Frequently Asked Questions

General Information 

Q1. When does the consolidation officially start? 
A1. September 2016

Q2. Which schools will be closed by consolidation in 2016-2017? 
A2. Gorton Junior High and Aldrich Junior High will close in June 2016 and Warwick Veterans Memorial High School will close as a high school and be repurposed as a junior high in September 2016.

Q3. Why is Warwick Public Schools consolidating? 
A3. As reported by the district's planning consultant, SMMA, district enrollment has declined in recent years. The consolidation will enable the district to provide the best quality education possible in a fiscally responsible way.

Q4. How will consolidation affect special education programs and services?
A4. All students with disabilities will continue to receive appropriate special education services as outlined in their Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Q4. Will the names of the schools be changing?
A4. The names of the high schools will remain Pilgrim and Toll Gate. Warwick Veterans High School will change to Warwick Veterans Junior High in 2016-2017 and Warwick Veterans Middle School in 2017-2018. Winman Junior High will change to Winman Middle School in 2017-2018.

Q5. What are the start times for the secondary schools next year?

A5. The start times are remaining the same for the 2016-2017 academic year.  The junior high schools begin at 7:55 and end at 2:20.  The high schools begin at 7:24 and end at 1:50.

Q6. When will the busing schedule be released for the 2016-2017 school year?

A6. The bus schedule is published online and in the Warwick Beacon approximately one week before the start of school.

Q7. Will late buses and department nights continue next year?

A7. Yes.

Q8. Will the class sizes change next year?

A8. The target for class size is to remain at or below 25 students. A baseline schedule has been completed and school-based schedulers will continue to fine tune student schedules throughout the summer and into next year.

Middle School Information

Q1. When will we transition to a middle school model? 
A1. All junior highs will transition to middle schools in 2017-2018. All grade 6 students will move from the elementary schools to the two middle schools.

Q2. Will there be middle school sports teams?
A2. For the 2016-2017 budget, Superintendent Thornton will recommend funding middle school sports for both junior highs. If you are interested in serving on the middle school sports committee, please contact Ken Rix by email,

Q3. Next year, will there be any curricular enhancements at the junior high level?
A3. Junior high exploratory courses have been approved in the following disciplines: STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics), Arts, and Communications. Students in math and ELA interventions will have the expanded opportunities to take exploratory courses.

Q4. Will late buses and department nights continue next year?

A4. Yes.

Q5. Will teaming continue at the junior high level?

A5. Yes.  Right now, there are projected to be 8 teams at Veterans Junior High and 6 teams at Winman Junior High.  There will be approximately 80-100 students per team. Each team consists of math, English, science, and social studies teachers that share the same 80-100 students.  

Q6. Will the class sizes change next year?

A6. The target for class size is to remain at or below 25 students. A baseline schedule has been completed and school-based schedulers will continue to fine tune student schedules throughout the summer and into next year.

Parents and Community 

Q1. When will I know where my child is going to school next year? 
A1. The School Committee has voted on a feeder school configuration which was based on the October 1st enrollment. Click the link to see the presentation. The School Committee may have to adjust school boundary lines to accommodate the final schedule run in the winter.
Address Lookup Map (Updated 1-12-16)

Q2. What will be done to make the transition easier for all students?
A2. The district is exploring ideas to help students adjust to the changes. Student visitation days, student assemblies, family informational nights, and student orientations are being considered. Gerry Habershaw, the new principal of Pilgrim, has started his visits to the school to meet with students and faculty. Steven Chrabaszcz, principal of Toll Gate, will be visiting Veterans to meet with students and parents who will be attending Toll Gate.

Q3. How are students involved in the consolidation process?
A3. Students are being involved in multiple ways. A survey went out regarding middle school sports. The Director of Secondary Education has been sitting down with student leaders at the 3 high schools. These students have suggested shadowing, course changes to the curriculum, and facility improvements.

Q4. How can I get involved?
A4. You can become an active member of your local PTA/PTO or contact your student’s school principal. You can also request to contribute to a consolidation subcommittee by contacting the chairperson of that subcommittee listed here.

Logistics and Facilities

Q1. Can the remaining schools accommodate more students in the existing space? 
A1. There will be adequate room. SMMA's study found that there is 47% excess space at the junior high schools and 37% excess space at the high schools.

Q2. When will the staff and administrative teams be assembled for secondary schools? 
A2. The district is working as quickly as possible to determine assignments for next school year.

Q3. Is it possible that the school district would reorganize further in the future?
A3. As a result of the SMMA study, it was determined the Warwick Schools has declining enrollment and excess space at the secondary and elementary levels. Beginning in 2016, the district will be developing a consolidation plan for the elementary schools.

Q4. Will there be any change for students attending the Career Tech Center?
A4. For non-career tech instruction, Career Tech students will attend the high school determined by their address on the address lookup.
Address Lookup Map (Revised 1-12-16)
Career Tech students attending the high school where their career and technical program is located is being explored to maximize instructional time and curricular supports.

Q5. What is the construction timeline?

A5. Construction at the secondary schools will begin as soon as summer vacation begins.  It is scheduled to be complete by the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

Teacher and Classified Staff Information

Q1. What should you know about middle school certification?
A1. Warwick Public Schools is partnering with URI to offer middle school endorsement and content classes. A survey was sent to all elementary and secondary teachers regarding middle school certification. 
Classes required in the program for secondary certified content teachers are below: 
EDC 400 - Middle Level Curriculum and Assessment
EDC 415 - Adolescent Development and Classroom Management
EDC 485 - Final Practicum

Q2. When the 6th grade students become part of the middle schools in the 2017-2018 school year, which teachers will be affected?
A2. When the 6th grade classes attend the newly formed middle schools, the displacement of elementary teachers will take place in accordance with whatever contract provisions are in place at the time.

Q3. How will administrative staffing be determined for the junior and senior high schools?
A3. On the October 19th meeting, Superintendent Thornton presented Dr. Holland’s recommendation to reorganize the administrative staffing at the junior and senior high schools. The junior high schools will have 1 principal and 2 assistant principals and the high schools will have 1 principal and 3 assistant principals.

Q4. Is there anything teachers should do to prepare for moving from a school that is closing?
A4. Department chairs and principals are conducting inventories which will be completed by the end of the 1st quarter for secondary schools. Based on this information, a moving plan will be developed and shared. Teachers will be responsible for moving their personal belongings.

Q5. How can I contribute to a consolidation subcommittee?
A5. You can request to have a voice in a consolidation subcommittee by contacting the chairperson of the that subcommittee listed here.

Q6. When will staffing decisions be made?
A6. A baseline schedule has been completed, the number of full time equivalent (FTE) teacher positions have been identified, and tentative schedules have been handed to teachers with positions at Pilgrim, Tollgate, and Winman for the 2016-2017 school year. A job fair will be held on June 7th to fill the remaining positions.