Warwick School Committee delays migration of 6th graders

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Fifth graders in Warwick will no longer be changing schools next year after a vote by the city’s school committee Wednesday night.

The city announced plans in September to close two elementary schools and repurpose two others.

In October, the committee decided to begin migrating the sixth graders to middle schools next year but hold off on the elementary transition until 2018-19. Now, both are set to take place in 2018-19.

Due to a number of factors including declining enrollment and the need for expensive upgrades, the proposal calls for the closure of John Wickes and Randall Holden Elementary Schools while turning John Brown Francis Elementary into an early childhood center and Drum Rock Early Childhood Center into additional space for Warwick’s Career & Technical Center.

A series of public hearings were held on the consolidation, during which parents and teachers expressed concern about the plan. Many said they felt it was too rushed, especially in light of the recent secondary school consolidation.

Mayor Scott Avedisian endorsed the plan but also recommended a one-year delay before implementation.