that prior to consolidation there was 47% excess space at the junior high schools and 37% excess space at the high schools. 

Q8. When will the staff and administrative teams be assembled for sixth grade?

A8. The district is working as quickly as possible to determine assignments for the 2018-19 school year. A presentation was made reporting on this effort at the December 12, 2017 School Committee meeting.

Q9. What will be done to make the transition easier for the grade 6 students?

A9. The district is exploring ideas to help students adjust to the changes. The Summer Institute for Middle Schoolers (SIMS) program was held for the first time in summer 2017 to great success, helping incoming middle schoolers meet their new peers and get oriented to life in the middle school environment. Read the Warwick Beacon story about SIMS 2017.

Q10. Is it possible that the school district would reorganize further in the future?

A10.  With Phase I of consolidation behind us and Phase II ahead of us, there are no plans on the horizon to consolidate further at this time. Enrollment continues to shrink each year, however we expect that our final space utilization and financial picture will enable the district to be sustainable without further consolidation.

Q11. How are students involved in the consolidation process?

A11. Transitional activities for those students attending a new school in the fall are being planned in conjunction with the elementary and middle schools

Q12. How can I get involved?

A12. You can become an active member of your local PTA/PTO or contact your student’s school principal. You can also request to contribute to a consolidation subcommittee by contacting the chairperson of that subcommittee .

Q13. Will there be any curricular enhancements at the junior high level?

A13. Junior high exploratory courses have been added in the following disciplines: STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics), Arts, and Communications. Students in math and ELA interventions will have the expanded opportunities to take exploratory courses. Sixth graders will also get a full Science and Physical Education curriculum as part of their weekly schedules.

Q14. Will there be any change for students attending the Career Tech Center?

A14.For non-career tech instruction, Career Tech students will attend the high school determined by their address on the address lookup.

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Career Tech students attending the high school where their career and technical program is located is being explored to maximize instructional time and curricular supports.

Q15. Will the names of the schools be changing?

A15. Drum Rock’s new name will be the Warwick Early Learning Center at John Brown Francis. As for Phase I naming, the names of the high schools have remained the same – Pilgrim and Toll Gate. Warwick Veterans Memorial High School has been changed to Warwick Veterans Junior High in 2016-2017 and will ultimately become Warwick Veterans Middle School in 2018-2019. Winman Junior High will change to Winman Middle School in 2018-2019.

Teacher and Classified Staff Information

Q1. What should you know about middle school certification?

A1. Warwick Public Schools is partnering with URI to offer middle school endorsement and content classes.

Q2. When the 6th grade students become part of the middle schools in the 2017-2018 school year, which teachers will be affected?

A2. When the 6th grade classes attend the newly formed middle schools, the displacement of elementary teachers will take place in accordance with the newly agreed upon WTU contract provisions.

Q3. How will administrative staffing be determined for the junior and senior high schools?

A3.  The middle schools will have 1 principal and 2 assistant principals and the high schools will have 1 principal and 3 assistant principals.

Q4. Is there anything teachers should do to prepare for moving from a school that is closing?

A4. Elementary administrators will be conducting inventories for secondary schools. Based on this information, a moving plan will be developed and shared. Teachers will be responsible for moving their personal belongings. Middle School administrators have long been thinking about how to redesign their spaces to accommodate the sixth graders in 2018-19, and planning for that effort is well underway.

Q5. When will Middle School staffing decisions be made?

A5. Initial runs in scheduling are expected to be completed in February 2018. This will help us determine the number of sections and courses that will be run next year which will impact staffing decisions. Informational teacher forums are being planned regarding staffing needs. The staffing committee has been analyzing the number of classified staff needed for each middle school next year, and final staffing documents will be presented to the School Committee (and posted on this site) in the spring of 2018.