Frequently Asked Questions
A1. September, 2016.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A11. Transitional activities for those students attending a new school in the fall are being planned in conjunction with the elementary and middle schools
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
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.
A14.For non-career tech instruction, Career Tech students will attend the high school determined by their address on the address lookup.
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.
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.
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