An Open Letter to the Warwick School Committee:
I am writing to publicly express my concerns regarding the proposal to close Gorton Junior High School. I believe there are many factors which have not yet been adequately studied and which should be taken into consideration before any decision to shutter the school is made.
Among these unanswered questions is what happens to the middle school model, which is the preferred method of education for students in grades 6 though 8. The middle school model leads to better instruction in the areas of math, science, English and social studies.
Additionally, as communities across the state shift into full-day kindergarten programs, Warwick school officials need to consider the impact such a move would have on our schools if Gorton is closed. Many studies have shown the benefits of full-day kindergarten, and the state has enacted legislation to provide incentives for school districts to move in that direction. Further, it is prudent, before taking action, to carefully consider how the remaining middle schools will feed into the city’s three high schools, and how this impacts the overall school system.
Schools in our city have been shuttered in the past in the promise of savings, which were never fully realized. There are many concerns that need to be addressed before moving forward. Let us make sure that we don’t rush in too hastily before conducting the responsible and proper diligence on this matter.
Senator William A. Walaska