PrepareRI Newsletter

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PrepareRI Newsletter:

March 2019

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WELCOME message

With only a few short weeks until Spring is upon us, PrepareRI is taking full advantage of the extra sunlight - we have our very first XQ+RI Design Day this Wednesday, the Spring PrepareRI Summit this Saturday, and SurveyWorks is closing in two weeks!

Additionally, the application for PrepareRI’s brand new youth apprenticeship program is now live, our collective efforts rolling out the statewide FAFSA completion initiative are starting to pay off (Rhode Island is currently ranked #4 in the nation!), and we are kicking off a month full of STEAM activities- we hope to see you at some of the many exciting events happening this month!  
--PrepareRI Core Team


Opening keynote at the 2018 fall PrepareRI Summit

Opening keynote at the 2018 fall PrepareRI Summit



XQ Design Days - Register today!

The XQ+RI challenge will support community teams as they redesign school environments so when students graduate, they are prepared and empowered to be inventors of their own learning paths, careers, and adult lives. School design teams will be expected to engage students, families, community and higher education partners, as well as district educators, in their efforts.  

This process will begin with a series of XQ+RI Design Days, regional sessions where school communities can learn more about how they can participate in the statewide challenge, as well as begin to create their plans. These sessions will serve as a primer on XQ+RI Challenge goals, an introduction to the design process, and will be an opportunity for schools to think outside the box when it comes to improving the high school experience for Rhode Island students. 

Any school that wants to apply for funding must send a team to one of the four regional Design Days before submitting a proposal.

Register online for one of the following Design Days: 

  • Wednesday, March 13, 4:00 - 7:30 p.m. -- Rhode Island College, Student Union Ballroom: 600 Mount Pleasant Ave, Providence, RI  

  • Wednesday, March 20, 4:00 - 7:30 p.m. -- St. Joseph's Veterans Association, 99 Louise St, Woonsocket, RI  

  • Saturday, March 23, 9:00 - 12:30 p.m. -- Holiday Inn South Kingstown, 3009 Tower Hill Rd, Saunderstown, RI 

  • Wednesday, March 27, 4:00 - 7:30 p.m. -- Mainstay Conference Center, 151 Admiral Kalbfus Rd, Newport, RI 

Learn more about this exciting initiative and how to get involved at, contact with questions, and join the conversation on social media using the hashtag, #XQRI.   

 Applications for PrepareRI Youth Apprenticeships are now LIVE 

We are excited to announce that applications are now being accepted through April 15 for the PrepareRI Youth Apprenticeship Program. Eligible students are current juniors (rising seniors) at Rhode Island public high schools. For the 2019-2020 school year, students will be able to apply to career pathways in health care, manufacturing, and environmental sustainability, with additional fields anticipated in future years. 

A youth apprenticeship combines work-based learning with related classroom instruction, allowing students to begin a career pathway while still in high school. This program sets students up for employment immediately after graduating high school; participants will be hired either as a formal apprentice working towards a nationally recognized industry certificate, or as a full-time employee, depending on the program. 

Applications are due April 15 and consist of students submitting the CCRI Running Start Application, along with answering supplemental questions specific to this program. Interested students and guardians will be invited to attend an informational session held at the beginning of April. Acceptance decisions will be issued by early May. For more information and to download the application, visit the PrepareRI Apprenticeships page or contact

FAFSA News Flash: Rhode Island is climbing the charts!

As of March 1, 56.4% of the state’s high school seniors have completed a FAFSA, ranking us at #4 highest in the country. We’re up 9.2% from this time last year- keep it up! 

As a reminder, you can see how your school and district are doing in terms of FAFSA completion on the FAFSA Completion dashboard here, and you can view the details of the RI-wide FAFSA Dash Competition here! Lastly, we are still rolling out the student-level portal for administrators and counselors, so please make sure your school has returned the required data-sharing agreement (sent to all districts). If you have questions about this resource or the agreement please reach out to Abby Godino at, and if you have other questions related to FAFSA completion, please reach out to Onna Holland at

REMINDER: Complete your SurveyWorks by March 31st!

SurveyWorks, Rhode Island's school culture and climate survey, will be available for all public school educators, students, and families through March 31, 2019. SurveyWorks provides schools, districts, communities, and the state with valuable information about the experiences of diverse stakeholders. The feedback we receive from these groups and students and families in particular, helps inform policy at the state and local level that is responsive to the needs of our communities. Please take 20 minutes to complete the survey, and help spread the word about why SurveyWorks is so important.

Participants can fill in their unique school code and complete the survey online.

Prepare ri in the news

"XQ+RI Partnership Seeks to Shape Classroom of the Future" 

With XQ+RI Design Days right around the corner, this statewide partnership to reimagine high school is getting a lot of interest from educators, students, and community partners. Design Days start on March 13, and it’s important for high school communities to bring together diverse stakeholder groups as part of the conversation. Students and families, in particular, should be part of the equation. “Powerful things happen when you just ask students their opinions,” said Commissioner Ken Wagner. “Doesn’t it just make sense to involve students in the design of their own education?” Wagner also shared his thoughts in a short op-ed in the Newport Daily News, helping to promote the four regional Design Days. 

March is STEAM Month in Rhode Island 

Governor Gina Raimondo has proclaimed March as STEAM Month in Rhode Island, kicking off a series of events to highlight the educational opportunities, job training programs, and economic development tied to science, technology, engineering, art, and math. To help promote STEAM Month, Commissioner Wagner paid a visit to CCRI Newport to talk to cybersecurity P-TECH students, and Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor met with Wavemaker Fellows – recent Rhode Island graduates who are eligible for financial incentives to stay in the state to start a career or business. 


Events & Deadlines

Career Pathways Advisory Committee March meeting 

  • What: Public meeting of the Career Pathways Advisory Committee (CPAC) of the Governor's Workforce Board; discussion will center around measuring outcomes of work-based learning. 

  • When: Wednesday, March 13, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.  

  • Where: Department of Labor and Training, Room 73-1 

  • More info: Contact

 PrepareRI Spring ‘19 Summit: Collaborating to Strengthen Pathways from Grades 6 to 16 

  • What: Come join us for the fourth PrepareRI Summit! Summits are designed to connect leaders and practitioners from schools, colleges, government, industry, and community groups around issues of critical importance to our youth.  

  • When: Saturday, March 16, 8:00am to 1:00pm  

  • Where: Gaige Hall, Rhode Island College (600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence, RI 02908) 

  • Registration: Please register via Eventbrite here.

  • More info: Visit the PrepareRI Spring Summit page for more information. 

CTE Board of Trustees meeting

  • What: Public meeting of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Board of Trustees

  • When: Friday, March 22, 9-11am

  • Where: Scituate High School

  • More info: Contact for more information

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