Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 09-05-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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20 WOONSOCKET SEPTEMBER 5-11, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION eteria. Describing the classroom as the "sacred space of the school," he told those gathered that both teacher and student must be present to achieve any measure of success. "The students need you. They need you there every day. We all know the importance of constant behaviors and habits," he said. According to data compiled by the Rhode Island Department of Education and released in 2018, three schools in the district had teacher chronic absentee rates higher than 5 percent, the threshold at which the state begins docking points on a dis- trict's report card. Teachers are con- sidered chronically absent when they miss 10 percent or more of school days, or 18 days over the course of the school year. According to the report, 6.7 percent of teachers at Globe Park Elementary School and 5.5 percent of teachers at Woonsocket High School were chroni- cally absent in 2018. The data does not include long-term, pre-approved absences or absences due to profes- sional development. One school, Hamlet Middle School, had a teacher chronic absentee rate of 18.2 percent, well over the 10 percent threshold at which the state further lowers a school's score on the district report card. Nearly a fifth of teachers at Hamlet missed more than three weeks of school over the course of school year. The remaining schools had teacher chronic absentee rates between 0 and 5 percent, a rate more in line with the city's neighbors. In North Smithfield, Halliwell Memorial Elementary School had the high- est rate of teacher chronic absentee- ism at 5 percent. In Cumberland, the teacher chronic absen- tee rate topped out at 10 percent at Ashton Elementary School. Other School Committee members also com- mented on the district's teacher and student absentee rates, with commit- tee Chairman Paul Bourget saying the topic was a main focus at the recent teacher convocation. In response to a question from committee mem- ber Rebecca Capwell, Supt. Patrick McGee said the district has no par- ticular program to address teacher absenteeism, but the topic remains a matter of concern for schools. "When teachers are exhibiting an inordinate number of days, there are conversations that are had with those staff members to see if there's any- thing we can do to support them," he said. The comments come on the heels of an initiative started last year to address high rates of student absen- teeism in the city's school, which remain far higher than teacher absen- tee rates. According to the RIDE data, most elementary schools in the city have student chronic absentee rates between 20 and 30 percent, with the rate at Governor Aram J. Pothier reaching 33.7 percent. The rate continues to grow as students get older, with 31.6 percent of students at Villanova Middle School, 38.7 percent of students at Hamlet Middle School and 49.4 percent of students at Woonsocket High School – half the student body – missing 18 or more days during the school year. "Parents have to take on the respon- sibility to make sure their children go to school," said Bourget. Burke also placed the responsibility of making sure students get to school on par- ents, saying being a student is the most important job of children from age four to age 18. Last year, a "Be Here" initiative by the Woonsocket Education Department included a public relations campaign aimed at educating parents about the importance of getting children to class. The campaign also tried out cre- ative ways to increase student atten- dance, such as a "walking school bus" at Citizens and Pothier Elementary Schools that had teachers knocking on doors in the nearby Morin Heights neighborhood to pick up children before the start of school. Though it's too early to tell whether the initiative impacted student atten- dance rates, district administrators said they plan to continue the focus on increasing student attendance as they head into the new school year. Committee approves two-year contract for Supt. McGee In a separate matter, the committee approved a new, two-year contract for Supt. Patrick McGee. The agree- ment includes an annual salary of $153,000 per year in addition to ben- efits that include 25 vacation days, health insurance, a $2,000 gasoline reimbursement and up to $4,000 in travel reimbursement for professional development activities. The salary is a 2 percent increase over McGee's previous salary of $150,000. The con- tract expires on June 30, 2021. BOURGET BURKE ABSENTEE From Page One RIRAL offers free day and evening classes WOONSOCKET – Rhode Island Regional Adult Learning is currently holding registration for fall adult education classes. RIRAL is offering day and eve- ning basic reading, writing, math, ESL, and GED preparation classes for free. Classes are open to adults and youth ages 16 and up who are not enrolled in school. The fall semester runs Sept. 30 to Dec. 19. Daytime and eve- ning classes meet in Woonsocket. Contact RIRAL at 401-762-3841 for specific registration and class information. Sign up for music program at the Harris Library WOONSOCKET – The Harris Public Library, 303 Clinton St., is accepting registration for the Music is Fun with Mr. Rowland programs on Sept. 13 and 27; Oct. 11 and 25; Nov. 8 and 22; and Dec. 6 and 20. The program combines music, rhythm play and motion and is geared toward ages 6 and under with adult caregiver in the room. Walk-ins are welcome as long as there is space in the room. Registration is for all eight pro- grams. Those that register will get reminder calls and will be noti- fied of cancellation. Cancellations will also be posted on the library's Facebook page. For more information, call 401- 769-9044, ext. 2. LincoLn 270 Front Street 401-724-5600 S ta c h u r S k i Pawtucket 1136 Newport Avenue 401-725-1115 DAVID MOREAU 401-742-5978 Cumberland, Charming home completely renovated w/ 3 beds, 2 1/2 baths & finished area in lower level w/ walk-out. new kitchen w/granite counters, tile back-splash and stainless steel appliances, new full bath w/ceramic tile, hardwoods in the spacious double living room & renovated bedroom. a dormer has been added to the second level which features 2 bedrooms & large lavette w/ lots of storage. recently painted exterior w/vinyl on new dormer. $239,900. 401-725-1115. Cumberland, Great potential in this 3 bedroom ranch located in lippitt estates. Features include vinyl siding, vinyl thermopane windows, recent shingled roof with solar panels (leased), and heated inground pool. Property currently has cesspool but seller to upgrade to new septic prior to sale. $219,900 401-725-1115. PawtuCket, mcCoy Stadium, be sure to see this recently (2016) renovated two family with 3 beds on each floor. First floor has use of the finished basement. updated kitchens, hardwood and ceramic floors, stainless steel appliances, dishwasher on 1st, updated electric with separate house meter, new hot water tank, new economical gas heating systems, new front porch and new roof. Plus a two car garage and a great location. $299,900 401-725-1115. 401-359-2528 JAckIE LENAhAN Pawt./darlInGtOn: new listing: 6 unit multi with updates in all major systems, roof shingles, vinyl siding, windows, electric service, 6 zone baseboard heating, hot water supply, fire protection, coin-op laundry, off street parking and 3 car garage for added income. $449,900 724-5600 lInC./lImerOCk: 1041 Great rd. new listing: 4 bedrm 3.5 bath tri-level home. updated kitchen, 1100 sq.ft. walkout lower level with 3rd full bath. Central air, 2 brick fireplaces, on 1.36 acre site. roof, gutters, downspouts, skylights and exterior paint all within 2-3 years. above ground pool w/ newer lining, filter and motor. $524,900 724-5600 burrIllVIlle/SPrInG lake: new listing: beautiful 2 bedroom 1.5 bath ranch with water views of Spring lake. large wrap around deck, living room with cathedral ceilings and skylights. lower level has a large family room and bar that seats 6, half bath/laundry. 4 on-site parking spots. $309,900. 401-724-5600. open houSe Sun., 9/8, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

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