Interim Superintendent Cheryl McWilliams – Pawtucket School District
1. What’s the number one thing parents and students should know about this district this year?
Pawtucket is committed to improving educational excellence and global citizenship for ALL while practicing courage, compassion, and collaboration. Pawtucket continues to make investments in school facilities with two recently renovated state of the art elementary schools and future plans for new STEAM elementary schools, and renovations to two high schools. Pawtucket encourages collaboration with community partners who support our focus on raising student achievement for all learners.
2. What is the biggest challenge your district faces?
Social Emotional, Behavioral Health and Wellness are critical to the academic success of students. There can be stigmas that prevent many families from accessing appropriate services and information sessions intended to inform and improve wellness.
3a. What is the vaccination rate for your district and what is your policy for opting out?
The results of vaccination rate are calculated by grade and type of vaccination with a fully immunized rate per grade as follows:
- Kindergarten – 95.8%,
- Grade 7 -75.3%,
- Grade 8 – 75.7%,
- Grade 9 – 81.3%,
- Grade 12 – 84.8%.
Pawtucket follows the state opt-out policy for medical or religious reasons.
3b. Have you seen a spike or decline in the number of parents opting out over the last two years?
We haven’t seen a spike in numbers opting out.
4a. Some school districts in the state are banning electronic devices/cell phones.
We do not ban electronic devices.
4b. What is your current policy?
We have a school policy that indicates electronic devices are not to interfere or detract from the educational purpose.
4c. Do you have plans to ban electronic devices? If so, why?
We do not have any plans to ban electronic devices.
5. Tell us something nobody knows about your district.
Three of our ten elementary schools are community schools providing wrap-around services to support the needs of students and the community. Our State Preschools were the first RI public school to achieve a 5-star rating in our first year. We have a Dual Language program at one of our elementary schools and World languages including Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese at other schools within the district. We offer advanced course network courses through RIDE. We encourage parents and community involvement in supporting their children and fostering learning.
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