The Warwick (R.I.) School Committee is considering a plan to close two of the city’s elementary schools and move preschoolers from an early childhood center to an elementary campus.
The Providence Journal reports that elementary consolidation plan calls for closing John Wickes and the Randall Holden elementary schools at the end of the 2016-17 school year. In addition, students at John Brown Francis Elementary School would be relocated to other campuses to make way for preschoolers from the Drum Rock Early Childhood Center.
School officials estimate that about one of every eight elementary students — 632 — would attend a new school next September, depending on the actual 2017-2018 enrollment.
The proposed elementary consolidation is part of a wider effort to address declining student enrollment. In June, the district closed Gorton and Aldrich junior high schools closed, and converted Warwick Veterans Memorial High School into a junior high.
Based on a 2014-15 enrollment projection that student numbers would decline 12 percent over 10 years, Warwick's planning consultants had recommended closing four to six elementary schools.
School officials were not comfortable with closing so many campuses, and a committee formed to study the issued opted for closing two campuses.
Wickes Elementary was built in 1953, and Holden Elementary was built in 1949.