Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 12-01-2016

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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©2016 BREEZE PUBLICATIONS INC. Serving Smithfield, Scituate, Foster and Glocester Observer THE VALLEY BREEZE & FREE valleybreeze.com @ DECEMBER 1-7, 2016 Reconnect to the magic of the season with our special holiday section. INSIDE CHRISTMAS IN THE VALLEY See BUS MONITOR, Page 7 BREEZE PHOTO BY TOM WARD Six white-tailed deer gather at the water's edge of the SCITUATE RESERVOIR last Friday. While the water level appears low, it is in the normal range for this time of year, Providence Water officials say. It is hoped a rainy and snowy winter will recharge the reservoir by spring. SMITHFIELD – The School Committee gave initial approval last week to a new policy designed to help officials retain the Smithfield School Department's best leaders. School Supt. Robert O'Brien told The Breeze & Observer that state law clearly gives him the authority to recommend raises for all administrators except him- self, but said the new administrative compensation policy gives him specific guidelines to follow in determining what those raises should be. School board members asked a couple of months back for a policy that would give them more information on what raises are based on. The new policy codifies O'Brien's authority to conduct a review each year to determine if local salaries are com- petitive with districts across the state. He is authorized to evaluate raises for administrators based on numerous fac- tors, including longevity, experience, performance, student achievement, and educational degrees and certifications. "It makes it very clear what we need to be doing," he said. A copy of the new administrative compensation policy won't be avail- able until after the document is made official at the School Committee's New policy meant to help schools keep top administrators By ETHAN SHOREY Breeze Online News Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com See ADMINISTRATORS, Page 4 Smithfield bus monitor suspended after talking about lice Schools no longer perform routine screenings SMITHFIELD – A popular local bus monitor was suspended last month after telling parents at her stops about a lice issue in a town elementary school. Longtime monitor Stephanie Pitrone was placed on suspension the afternoon of Nov. 18 and returned to work for Durham School Services this week. The suspension, which school officials say was the bus company's decison, is bringing to light changes in protocol for dealing with lice in schools that some parents are indicat- ing they weren't aware of. Pitrone's situation was made public last week by her husband Richard who spoke out against the decision to suspend his wife during last week's School Committee meeting. Mr. Pitrone said she was simply doing what school officials should be By ETHAN SHOREY Breeze Online News Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com HOLIDAY 'SPIRITS' Meet the ghosts of Christmas at Blackstone River Theatre. LIVING Anderson Anderson Winfield Winfield Funeral Funeral Home Home Merry Christmas The Christmas Parade starts at The Christmas Parade starts at 4 p.m. at the Smithfield Senior Center 4 p.m. at the Smithfield Senior Center and proceeds to The Greenville Common and proceeds to The Greenville Common in front of the in front of the Anderson Winfield Anderson Winfield Funeral Home and will Funeral Home and will conclude with the conclude with the Lighting of the Lighting of the Green Ceremony Green Ceremony Observer Reconnect to the magic of the season with our special holiday section CHRISTMAS IN THE VALLEY Smithfield Smithfield

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