Dear North Smithfield Families and Staff,
We remain in a holding pattern as to the specifics of school reopening. Again I wish I could give you specific information, but I can’t. Many of you probably have heard by now that school opening in Rhode Island will be delayed.
Message From Rhode Island’s Commissioner of Education:
In addition to the standard educational preparation you do each year, there are a number of complex operational and logistical challenges we are all tackling this year. These include preparing our buildings for appropriate safety measures, developing and practicing all-new classroom practices for staff and students, pressure-testing our transportation plans, implementing COVID testing and response protocols, and more. In light of these challenges and after listening closely to your concerns, I am sharing the following 2020-21 school year calendar adjustments with you:
For those that filled out our Distance Learning Intent form, thank you. We know this decision depends on the timing, the state of infection, and the model under which we open. Everyone will be given the opportunity to add or remove students from the Distance Learning Intent List once we know what reopening will look like.
Here are the preliminary counts by grade:
KG - 15
01 - 16
02 - 31
03 - 29
04 - 36
05 - 24
06 - 39
07 - 29
08 - 42
09 - 26
10 - 21
11 - 33
12 - 18
For now we have an approximate count of students which will help immensely in shaping our instructional methods, busing, and the use of space in our schools and grounds.
Last year, due to the suddenness of the change-over from in-person learning to distance learning, we all experienced some inconsistencies and had to make adjustments. Our teachers have been reviewing their distance learning procedures from last year as well as taking input from students and parents and colleagues.
For the coming year we are retooling our distance learning approach, making it more structured and rigorous, with a focus on teaching new content instead of skills reinforcement. We are approaching distance learning as a means to improve instruction for the long term and not as a temporary stop-gap measure. Now that we have these preliminary counts we can revise and prepare for publication our distance learning instructional plan.
This will be a delicate balancing act mixing in-person with distance learning, with many variations depending on the grade level, content area, and individual student needs. It is a challenge North Smithfield accepts and will rise to, but it will require a considerable amount of coordination and cooperation among all of us.
PPE and Facilities
Our facilities department continues to improve our schools and classrooms and prepare for reopening and beyond:
We will keep you informed as information comes in and plans are finalized. Until then your continued patience and understanding is appreciated.
Michael St. Jean,
NSPS School Opening Website:
Rhode Island School Reopening FAQ
Rhode Island Response Protocols Playbook: Pre-K to 12: