Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 01-02-2020

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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WOONSOCKET – With less than two weeks to go until their final Sunday Mass, parishioners of St. Charles Borromeo Church are continuing to push back against a decision to close the historic parish, saying they're prepared to take the fight all the way to Rome. Late last month, members of the Committee to Save Saint Charles Borromeo Church released a state- ment thanking Bishop Thomas Tobin for a recent decision to keep the church building open for special events but asking the Diocese of Providence to reconsider their plan to dissolve the church's parish on Jan. 13. "We thank Bishop Tobin for this step in a positive direction and we urge him to halt his intended deci- sion to suppress our beloved parish in January and instead permit us one year to demonstrate that St. Charles Borromeo is a thriving parish with a great future ahead," they wrote. Last September, parishioners learned their church was slated to With parish closure looming, St. Charles parishioners pushing back By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer BREEZE PHOTO BY LAUREN CLEM Officers of the Committee to Save Saint Charles Borromeo Church, from left, ALBERT BEAUPARLANT, chairman, LISETTE SAINT GERMAIN, treasurer, LISA ETHIER, secretary, and RICHARD MONTEIRO, vice chairman, are leading an effort to halt an upcoming closure of the historic parish. Other members of the commit- tee not pictured include Barry Doherty, John Egan, Irene Ethier, Deborah Monteiro, Colleen Oliver and Eleanor Keegan Pierannunzi. WOONSOCKET – Administrators and teachers in the Woonsocket Education Department heard some good news to kick off the new year. According to preliminary num- bers released by the Rhode Island Department of Education shortly before Christmas, the Woonsocket High School gradu- ation rate rose by five percentage points in 2019. The new numbers bring the graduation rate to 78 per- cent, the highest it's been in at least a decade. The increase represents a signifi- cant turnaround since 2014, when the city's high school graduation rates were down to a dismal 58 WHS graduation rates up five points By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer See GRADUATION, Page 2 NORTH SMITHFIELD – When Supt. Michael St. Jean arrived in North Smithfield in 2016, he found a district where several school build- ings were in desperate need of repair. At North Smithfield High School, students taunted administrators by taking photographs of leaking sinks and windows held together with duct tape and sharing them online. "When I first started, the students had a Twitter account called 'Quality NSHS' in which they were post- ing pictures of all the bits of decay around the building," he recalled. "All the broken pieces, the pieces in need of repair. There was a decade of deferred maintenance at all of our schools." Three years later, the district has made significant progress on its maintenance goals, he said, with the NSHS science labs offer professional space for students By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer See ST. CHARLES, Page 11 MCGEE See LABS, Page 6 ©2020 THE VALLEY BREEZE Serving North Smithfield Blackstone and Woonsocket Breeze THE VALLEY FREE JANUARY 2-8, 2020 • Complete Heating Systems • Remodeling • Repairs • Water Heaters • Complete Sewage Ejector Systems for Basement Baths • Senior Citizen Discounts C. J. Nemes, Inc. Plumbing & Heating 24-Hour Emergency Service 769-4776 Master Plumber, R.I. #1911 Mass. #25011 Member of The Better Business Bureau Drain & Sewer Cleaning Wills & Trusts Estate Planning & Settlement The Law Office of George M. Prescott Esquire Rhode Island does not have a procedure for the certification or recognition of specialization by lawyers. 300 Front Street Lincoln, Rhode Island 02865 Telephone – 401.726.5577 No fee for initial consultation. RISE Prep enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is now OPEN for children entering grades K-5 in Woonsocket, North Smithfield, and Burrillville. To learn more about our tuition-free public charter school, sign up for one of our school tours at 30 Cumberland Street, Woonsocket. • Thursday, January 9, 1 p.m. • Wednesday, January 22, 10 a.m. • Monday, February 3, 1 p.m. APPLY TODAY – For questions or to register for a tour please contact Ms. Johnson: 401-768-1142 or Enrollment will close February 21, 2020.

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