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Every one of us has had the experience of sitting in a classroom and asking, “Why do I need to learn this?” I know that I have. And as a teacher, I know that it can be a huge challenge to get students to see the relevance of all subjects, all the time.
That is where passion comes into play. We have to learn what our kids are excited about and help them to explore and develop those interests.
I’ve been here for a month now, and in that time, I’ve had the opportunity to visit career education programs in East Providence, Newport, North Providence, and at Davies. When I think about the experience I had in high school, and the programs that were available at the time, I see a tremendous difference. Young people in Rhode Island are accessing career education, advanced coursework, early college programs, and work-based learning opportunities more than ever before, and the real-world connections that happen through those pathways have the potential to transform a student’s education. All of these programs fall under the umbrella of Prepare Rhode Island, a statewide, youth career readiness initiative.
The tagline for PrepareRI is simple: if you have the passion, we have a pathway.
I love that message, and that’s what we have to reinforce with our students, particularly as they get older and begin to think more seriously about what the future holds. If we want them to understand why school is important – if we don’t want them to ask, “Why do I need to learn this?” – then we need to be serious about getting to know their interests, strengths, and passions, and that becomes the foundation for how we get them engaged in and excited about learning.
Commissioner of Education
Career Exploration Grants
PrepareRI and RIDE are excited to announce the winners of the 2019 Career Exploration Grant cycle. 18 middle schools have been selected to be funded for the career exploration grant totaling $87,030. The winners of the Career Exploration Grant are: Birchwood Middle School, Calcutt Middle School, Chariho Middle School, Deering Middle School, Dr. E. A. Ricci Middle School, East Bay Collaborative, Exeter-West Greenwich Junior High School, Gallagher Middle School, Gaudet Middle School, Goff Middle School, Jenks Middle School, Kickemuit Middle School, Martin Middle School, North Smithfield Middle School, Paul Cuffee School, Ponaganset Middle School, Slater Middle School, and Thompson Middle School. Schools will be developing tools and resources that integrate career exploration into school day coursework, which can be shared statewide.
The XQ+RI Planning Grants
The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) has released the names of 20 public high school community teams that will form the planning cohort for the groundbreaking partnership of XQ+RI: Rhode Island’s XQ Challenge.
This is the latest step in the state’s first-of-its-kind partnership with XQ, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to reimagining high school education, so every student succeeds – no matter their race, gender, or ZIP code. XQ+RI is engaging communities to create student-centered schools that prepare all young people for the future.
“I am excited to see this important work move to the next stage, and for these innovative school teams to leverage these planning grants to turn their creative ideas into change on the ground,” said Governor Gina Raimondo. “With XQ’s support, we have created a powerful space for innovation, and these schools are one step closer to delivering even more for students.”
A total of 32 planning teams applied for XQ+RI planning grants, collectively representing half of the public high schools in Rhode Island. Seventeen high schools were selected, along with three teams with concepts for entirely new schools. A group of local and national experts evaluated the proposals based on three factors: the boldness of the proposal; how student-centered the proposal was; and how broad-based the planning team was that developed it. Each of the selected teams will receive a $25,000 grant to continue building their proposals into complete innovation plans.
For more information, including a list of the awardees, read the full press release.
PrepareRI College Readiness Project
The PrepareRI College Readiness Project represents a strategic partnership between K-12 education and Rhode Island’s colleges and universities to ensure that every student graduates from high school ready to enroll in credit-bearing coursework on a path to on-time college completion. Learn more about the project here. As part of the initiative, we are looking to improve students’ academic readiness for college through an intervention strategy focused on filling specific skills gaps deemed necessary for college in a student’s Senior year. We are looking for a small number of schools interested in piloting a fourth-year transitional math course for students, and we are looking for interested math faculty to participate in the summer working group developing that plan. If you are interested in learning more about the project, know a school that would be a good fit for the pilot, or if you are interested in the summer working group, please contact Liz Texeira at Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prepare ri in the news
Getting a Closer Look
As she completed her first month in the role, new Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green traveled the state to visit several PrepareRI-related schools, including PTECH Newport. The Newport Daily News followed her on her visit, which included her first podcast interview with two CTE students.
Events & Deadlines
Career Pathways Advisory Committee Meeting
What: Public meeting of the Career Pathways Advisory Committee (CPAC) of the Governor's Workforce Board
When: Wednesday, June 12, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
Where: Department of Labor and Training, 1511 Pontiac Ave, Cranston, Room 73-1
More info: Contact Pauline Abetti at email@example.com.
Save the Date: Perkins V and PrepareRI Planning Meeting
What: Perkins V and PrepareRI 2.0 Planning Meeting
When: Monday, June 27
More info: Contact Nicole Smith at Nicole.firstname.lastname@example.org.