Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 05-14-2020

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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4 THE VALLEY MAY 14-20, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION With traditional graduation ceremo- nies off the table in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, local high schools are getting creative with their plans to celebrate the Class of 2020. The Valley Breeze spoke with three local school districts that are currently finalizing their plans to hold socially distanced graduation ceremonies next month. Woonsocket In Woonsocket, Supt. Patrick McGee said Woonsocket High School will hold an all-online ceremony. The district plans to engage a digital pro- duction company to create a virtual graduation video, which will include the announcement of all 320 gradu- ates' names. "We're trying to maintain some of our traditions from graduation but just make them virtual instead of in per- son," he said. Those traditions will include virtual performances by the school's band and chorus students. Each graduate will also have the opportunity to record a brief message in their cap and gown to be included in the video. The video, said McGee, will be live- streamed on June 5, the date of the original graduation ceremony, and made available to students to down- load. While the district had initially con- sidered doing a drive-in ceremony at Barry Field, McGee said that option presented several challenges. "The problem with that is not all of our kids and not all of our families have cars," he said. "Oftentimes each year, there will be students and fami- lies walking down Park Avenue on their way to Barry Field because they don't have a vehicle." Officials also expressed concern that once students gathered in one loca- tion, it would be difficult to enforce social distancing requirements and keep them inside their vehicles. The district also considered postpon- ing the graduation to another date, but ultimately decided on a virtual cer- emony after feedback from students. "It's disappointing, we're all disap- pointed," said McGee. "But we're just doing everything we can to honor and celebrate our seniors in light of the circumstances." Other end-of-year events, includ- ing the Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center graduation and National Honor Society induction, will also be held virtually. North Smithfield North Smithfield High School is tak- ing a different approach, with a drive- in style ceremony planned for June 5 on school grounds. The school plans to rent a 40-foot projection screen and broadcast audio of the ceremony to vehicles through an FM radio system, according to Supt. Michael St. Jean. Though the school had initially hoped to allow students to exit their vehicles one at a time to approach the stage to receive their diplomas, St. Jean said those plans have changed following updated guidance from the Rhode Island Department of Education. At the moment, all students will be expected to remain in their vehicles, with the exception of student speakers, who may be able to address their classmates from a podium. "We are waiting for a little more clarification, but that may be non- negotiable," he said. All families will be allowed to bring one vehicle, and the vehicles will be spaced apart on the school's baseball field. The ceremony will also be live- streamed for those unable to attend. St. Jean said the district also con- sidered holding the ceremony at the Rustic Drive-In theater, but opted to hold it on campus at the request of students. With a relatively small gradu- ating class of 120 students, St. Jean said they don't expect to have any dif- ficulty enforcing social distancing. While the district is still finalizing its plans for other end-of-year events, at least one local tradition will move for- ward on an adapted basis. Stephanie Trowbridge, the parent of a graduating senior, said she and other parents are working to organize a senior parade on Thursday, June 4, to replace the processions that usually happen at the elementary and middle schools. Seniors will travel in their vehicles to different locations around town, with a detailed route to be released at a later date. Blackstone At Blackstone-Millville Regional High School, officials are taking a dif- ferent approach to the drive-up gradu- ation in a June 5 ceremony. Instead of parking and remaining in their vehicles, graduates will approach the front steps of the high school in a sys- tem similar to a drive-thru. "We have organized this situation where the students will essentially line up alphabetically in their vehicle with a parent or guardian driving and the graduate in their cap and gown in the passenger seat," explained Supt. Jason DeFalco. Once they reach the front steps of the high school, each graduate will exit their vehicle and receive a diploma while school administrators read their accomplishments from a safe distance. Then it's time for a quick photo before the student returns to the vehicle to make room for the next graduate. "We're really excited," said DeFalco. "We're trying to do what we can to make this as special for our seniors as we can. I think the part that I'm hap- piest about is the fact that their voice is the driver in this." DeFalco said the district had briefly considered holding a drive-in ceremo- ny at the Mendon Twin Drive-In, but students were vocal about the fact they wanted to remain on campus. The setup will allow students to walk across the front steps of the high school per graduation tradition. While the event will not have a speaking program, DeFalco said the school is hoping to have class leaders record their speeches and share them on social media. Drive-in, online graduations set for local high schools By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com Request for Professional Services The Woonsocket Housing Authority, Woonsocket, RI will receive proposals for "Professional Services for Pest Control" for all seven properties for up to a three- year period. The submission date is Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 2:00 pm. at the Woonsocket Housing Authority at 679 Social Street, Woonsocket, RI 02895. The RFP package will be available on line at www.woonsockethousing. org in Bid Opportunities under the Procurement heading. Questions regarding this proposal may be directed to Susan Castrataro at 401-767-8062 or Scastrataro@ woonsockethousing.org. Robert Moreau Executive Director "An Equal Employment Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Employer" TDD 1-800-745-6575 Request for Proposal for Alarms: Fire, Sprinkler and Fire Extinguisher Services e Woonsocket Housing Authority, Woonsocket, RI will receive proposals for "Alarms: Fire, Sprinkler and Fire Extinguisher Services" of all seven properties for up to a three-year period. e submission date is ursday, June 11, 2020 at 2:00 pm. at the Woonsocket Housing Authority at 679 Social Street Woonsocket, RI 02895. e RFP package will be available on line at www.woonsockethousing.org in Bid Opportunities under the Procurement heading. Questions regarding this proposal may be directed to Susan Castrataro at 401-767-8062 or Scastrataro@woonsockethousing.org. Robert Moreau Executive Director "An Equal Employment Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Employer" TDD 1-800-745-6575 Town of North Smithfield, Rhode Island Planning Board NOTICE OF INFORMATIONAL MEETING Notice is hereby given that the North Smithfield Planning Board will conduct a virtual town meeting using zoom on ursday, May 21, 2020 beginning promptly at 7:05 p.m., to discuss a Master Plan Application for a Major Land Development entitled Douglas Pike Solar; A solar array planned for Map 10, Lot 218, located west of 275 Mattity Rd. Said application was continued (with no discussion having commenced) from both the February 6th, and March 5th, 2020 meetings. e Covid19 virus outbreak forced delay to May 21st. e Zoom link can be found on the meeting agenda posted on the Secretary of State website. Please contact the Planning Department at 767-2200 ext., 312 or 336 if you have questions about zoom, or your desire to replace your phone number with your name and address as to avoid public display of your phone number. Please contact us no later than one day prior to the meeting. Project Description e project entails a private 9 mw AC solar facility on lot 218. e project also proposes 56 acres of conservation land. Plans may be reviewed online on the Planning Department page of the Town's website: https://www.nsmithfieldri.org/ Individuals requiring interpreter services for the hearing impaired should call RI Relay at 1 (800) 745-5555, 72 hours prior to the date of the meeting. Request for Proposal for Information Technology Services The Woonsocket Housing Authority, Woonsocket, RI will receive proposals for "Information Technology Services" of all WHA properties. The submission date is Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 2:00 pm. at the Woonsocket Housing Authority at 679 Social Street, Woonsocket, RI 02895. The RFP package will be available on line at www.woonsockethousing. org in Bid Opportunities under the Procurement heading. Questions regarding this proposal may be directed to Susan Castrataro at 401-767-8062 or Scastrataro@ woonsockethousing.org. Robert Moreau Executive Director "An Equal Employment Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Employer" TDD 1-800-745-6575 NOTICE City Council, Woonsocket, Rhode Island Notice is hereby given that the City Council will hold a remote teleconference public hearing on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 7:00 P.M. – on the following ordinances below: Dial in at +12532158782 / Meeting ID: 82796952067 / Password: 993729 or via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82796952067 Appropriation ordinances for fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021 for: 1) General Fund 2) Operation of Woonsocket Water System 3) Operation of Regional Wastewater Treatment System 4) Operation of User Charge Collection Fund All persons interested are invited to attend. Christina Harmon Clerk of the City Council

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