Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 02-17-2021

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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©2021 THE VALLEY BREEZE Serving Pawtucket Breeze THE VALLEY FREE FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021 BREEZE PHOTO BY ROBERT EMERSON A swan gets in the way of a young cyclist while he was riding on the sidewalk across from the Looff Carousel in SLATER PARK last Saturday. Swans crossing 'Unprecedented' City officials hail schools for agreeing to fill $1.6 million gap PAWTUCKET – In a move veteran city leaders were calling "unprecedented" in Pawtucket, the School Committee last week agreed to address a majority of the city's $2.6 million budget gap. Councilor Terry Mercer, head of the City Council's finance subcom- mittee, called the agreement an "exceptional outcome," thanking the School Committee and Chairman Jay Charbonneau for working with the city to avoid a potential large- scale supplemental tax increase for residents. Council President David Moran said there have often been cases where the schools have sought more money from the city, which certain- ly makes sense, but this is the first time he can remember where the reverse has happened. The way it will work, said Mercer, By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor See BUDGET, Page 8 Parents are heard as school board approves reopening Bumpy road ahead as leaders prep for students' voluntary return PAWTUCKET – The last school district in Rhode Island to send stu- dents back into schools will be doing so for only a few months before the 2020-2021 school year comes to a close. After facing mounting pressure from parents who want the option to send their children back to school, the Pawtucket School Committee reversed course last week and voted to approve the superinten- dent's school reopening plan, leav- ing School Department officials to scramble to figure out the logistics from busing, substitute teacher short- ages, reshuffling of schedules, and more. The School Committee had voted in January to reject Supt. Cheryl McWilliams' reopening plan and continue with distance learning through the end of the school year, but voted unanimously during its Feb. 9 virtual meeting to accept her By MELANIE THIBEAULT Valley Breeze Staff Writer See SCHOOL, Page 10 'It's going to be much better' Parents relieved, excited children can return to school PAWTUCKET – When Rayna Tomasian told her daughter Alayna, a 1st-grader at Varieur Elementary School, that she would be able to return to school next month, the 6-year-old smiled from ear to ear and ran to hug her mother. "It's going to give her something back," Tomasian said, who noted that being at home has been difficult on her daughter. By MELANIE THIBEAULT Valley Breeze Staff Writer See PARENTS, Page 9 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.

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