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Transforming Education in Rhode Island:. How Race to the Top Will Help Us Prepare All Students for Success in College, Careers, and Life. Transforming Education in Rhode Island. Rhode Island’s Plan.

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Transforming Education

in Rhode Island:

How Race to the Top Will Help Us Prepare All

Students for Success in College, Careers, and Life

transforming education in rhode island
Transforming Education in Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s Plan

Our strategic plan, Transforming Education in Rhode Island, describes how we’ll improve education through 2015.

Rhode Islanders came together to turn our strategic plan into a winning application for Race to the Top.

We are one of only 12 states that will lead the country in a new direction!

transforming education in rhode island1
Transforming Education in Rhode Island

We’ll see these results for students by 2015:

  • 90% of students entering the 4th and 8th grades will be proficient in reading.
  • 90% of students entering fourth grade and 75% of students entering eighth grade will be proficient in math.
  • Achievement gaps among all students will be cut in half.
  • 85% of students will graduate from high school.
  • 77% of students will enroll in postsecondary education.
  • 90% of students who enroll in postsecondary education will complete their first year.


To meet our goals as a district the LEA has in place the following structures, initiatives and supports to advance student learning:

 The nine SORICO districts have committed to collaborate to achieve the goals of Race To The Top Scope of Work. We endeavor to work with the Dana Center in the area of mathematics to commence in February 2011. State RTTT funding is imperative to accomplish this work.

  • We have formally trained staff in all of our schools and have adopted and operate as a K-12 Professional Learning Community including time for content and interdisciplinary teachers to meet to discuss student learning and instruction.
  • Our community contributes to the educational process, and the school to town functioning, in a valued and active partnership that provides rich resources, support and interest in our schools and the achievement of its students. Parents and community volunteers are active in our schools.
  • The district’s Strategic Plan and Theory of Action have provided frameworks which are closely related to our Department of Education’s strategic initiatives in terms of curriculum development, teacher practice, professional development, and the use of data.
  • A collaborative approach has been utilized by the district in preparing school improvement plans, professional development plans and the use of district and federal dollars in coordinated ways to support professional development and student achievement.
  • Strong leadership exists at the administrative level in the district. Building level administrators (both principals and assistant principals at each school) are already highly involved in leading instruction at their schools.
  • Local government leaders (School Committee, Town Council and Town Manager) are knowledgeable, reasonable and have a vision and expectation of excellence for the school system, with support provided accordingly.
  • A K-12 curriculum process is in place and the curriculum cycle has been adhered to in a time frame and manner which reflects state guidance. We have training and experience working with alignment and grade level/span expectations and developing and implementing common tasks.

The teaching staff possesses strong content knowledge which contributes to student learning and high achievement.

  • Special Education programs and practices that have increased access to the general curriculum have recently evidenced gains for special education students in terms of state assessment results.
  • All schools and staff are highly involved in the RTI process, with our elementary school seen as a model for the state. We have expanded the protocols for studying data in school wide “Data Days” with our literacy and math coaches leading the work. In addition, we have identified and are currently utilizing scientifically research-based tools such as AddVantage Math, Trans Math, EdMark, PALs, and NWEA to screen, diagnose, and intervene.
  • Our middle school has configured the daily schedule to provide additional opportunities for students to receive intervention and enrichment during the SOAR/Flex block, which occurs twice per week.
  • Technology, in terms of hardware available and technical support provided, is considered strong for a district of our size.
  • The district uses and is very satisfied with SchoolSpring as its recruitment website.
  • The district is a K-12 PBIS district. Our elementary school is in Year 2 and our other schools are moving along the continuum towards that approach to learning and behavior.
  • A K-12 district Dropout Prevention Team studied and then implemented practices and procedures at all the key leverage points for those students most at risk of dropping out. For example, the middle school has begun a “Piers Peers” program which pairs identified 7th grade students with at-risk 5th grade students.
  • The Collective Bargaining Agreement provides for a flexible schedule for staff in order to meet student need (e.g. starting later in the day and leaving later).
  • The district has an active mentoring program that is coordinated by teachers and the Narragansett School Department.
  • Narragansett High School has implemented Academic Hours, Extended School Day, STEPS, Virtual High School, and an Alternative Learning Program in order to provide multiple opportunities for student success.
rttt steering committee
RTTT Steering Committee

Admin. Katherine Sipala*

Elizabeth Pinto*

Nancy Daley*

Roland Lambert*

School Committee Diane Nobles*

NHS Dan Warner

Jeff Smith

Ann Marie Zaborski*

Elizabeth LaPointe

Erin Hohl

NPS Marie Ahern

Marianne Kirby

Vanessa Miller

NES Gail Dandurand

Lisa Monahan

Deb Sullivan

Peggy Carter

Leah Jones

Brien Jennings

Sharon Martin

*Members of the Leadership Team

transforming education in rhode island2
Transforming Education in Rhode Island

We’ll build these support systems to drive student success:

Standards & Curriculum

Instructional Improvement

Educator Effectiveness

Human-Capital Development

School Transformation and Innovation


Standards and Curriculum Team

Nancy Daley, Chair

John O’Brien

Sharon Martin

Elizabeth LaPointe

Leah Jones

Brien Jennings

Peggy Carter

Marianne Kirby

  • By 2015, RI educators will be ready to implement instruction and assessments that are aligned with the Common Core.
  • Model curriculum will be developed in ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies.
  • One day of training in Summer 2011 for teams of 4 from each school.
  • Those trained will facilitate a process to support peers to understand the Common Core (Our Literacy and Math Coaches, Director of Curriculum and team listed above will be lead facilitators ).

Instructional Improvement Team

Roland Lambert, Co-Chair

Gail Dandurand, Co-Chair

Jeff Smith

Elizabeth Pinto

Nancy Daley

Sue Doboszynski

  • By 2015, RI educators will have access to and effectively use a statewide system that has an array of data analysis, assessment and instructional tools.
  • Two days of training for teams of 4 from each school will be held for the development and use of formative assessments.
  • Additionally, 6 days of training (combined summer and during the school year) will be provided to school teams on how to effectively use interim assessment data to improve instruction .
  • Starting in January of this year, the roster system will be built. Math teachers in grades 3-7 will be asked to log in and check the class rosters submitted by our Tech. Dept.
  • MEMBERS NEEDED!!! (especially those already involved in data teams at the schools).

Educator Effectiveness Team

Dan Warner, Chair

Ann Marie Zaborski

Lisa Monahan

Debra Sullivan

Pam Westkott

  • By 2015, RI educators will be evaluated under a system that focuses on student Achievement growth and supports educators’ professional growth.
  • Training in the new RI Model Design will occur for 9 staff members (3 from each school) in year 1 of implementation; additional training to be provided in the next 2 years. Administrators will also receive training this spring and summer.
  • Each district needs to develop their own committee. The role of the committee will be to review the effectiveness of the evaluation system; the validity and utility of the data that the system produces; and to make recommendations to the state (MEMBERS NEEDED!!! ).
  • The new evaluation form will be implemented in September of 2011.
  • See: for additional information.

Human Capital Development Team

Marie Ahern, Chair

Erin Hohl

Debra Sullivan

Vanessa Miller

  • By 2015, new RI educators will be supported by robust induction practices.
  • New teachers will have an outside mentor assigned to them for at least one year.
  • PD will be data driven and be focused on planning, instruction and assessment.

What’s Next:

  • Commissioner’s Visit on Thursday, January 6, 2011.
  • Invitation to join a RTTT Systems of Support team.
  • Invitation to attend the next RTTT Meeting – January 24, 2011, at 3 pm at the Central Office.
  • Invitation to research and read about the RTTT initiative and platforms on the RIDE website.
  • Invitation to pose questions/comments to our Steering Committee in a Google documents survey to be sent to you this week.

“Participating in a culture of responsibility for this work.”

Taken from Narragansett School Department’s RTTT Scope of Work Engagement Strategy.