Warwick (R.I.) board decides to close 2 junior high schools

After a decade of enrollment decline that is projected to continue for several more years, the Warwick (R.I.) School Committee has approved a plan to close two of its junior high schools and convert a senior high school to a middle school.

The Providence Journal reports that the plan calls for Warwick to eventually shutter Gorton and Aldrich junior high schools.

The district wants to go from three high schools and three junior high schools to two high schools and two middle schools. The timeline for the closing of the schools had not been finalized.

When Aldrich and Gorton are closed, Veterans Memorial High School would be converted into a middle school.

Why close schools?

  • Consolidating facilities will enable the district to use its classroom space more efficiently. Enrollment figures show that the three junior highs are operating at 53 percent capacity, and the senior highs are operating at 63 percent capacity.
  • Warwick Public Schools had about 12,200 students in 2002-03, and this year has 9,141 students.
  • A demographic study of the district shows enrollment is projected to decrease by 759 students, or 8.3 percent, between 2014-15 and 2019-20,
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