NARRAGANSETT–The five-person school committee and superintendent met on Wednesday and the first agenda item became Southern Rhode Island Regional Collaborative (SORICO). The collaborative is a non-profit cooperative educational service involving Block Island, Chariho, East Greenwich, Exeter/West Greenwich, Jamestown, Narragansett, North Kingstown, South Kingstown, and Westerly. The organization was established in 1988 and involved eight high schools, 11 middle schools, and 33 elementary schools was intended to regionalize services for the area. Recently, South Kingstown, West Greenwich, and North Kingstown withdrew during their school committee meetings while Chariho did not.
No clear reasons were given for why the school committees had withdrawn and Superintendent Kathy Sipala said that her recommendation was to remain in the program. Tammy McNeiece described how the district had used SORICO in the past, siting a virtual learning program, and asked the school's attorney and Sipala what the implications of withdrawing were. Sipala had consulted with the school's attorney who said that schools could not walk away from the insurance and liability and that Narragansett will still own all liabilities through June. The committee voted to remain in SORICO but could meet before Dec. 31 and vote to withdraw if other school systems choose to leave.