Gist meets with Central Falls teachers

Providence, RI – By MEGAN HALL
Education Commissioner Debra Gist and teachers at Central Falls High School sat down for a frank discussion Monday evening about performance at the tumultuous school.

A high teacher absentee rate has caused so many disturbances in the classrooms that around 50 percent of students failed to receive a grade in at least one of their courses.

Gist says that was one of many topics at the meeting, where she spent most of her time listening. But she did make a few things clear to the teachers. "First being that I was unwavering in my confidence that the students in this high school can be successful and achieve academically," she said, "and I think that it's very important that we all are focused on that."

Gist says the only acceptable outcome this year is success. She remains committed to the school's transformation plan, but if that effort isn't successful, there's the possibility of closing the school.

Central Fall's Teachers Union president Jane Sessums called the meeting open and honest. She says it's hopefully the start of really moving the high school forward together.

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