Barrington schools hire interns to help with kindergarten

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The Barrington School Department recently hired three interns who are already assisting teachers in local kindergarten classrooms.

Barrington Superintendent of Schools Mike Messore said the new hires are a testament to a promise that he made last spring. During last year's budget talks, a number of local parents had requested the implementation of a full-day kindergarten program at the start of the 2013-14 school year — the parents said the longer school day would be important because more time was needed as the district began adhering to the new Common Core standards.

Mr. Messore urged the school committee to wait until the following year to implement full-day K; among the reasons was a concern over the costs associated with the full-day instruction. He also told parents that officials would do everything they could to assist kindergarten teachers as the district began rolling out the Common Core standards.

One way to do that, said Mr. Messore, was hiring classroom interns.

"We've always had interns in the school system, supporting the teaching and learning," he said. "They are certified teachers, and there are multiple roles they can play."

The superintendent said the three recently hired interns landed in the elementary school kindergarten classrooms about a month ago; the first couple months of kindergarten, he said, are mostly an introduction to the routines and other tasks. He said that among the numerous duties interns are assigned to handle is screening the comprehension levels of young students.

"We promised the community that we were going to support kindergarten, and we're doing that," he said.

Mr. Messore said the positions are non-union, and compensation for the hires came mainly from money gained through the retirement of a veteran teacher in the district.

The school committee approved the hires at a recent meeting.

Mr. Messore added that the Barrington Education Foundation is sponsoring a forum focused on the Common Core standards on Jan. 28, 2014. He encouraged people — those with children in the local schools and those without — to attend.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.