A financially responsible plan to keep high quality education in Warwick.
After extensive study and a series of public workshops and meetings, the Warwick School District has decided to implement a school consolidation plan effective September 2016. In the plan, Aldrich and Gorton Junior High Schools will be closed, and Veterans High School will be converted into a junior high school and Winman will remain a junior high school. In the 2017-2018 school year Veterans Junior High School and Winman Junior High will become middle schools. Veterans High School students will attend Pilgrim High School or Toll Gate High School.
A multi-pronged approach to consolidation.
The decision was approved by the Warwick School Committee as part of efforts to best balance education for all students in the district and also be financially prudent. District enrollment has declined substantially in recent years and is expected to continue to drop. The district’s planning consultant, Symmes Maini & McKee Associates of Cambridge (SMMA), found the overall district has 34% more space than it needs considering its enrollment, and that there is 47% excess space at the junior high school level and 37% for high school.
The consolidation plan will enable the district to operate more within its financial means while at the same time providing high-quality educational opportunities for all students.
Intensive planning has already begun for the transition at the start of the 2016-17 academic year, with the goal of making the process as smooth as possible. A district-wide consolidation transition committee has been meeting regularly since July. Additionally, sub-committees are working in ten specific areas: logistics, staffing, technology, curriculum, transportation, public relations, scheduling, facilities, legal, and middle school transition. School administrators, as well as parents and teachers, are involved in the transition committee work that is expected to last for all of this year.
Consolidation updates will be given through the year as part of PTO/PTA meetings, principals’ newsletters, the district website, and public forums.
Consolidation Committee Members
Bethany Furtado and Lynn Dambruch - Co-Chairs