With school unification on the table, a city budget nearing approval, and reports nationally that students are still struggling to make up for lost learning as a result of the pandemic – well, we have a few things to talk about with Newport School Superintendent Colleen Burns Jermain when she joins WhatsUpNewp tomorrow (Thursday) at 1 for her monthly videocast.

Tomorrow night, the School Committee will join the City Council in an executive session to iron out any concerns with a “contract” that officials hope will lead to the unification of Newport and Middletown Schools. We’ll ask Superintendent Jermain to help us understand what a unified school system will be like, whether there are any similar models in Rhode Island or elsewhere, and what it will mean financially to both communities.

[Related Story – Mayor Napolitano: Newport/Middletown moving forward with school unification]

We also want to catch up on the latest construction news, at the elementary school and high school, and progress toward covering rising costs due to inflation.

There’s good news we want to talk about, and that’s a couple of students who have gone through the technical education program, and now will go to work full-time for the companies in which they interned. A real example of how well that program works.

And, as each day it seems schools are more and more under attack, either about teaching racial history, or books someone wants to be banned from a school library, we want to know the impact on teachers and students. 

We’ll also explore employment at all levels, including teachers, bus drivers, and maintenance staff. How has the school system been doing since masks came off and plans for a real graduation this June.

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Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.