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Schools consider big changes

April 12, 2012

WOONSOCKET — School Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan is working on a sweeping restructuring of local elementary schools and the middle school that could restore all-day kindergarten at the early elementary level and also move fifth graders to the middle school.
Donoyan has presented an overview of the possible changes to city leaders and state legislators and is in the process of meeting with the school staff to obtain their reactions to the proposal.
Although confirming the changes are under consideration, Donoyan said she will likely present the full proposal publicly after students return from next week's spring vacation.
“We are trying to bring back full-day kindergarten and it is going to include changes at the elementary level,” Donoyan said of the plan after the school committee concluded its meeting in the Hamlet middle school building.
“We might close Fifth Avenue and we would also have to realign some classrooms,” she said.
The School Committee approved returning the old Social Street Elementary School building to the city Wednesday night, a building that has not been used as a full-time school for three-years, and may also move in the near future to take similar action to turn over the Second Avenue school in Fairmount, according to Donoyan. That building has not hosted classrooms since last year and is currently being used for school department storage.
Fifth Avenue is currently used with the Coleman Elementary School to meet the elementary level needs of the Fairmount neighborhood.
Donoyan could not say for certain on Wednesday if that school would also be released from school department use and offered that her complex proposals are “only a concept at this point.”
Major points of that plan were presented to the city's General Assembly delegation during a meeting earlier in the day and School Committeeman Christopher Roberts, who also attended, said the reaction appeared to be a positive one.
“We need to try to do things in a different way,” he said of the proposals. Roberts said there is also an effort being made to win the school department some additional funding specifically for the all-day kindergarten program but that funding has not yet been confirmed.
The school department may have to move ahead with an all-day kindergarten plan of its own, which includes the shifts of elementary classrooms into the middle school, before the state financial assistance is finalized, he suggested.
“We are doing everything we possibly can at this point,” he said.
Donoyan said her plan, which has also received some early support from local teachers and administrators, is still being worked out but ultimately will seek to gain savings through better efficiency through the re-structuring of the elementary and middle school classes while retaining best educational practices.
“I will be meeting with the principals tomorrow and every time I go out on this there are additional questions,” she said. Donoyan said she is taking the responses under consideration and will be making modifications to the plan as needed.
“We are trying to be as cost effective as we can and but we want to escalate the level of education at the same time,” she said.


School Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan

April 16, 2012 by mamboob (not verified), 3 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 1133

she pretty!


April 13, 2012 by leebeauregard (not verified), 3 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 1126

With the present fiscal crisis Superintendent Donoyan should spend every waking minute developing a plan to cut school department costs. Instead she is out promoting a plan which will increase costs!

This shows just how clueless the School Committee and the top management team of the Woonsocket School Deaprtment are. In the real world she would have been fired by now for her management failure.

The problem with obtaining additional state or federal funding is that it eventually disappears and the city ends up stuck with 100% of the future costs.


April 13, 2012 by joe (not verified), 3 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 1125

Research is irrefutable on early-childhood education. Excellent plan - with the right support, you will move WED to heights it deserved to go long ago.

"Donoyan has presented an

April 12, 2012 by Hope (not verified), 3 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 1124

"Donoyan has presented an overview of the possible changes to city leaders and state legislators and is in the process of meeting with the school staff to obtain their reactions to the proposal."

Ellie Nadeau said on the radio today that she had not heard about this.

How in the world does this happen?!?!? And we wonder why people think the WED is completely lost?!?

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