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Rhode Island Foundation Blog


We are proud to be part of the Rhode Island community! Follow our blog for the latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state.

Back to school
By / August 20, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
It’s hard to believe that Rhode Island’s students begin returning to school in two short weeks.  But believe it or not, a new school year is almost upon us – and we at the Rhode Island Foundation could not be more excited for the year ahead.  That’s because students from across the state, from South Kingstown to Woonsocket, will participate in several new and exciting projects launching this September with support from the Foundation.  
One of those projects is taking place in the Birchwood Middle School in North Providence. There, seventh grade students will have the opportunity to enroll in a new, highly specialized marine trades academy. This new “school within a school” will allow students to complete all of their coursework through the lens of the marine sciences: English language arts courses will be taught through novels of marine life, social studies courses will be taught through maritime history, and life sciences will be taught through classes in oceanography and marine biology. These courses, coupled with a robust introduction to career and technical education through boatbuilding and marine engineering, provide an excellent example of our efforts to support innovative models and new approaches in public education.

In Pawtucket, kindergarten students will be enrolling in a new dual-language Spanish immersion program at the Nathanael Greene Elementary School. This program offers students the opportunity to access core academic content in both Spanish and English, a proven best practice for both English language learners and native English speakers. Additionally, Pawtucket’s new dual language immersion program was developed in coordination with teachers from the South Kingstown public school system which is also launching Spanish language immersion programs at the Peacedale and West Kingstown elementary schools. Educators in both districts spent this summer planning for the coming year alongside the staff of Pawtucket’s International Charter School. We are proud to support this type of peer-to-peer professional development that brings together educators from urban and suburban settings from both public charter schools and traditional district schools. 

These are just several of the projects that we are excited to see come to fruition in the weeks ahead. We look forward to visiting middle school students in Woonsocket’s Villanova building who will be participating in mindfulness training designed to improve school climate and reduce instances of school suspension. We look forward to new school science programming that will take place in Newport public schools, Foster-Gloster public schools at the Paul Cuffee Charter School with the support of multiple programs housed at the University of Rhode Island.  And we look forward to new charter schools, including the Achievement First Iluminar Mayoral Academy and the Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy Elementary School 3, opening their doors to families across Rhode Island. 

We are privileged to work with educators from across our state in the pursuit of an excellent public education for all of Rhode Island’s young people. We hope you’ll join us in wishing Rhode Island students and teachers a productive and joyful year ahead.  

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