State allowing 25 schools in RI to close short of 180 days
The Rhode Island Department of Education is allowing 25 public schools in the state to close short of the 180-day requirement this academic year.
The state granted waivers for 25 individual schools in about a dozen districts. They are being allowed to close one or two days short of 180 days because of cancellations caused by power failures or burst water lines over the winter.
“We’ve had schools all across the state that have shut down because their facilities are substandard,” Education Commissioner Dr. Ken Wagner told NBC 10 News.
Edgewood Highland Elementary School in Cranston applied for a three-day exemption and is waiting to find out if it will receive a waiver.
Earlier this year, the school was closed for more than a month after a water main ruptured outside of the school, sending four feet of water gushing into several classrooms.
“The water was so strong that it actually broke down metal doors,” Wagner said. “Someone could have been killed. The teachers were amazing and they got the kids out safely.”
Central Falls High School was granted a two-day waiver. The school flooded days before classes were scheduled to begin in August, which postponed the start of classes.
RIDE said Woonsocket and Exeter-West Greenwich asked for district-wide waivers, but they were denied. Fourteen other requests are pending.
“Typically, we only give those waivers if it's an individual school, not the whole district, and typically it's because something went wrong with the facility- a pipe broke, the heating system shut down and the school would be unsafe for that day,” Wagner said.
According to RIDE, the schools granted waivers are:
Barrington: Hampden Meadows Elementary
Barrington: Sowams Elementary
Central Falls: Central Falls High School
Chariho: Ashaway Elementary
Cranston: Cranston High School East
Cumberland: Blackstone Valley Prep High School
Cumberland: Community Elementary
Johnston: Thornton Elementary
Johnston: Brown Avenue Elementary
Narragansett: Narragansett Elementary
North Smithfield: North Smithfield Elementary
Providence: Pleasant View Elementary
Providence: George J. West Elementary
Providence: Vartan Gregorian Elementary
Providence: Rhode Island School for the Deaf
Scituate: Clayville Elementary
Scituate: North Scituate Elementary
Scituate: Hope Elementary
Smithfield: Old Country Road Elementary
Warwick: Warwick Area Career and Technical Center
Warwick: Toll Gate High School
Warwick: Winman Junior High School
Warwick: Drum Rock Early Learning Center
West Warwick: West Warwick Middle School
West Warwick: West Warwick High School