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Budget Commission Hears Comments, Update On Closing Fifth Avenue School

Superintendent: Only Fifth Avenue students sent to Coleman, Globe will take a bus.

 

The Woonsocket Budget Commisson heard from two employees of Fifth Avenue School on its closing Thursday, one complimentary and one critical, neither of whom have been offered jobs this year.

During the public comment portion of the agenda, Fifth Avenue paraprofessional teacher Mike Davis told the Commission that closing the school and sending students to the other city schools was the "best thing we could have done for these children." Globe Park and Harris Schools, he said, are more up to date, including computer labs and "computers that actually work".

Davis mentioned, however, that he still didn't know if he had a job at one of the city's other schools. "Could we please get an update on the paraprofessionals..." he asked, adding, "I'm still confused as to whether I have a position."

Estelle Bubble, a lunch aid at Fifth Avenue School, told the Commission, "I understand closing Fifth Avenue School was to save money, but on the other hand, two weeks before school was not a good thing to do. If in June, fine, but not two weeks before school."

She said the short notice has left teachers not knowing where they're going, and "things are all over the place." Also, she said, in her opinion, Fifth Avenue was a strong school. Bubble said she knows she's out of a job now, and isn't sure what she'll be doing for work next. "I don't know where I'm going," she said.

The Commission also heard from Dennis Deslauriers, who questioned their decision to approve a curriculum director, budgeted at about $100,000, for the Woonsocket School Department. Carolyn Dias, RIDE's chief of fiscal integrity and efficiencies, advocated for the move to supervise teachers as they adjust to new Common Core Curriculum standards RIDE has set a 2014 deadline to meet.

"Teachers are fully aware of their curriculum," Deslauriers said, and the money could be better applied to school supplies like textbooks.

Woonsocket Schools Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan gave the Commisssion a brief update on the closing of Fifth Avenue School. She said letters had been sent to the parents and guardians of the affected students, teachers are packing up their rooms, and a few bus route changes are being finalized. She said only those Fifth Avenue students being sent to "Fairmount" () and will ride a bus to classes, since they would have to cross train tracks if they were to walk.

English first August 17, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Good points Mike Davis...Mr. Mike.
Dave August 17, 2012 at 07:04 PM
How's those talks with the unions going Budget Commissars?
David T August 18, 2012 at 12:15 AM
I really like Mr. Mike and hope they find a place for him somewhere in the school department. If anyone has ever been present during some of his comments at school committee meetings, his energy and spirit comes through. He's not the highest paid WED employee but will be greatly missed.
Russell Archambault August 18, 2012 at 02:12 AM
STATEMENTS LIKE THIS, since they would have to cross train tracks if they were to walk. makes me want to fire her with such bull st.. How does a child cross when not going to school? People cant figure out why we are in such trouble ! Also " if they were to walk." how else would they get to school? Take a train? now the next comment. now why would parents drive their kid to school if they know that they will be picked up by bus.
Russell Archambault August 18, 2012 at 02:22 AM
here's another one. "supervise teachers as they adjust to new Common Core Curriculum standards RIDE has set a 2014 deadline to meet. lets spend 100,00.00 so teachers can adjust. let them adjust to this. your fired if you cant read and understand the new system.
Dawn Mackenzie August 18, 2012 at 01:21 PM
It is obvious that Russell and David do not have children attending schools. They can’t pay their bills so they bash anything that doesn’t affect them. Let look at the police and firemen, they are safe from criticism because they have a job to protect all the people in Woonsocket. The entire School Department is bashed because they only have to protect and teach the smallest members of the city. These members have no voice and are the future of the city. Dave the real question should be how is the POLICE contract negotiations going? They are the ones without a contract.
Russell Archambault August 18, 2012 at 02:26 PM
DM would you be so kind to let me borrow 48,572.00 so i can catch on my taxes.By the way my post is not about children.I like children as long as they are on the other side of the tracks. My post is about grown up educated stupid people running and spending my tax dollar. By the way with all the critisem of school bus monitors, anfer the research ive done about it through the country, I would always want them to watch those little brats on the bus, its a good thing and by the way also. If we had a voluntier, woops all on welfare, cant to that, too early in the morning. a monitor could be at the train track. just like towns with money to burn. SOON the fire and police will get straightend out on their waste, give it another month or so. I think I just solved the bussing issue in fairmount. Now lets see what else i can fix. thats for next time. Oh does grand children count for me attending school?
WED Watchdog August 20, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Interesting news. Dr. Donoyan just hired an Executive Secretary and the job hasn't been posted or a job description been written as of yet. This is politics at work already from new School Committee Chair Vimala Phongsavanh. The person that was hired is a friend of Vimala's from Neighborworks (Vimala's previous employer) that has questionable credentials and will displace a long time highly qualified Administrative Assistant. This is the start of Vimala hiring all her non-profit friends and driving out the highly qualified.

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