Peter Cummings – Narragansett School District
1. What’s the number one thing parents and students should know about this district this year?
In Narragansett, we are excited about the expanded learning opportunities available to our students and other students in the region through our CTE programs. At Narragansett High School, we have added to our Advanced Placement course offerings and established an innovative Educator Preparation program which is part of a top-level national program called Educators Rising. At our middle school, students across all grade levels will be engaged in newly designed course offerings in Computer Science and Coding, and our Elementary School continues to develop and participate in wonderful programs such as Readers and Writers Workshop, Recess Rocks!, Girls on the Run, and other literacy and wellness programs.
2. What is the biggest challenge your district faces?
Similar to schools across the country, keeping our schools safe and secure is our top concern. Narragansett has two School Resource Officers, enhanced building security measures, and regularly conducts emergency response training for all students and staff. We continue to partner with law enforcement and the Sandy Hook Promise organization to implement further prevention programs.
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?
95.3% of all Kindergarteners entering Narragansett Public Schools were fully immunized. Narragansett follows state statues and policy regarding opting out of vaccinations, as required by law. There have been only a few, if any, requests for exemptions in any given year in Narragansett, and that pattern has remained consistent.
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?
The practice in Narragansett Schools is that phones should not be used during instructional time unless specifically requested by the teacher. We strive to instruct, model, and enforce responsible use of technology while minimizing distraction and disruption from personal electronic devices. We consistently emphasize the value of personal connections, authentic conversations, and “being where you are” in building relationships among students, faculty, and staff in our school community.
5. Tell us something nobody knows about your district.
Narragansett consistently has students recognized at the national level for their accomplishments. Our AgriScience Program had several students receive top medals in the national Future Farmers of America convention, which hosts over 65,000 students from across all 50 states. Additionally, we consistently have national qualifiers in the National History Day competition, Robotics competitions, and national research symposiums. While we are a small district, Narragansett students have an outsized presence!
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