As students return to school, several districts deal with staff shortages

School Updates

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s the first day of school back from winter break, but not all students will be spending their day in the classroom.

Johnston High School dismissed students at 11 a.m. Monday due to staffing shortages. Superintendent Dr. Bernard DiLullo said that their decision came after 23 teachers called out sick.

One mother told 12 News they were only notified of the early dismissal as school was starting.

“To get the news that all these teachers are out is really disheartening and concerning to me,” Susanna Paliotta said. “I think we are doing the right thing with early dismissal, but we need to have a solid plan because it does affect my life and other people in my household’s lives so we need to have a better plan.”

DiLullo said the the rest of the week will be decided on a day-to-day basis.

Johnston isn’t the only school district facing staffing shortages, however. Both Warwick Veterans and Winman middle schools started distance learning on Monday, but are scheduled to return in person on Tuesday.

In addition, Ponaganset High School shifted to remote learning for Tuesday.

Providence schools are having a staggered return to the classroom for grades pre-K through 12.

Students are scheduled to return by grade over the course of three days:

  • Pre-K, kindergarten and grades 1, 6 and 9 – Monday
  • Grades 2, 3, 7, 10, 11 – Tuesday
  • Grades 4, 5, 8, and 12 – Wednesday

All Providence students were sent home prior to winter break with the materials needed for distance learning. Those who aren’t returning immediately will be learning remotely until their scheduled return date.

The availability of appointments at state-run testing sites continued to be limited on Monday. A late-morning check of the portal.ri.gov website showed only one of 23 testing sites had any appointments available through Wednesday. Most listed no appointments until Friday or Saturday.

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