‘Parents are now frustrated, rightfully so,’ Pawtucket mayor reacts to back to school delay at elementary school

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WLNE) — Students at Winters Elementary School in Pawtucket did not go back to the classroom Wednesday as originally planned.

Both parents and students were ready for the first day of school at the brand new Henry J. Winters Elementary, when Mayor Don Grebien announced that the school would not be ready in time Tuesday because of health and safety issues.

“I had my outfit, my hair stuff already going,” Isabella DaSilva, a 5th grader at the school said.

Some parents, frustrated with the short notice, having to find last minute childcare, or ways to work around this delay.

“Yeah, it was like in the middle of the night,” Janet Nunes, Isabella’s mother said.

And students, having to pivot, wondering where and when they’d be back in class.

This is an image of Winters Elementary School in Pawtucket. (WLNE)

“I thought we was going to go to that old school over there, I thought that we was going to take the bus again, but, yeah so I was kind of happy and not kind of happy at the same time,” DaSilva said.

Parents who watched the construction through the summer were skeptical of it all being completed in time, Nunes adding, “Oh yeah, I thought it was going it be another week or two.”

Grebien told ABC 6 that backup plans for these kind of delays would have been helpful.

“We should’ve been out last week saying hey the parts not in or we’re not going to have it connected and by the way we’re three days out to get that, so parents are now frustrated, rightfully so, concerned like we are going, get up this morning I don’t have any plans for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. What do I do, and that’s the challenge,” the mayor said.

But to students, the end result of the elementary school will be worth it.

“I’m excited to see the new playground and we get a new art room, music room and cafeteria,” Isabella added.

Grebien explained that some families are unsure what to do for the remainder of the school week as the school isn’t expected to open until after Labor Day.

Categories: News, Pawtucket, Regional News, Rhode Island