Dear Woonsocket Education Department Community,

I am excited to welcome our students and staff back for the start of the 2021-2022 school year! The start of a new school year is an exciting time for students, families, and staff, and provides an opportunity to reflect on our district’s vision which is to “Establish a premier school district by continuously improving teaching, leading, and student learning.” Our teachers, staff, and administrators are eager to begin the school year focusing on assisting our students' seamless transition back into full time in-person learning. 

All Woonsocket schools will open in September with precautions in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Our District Reopening Task Force created a reopening plan which was approved by the Woonsocket School Committee on Wednesday, August 25th. Here is the link to the WED Back-to-School Plan.

The following is an overview of the Back-to-School Plan:

I. Health and Safety


  • All students, staff, and visitors are required to properly wear a mask inside all school buildings and district buildings.

  • Student refusal to wear a mask will result in an out-of-school suspension.

  • All students are required to wear a mask on school buses.

  • Religious or medical exemptions can be requested.

Symptom Screening:

  • Parents/guardians are encouraged to keep students home from school should they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.

Physical/Social Distancing:

  • Physical/Social distancing of 3-6 feet will be maintained whenever possible for Grades PK-12. 


  • The WED will provide symptomatic Binax testing at school for students and staff with parental consent. An Opt-In Parental Consent Form will be shared later next week with parents.


  • Based on CDC guidance, students and staff who are deemed to be a close contact to a positive case will be quarantined for 7 days, with testing.

  • Students who are quarantined will be provided with school work by their teacher(s) through Google Classroom and/or slide decks for the length of the quarantine.

Cleaning, Disinfection, and Hand Hygiene:

  • The WED will adhere to the CDC cleaning, disinfection, and hand hygiene guidance.


  • The following ventilation strategies will be implemented: open windows and doors, HEPA air filters will be installed in rooms that do not have 4-6 air changes per hour, and all HEPA air filters will be changed based on the manufacturer's guidelines.

II. Instruction

Instructional Modes:

  • Distance/virtual learning will not be offered to students.

  • Should they choose not to send their student(s) to school, parents may contact the district to request a Homeschooling application.

III. Social-Emotional and Mental Health Support

Student Supports:

  • School social workers, psychologists, administrators, and staff will continue to support and monitor students' social-emotional and mental health needs throughout the school year.

  • The WED will continue to partner with Community Care Alliance, Thundermist Health, Educated Edge, and Bradley Hospital to provide training of staff in Restorative Practices and Trauma Informed Schooling.

Please continue to look for more communications from your building principals and from my office as we move closer to the first day of school. 

Although we will likely face challenges and obstacles this year, I am confident that the 2021-2022 school year will be very successful. As we begin our journey into the new school year, I thank you for your continued support and invite you to continue to be involved in our schools and your child’s education. I look forward to the work we will accomplish together this year!


Patrick McGee, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Guiding Documents for a Comprehensive Informed Approach to Reopening Schools

Outbreak Response Protocols: Pre K-12 CDC Guidelines RIDE FAQ