The Seekonk School District will have a new Superintendent, Dr. Rich Drolet
With over 20 years of experience in education, Drolet has served as the Assistant Principal, then Principal at North Cumberland Middle School, as well as the Principal at McCloskey Middle School in Uxbridge. During his time at North Cumberland Middle School, he received the Rhode Island’s Middle School Principal of the Year award. Most recently, he was the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and Accountability in Uxbridge.
Drolet currently resides in North Smithfield, but grew up in the Seekonk area. He is a big advocate for public schools and his three sons attend North Smithfield Public Schools.
Drolet has developed an entry plan for his transition into Superintendent, which will be published on the school district’s website. He is currently in phase one, which is “Listen and Learn.” During this time, he will try to meet with as many people as possible including staff, students, parents, local police officers/ firefighters, board of selectmen, town administrators, etc. to discuss what’s working well in the district and what they think should be addressed. From there, he will move forward to make improvements and enhancements in the district.
One change coming to the district later this school year will be the use of modular classrooms at the Aitken School and Martin Elementary School. Drolet said that there is a possibility of an addition to Aitken in the future in order to accommodate the projected enrollment increase at the elementary level.
With students’ physical and emotional safety as the priority, Drolet said that within the next few months he will be convening a safety task force to meet monthly or bi-monthly. The school system has already done some ALICE training, which is active shooter response training. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. This training was designed by law enforcement officers, using the same techniques that helped them survive life-or-death situations. Drolet said that ALICE gives teachers and staff members the discretion to make decisions based on what’s happening in the moment.
Once school starts, Drolet will be doing what he calls a “week residency” at each of the schools in the district in order to get to know teachers and students, and see what’s happening in the classroom. He will place his portable hallway desk in different spots in the schools where he can meet new faces and be visible. This will make him available to people if they would like to talk or ask questions.
Drolet is looking forward to starting his new role as the Superintendent of Schools in Seekonk, and to be working in what he sees as a very progressive school district and community that works together to make great things happen. He said, “I am excited to lead a learning community that is committed to ongoing development and growth.”