Superintendent Phil Thornton said the move was necessitated due to an error in the posted agenda’s heading, which originally carried the wrong date, Feb. 7. The original agenda also included an executive session to discuss three items: (a (1)), (a (2)), (a (4)), (a(9)), though only the second, (a (2)) had a description, “a. Discussion/Action: WTU/WSC Negotiation/Mediation/Arbitration update under General Laws of Rhode Island – RIGL 42-46-5 (a (2)).”
The updated agenda only lists the sixth grade consolidation.
Four School Committee members have pledged to vote against the sixth grade consolidation this year during the Feb. 7 School Committee meeting. Only School Committee member Terri Medeiros did not weigh in on her intent during the meeting.
Though the issue was listed on the agenda for discussion/action on the Feb. 7 agenda, along with a number of similarly listed items on which the School Committee voted, School Committee Chairwoman Beth Furtado told the crowd the vote could not be held that evening because it was not labeled appropriately. The agenda for Wednesday’s special meeting also lists the item for discussion/action, and further identifies the item as “Rescission and/or Reconsideration of October 25, 2016 ElementaryConsolidation Vote Only as it Pertains to Grade 6 Transition to Middle School.”
School Committee member David Testa commented on his own expectation that the vote would be held during the Feb. 7 meeting, noting the clerical error was a sign that the body’s attention to detail needed improvement. “We need to do better,” Testa said during the meeting.
The cost of the sixth grade move would be about $3 million, Testa has said. According to the original consolidation plan, that expense would’ve been offset by the closing of elementary schools, which the School Committee voted to delay in the fall, Testa said.SchoolCom-Feb.15