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School Committee Reschedules Special Meeting, Vote on Sixth Grade Consolidation for Wednesday

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Warwick Public Schools administration offices are located at 34 Warwick Lake Ave.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Warwick Public Schools administration offices are located at 34 Warwick Lake Ave.
WARWICK, RI — The Warwick School Committee has rescheduled tonight’s special meeting at Toll Gate High’s auditorium, settling on Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. at the School Administration Building, 34 Warwick Lake Ave., instead for the discussion and vote on whether to move the sixth grade into the city’s junior high schools this year.

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

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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