Rhode Island lawmakers are re-considering the rules for reporting sexual abuse suspected of school staff. A 2016 law requires educators to report allegations of abuse to child welfare officials.

John Bender / RIPR

The film “Black Panther” is breaking records at the box office, thanks in part to fans excited to see a black superhero take center stage. And there’s a local effort underway to bring hundreds of Newport schoolchildren to see the movie.

South Coast Schools To Receive New Funding For Puerto Rican Evacuees

Feb 21, 2018
Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Schools districts in Massachusetts that have enrolled students recently arrived from Puerto Rico will soon be getting a portion of $15 million dollars in new state funding.

Fall River and New Bedford are among the districts slated to receive a portion of the funding. According the New Bedford Mayor’s office, more than 150 new students have arrived in that city from Puerto Rico since the hurricane.

In Holyoke, the school district has already hired more people to help teach 185 student evacuees, including specialists in English as a second language and special education.

Marc Belanger / Public Domain

Police are investigating an anonymous threat to Durfee High School in Fall River that caused hundreds of students to stay home from school Friday. The Herald News reported that a student noticed a post on the social media app “SnapChat” warning students to stay home and threatening a “Florida pt 2” at the school, an apparent reference to last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

A junior at Durfee sent a screenshot of the original post- and a second threat - to the school principal, superintendent and other school officials.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The deadly school shooting in Florida last week highlighted concerns over how schools protect teachers and students. The Ocean State mandates school safety plans, in coordination with multiple agencies.

State law requires all public schools to create such plans with the State department of emergency management, state police and the state fire marshal. Those plans are required to include procedures for evacuation, sheltering and addressing medical needs.

Providence elementary school principal Violet LeMar is appealing the guilty verdict handed down Monday for failing to report allegations of sexual assault at her school. LeMar is the first educator to be found guilty under a new state reporting law.

The new law was adopted in 2016, and requires educators to notify DCYF within 24 hours of abuse allegations at schools. LeMar, principal at Harry Kizirian elementary school in Providence, was accused of initiating an internal investigation when allegations of abuse of students by a gym teacher came to light.

Elisabeth Harrison

The single largest piece of the state budget – roughly $1.4 billion from general revenue – goes to education. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Providence College will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with a week-long series of events culminating in a speech by Bernice King, his daughter.

Providence public schools have announced a new effort to train more teachers of English as a second language.

A 15-year-old boy has been charged in connection with with an assault by intruders at a Providence high school.

Police said the 15-year-old and another young man were let into the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex through a side entrance on Wednesday and attempted to rob a student.

One of the young men hit the student in the head with a handgun, police said, before fleeing the building.

Chris Potter

Cranston High School West Psychologist George Blessing was found not guilty Wednesday in a bench trial on the misdemeanor charge of failing to report allegations of “sexual abuse of a child in an educational program” to child welfare authorities. Blessing is the first person to face charges under Rhode Island’s newly amended child abuse reporting law.  

screen grab/YouTube

Science, technology and engineering labs, also known as maker spaces, are a growing trend in education. But not every school has one. Then Rhode Island’s Mobile Maker Lab rolls up.

Pulled by a pickup truck, the 28-foot trailer comes outfitted with projects and technology, such as routers and 3-D printers. 

The IYRS School of Technology and Trades in Newport helped develop the lab.  

"It needs to be flexible and nimble, just like the technology itself," Terry Nathan, IYRS president, told RIPR. "It’s all about being able to conceive a design and then build something."

Rachel Cohen

At the start of the New Year, many high school seniors are scrambling to get college applications finished. But for many undocumented students, applying to college is just half the battle. The other half is figuring out how to pay for school, and that can be overwhelming. One Providence teacher is trying to help.

Rachel Cohen teaches English as a second language at Mount Pleasant High School in Providence. She says some of her students are undocumented, which means they don’t qualify for federal financial aid.

Providence Preservation Society

Update 12/20: Providence's City Plan Commission delayed a vote expected Tuesday, setting the next hearing for January 16 .

There’s a dispute brewing between Brown University and historic preservationists over the plan for Brown’s new performing arts center.  

Brown hired a prominent New York firm to design its new performing arts center and has now settled on a site near the center of campus. But preservationists say there’s a problem: five Victorian-era buildings will have be moved or torn down, under the university's current plan.