Chariho School Committee to review virtual education plan

Chariho School Committee to review virtual education plan

The Westerly Sun

WOOD RIVER JUNCTION — Members of the Chariho School Committee will receive updates Tuesday on the district’s virtual education plan, the construction of the new Alternative Learning Academy, and the district’s first Chinese exchange student.

The legislature has approved a bill allowing districts to develop virtual education plans that could be used during bad weather or emergencies. The Chariho district launched its 1:1 initiative several years ago to supply students with laptop computers. The program will be extended to the second grade this year, with two students sharing a single computer.

Sylvia Stanley, who chairs the committee, said that with almost every Chariho student using a district-issued laptop, making certain that schoolwork is done when the schools are closed shouldn’t be a problem.

“All the kids have computers down to Grade 2, and they’re connected to the system,” she said.

The committee will also hear an update on the start of construction of the academy, the successor to the old RYSE school. Heavy equipment rolled onto the Chariho campus on Aug. 8 to begin work on the new school for students with special needs.

The district’s Building Committee awarded the contract for the project to the Ahlborg Construction Corporation of Warwwick, the low bidder at $4,675,000. Ahlborg is expected to have the building, an addition to the middle school, completed when students return to school in the fall of 2018.

The Rhode Island Department of Education has approved $5.2 million for a new building and will reimburse the district up to 65 percent of the construction cost. The Chariho towns will pay the rest. Last November, voters in the three towns approved a bond of up to $6 million to build the new school.

The district is also preparing to welcome its first Chinese exchange student, who is coming to Chariho as a result of an early summer trip to China by Chariho Principal Craig MacKenzie. The Chinese had invited a representative from Chariho to travel to their country to formalize a student exchange program.

The 16-year-old student is from the city of Yangzhou, which boasts a large, high-achieving high school. She will arrive on Aug. 21 and live with a family in one of the Chariho towns.

The committee will also discuss the ongoing searches for replacements for two key administrators. The former middle school assistant principal, Steven Morrone, resigned to take over as principal at Dunn’s Corners Elementary School in Westerly, and RYSE school director Carolyn Garlick is also leaving the district.



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