By: ABC6 News Staff


Twitter: @abc6

Reporting By: Melissa Randall

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Some students in Rhode Island had an extended winter break as the bitter blast took its toll on school buildings.

In Pawtucket, Slater Middle School had heating problems Tuesday, forcing the building to remain closed. And at Myron J. Francis Elementary School in East Providence the pipes burst and classes for that building also had to be cancelled for the day.

“There was water in one class room. It seeped out into the corridor and then into the classrooms along that corridor on one side,” said Kathryn Crowley, Superintendent of East Providence Public Schools of the damage.

Crowley says problem was caught early by the maintenance department who immediately turned off the water and called in crews to clean up the mess. Had her staff not been so proactive during the holiday break, Crowley fears the issue could have gotten out of hand.

“We had monitored all week long and we had kept the temps in the building higher than we normally would during a vacation week because of the intense cold,” she said.

But just because students were not in their seats does not mean they are going to be behind for the week. Teachers like Debbie Brun reported to work at a different location.

From the Administration Building they created assignments to send to their classes through technology platform: Google Classroom. Those without computers will also be alerted to the work via ‘Skylert’ message.

“No school. No problem. They can still continue to work and learn,” said Brun.

At the rest of the schools in the district, who returned Tuesday, it was business as usual. And for the impacted buildings, work is being done quickly to ensure students can return as soon as possible.

“It could have been worse and we do expect to be open tomorrow,” said Crowley.

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