Wikimedia Commons

The University of Rhode Island has taken a rare step to create a new college focused on health care. They're calling it the College of Health Sciences and say it will join together programs like physical therapy, sports science, gerontology and psychology.

The university plans to hire a new dean to lead the new College of Health Sciences,  which will join the colleges of Pharmacy and Nursing under the umbrella of an Academic Health Collaborative.

Katherine Doherty / RIPR

Thousands of Rhode Island high school students are now earning college credits without stepping foot onto a university campus. 

koka_sexton/creative commons license

March 14th is Pi day, honoring the ratio of a circle’s circumference and diameter: 3.14. To celebrate this unofficial holiday, 10 of the state’s top math students gathered in Providence for a competition hosted by the American Mathematical Society.

Barrington freshman Johnny Zhang won the top prize, earning $1,000 and a graphing calculator. Zhang said he plans to put some of the money towards college and tickets to the Broadway show Hamilton.

Elisabeth Harrison

A bill to require daily recess for students in Kindergarten through 5th grade has been placed on Wednesday's agenda for the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee. The legislation calls for a minimum of 20 minutes for free-play every day.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Kathleen Fogarty (D-South Kingstown), has said playtime is healthy for young kids, who benefit from developing social skills and getting a break from schoolwork. A group of parents has also been organizing support for the idea.

RIPR file photo

Through a partnership with Microsoft, the University of Rhode Island and several other organizations, Governor Gina Raimondo has unveiled a plan to bring computer science to every public school in the state.

Raimondo discussed the initiative she calls "CS4RI" at Tolman High School in Pawtucket on Monday. She was joined by members of the state's congressional delegation and hundreds of Tolman students.

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Island’s four-year high school graduation rate has improved since last year. The 2015 graduation rate was 83 percent, up six points from 2014.

North Providence High School had the highest four-year graduation rate in the state, at 98 percent. The marching band played, and cheerleaders cheered as public officials spoke in the school auditorium.

State education commissioner Ken Wagner joined the celebration, but cautioned that graduating from high school and being prepared for college are two different things.

After 9 o’clock Tuesday night, several dozen Providence College students left the office of President Reverend Brian Shanley, after protesting there for more than 12 hours. The students and the head of the private Catholic College came to an agreement over changes, demanded by the students, to address racism on campus.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss her budget, economic development, and the outlook for improving public education in Rhode Island. For a more in-depth Q+A with Raimondo, listen to our Bonus Q+A.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo’s $9 billion budget proposal would increase funding for public schools and give a small bump to colleges and universities.

John Bender / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has proposed major changes in the administration of the city’s public schools.The changes will include the creation of several new positions, transferring some current employees out of the central administration and eliminating some vacant posts.

Elorza's proposal comes months after the departure of former Providence Schools Superintendent Susan Lusi, and an audit that found inefficiencies in the central office.

Providence Interim Superintendent Chris Maher said the school system is looking to hire up to 10 new staff members.


Governor Gina Raimondo has announced a new program to pay for SAT and PSAT testing for public high school 10th and 11th graders.

Governor Gina Raimondo is requesting 500-thousand dollars from the General Assembly, to cover the cost of testing. Currently, students pay $54 to take the SAT and $15 for the PSAT. The SAT, or a similar test, is required to apply to many colleges.

Raimondo said she hopes to encourage more public school students to take the test.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Alumni from St. George’s School in Middletown have accused the school of breaking the law by failing to report allegations of sexual abuse spanning decades. There’s more ambiguity in state law than you might think, and it may have contributed to the school's failure to report the abuse.

The Middletown boarding school accused of covering up allegations of sexual abuse provided home loans for the current Head of School Eric Peterson, even though he lives on the school’s campus. Later, the board forgave the loans, which were used to purchase a house on Cape Cod.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare has passed a bill that would make it harder to open new charter schools in Rhode Island.

The bill requires approval from the city or town council of any municipality that would send students to the proposed school. Current state law requires approval only from the State Department of Education.

Charter school leaders have said the bill will curtail the growth of charter schools, especially those that serve multiple cities and towns.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The one that would require city and town councils to approve any new charter school, or the expansion of an existing charter school, if students from their communities could attend?

Well, that bill is back on the agenda at the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee for January 20th. 

After a hearing this week, the bill was held for further study.