Former employees return to take on new roles in E.P. schools

Committee hears of mask use update, first draft of revised vaccine policy

By Mike Rego
Posted 6/11/21

EAST PROVIDENCE — At its meeting held June 8 in the City Hall chamber, its first there in over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the School Committee among its other decisions made during …

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Former employees return to take on new roles in E.P. schools

Committee hears of mask use update, first draft of revised vaccine policy

Department staffer Alfred Villeneuve (left) joined EPSD IT Director Ben Russell last spring to offer students use of district laptops as distance learning measures were implemented during the pandemic. Mr. Villeneuve, who left the district shortly thereafter, is returning this summer to take on a new position in the IT department.
Department staffer Alfred Villeneuve (left) joined EPSD IT Director Ben Russell last spring to offer students use of district laptops as distance learning measures were implemented during the pandemic. Mr. Villeneuve, who left the district shortly thereafter, is returning this summer to take on a new position in the IT department.
Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — At its meeting held June 8 in the City Hall chamber, its first there in over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the School Committee among its other decisions made during the evening approved the contracts for two key hires made recently by Superintendent Kathryn Crowley, both being former employees coming back to fill new roles.

Robert Hanlon returns to the district after having spent the last term and a half as an assistant principal at Mt. Hope High School.

Mr. Hanlon, who previously spent 19 years on staff in city, departed the district as the Social Studies Department Coordinator at Martin Middle School. He was also an instructor at Riverside Middle School and East Providence High School in his prior stint here.

Alfred Villeneuve, who was once part of EPSD Information Technology Director Ben Russell’s staff, returns to fill a new position in that department, Technology Automation Specialist.

New EPHS update
As part of his monthly update on the process of the new East Providence High School construction, At-Large member and body chair Joel Monteiro told his peers the district’s owner project manager, Peregrine, will remain on site for a significant amount of time after the building is opened for the 2021-22 term.

Responding to an inquiry made about the maintenance plan for the new EPHS by Ward 1 Committee member Charlie Tsonos, Mr. Monteiro said Peregrine will need to be an active participant as it oversees the new athletic fields as they’re constructed on the location of the old building.

Mr. Monteiro, who as well serves as co-chair of the new EPHS Building Committee, also said company staff will coordinate as well with recently hired plant manager Christopher Murphy, working through “the kinks and process” of bringing all of the building systems online.

Mr. Monteiro added, the district will be receiving “hands on support for the next year and a half” from Peregrine as the construction process continues.

Updated mask requirements
Head nurse Diane Wallace was asked by Ward 4 member Jessica Beauchaine to provide an update on mask wearing in schools per the latest federal Centers for Disease Control and Rhode Island Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines.

Nurse Wallace said the outdoor wearing of masks students and staff for such things as
recess, physical education classes, athletics other open-air activities are no longer required.

Indoors, however, Nurse Wallace said the district is still requiring students and staff to wear a mask and adhere social distancing measurements. Also, students and staff are still required to use hand sanitizer before entering classrooms.

Vaccine Policy update
Though not directly related to the pandemic, the policy sub-committee is working on an updated student vaccine policy with the expectation it will soon be implemented.

District Human Resources Director Cheryl Mammone told the committee the district’s current policy follows RIDOH guidelines, but outdated one. She added no significant changes to the policy are expected, except to match the most recent state and federal mandates.

The wording of the policy, when it is presented to the committee for final approval, will be formalized to read the East Providence School District will follow all Rhode Island Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

Specifically to COVID-19, Ms. Mammone noted currently there is not a state or federal mandate for students to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Ms. Beauchaine, one of the School Committee members included in the sub-group, explained of the vaccine policy update, “We just want to update it and be the right way.”

Ms. Beauchaine also said the sub-group continues its on updating the district’s residency policy and is creating a policy to maintain a student liaison between the high school and the School Committee.

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