Lore Gray will Stay at Meadowbrook Farms after Feedback

"After a further review. . .we have made the decision to keep the existing resource staff and paraprofessionals in place for the upcoming academic year," the superintendent said.

Many East Greenwich parents were upset when they learned that Lore Gray, considered to be one, if not the top teachers in Rhode Island with autism skills and experience, would be transferred from Meadowbrook Farms to Archie R. Cole Middle School as part of a staff reconfiguration.

Today, they're rejoicing after the district has apparently changed its mind and will keep Gray at Meadowbrook Farms.

"After a further review and analysis of the data and work of the faculty and support staff at Meadowbrook Farms, we have made the decision to keep the existing resource staff and paraprofessionals in place for the upcoming academic year," Superintendent Victor D. Mercurio said in an e-mail message. 

Mercurio said that with the notable exception of the current self-contained classroom teacher to Eldredge Elementary "to support growing student needs there," there will be "no further changes in resource teacher and/or paraprofessional staffing at Meadowbrook Farms."

That means Gray won't be heading to Cole and strong opposition expressed by dozens of parents, especially parents of children with autism, apparently held enough sway to compel the district to re-think its decision.

Mercurio said the school leadership team appreciates the feedback.

"We deeply appreciate the thoughtful feedback given to us through a variety of vehicles to conduct further analysis and to inform this decision.   We wish the faculty, staff, and community a most pleasant summer and best wishes for a successful 2014-2015 school year," he said.

An open letter written by parent and education consultant Saskia Nilsen here on East Greenwich Patch opened the floodgates holding back parents who were alarmed to learn about the staff reconfiguration.

A primary concern was the potential for the robust and state-leading autism programming developed in no small part through Gray's work and research to be threatened by the transfer. Students with autism have been going to Meadowbrook specifically for that programming and parents lamented that their children would be left with unqualified professionals.

Note: the headline for this story accidentally stated Gray would be staying at Cole, not Meadowbrook Farms for less than one minute after posting. You might have received an e-mail alert with the incorrect headline. We apologize for the error.

Annmarie Jurczak June 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM
The East Greenwich School Department should be commended for listening to parent concerns and making a sound decision based on the data presented.
Jennifer Condon June 13, 2014 at 11:42 AM
So glad!!!! Meadowbrook is where Lore should be!!


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