Block Island School to close next week, library and recreation to reduce programs

Fri, 03/13/2020 - 2:00pm

Under the direction of Gov. Raimondo, all schools will be closed in Rhode Island next week starting Monday, March 16, including the Block Island School, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The governor made the announcement on Friday, March 13.

Block Island School Supt. Mike Convery said “they are moving up all April vacations to next week to give administrations time to put together remote learning plans. We’re closed next week and after that it’s a week by week decision.” Convery said remote learning “will begin the week of March 23 if necessary.”

Convery added that “we’ll still be holding the school committee meeting Monday, March 16.” The agenda will include an update on the school closing.

Interstate Navigation’s Director of Security also provided an update on Friday.

“Dr. Clark and I are in daily contact and with the Department of Health. We’re getting daily briefings. We’re in the loop, and working on all the info that is available,” said Bill McCombe, who is also co-director of the island’s Emergency Management program. “We’re asking that our passengers be mindful and respectful and use precautions. Be respectful of your space. Use the trashcans for your napkins and tissue paper. If we all work together it will benefit everybody.”

He said that his “dealings with Dr. Clark have been exemplary. He’s taking it serious and being proactive.”

McCombe added that “the ferries are running as normal” and there were no plans to adjust the schedule any time soon.

The following statement was issued by Library Director Kristin Baumann:

In an effort to keep all our patrons and community members safe and protected the Island Free Library will be taking the following steps:

Effective immediately:

  • All library programming is cancelled and meeting rooms are closed.
  • Public computers are not available except in the case of an emergency.
  • We will be open regular hours today and tomorrow and CLOSED on Sunday.

We encourage you to bring your own device and remember that our Wi-Fi is always available, without a password and can be reached from outside the building.

We will continue to assess the COVID-19 situation and thank the BIBB for helping us keep our community updated. 

All decisions reflect our goal to play an active role in Block Island’s continued health, safety and resilience.

Thank you for your understanding.

The following statement was also issued by Recreation Director David Sniffen:
Out of an abundance of caution, and on the advice of the state, ALL RECREATION PROGRAMS (AT THE SCHOOL OR OTHERWISE)  SCHEDULED FOR THIS WEEKEND ARE CANCELLED. We want all Block Islanders, both kids and adults, to be safe and stay healthy! 

This is a developing story. See this website for more updates.