Friday, October 27, 2017

Task force learns how RI could fund billions in school repairs

By Dan McGowan, Reporter
Published: October 23, 2017, 8:32 pm  Updated: October 23, 2017, 10:44 pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island could fund billions of dollars in needed public school repairs by moving to a system that funds projects as they happen, placing a general-obligation bond question on next year’s ballot or offering incentives to cities and towns that commit to quickly making infrastructure improvements, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner suggested Monday.

Magaziner, who co-chairs the Rhode Island School Building Task Force, stopped short of making any recommendations during the panel’s second meeting, but he warned there is no amount of “financial wizardry” that will get the state out of spending more than it currently spends if leaders want to commit to making $600 million to $3 billion in school repairs in the coming years.

One thing Magaziner made clear to the group: “Just pouring money into this existing system isn’t going to get us there.”
 Full Story  

Task Force Members, Agendas, Presentations & Minutes, Upcoming Meetings, Public Forums

Monday, October 23, 2017

Workshop: Designing A Vision for the “Post-Industrial” Seekonk Corridor

Designing A Vision for the “Post-Industrial” Seekonk Corridor

A Workshop on October 30, 6 to 8 PM

At Tockwotton on the Waterfront
500 Waterfront Drive, East Providence, RI 02914

This workshop will present work being done to redesign the Seekonk Corridor by Professor William Green’s University of Rhode Island Landscape Architecture Senior Design Studio. The workshop will provide an opportunity for people who care about the future of learn about the emerging vision for the area, give feedback, and contribute ideas.

The Seekonk Corridor extends from the Henderson Bridge to just south of the Washington
Bridge along both sides of the Seekonk River.

For more information

Providence Conversation: DACA: From Dream to Limbo to Deportation?

Providence League of Women Voters
Invites you to a
Providence Conversation

DACA: From Dream to Limbo to Deportation?
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Place: 603 Angell St, home of Liz Head
Time: 7 pm - 8:30 pm

President Obama in 2012 signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals order, allowing children born outside the United States who immigrated with their parents to stay here. Today 800,000 have settled into schools, training programs, and jobs. President Trump has threatened to halt DACA.

What does this mean for Rhode Island’s  “Dreamers”?

Guest: Kathleen Cloutier, executive director, Dorcas International Institute

Sunday, September 17, 2017

State officials prioritizing needs following study into RI school building conditions

Posted: Sep 14, 2017 4:47 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 14, 2017 4:47 PM EDT
By: Chloe Leshner

We're digging deeper into a first of its kind study into Rhode Island's crumbling classrooms. Now that state officials have a pretty good grasp about just how bad the schools are, 2 questions need to be answered. How to fix it and how to pay for it.

That report paints a grim picture of the conditions Rhode Island students learn in and with a $2.2 billion price tag to get every public school in pristine condition, the task force now has to prioritize what realistically can get done first.

Full Story

2017 State of Rhode Island Schoolhouses Report

Click here to read the facilities assessment report released today. The RIDE website also has a clickable map that allows you to read individual reports for every single school building in the state. To see that map, click here.

Notable information from the reports include:

  • $627.6 million in immediate work is required to make all RI schools "warm, safe, and dry" (fire alarms, roof and window replacement).
  • $2.2 billion would bring all facilities up to "aspirational standards", which includes repairs as well as creating 21st century learning environments.
  • 54% of RI's traditional schools can accommodate 350 students or fewer, but average enrollment in 2016-17 was 488.
  • Sample facility deficiency costs by district:
             Barrington -- $47.8 million
             East Providence -- $137.5 million
             Providence -- $372.4 million
             Tiverton -- $46 million
             Warwick -- $190 million

  • Sample facility deficiency costs by school building:

              Barrington Middle School -- $21.4 million
              East Providence High School -- $38.7 million
              Classical High School -- $17.3 million
              Tiverton High School -- $22.4 million
              Warwick Vets -- $27.3 million

There is already news coverage regarding these reports online from Linda Borg (here) and Dan McGowan (here).

Lisa M. Nelson | OEHCRI
Outreach Coordinator
410 South Main Street, 3rd Floor
Providence, RI 02903
c: 315.278.4362

RI schools need $2.2B in repairs. Here are 12 things everyone should know

By Dan McGowan, Reporter
Published: September 13, 2017, 2:30 pm  Updated: September 13, 2017, 7:10 pm

Governor names 16-member task force to determine next steps by December

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Public schools across Rhode Island will need more than $2 billion in repairs or upgrades in the coming years, according to a study released Wednesday by Gov. Gina Raimondo...

So what types of problems do schools have and how will they be addressed? Here’s an overview. (You can read the consultants’ full report here and their recommendations here.)

Saturday, August 19, 2017

RIDE proposes new procedures for disproportionality, hearings scheduled

On December 16, 2016, the Secretary of Education amended the IDEA Part B which requires States to revise their State Policies and Procedures (PPs) for Significant Disproportionality...

The Secretary amends the regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) governing the Assistance to States for the Education of Children with Disabilities program and the Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities program...

The recommended revisions to RI Policies and Procedures for Significant Disproportionality are available for public review and comment on the RIDE website from August 5, 2017 through October 5, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.

Public Hearings:
August 23, 2017 - Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Location:  Times 2 Academy, 50 Fillmore St, Providence, RI 02908
September 6, 2017 - Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Location:  Warwick Public Library, 600 Sandy Ln, Warwick, RI 02889
October 4, 2017 - Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Location:  Middletown Public Library, 700 W Main Rd, Middletown, RI 02842

Public Comment:
Comments may be submitted through email to Karen Lovett at with “Significant Disproportionality under IDEA Part B - Public Comment” in the subject line,
or mailed to:
Significant Disproportionality under IDEA Part B - Public Comment
Attention: Karen Lovett
Rhode Island Department of Education
255 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903

General questions or requests for alternative formats of the recommended revisions to RI Policies and Procedures for Significant Disproportionality may be directed to Karen Lovett via email or by calling 401-222-8333.

The hearing location is accessible to persons with disabilities, and interpreter services for the hearing impaired will be provided if requested 48 hours prior to the hearing. Requests for this service can be made in writing or by calling Karen Lovett at 401-222-8333 or RI Relay 1-800-745-5555.

What's Ahead for Rhode Island Schools

Panel Discussion, Monday August 21, (7:00 - 9:00), 118 Gano St., Providence, sponsored by Progressive Democrats of Rhode Island

The panelists:  Carole Marshall, former teacher and the author of Stubborn Hope, a meditation on her experiences at Hope High School; Zack Mezera, Executive Director of Providence Student Union; and Mark Santow, Professor and member of the Providence School Board.

Discussion will be loosely based on Rhode Island's Every Student Succeeds Act Draft (ESSA) which will be completed and submitted to Betsy DeVos' Department of Education in September. There will be plenty of time for audience participation.  If you're interested you're invited.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Providence's Capital Improvement Plan and Infrastructure Bond

If you want more information on the Capital Improvement Plan, please visit If you’d like more information on the contents of this fiscal year’s budget, those items – as always – can be found on

Kayla Powell
Director of the Human Relations Commission
Neighborhood Projects Coordinator
Office of Mayor Jorge O. Elorza
Providence City Hall
25 Dorrance Street
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 421-2489 | Ext: 5378
Call to Connect | PVD311

Providence Commercial Tax Rate Creating Two Classes of Business

Monday, July 31, 2017
GoLocalProv Business Team and Kate Nagle

Downtown Providence
The new building projects coming to Providence are asking for millions of dollars in tax breaks — tax stabilization plans...

...Providence functionally can’t compete without major subsidies. Thus, the new projects are “the haves” — new, modern, and heavily subsidized. Then, there are the "have nots."

Full Story

Monday, July 24, 2017

Providence Infrastructure Bond, State Budget Impasse, Bicycle lanes on Olney

From Coucilman Sam Zurie's July 23 Ward Letter

Passing An Infrastructure Bond
At its meeting this past Thursday, the City Council approved a $45 million infrastructure bond largely based on the  general framework of the Capital Improvement Plan  the administration submitted with its 2017-18 budget.

The State Budget Impasse
At a July 19 meeting of the Finance Committee, the Superintendent described the impact of the State budget impasse on the Providence Public Schools.  The July State aid payment was approximately $350,000 less than what the partially approved State budget, and if not addressed soon, the August payment (and all that follow) will be more than $1.3 million short each month.

Adding Bicycle Lanes To Olney Street
Last Wednesday, the Planning Department's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission reviewed a Staff Report that maps out a bicycle lane on either side of Olney Street between Hope and North Main.

City Hall

Here are the key staffers running City Hall for Mayor Elorza

By Dan McGowan, Reporter
Published: July 23, 2017, 10:59 pm  Updated: July 24, 2017, 2:33 pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With the announcements last week that he has hired former City Council President Michael Solomon as a senior advisor and Melissa Malone as his chief operating officer, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza appears to be shaping his staff for the final year-and-a-half of his first term in office.

Full story

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Interviews with Each of the Providence City Council Ward 3 Democratic Candidates

Sunday, July 09, 2017
GoLocal LIVE

Meet the Democratic candidates for the Providence City Council primary which will be held on July 12. GoLocalProv's News Editor Kate Nagle interviewed each of the three on GoLocal LIVE - see the interviews.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Providence polling place error in Ward 3 special election

By Dan McGowan, Reporter
Published: July 5, 2017, 9:35 am  Updated: July 5, 2017, 7:34 pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence Board of Canvassers has mailed out corrected notices to voters in Ward 3 after some of them received the wrong information about where they’ll be voting in next week’s special City Council primary.

The accurate information was mailed Monday and should arrive by the end of the week, according to Victor Morente, a spokesperson for the city.

Full Article and related stories

Upcoming Election Information
Voter Information Center/Secretary of State

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A voters’ guide to the special election in Providence’s Ward 3

By Dan McGowan, Reporter
Published: June 20, 2017, 12:01 am  Updated: June 20, 2017, 8:14 am

Democrats Mark Santow, Nirva Rebecca LaFortune and Daniel Chaika will compete in the Democratic primary on July 12, with the winner taking on Republican David Lallier Jr. and independent Chris Reynolds in the general election on Aug. 16.

Full Article

Thursday, June 8, 2017

City of Providence launches new website


The city of Providence is getting up to date with the times, launching a new user-friendly website at noon Thursday.

Based on data pulled of what topics are searched for the most, new features were added to make it much simpler for residents, business owners and visitors.

One of the site's biggest new functions is the "I Want To" button on the homepage to easily guide anyone to their area of search.

Full story

The site's URL is

State of Our Schools

State of Our Schools: America's K–12 Facilities is a joint publication of the 21st Century School Fund, the National Council on School Facilities and the U.S. Green Building Council.

Rhode Island Profile

12 things to know about Rhode Island’s new plan for improving schools

By Dan McGowan, Reporter
Published: June 8, 2017, 1:28 am  Updated: June 8, 2017, 8:45 am

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island education officials are getting closer to submitting a plan to the U.S. Department of Education outlining how the state will transition to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the federal education law that Congress passed to replace No Child Left Behind in 2015.

If all goes well, the R.I. Department of Education (RIDE) could learn if its proposal for implementing ESSA is approved before the end of the year...

Rhode Island has no choice but to submit a plan.

WPRI Overview

read the entire proposal 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Draft of State Plan - Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

As of June 1, 2017, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) has posted a draft of its State Plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the federal education law that replaced No Child Left Behind. Educators, families, and all Rhode Islanders are invited to review the draft plan and provide feedback through June 30.  The draft plan, a comprehensive companion guide, and links for submitting public comment can be found here: Questions can be directed to

The ESSA State Plan draft can be viewed on the RIDE website:

Ward 3 Council candidates’ forums

¶ Thursday 15 June
+ 6:30 p.m. - Ward 3 Council candidates’ first forum, sponsored by Summit, Mt Hope & Observatory Neighborhood Associations (Mike Ritz and Angi Ankoma moderating) -- Martin Luther King School, 35 Camp Street between Olney and Doyle (1 block north of Hope High)

¶ Tuesday 27 June
+ 6:30 p.m. - Ward 3 Council candidates’ second forum, sponsored by Summit, Mt Hope & Observatory Neighborhood Associations (Ted Nesi of WPRI moderating) -- Martin Luther King School, 35 Camp St. (see June 15 listing)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Here are the 6 candidates seeking to replace Councilman Jackson in Ward 3

By Dan McGowan, Reporter
Published: June 5, 2017, 6:47 pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Four Democrats, a Republican and an independent candidate have filed to run for the Providence City Council seat that has been vacant since longtime Councilman Kevin Jackson was recalled last month.

Candidates had until Monday at 4 p.m. to declare their intent to run for the Ward 3 seat. They have until June 14 to submit their nomination papers – including 50 signatures from Ward 3 voters – to qualify for the ballot.

The Democratic primary is scheduled for July 12. The general election is Aug. 16.

The deadline for registering to vote in the Primary is June 12. Online Registration

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Listing of Neighborhood groups

This blog now has a listing of links to neighborhood groups which can be found via a tab at the top of the blog. Additions and corrections are welcome.

Neighborhood Fiscal Budget Briefings

The Mayor's office is holding neighborhood budget briefings in conjunction with neighborhood associations.

The Wayland Square Neighborhood Fiscal Budget Briefing is May 16, from 6-7 at Nathan Bishop.

The Mount Hope Neighborhood Budget Briefing is May 17, from 6-7 at 199 Camp Street.

For more information contact Kayla Powell, or 401-421-2489 x5378

People in other neighborhoods are advised to contact their local neighborhood association.

Monday, May 8, 2017


Providence League of Women Voters
 Invites you to a
 Providence Conversation

Charter schools in RI have lotteries full of parents hoping for a “spot” for their children. The federal government wants more charters. - Yet there is opposition. Are charter schools good for students? or are they a mirage taking resources from traditional public schools?

To consider the arguments pro and con,
come to a Conversation with:

 Nicholas Hemond, Chair, Providence School Committee
 Elizabeth Winangun, Parent-Liaison, Achievement First

 Date: Tuesday, May 9, 2017
 Time: 7 pm - 8:30 pm

 for more information, contact

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Forum to Discuss the Condition of RI Public School Buildings

A Forum to Discuss the Condition of RI Public School Buildings
Public · Hosted by Fix Our Schools Now

Wednesday, May 3 at 7 PM - 8:30 PM

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School
35 Camp St, Providence, Rhode Island 02906

Come hear about the work that the Fix Our Schools Now Coalition is doing to bring awareness to this urgent issue, and learn what you can do to help.

CHARTER SCHOOLS IN PROVIDENCE - a Providence Conversation

Providence League of Women Voters
 Invites you to a
 Providence Conversation

Charter schools in RI have lotteries full of parents hoping for a “spot” for their children. The federal government wants more charters. - Yet there is opposition. Are charter schools good for students? or are they a mirage taking resources from traditional public schools?

To consider the arguments pro and con,
come to a Conversation with:

 Nicholas Hemond, Chair, Providence School Committee
 Elizabeth Winangun, Parent-Liaison, Achievement First

 Date: Tuesday, May 9, 2017
 Time: 7 pm - 8:30 pm

 for more information, contact

Monday, April 24, 2017

Beyond the 2016 Election: How can we make our voices heard?

Jim Vincent, President, NAACP - Providence Branch
Aaron Regunberg, RI State Representative, District 4
Josh Fenton, CEO & Co-Founder, GoLocalProvidence

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Wheelchair accessible

Lippitt House Museum, 199 Hope Street, Providence, RI 02906

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fri 4/7 - Urban Studies Bus Tour #6

Seats still available:  If you are interested in the next tour with Kenneth Wong, please click HERE to register.
Tour #6
 Professor Ken Wong, Urban Studies and Education
“Public Schools in Providence”
Friday, April 7, 2017    3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

“Public schools are situated in a larger physical, institutional, and socio-economic context.  Providence's schools reflect the communities' diverse income, racial, ethnic cultural, and governing characteristics.  This tour provides an opportunity to look at a small sample of public schools from a broader perspective.”

Meredith Chase Paine
Academic Program Manager
 Urban Studies Program
 Brown University
Maxcy Hall 103
Box 1833 / 108 George St.
Providence, RI 02912

RIDE schedules five public forums for ESSA community outreach

Public engagement for transition to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) continues in late April and early May. RIDE will host five regional community forums to share updates and gather feedback on the draft recommendations for the state's ESSA plan.

Students, parents, teachers, community members, and community leaders across the state: You are invited to share your feedback to help inform the ESSA decision-making process.

We will hold five forums at locations across Rhode Island, all taking place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on these dates:
  • Providence Area: Monday, April 24, at Cranston High School East, 899 Park Avenue, Cranston (Spanish language interpretation services are available)
  • Southern Rhode Island: Wednesday, April 26, at Narragansett High School, 245 S Pier Road, Narragansett
  • East Bay: Thursday, April 27, at Pell Elementary School, 35 Dexter Street, Newport
  • Northern RI: Monday, May 1, at Cumberland High School, 2600 Mendon Road, Cumberland
  • West Bay: Wednesday, May 3 at West Warwick High School, 1 Webster Knight Drive, West Warwick
The forums are open to everyone, but if you would like to reserve a spot at any of the forums, please click here. 

For more information about these community forums, please email

To view materials from Fall ESSA forums, visit:

Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Forum to Address the Condition of RI Public School Buildings

Monday at 4 PM - 6 PM
Providence Career Technical
41 Fricker St, Providence, Rhode Island 02903
In September 2016, a small group of individuals and organizations met intending to develop a meaningful plan to address the condition of Rhode Island public school buildings. Over the next several months, we formed Fix Our Schools Now – A Coalition for Healthy School Environments.

Given the complexity of this issue, the Fix Our Schools Now Coalition actively and deliberately sought to gather information from a variety of industries essential to this effort. On Monday, February 27, 2017, we are holding a public forum to communicate what we have learned.

The speaking agenda is as follows:
4:05-4:50 P.M.
Health, Cognitive Function, Academic Success – Why Indoor Environments Matter
Erika Eitland – PhD Candidate, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Chin Lin – HMFH Architects
Dr. Daphne Koinis Mitchell – Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Hasbro
Children’s Hospital
Julian Rodriguez-Drix – Asthma Program Manager, Rhode Island Department of Health

5:00-5:45 P.M.
School Buildings – Financial Impact on Our Communities and How to Fund Repairs
Seth Magaziner – General Treasurer, State of Rhode Island
Jerry Drummond – Lead Energy Efficiency Representative, National Grid
Gregg Amore – State Representative, District 65; Chair, House Finance Sub-Committee
on Education
Ryan W. Pearson – State Senator, District 17

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

RIDE Surveys

From Friends Memo 2-22-17 - RIDE

We're less than two weeks into the administration of the SurveyWorks parent survey and nearly 5,000 responses have been submitted by Rhode Island parents and guardians.  Several districts across the state have hundreds of responses recorded, with North Kingstown, Barrington, Smithfield, and Pawtucket leading the way.  Parents' participation in the survey can directly improve the learning environment of schools in Rhode Island.

To complete the survey by March 31, 2017, parents simply need to visit the website:, enter their access code (provided by their school), and then take the 15-20 minute survey.  

RIDE posts statewide report on educator evaluation data

Now in our fifth year of implementation, district educator evaluation models and procedures in Rhode Island have changed over time and continue to evolve based on feedback and best practice. As part of our commitment to ongoing transparency regarding educator evaluation data and changes to our models, we are continuing to release data reports.

We have just released a report from the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years. This report captures general model use and educator final effectiveness ratings and student learning ratings. As a state, we are focused on enriching the conversations related to instruction and student learning; therefore, we also provide some updates on some work we are doing currently.

The report and updates can be found on our website
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this report, please reach out to

Congressional Voting Records: A Beginner’s Guide

"This topic presents more challenges than may be readily apparent, because researchers must not only determine what resources cover the period of time in which the laws at issue were passed, but also whether that resource is available in a paper-based or freely available digital format."

Fortunately for us, the Library of Congress has provided a Beginner's Guide

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

RIDE on Immigrant Rights

From the Commissioner's Memo to Friends of Education
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Dear Subscriber,

Undocumented immigrant children, like all U.S. citizen children, have the right to attend school full-time as long as they meet the age and residency requirements established by state law.  In a 1982 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that children who are undocumented immigrants cannot be denied a free public education if they are, as a factual matter, district residents (Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202; see Appeal of Plata, 40 Ed Dept Rep 552, Decision No. 14,555).

RIDE does not collect or possess information related to the citizenship status of any Rhode Island student.  If RIDE were to receive a request for information related to student documentation status, we would treat that request consistent with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which includes strong protections for the security and privacy of all education records.  FERPA allows for the transfer of education records only to authorized parties with a “legitimate educational interest.”

In the meantime, let’s continue to build communities of teaching, learning, and love for each of our children in all of our schools.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Women's Rally PVD

Can't get to DC on January 21st?

The R.I. Women’s Solidarity Rally will take place at the R.I. State House on January 21, 2017.
EVENT 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
LOCATION R.I. State House, South Lawn, Gaspee & Francis Streets, Providence, R.I.

To stand in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington, who say:
“We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for
the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families –
recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength
of our country.”

For more information:

Let them know you're coming.