Providence school officials plan to start classes as scheduled Thursday, despite the first flakes of a major winter snowstorm. Like many public schools, Providence reopens for the first time Thursday after winter vacation.
District officials say they will watch for an afternoon weather update before finalizing a decision about Friday. Families and employees will likely receive notifications from the district on Thursday afternoon.
Rhode Island's Department of Education says it has reviewed school safety plans from every district in the state, after legislation passed in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings.
RIDE Spokesman Elliot Krieger says there was a fairly wide range of quality among the plans.
In the year since the Newtown tragedy, RIDE has worked with the State Department of Emergency Management on recommendations for school districts to beef up their security procedures. The Rhode Island Association of School Committees says they are reviewing the report.
One year ago, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and killed 20 children and six adults. Afterwards, schools in Rhode Island and around the country were on high alert, and many called for a conversation about how to make students safer.
So, what happened?
In Rhode Island, lawmakers passed a bill requiring school districts to work with local law enforcement on safety reviews and report their emergency plans to the State Department of Education.
A new study by the Institute for College Access and Success shows Rhode Island students carry the fifth highest debt burdens in the country. The study looked at student loans for the class of 2012. The average in Rhode Island was $31,156.
Several other New England state also ranked high on the list, including Maine and New Hampshire, which ranked second. The average student loan rate in New Hampshire was $32,698.
Rhode Island’s Board of Education votes Monday on a plan to split the board in to two separate councils. One council would focus on K-12 education, while the other would focus on higher education.
The plan comes after the state merged its separate boards of education, citing the need for better coordination of public schools and universities. Supporters said they were tired of hearing business and higher education leaders complain that graduates of Rhode Island high schools were unprepared for life after high school.
New international testing results show American high school students are only about average when compared to their peers in the developed world. The test, known as the Program for International Student Assessment or PISA, has long been a source of hand-wringing about American competitiveness and calls for more urgent reforms in public schools.
Our panel this week discusses RI's persistently high unemployment; Senator Dawson Hodgson's renewed call for an outside investigation into 38 Studios; Angel Taveras' proposal for instituting universal pre-K in Rhode Island; and Scott MacKay and Maureen Moakley's top turkeys of 2013.