Superintendent: Cranston schools off to a good start; improvements still needed

Back to School

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Tuesday marked the first day of school for districts across the state, including Cranston Public Schools.

Cranston Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse joined Eyewitness News This Morning in studio Wednesday to discuss the first day back and what improvements needs to be made.

More than 10,700 students returned to school Wednesday in the Cranston school system. Superintendent Nota-Masse said she hopes to get the year off to a smooth start, quickly updating address changes and effectively integrating new students into the system.

Nota-Masse said improving attendance is a key focus for the 2017-18 school year. In the past year, there was an increase in absences and tardy students, especially in younger grades.

Absences in younger grades foster a mindset that missing school is acceptable, making absences in later grades more likely.

“Students who are late or absent from school beginning in the elementary grades face more challenges as they progress due to gaps in learning,” Nota-Masse said.

Emphasizing the importance of attendance carries benefits that go beyond school, solidifying a good work ethic that will help in a future career.

Across the state and in Cranston in particular, aging buildings and decreased funding provide obstacles to school districts.

When construction or repairs do occur, she said they are often constrained to the few months of summer vacation. Nota-Masse said she hopes that improvements can be made to Cranston schools as soon as possible.

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