Superintendent’s Message

Happy Holidays

On behalf of the Warwick School Department, I wish everyone a very special holiday season filled with love, happiness, and special moments with family and friends. 

Holiday Break

School vacation will take place from December 23 - January 3.

New School Committee Members

The Warwick School Community welcomes Leah Hazlewood, Shaun Galligan, and Michelle Kirby Chapman as new members of the Warwick School Committee.  We all look forward to working together to provide the best educational opportunities and experiences for all.

High School Bond

Thank you to all of the families, teachers, and administrators who supported the $350 million dollar bond to support the new high schools.  We are excited that our students, educators, and families will have state-of-the-art facilities which support 21st-century learning.  The next step is to seek City Council’s approval.

2022 State Test Score Results 

Even though we are not at the proficiency levels that the Warwick School District is striving for, many schools made significant progress with the RICAS Assessment.  Overall the district maintained the RICAS ELA scores from last year and increased the math scores by 8%.  Warwick’s PSAT results were also released.  These results show that the 21-22 PSAT math scores decreased by 3% and the PSAT ELA scores decreased by 4% compared to the 20-21 results.  Warwick’s SAT results show that SAT math scores remained the same and the ELA scores increased by 1%.

We acknowledge that much more work needs to be done.  School-level data is being analyzed by School Improvement Teams and action steps to improve ELA and math proficiency will be incorporated into School Improvement Plans and the District Strategic Plan.  The extended day program at the elementary schools will continue this year to accelerate learning.  Rigorous new curricula are being implemented across the district at every level.  The district also increased the number of math and reading interventionists.   Learning walks are taking place in schools to see all the wonderful things happening in classrooms at all levels and to inform us of areas that need more focus. 

It has been a very productive fall season.  The Central Administrative Team along with school administrators and teachers are committed to continuously improving teaching and learning.  I would like to thank Dr. Shultz and the Curriculum Team for all the work that they do in leading positive change.

Student Voice

Mr. McCaffrey and I are starting a new initiative that will give students a voice.  We will be meeting once a month with student groups from Pilgrim and Toll Gate.  We would like to get feedback about teaching and learning, their high school experiences, and also give the students opportunities to share ideas.

Winter Weather

With the change of seasons, it’s time to plan ahead for winter weather and how it may affect our schools.  Depending on conditions (which could include snow, flooding, power outages, etc.), schools could:

  • Close for the day 

  • Have a 1 to 1 ½ delay in opening

  • Have a regular scheduled opening

  • Have a virtual learning day - The Rhode Island Department of Education will only allow five virtual learning days.

Please look for the district’s announcements on your local broadcasting stations, and through the Aspen email system.



The data is in!  If you would like to see how Warwick and your school did on the state assessments, you can check out the data HERE.  We have some work to do, but there are certainly some bright spots to report.  The school principals and Teaching and Learning Assistant Principals will be taking you through a data dig in the near future to help pinpoint areas of need and success.  Thank you for all of your hard work to help make our students as successful as possible with their education.

Course Proposals

We have several course proposals that the secondary education department will be reviewing this month.  We are excited to hear more about the possibility of adding exciting electives to the program of study for our students next year.  This process starts in October of each year, so keep this in mind if you would like to brainstorm ideas for a new or revised course at the secondary level for next year.

Student Discourse and Learning Walks

In recent learning walks at Vets and Pilgrim, the administration has been thrilled to see student discourse in action!  Keep up the good work with this district initiative, and thank you for diving deeply into this initiative.  For more ideas on discourse, click HERE.



December will be a very busy month for all Secondary Schools.  

The high schools will be hosting winter concerts.  Toll Gate High School will have its annual holiday concerts in the first two weeks of the month.   Pilgrim High School’s winter concert is on the 1st at 6:30 pm and will host a chorus concert on the 15th  at 7 pm.  Please check with the school for schedule updates.

Career and  Technical Education is thriving in Warwick.  As you walk through the halls of the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center (WACTC) and out in the community, it is evident that students are hard at work completing their industry-based projects and work-based learning.   As a whole, WACTC students are making an impact in their community while earning credentials that will ensure their success in the future.  

The middle schools will be hosting concerts, clothing drives, and seasonal events.  Warwick Veterans Memorial Middle School chorus members will be participating in daytime holiday concerts for their peers, faculty, and staff, as well as evening concerts for parents.  Veterans is running a coat drive and a Feinstein non-perishable food drive.  They have nearly a dozen after-school club options to complement winter sports.  Winman Middle Schools Feinstein Kindness Tree is up showcasing the Acts of Kindness that are exhibited by their students. The school community collected food for the Rhode Island Food Bank to support those in need. On December 8th Winman will be hosting its 2nd Annual Lantern Night.


It is hard to believe that we are finishing up the first trimester of the school year! Just fifty or so days ago, our students were wondering who their new teacher would be, and look at them now!! Each day revolves around morning meetings, new ELA Wit and Wisdom materials, and rigorous math and science practices that engage all students. They participate in student discourse and persevere with a small amount of productive struggle to be successful learners.

Thank you to our teachers, students, and families that participated in our first round of Extended Day Academy classes. We will offer this free program again in January. Also, Patti Cousineau shared some amazing things happening in the Elementary classroom at the November School Committee meeting; click on the link here to check out the video!

Additionally, be sure to check out your child’s report card which will go home virtually on December 21, 2022. Be sure you have your account set up in Aspen so you can retrieve this report. Guidance will be coming soon in regards to this matter or reach out to your child’s school.

Lastly, I hope that you all enjoy the upcoming holiday season with family and friends. May you make lasting memories together.

Special Education Department

The Special Education department is settling in from our administrative restructuring. 

We are currently in the process of conducting interviews to fill several key positions needed across the district.  

We have had the opportunity to meet with WISE and WTU to ensure we have open lines of communication and work together in the best interest of our students.

We are continuing to get out to schools to work collaboratively with stakeholders.  We are scheduling with building principals to meet the faculty in each school and address any questions or concerns.  

We are grateful for the partnership with each of our schools and look forward to continuing our work together!

Social Emotional Learning Update

Kristin Murray, SEL Coordinator 

As I visit our schools and talk with teachers, principals, and support staff, I am touched by the level of care and thoughtfulness that goes into every decision involving their students. Whether it is a school-wide focus on kindness or student collaboration, it is clear our educators are dedicated to shaping the social and emotional skills our students need to be successful in and out of school.  

This year, through our SEL surveys, we are excited to include students’ voices by asking them about their school experience.  The information from these surveys will help us understand if students can identify and apply the teaching strategies we have been working on, the effectiveness of cooperative learning structures, like student discourse, and the connectedness students feel while in school. In addition, students will tell us easily they can adapt and regulate their emotions, enabling them to learn.  Over the next few weeks, teachers and school teams will use this information to engage in a more complete conversation about what their students need to be successful learners. 

I want to thank our educators for their daily commitment to supporting our students in their social and emotional development.  


Warwick has received a few noteworthy grants recently.  

The first grant is the School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) Safety Grant.  We were awarded $358,273 towards 3 years of salary costs for a safety coordinator.  This grant is a 75-25 match so our share of the cost over 3 years is $116,250 bringing the total value of the grant to $465,000.  This was a highly competitive grant with only 68 grants awarded across the United States.  So this is a huge win for the district and more specifically our students and staff.  

The next grant is the McKinney-Vento (Homeless) Grant.  This is a 3-year grant for $50,000 a year for a total of $150,000.  The funds from this grant support our McKinney-Vento liaison, our art therapist, school supplies and backpacks, gas and uber cards, and most recently our new Warwick website app.  

Finally, we recently learned of a grant being issued by RIDE called the 21st Century Technology and Equipment Fund.  RIDE has created the 21st Century Technology and Equipment Fund, which will be focused on STEM and CTE programs during the inaugural year. These funds are for innovative technology and equipment that fosters a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) project-based learning approach and career and technical education (CTE) to ensure all students have access to high-quality learning spaces.  The state used a formula to allocate the funds.  We are receiving $698,250 of which $114,035 must be allocated to the CTE programs leaving $584,015 for district-wide use.  


Did you know we offer hot breakfast at all middle and high schools in the cafeteria for students and staff? Pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, hot oatmeal bar, whole grain cinnamon buns, breakfast sandwiches, and much more! Also included a choice of milk and fresh fruit and juice. Breakfast is served 20 minutes before the morning bell! 


Human Resources would like to extend well wishes for a happy holiday season! We are gearing up for the winter cold/flu/RSV/COVID season and are in relatively good shape with substitutes; hopefully, Warwick's faculty and staff (and students!) remain healthy!  That said, we can always use more teacher subs.  We are in desperate need of custodial, teacher assistant, lunch aide, and building aide subs! I initiated an "HR Road Show" where I come out to the schools to answer questions or hold office hours which has been met with great support!  I have already been to several schools and have thoroughly enjoyed answering questions, meeting people face to face, and seeing our staff in their working environment. As always, I must acknowledge the dedicated and hardworking HR staff who keep the district operational behind the scenes.


The Buildings and Grounds Department is in full swing preparing for this upcoming winter. The plows are ready to go. We have plenty of rock salt on hand. Also, a friendly reminder to faculty and staff if school is delayed please do not report at your regularly scheduled time we will need that extra time to finish any last-minute cleanup of snow. 

Kevin Oliver would like to take this time to congratulate 7 members of the Buildings & Grounds Department on their retirement. These hard-working individuals combined have given 172 years of service. Thank you for your dedication to the Warwick Public Schools. 

Robert Beagan 37 years of service

Anthony Petrarca 26 years of service

Frank DiMaio 23 years of service

Kevin Rossi 22 years of service

Jack Zawadzki 22 years of service

Betty O'Leary 21 years of service

Adlord (Mic) Sevigny 21 years of service

Construction and Capital Improvements Update

The district had multiple construction projects planned for this past summer. We are happy to inform everyone that, considering the challenges of a short summer and an immense amount of work to be performed, all went extremely well. While dealing with the COVID hangover of supply chain issues and shortages, and brutal inflation, projects were completed at:

  • Greenwood Elementary

  • Park Elementary

  • Scott Elementary

  • WELC

  • Cedar Hill Elementary

The district also embarked on very large renovation projects at Sherman and Winman that will take more than a summer to complete.

As we move towards next summer we have multiple projects planned for, being designed and submitted to RIDE for their School Building Authority approval. 2023 summer projects:

  • Greenwood Elementary

  • Norwood Elementary

  • Warwick Neck Elementary

  • Scott Elementary

  • Hoxsie Elementary

  • Holliman Elementary

Also scheduled for next summer, are 5 ADA playgrounds at:

  • Sherman

  • Oakland Beach

  • Greenwood

  • Hoxie

  • WELC


The Technology Department hopes this finds you all enjoying the holiday season. Just a friendly reminder to subscribe to the Warwick Public Schools App (found in the Apple and Google Play Stores), which is linked directly to the district’s website. This is the best way to ensure that you are always in the know with the latest push notifications. Additionally, the school district has a Facebook Page, which is updated on a very regular basis, which is another great way to stay informed with up-to-date information and opportunity. This is all in an effort to help keep all families best informed at all times.


Two Warwick Public Schools reached the pinnacle of their sports seasons by advancing to the State Finals this Fall. The Toll Gate Girls and Boys Soccer Teams had very successful seasons. The Toll Gate Girls Soccer Team won its second state championship in the past three years. They defeated Westerly 1-0 to earn the title. The Toll Gate Boys Soccer Team lost in a triple overtime shootout in their state championship game against Scituate.

Several Warwick Public Schools Sports teams qualified for the playoffs this fall: Pilgrim Boys and Girls Soccer, Toll Gate  Boys and Girls Soccer, Toll Gate Field Hockey, and Warwick Vets Boys and Girls Soccer Teams. The Pilgrim Girls Soccer Team won their divisional championship. They compete in the state's top division. The Pilgrim Cheer team finished as runners-up at the States Game Day Cheer Competition. 

The WPS Cross Country Teams had very successful seasons as well. Both the Pilgrim Girls and Boys Cross Country Teams qualified for the state meet this year. The Toll Gate Boys' team also qualified for the state meet.  Pilgrim's Keaney Bayha and Toll Gate's Ally Pankowicz both ran great at the state meet and earned All-State Honors. 

At the Middle School level. Both Warwick Vets Teams qualified for the State meet.  Warwick 6th Grader Kingston Bayha finished 1st overall at the State meet.  Quite an accomplishment. 

The Fall sports season concluded with a Thanksgiving Day Football matchup between Pilgrim and Toll Gate.  The game was heavily contested until late in the second half. Pilgrim pulled away with a hard-fought 32 - 14 Victory to claim the 2022 Beacon Bowl Championship. 

Further, the Winter Sports Season is Underway. Tryouts began on November 26.

Sports offered at the high school level: Boys and Girls Basketball, Boys and Girls Hockey, Boys and Girls Indoor Track, Girls Swimming, Gymnastics,   Wrestling, and Competition Cheer. 

The Middle School Sports offered are Boys' and Girls' Basketball and Wrestling. 

Finally, we would like to welcome some new head coaches. Jim Areson takes over as the Head Girls' Basketball Coach at Toll Gate. Kaitlyn Rachiele is the new Head Girls' Basketball Coach at Pilgrim and Richard Grenier is the New Head Boys' Basketball Coach at Toll Gate.


 Over the last few months, the business office has had the pleasure of welcoming a few new team members. We are happy to have Stephen Mulcahey-Accountant General Ledger who will be the main contact for the business office related to the building use forms. He will also be collecting tuition payments along with other deposits to the district. Frank Scalzo-Accountant-Grants will be the best point of contact for grant-related questions and inquiries. Cynthia Desnoyers-Business Office/Clerk Technician and Josephine Aiello-Business Office/Clerk Technician are the two individuals that are handling all of the accounts payable for the district.

Thank you all for your dedication to our children, education, and the success of our District. Warwick Schools wishes you and yours a wonderful holiday season.