Providence Public Schools

RIPR FILE PHOTO

The Providence City Council is expected to vote on the new city budget tonight. The $376 million proposal includes an increase in spending for the city’s schools.

Ximena Conde / RIPR

In response to a growing number of immigrants in Providence- some of them refugees - Mayor Jorge Elorza and Public School Superintendent Chris Maher have created a new high school program just for them.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza will deliver his annual State of the City address Wednesday evening. City finances and refugee rights are expected to be themes in the mayor’s address.

Mayor Elorza has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting the flow of refugees into the United States. But the mayor is expected to focus on other themes in his State of the City speech.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Providence Public Schools Superintendent Christopher Maher has informed parents he does not support plans for a student walkout in protest of President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday. Maher relayed this message in an automated call to roughly 7,000 homes on Tuesday.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Analysis by Rhode Island Public Radio finds urban and middle class students in Rhode Island have lower test scores than their peers in Massachusetts; and the state’s ambitious goal to improve 3rd grade reading skills in less than a decade. We discuss the top issues in public education on a special education edition of our weekly political roundtable. 

Elisabeth Harrison

Starting in September, every public school in Providence will designate teams to meet one-on-one with transgender students and their families. Providence Public Schools spokesperson Laura Hart said it’s part of a new policy aimed at making sure schools respect the rights of transgender and other gender non-conforming students.

Elisabeth Harrison

When Sue Lusi said she was leaving the Providence Public Schools to pursue new professional opportunities, she wasn't kidding. 

Boston-based consulting group Mass Insight announced Monday that Lusi will be the new President and CEO of the non-profit Mass Insight Education.

City To Embed Behavioral Health Specialists In Schools

Feb 25, 2016
Jake Bissaro / The Providence Center

Mental health services for children can be difficult to access in Rhode Island. But a new public-private partnership is trying to make those services easier to access at some Providence public schools.

 

Behavioral health clinicians from the nonprofit Providence Center will be on hand at two elementary schools and four middle schools in Providence. Clinicians from a company called Behavioral Health Services, Inc. will also provide clinical and technical support to make the program work.

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.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Language immersion programs known as “dual language” programs are a growing trend in public elementary schools. They allow students to become bilingual in English and another language, like Spanish. 

Providence school officials have just announced a plan to offer new dual language programs in Spanish and possibly Mandarin at Carl Lauro Elementary School.

The programs would begin with two Kindergarten classrooms in each language, then add a grade every year until fifth grade.

Elisabeth Harrison

The search committee seeking a superintendent for Rhode Island's largest school district has scheduled a series of public meetings to gather input from residents.

Organizers said the forums will focus on a job description for the Providence superintendent and discussion of the major issues the district faces.

Elisabeth Harrison

Two experimental high schools scheduled to open in Providence this fall will be known as 360 High School and Evolutions High School.

Both schools will be located inside larger, existing high schools. Evolutions will be inside Mt. Pleasant High School, and 360 will be at Hope High School.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Providence Superintendent Susan Lusi opens up about her tenure in the state’s largest school district, as she prepares to step down. She spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison at the district central office before her departure next week.

While she says she unequivocally believes she has made a difference, Lusi admits that Providence's student test scores leave a lot to be desired.

Performance pay is out, school autonomy is in the proposed three-year contract, which still requires approval from Providence teachers.

City officials say the Providence Teachers' Union has set May 20th as a tentative date for a vote.

Union and city leaders leaders reached a tentative agreement once before, but it failed after union members objected, at least in part, to a call for performance pay.

The agreement would have allowed the district to discuss a system of rewarding teachers for good performance, rather than time in the system.

Elisabeth Harrison

Providence Superintendent of Schools Susan Lusi has announced she will not return for another school year. 

The announcement comes with only about two months left in the current school year. Superintendent Lusi declined to be interviewed for this story, but in a press release, says she wants to pursue other professional opportunities.

After four years leading Providence schools, Lusi touts improvements in the high school graduation rate and reading scores.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says the school board will begin an immediate search for her successor. 

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