The Providence School Board has voted to ask for a one-day reprieve from the state-mandated school year. Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison has details.
State law requires 180 days in the school year, but that may prove difficult for Providence, which has already taken six snow days.
Without leniency from state officials, the district may have to extend classes into the week that includes the July 4th holiday. That's less than ideal because many families and employees had planned to head out of town by then.
Providence Public Schools have maxed out their snow days. The district has called 5 snow days, already 2 more than they planned for.
Spokesperson Christina O’Reilly said the district will have to extend the school year until June 25th. “At this point we’ve assured families, and staff that February vacation is not going to be on the table,” said Reilly.
Providence families get a chance on Saturday to look at the options for public high school and middle school. The district has organized a school fair at Juanita Sanchez High School.
Providence allows students and parents to choose between their neighborhood school or another school in the district, but officials say many families are unaware of all of the options, especially in high school.
To give a better sense of the different schools and programs available, district officials are inviting families to meet with teachers and principals at the event on Saturday.
Providence school officials say they provided extra counseling Tuesday, the day after a grand jury decided not to indict the white police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
District leaders said the decision was likely to bring up a range of emotions for both students and teachers. Urging respect, they said they encouraged schools and teachers to engage students in thoughtful discussions.
Independent mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci released his plan for Providence Public Schools this week.
Noting that Providence students score well below average on standardized state tests, the former mayor, and twice convicted felon, focused on the need to provide quality education to all of the city’s children.
If voters re-elect him, Cianci said he would give principals more autonomy, echoing a move already afoot in the district towards a policy known as “site-based management.” He proposed giving each school a
Providence has received a $3 million dollar grant from the Carnegie Foundation to develop a pair of small high schools over the next three years.
The schools will enroll a maximum of 450 students each, and will get extra flexibility to tailor programs to each student. The theory is that if you meet each student at their level, you can help students catch up if they fall behind, and allow them to work beyond their grade level, if they are ahead of the curve.
Providence school officials are reviewing the credentials of all non-union, non-certified personnel, after an employee was found to hold a bachelor’s degree from an unaccredited online university.
Nancy Stevenin was working with students from the Birch School, which was being shut down after a federal investigation revealed it was funneling developmentally disabled students into segregated, low paying workshops to do menial labor. Stevenin was helping transition students out of the program.