Open letter to the Warwick School Committee:
I urge you to vote against the Facilities Long Range Plan for Warwick Public Schools. It fails to address the impact that a school closing will have on education. The plan focuses only on finances and physical structures; not students.
While the finances look promising on paper, many factors are not addressed in the proposal. Please respond to the following questions and concerns. Please present the data behind your responses as well.
The RI Public Schoolhouse Assessment defines excess capacity as “the difference between current or projected enrollment and the current reported capacity.” Please explain how school capacity was determined. Was it based on historical attendance, square footage per student, or some other metric? What is the projected number of students per class based on the consolidation model? Will all academic instruction take place in classrooms?
How will the consolidation impact students’ access to resources such as libraries, science labs, and computer labs?
How will the students benefit academically from this plan? Please include specifics.
The Facilities Long Range Plan is not comprehensive; it is shortsighted and vague. The plan fails to address the importance of neighborhood schools to the community. It fails to recognize the importance of the relationships students have built with their teachers and peers. These support structures are critical to a successful learning environment. The “rip off the Band-Aid” approach, suggested by Superintendent D’Agostino, is irresponsible.
Please vote against the Facilities Long Range Plan for Warwick Public Schools. My child is more than a number; please treat her that way.