PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence’s new schools superintendent is starting the process of reorganizing the district’s central office by not renewing the contracts of certain senior administrators, a spokesperson confirmed.
Spokesperson Laura Hart said Superintendent Harrison Peters is “conducting a series of discussions with a number of PPSD senior administrators to discuss the non-renewals of their contracts.”
“This is part of his effort to right-size and align our senior staff with the mission requirements of the entire district,” Hart said. “It is one early stage of a larger project to address staffing issues in PPSD, as we position the district for lasting transformational change in the face of looming fiscal challenges.”
Hart did not comment on which positions were being let go, and said there is not a number yet for how many people will be affected. She did not say whether the employees would be offered other positions in the district.
“I would not characterize them as layoffs,” she said in an email. “They are non-renewals of contracts that are expiring.”
Hart said more information would be provided when all impacted staff members are notified.
Peters promised a reorganization of the central office at 797 Westminster St. when he took control of Providence schools in February, sending “displacement” letters to certain union members whose positions might be eliminated.
The state took over Providence schools last year amid a slew of issues from poor academic performance to disgusting building conditions. But shortly after the state-appointed Peters took the helm as superintendent, buildings closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and attention shifted to launching distance learning for 24,000 students.