James Erinakes – Exeter-West Greenwich District
1. What’s the number one thing parents and students should know about this district this year?
EWG is diligently working toward a comprehensive capital bond project (taking advantage of the recently passed State bond and incentive program) for voter approval in April, 2020. The plan will call for renovations at each building to create 21st century learning spaces, increase classroom sizes at the early grades to address current standards, provide necessary spaces for our growing Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, and address various facility upgrades such as the Wawaloam playground and the HVAC system and auditorium at the Junior-Senior High School.
2. What is the biggest challenge your district faces?
1) Meeting all of the technical requirements and timelines for a successful bond initiative, as well as building community understanding and support for April passage of the school district bond; and 2) Like many other RI communities, we continue to identify the right supports, programs and academic/social-emotional interventions to address performance gaps among some student sub-groups (i.e. children with disabilities).
3. What is the vaccination rate for your district and what is your policy for opting out? Have you seen a spike or decline in the number of parents opting out over the last two years?
Kindergarten 96.3% fully vaccinated;
7th Grade 87.9% fully vaccinated and 12.1% with executed exemption;
8th Grade 80.6% fully vaccinated and 16.9% with executed exemption;
9th Grade 82.7% fully vaccinated and 17.3% with executed exemption;
12th Grade 100% fully vaccinated.
We have seen an increase in opt-outs, but I wouldn’t call it a “spike.”
4. Some school districts in the state are banning electronic devices/cell phones. What is your current policy? Do you have plans to also ban electronic devices? If so, why?
We do not have any current plans to ban devices, we have had reasonable success monitoring inappropriate use.
5. Tell us something nobody knows about your district.
1) EWG currently offers three approved Career and Technical programs at our high school (Agricultural Science, Computer Science and Visual Arts) with several additional programs currently offered locally for a district-issued pathway endorsement; and 2) The EWG senior high school has a 75% pass rate for AP tests, and there has been a 55% increase in the number of passing AP scores along with a 79% increase in the number of AP tests taken since the 2016-17 school year!
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