Toll Gate set to reopen; RIDE grants 2-day waiver

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On the eve of Toll Gate students and faculty returning to classes, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) issued a response to Superintendent Philip Thornton’s request to allow five days out of classes. Wednesday afternoon, RIDE Commissioner of Education Angelica Infante-Green issued a release that the department will only allow up to two of those days to count toward the academic calendar.

On Feb. 8, a metal plug popped off the school’s water back flow preventer, causing a flood of one or two inches throughout the cafeteria, auditorium ramp, lower-level hallways and a few classrooms. The water was swiftly mopped up, but as some of it seeped into the cracked tiles, it pushed them up. Those tiles, installed in the early 1970s when the school opened, contained traces of asbestos, but was not deemed to be harmful. That was, until the water got to them. 

The school administration sent the waiver request to the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) asking for all five days to count toward their academic calendar. For the five days, classes were in session just not physically conducted at the school. Students and teachers were able to have classes over Google Classroom and each student has a Chromebook to use for those online assignments.

Thornton said that the school administrations would look at the schedule Thursday morning to see how they could remain on track with the remainder of the school year including Toll Gate graduation slated for June 3.

Aside from the new scheduling dilemma, the school has reopened exactly as planned. Superintendent Thornton said back on Feb. 10 that the school would work to be open for classes on Thursday, Feb. 20. Over the past few weeks, even through the weekend and holiday, school staff and an outside company removed the old tiles and replaced them with new ones. On Wednesday, Thornton said they are prepared for school to open for Thursday.

“We are ready to go,” he said.

Aside from the tiles, the water soaked the bottom few inches of drywall on the classroom side of Toll Gate’s lower building and had to be removed. Thornton said that some classrooms may be without that drywall for a few days, but it won’t interrupt classes. The superintendent also said that the school’s Promethean Boards, used for interactive teaching, won’t be re-installed until around Friday.

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justanidiot

so, close most of the schools down and have the kids work from home. one school should be open for when the kids have to physically attend like for labs or corporal punishment, but for the most part let them take their spelling lessons at home. could cut way back on the number of teachers needed. plus smart kids could pass what is given in high school now and graduate by age ten.

Thursday, February 20
Poor leadership

My child said there are many classrooms that are not usable and they just hung around in the auditorium not doing any work

Is the administration really in that much of a rush to get kids back in the school?

Thursday, February 20
bill123

These Beacon articles aren’t attempting to be informative on the cause (“popped off”). I assume this is the result of silence from the city. The city really needs to say something. The limited facts given in prior articles point to what a reasonable person would see as an intentional act. We can only hope law enforcement is looking into this.

Friday, February 21
Robert

Public education is illegal assuming anyone considers the US Constitution to be the highest law of the land.

Friday, February 21
Happy

Poor Leadership, I can understand why they want to get the kids back into school even if it's not productive.

When it starts to impede into the summer break a lot of the kids already have commitments for summer jobs to make some money.

There are also planned vacations some of which are already paid for.

The same holds true for the teachers and you can bet they are already whining to stick to the scheduled school end date!

Saturday, February 22
Happy

Poor Leadership, I can understand why they want to get the kids back into school even if it's not productive.

When it starts to impede into the summer break a lot of the kids already have commitments for summer jobs to make some money.

There are also planned vacations some of which are already paid for.

The same holds true for the teachers and you can bet they are already whining to stick to the scheduled school end date!

Saturday, February 22