THE INDEPENDENT – January 9, 2023:
In a contentious and chaotic meeting Monday night, a divided School Committee argued about Interim School Superintendent Judy Paolucci, before she left the meeting, calling the situation “dangerous.”
“I am going to make this easy for everyone. I cannot stay. This is dangerous,” Paolucci said after more than 40 minutes of heated debate, and after the veteran administrator was the subject of vague accusations by Committee Chairwoman Erin Earle, who said she could not work with Paolucci amid unspecified violations of district policies.
Although Paolucci submitted her resignation last week effective Feb. 1, Earle wanted Paolucci out immediately. She succeeded Monday night as the five-member panel voted 4-1 to make her resignation effective immediately, leaving the district leaderless. Parents and teachers who has packed the meeting chamber applauded Paolucci as she departed. One teacher who spoke later in the meeting called the move a “gut punch” to the district …
Paolucci offered her resignation last week, saying “It is with regret that I am informing you of my resignation, effective February 1, 2023.” She said that she handed the letter to School Committee Chairwoman Erin Earle who accepted it for the committee after a meeting that ended in an impasse.
“My knowledge and experience has not been valued, nor has the School Committee been a partner in the work that is necessary to move this district forward to regain its reputation and standing,” Paolucci said.
ABC6 – January 12, 2023:
North Kingstown Town Manger Ralph Mollis is urging the school committee to take the comments made by now former interim Superintendent Judy Paolucci Monday seriously.
“I’m not sure what the board’s position is on those comments, but when an interim superintendent is making those comments on the way out you have to take them seriously …”
… The interim superintendent [had] raised concerns about transparency and financials in the district.
… “I cannot stay — this is dangerous for me to stay,” Paolucci said.
Days later, Mollis called those words “very strong” and hopes the school committee was listening.
“Whether the board agrees or disagrees with that characterization by interim superintendent Paolucci, I think it is important that they take those words to heart and try to find out exactly what the meaning was behind them and improve,” he said.
THE INDEPENDENT – January 19, 2023:
Harvard Professor Paul Reville, a nationally known expert in school management issues, termed the crisis of confidence in the North Kingstown school system operations “a catastrophic situation and has put the entire system at risk.” …
A retired and long-time superintendent from Rhode Island, Robert Hicks, with over two decades of experience, said that the school system’s operation is “dysfunctional” and needs immediate attention.