Parents in Coventry prepare for new school year with inflation and safety in mind

COVENTRY, R.I. (WLNE) — Class is back in session for students across the country. And like many others, parents in Coventry are dealing with the issues of inflation and concerns over the safety of schools as they dropped their kids off for student orientation at the Father John V. Doyle school on Wednesday.

“[It’s] definitely a rush trying to get all the school supplies, the uniforms, the sneakers,” said Mark Wendoloski, a parent of a 7th grade student at the school. “I would say I probably spent about 15% more than what I spent last year on school supplies.”

As parents brought their kids in to drop supplies off and meet their teachers ahead of the first day, some spoke with ABC 6 News about the issues affecting them this year, including inflation and supply issues, saying it’s played a big part in their back-to-school shopping, making them sometimes have to get creative to find the supplies they need.

“Some things were a little scarce, but we used some online sources to get things that we needed,” said Richard Coelho, a parent with kids in 5th and 7th grade at the Father John V. Doyle school.

Along with inflation, school safety is at the forefront of issues parents are worried about it heading into this school year.

“I would like to think we are in a world where we don’t have to deal with it as much, but actually we really do,” Coelho said.

After the tragedy in Uvalde in May, school districts across the country made safety a greater priority, upgrading their buildings to keep their classrooms secure.

Kevin Peloquin, the principal of Father John V. Doyle, said the school worked with the Coventry Police Department throughout the summer to make sure they were well prepared for the year.

“They’ve been coming in and taking tours of the building. Noticing anything that might need to be adjusted slightly,” Peloquin said.

The school also implemented training over the summer to be better prepared in case of danger.

“[Trained on] what the teachers should be doing, what the administration should be doing, what the students should be doing. I think it makes us as parents feel at ease that these protocols and policies are in place,” Mark Wendoloski said.

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