WSD Hosted Community Focus Group
Warwick School District held a Community Feasibility Focus Group on Monday, April 24, in the Warwick Middle School Auditorium to a crowd of about 65 community members. The purpose of the evening was to provide information and gather public input as related to the district’s feasibility study.
The evening opened with a short presentation by WSD Superintendent Dr. April Hershey and WSD Business Manager Nate Wertsch, followed by Mr. Craig Kimmel and Ms. Erin Hoffman of Reese, Lower, Patrick & Scott (RLPS), who facilitated the collection of feedback from the community.
The Warwick School Board and its subcommittees have been planning this feasibility study for more than a year, looking ahead to 2022-2023, when three of the district’s six facilities will be up for a 20-year renovation. Another driving factor is declining enrollment, down a notable 600 students in the past 10 years.
Districts periodically engage in feasibility studies to evaluate existing facilities, study enrollment trends and programming needs in order to ensure the best possible educational experiences for students, while balancing fiscal responsibility to the community.
The Community Feasibility Focus Group meeting was the last of five separate focus group discussions led by RLPS (who have been contracted to conduct the feasibility study). The focus groups included two public forums: one held for the Warwick Board of School Directors during an open Committee of the Whole meeting, and the most recent open community focus group. Three additional focus groups were held including: one for district leadership, one for staff, and one for students.
It is emphasized by Warwick School District that no future plans have been made related to this study.
“This has been and will continue to be a very open and transparent process. WSD’s board meetings and focus groups have been advertised and shared with parents and the community through district communication channels and the press. To help make good decisions for our community, it is important to gather data from all those affected by asking questions and having good discussion,” said Superintendent Dr. April Hershey.
She continued, “The WSD and the Board of Directors are committed to an open and transparent process. All feedback and individual responses to the focus group questions will be shared in a public report at a future public meeting. We thank our community members and everyone who participated in these focus groups for their assistance and support as we navigate this process toward planning the bright future of our district.”