Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 07-23-2020

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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6 CUMBERLAND JULY 23-29, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION CUMBERLAND – Supt. Bob Mitchell said he was excited with what school officials came up with for reopening plans submitted to the state prior to last Friday's deadline. "When you have an opportunity to see this document, I think you're going to be impressed," Mitchell said. "To suggest that everyone has gone above and beyond the call of duty to get this done would be an understatement. No stone has been left unturned." Mitchell said he guesses 100 or so stakeholders have been involved in the planning process, adding that there are still a lot of moving parts. The schools will host public forum in the next couple of weeks to share reopening plans with the public, but there is still plenty of uncertainty, said Mitchell. One question still up in the air is on transportation. Mitchell said they will be asking parents for support in getting their children to school and maybe utilizing some carpooling. Over the next couple of weeks, the Rhode Island Department of Education will be giving feedback, and local final decisions on the plans are expected by Aug. 17. Mitchell said the hope is for consistency in plans around the state. The main expectation right now is that ele- mentary school students will be back in school every day, he said, and Cumberland is ready for that. "I'm sure in the next couple of weeks we will have solid answers," said School Committee Chairman Paul DiModica. "We'll make plans and have a school year. There is nothing like in-house learning." RIDE is insisting that all stu- dents in grades pre-K to 5 return to school on Aug. 31. Mitchell said the option that makes the most sense for secondary students is an alternating schedule where half of students come to school one day and the other half the next. When not in school, students would be given assignments to work on at home. School Committee member Mark Fiorillo, of District 1, addressed the issue of giving the superintendent emergency powers to alter walk- ing distances or any other aspect of transportation policies. He said a big topic with going back to school is walking distances and how some schools are getting rid of some bus- ing. Fiorillo read new language as part of the amended policy approved unanimously: "The superintendent retains discretion to modify on a short-term basis or a long-term basis eligibility parameters to address unexpected or extraordinary circum- stances. The superintendent should inform the School Committee when modifications are necessary." Fiorillo said he is sure Supt. Mitchell will keep the School Committee in the loop, and the changes will give him the necessary latitude to make changes. In Cumberland, still a lot of moving parts to reopen schools By KAYLA PANU Valley Breeze Staff Writer kayla@valleybreeze.com thank you for supporting our Valley Breeze advertisers. They make this free newspaper possible! A sign of hope has appeared outside the BLACKSTONE RIVER THEATRE on Broad Street, which remains closed for programming. Executive Director Russell Gusetti said that does not mean the staff isn't busy making improvements for when the theater can safely welcome people back, including a new roof and exterior work on the building, courtesy of a 2019 Champlin Foundations grant, as well as the instal- lation of a new digital soundboard and other sound improvements by Sound Advice LLC. Gusetti said the theater was approached by Donna Kaehler, director of Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful, and Leah Thovmasian Hill, coordinator of the Broad Street Regeneration Initiative, to display the sign while work is taking place. The sign was made by Smithfield Town Recycling Coordinator Melissa Chaput and her daughter Eva, who recently graduated from Smithfield High School. A message we can all use these days ... Paul named among 2019 most influential corporate board directors by WomenInc. Magazine CUMBERLAND – WomenInc. Magazine, a leading publication dedicated to the comprehensive coverage of women's achievement in business, has named Debra Paul, of Cumberland, to its 2019 Most Influential Corporate Board Directors. This honor recognizes Paul for her distinguished professional accom- plishments as one of the top women executives, influencers and achievers contributing their leadership on cor- porate boards, states a press release. With more than 20 years of prac- tice in the healthcare field, she cur- rently holds the position of EO of Fellowship Health Resources, Inc., a multi-state behavioral healthcare organization headquartered in Lincoln. S he holds an undergraduate degree in accounting and a master's degree in business administration from Bryant University. "I am honored by this recogni- tion and would like to congratulate my colleagues and all of the other women acknowledged for their accomplishments," Paul said. "I am grateful to be included among this talented, hardworking, and ambitious group of leaders." The full WomenInc. Influential Corporate Directors listing is avail- able at WomenInc.com/2019MICD . BUSINESS NEWS Commitment to Quality Dependable Trusted Accurate Inspirational 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite #204, Lincoln, Rhode Island 02865 Phone 401-334-9555 Fax 401-334-9994 Website valleybreeze.com Making our communities stronger by telling their stories. Please consider supporting The Valley Breeze today – Visit valleybreeze.com/support In our 25 years of existence, we've been all of this and more. From the beginning, we've believed that a hyper-local news model is what best serves our readers. The Breeze is free to our readers, and will remain free, but our hope is that those readers with the resources to invest in journalism where they live will choose to take a more active role in this local news success story, joining advertisers in helping to bring it to the people each and every week. Thank you to all who have donated! Your monthly or one-time contributions are greatly appreciated!

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