NORTH SMITHFIELD – North Smithfield School Committee member William Connell recently discussed challenges facing public schools, and what North Smithfield is doing to address those challenges as he seeks another term on the board.
“Education is constantly changing and evolving,” Connell said. “At North Smithfield, we are staying up to date with those changes on many fronts. We are working to updating all our classes to be incorporate high-quality curriculum, as mandated by the state.”
Connell noted that updates include new curricula and new frameworks in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Technology, History, and other subjects.
“It is an on-going process,” he said. “Our district teachers are training to assist students who experience difficulties in reading, for which training is also state-mandated. In comparison to most districts, North Smithfield is a leader in meeting these requirements on-time, so that more of our students can benefit academically.”
The committee member noted that the district has also recently updated athletic facilities on the track and turf field.
“We are planning to install a hammer throwing cage so our track teams, which have had state champions, will finally be able to host home meets,” Connell said.
He noted that other improvements are underway with the help of outside funding.
“We are adding additional wrap-around school day teachers using federal grant funds to assist students after school and address learning deficits related to the recent pandemic,” he said. “These efforts do cost money, and they do take time. Our district staff aggressively pursue state and federal funding, as well as private grants.”
“We are not perfect, and I realize not everyone is happy with every decision we make, but we do listen, and we try to maintain and improve what is already a great school district,” Connell said. “Our district team is never satisfied with good enough.”
“No matter how successful we are as a very small district, we are always striving to do better,” Connell added. “I’d like to thank the community for its support.”