PrepareRI Spring Summit:

Collaborating to Strengthen Pathways from Grades 6 to 16

Saturday, March 16, 2019

8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Rhode Island College - Gaige Hall, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence, RI 02908

Additional details, including a full agenda and schedule to follow.

View previous summit details here


What is the Summit?

This Summit – jointly sponsored by the Governor’s Workforce Board, the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner, and the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – had a focus on strengthening the Ocean State’s capacity to provide our young people with the opportunities they need to be college and career ready.


Summit Goals

  • Build a network of champions committed to connecting secondary and postsecondary career pathways for in school and out of school youth in Rhode Island, especially youth from underrepresented populations.

  • Highlight promising practices and programs in career pathways.

  • Understand Rhode Island employers’ needs and hear their perspectives on high-quality work-based learning in key industries.

By 2020, 70% of jobs generated in Rhode Island will require education beyond a high school diploma, and many of these new opportunities will be in STEAM-related fields. Today, just 47% of Rhode Islanders have any type of post-high-school degree or credential. This gap suggests that our state still lacks education pathways to best prepare Rhode Islanders for industries with the most promise for job opportunities and growth.

College & Career Opportunities for All

Overview of the day


Breakfast and Registration

8:00 - 8:45 a.m.

Gaige Hall Lobby


Welcome and Plenary

8:45 - 9:30 a.m.

Gaige Hall Auditorium

Information on Keynote speakers and welcome remarks to follow.


Breakout Sessions

9:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Gaige Hall Classrooms

There will be two breakout sessions during the Spring ‘19 Summit. Additional information to follow.

  1. PrepareRI Readiness Project

    Summary: The PrepareRI Readiness Project represents a strategic partnership led by the Rhode Island Board of Education between K-12 education and Rhode Island’s college and universities to ensure that every student graduates from high school on a path toward on-time college completion. Session leaders will share project goals and outline progress on 5 components of this work: Academic readiness, requirement alignment, extending career education pathways, communication strategies, and gateway courses for students.

    Speakers: Steve Osborn, Chief for Innovation, RIDE

    Spencer Sherman, Director, Office of College and Career Readiness, RIDE

    Recommended for: K12 educators, school and district leaders, school counselors, communication personnel, CTE Directors, postsecondary faculty and administrators.

  2. How to Tell your Story

    Summary: Hear from a local award-winning education journalist regarding school communications, marketing, and time-saving tips to help integrate communication into today's school culture. Learn how to develop positive communication strategies, how to use popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and how tell your story in the local papers.

    Speaker: Jen Cowart, Education Journalist, Cranston Herald

    Recommended for: School administration, teacher leaders and community partners.

  3. Engaging and Mobilizing your Community

    Summary: A critical piece of the PrepareRI work is ensuring our communities know about and understand all the exciting programs that students can—and should—be participating in. During this session, a panel of experts will facilitate a discussion focused on best practices for communication and outreach to students and families.

    Speakers: Carlene Fonseca, Associate Director, Feinstein Institute for Public Service at Providence College and PrepareRI Ambassador

    Stephanie Geller, Deputy Director, Rhode Island Kids Count and PrepareRI Ambassador

    Carlon Howard, Co-Director, Breakthrough Providence and PrepareRI Ambassador

    Kirtley Fisher, Associate Chief of Staff from the Rhode Island Department of Education will be moderating this panel.

    Recommended for: School counselors, classroom educators, and administrators.

  4. Picking up STEAM

    Summary: This session will highlight efforts across the state of Rhode Island  to promote STEAM ( Science, Technology, Arts and Mathematics). Participants will have the opportunity to learn about what is happening in the state, provide feedback, and discuss ways to promote STEAM from Pre-K through the workforce.

    Speaker: Catherine McConnell, Education Policy Fellow at the Rhode Island Governor's Office

    Recommended for: Educators, School Leaders, Industry-based representatives, and community based organizations.

  5. The Importance of Industry and School Partnerships in CTE and Beyond

    Summary: This session will highlight existing partnerships and the opportunities and benefits of increasing partnerships between industries and schools, including but not limited to Career and Technical Education programs.

    Speakers: Joseph Mazzone, Pre-Engineering & Technology Teacher at Davies Career and Technical High School, PrepareRI Ambassador

    Paul McConnell, CTE Specialist, RI Department of Education

    Recommended for: Industry representatives, community-based organizations, secondary school administrators and teachers.

  6. FAFSA Dash

    Summary: Learn about Rhode Island’s inter-agency FAFSA Completion Initiative and its three components: the public-facing FAFSA Completion dashboard, the school administrator-level student data portal, and the FAFSA Dash- a competition hosted by the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA). Session leaders will describe a variety of tools and resources to make sure that every eligible student in Rhode Island can access Federal Financial aid dollars.

    Speaker: Gabrielle “Abby” Godino, Legislative and Policy Advisor, Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner

    Recommended for: School counselors, administrators, college-access professionals, parents, and students.

  7. Implementing WBL in the Classroom

    Summary: This workshop will be an opportunity to delve into a Work Based Learning resource. Please bring your computers and arrive ready to explore!

    Speaker: Michelle Maktilla, Advisor at The Met School, Prepare RI Ambassador

    Recommended for: For anyone interested especially high school educators, Career Coordinators, and community-based organizations.  

  8. Pathway Endorsements: Supporting School Implementation

    Summary: Learn how to make pathway program implementation a less daunting task for educator and school teams. Session leaders will share a newly-developed Pathway Endorsement Toolkit, with resources to support implementation and communication of Pathway Endorsements.

    Speakers: Karen Bodden, English Teacher, North Smithfield High School

    Cali Cornell, College and Career Readiness Specialist, Rhode Island Department of Education

    Recommended for: Educators, school leaders, district leaders, special education directors, school counselors, community based organizations, and students.

  9. Pathway Implementation in Comprehensive High Schools: Barriers, Process, and Tools

    Summary: This workshop will review some foundational structures for building and sustaining a successful pathway in a Comprehensive High School and will delve into three barriers (curriculum, credits, and drop out potential), while exploring some solutions to these barriers.

    Speakers: Simona Simpson-Thomas, Director of Multiple Pathways, Providence School District

    Joe Battaglia, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, The Met School

    Michael Jolin, Consultant and Former Superintendent

    Recommended for: Educators, school leaders, district leaders, special education directors, school counselors, and community based organizations.

  10. The Individualized Learning Plan and Career Exploration

    Summary: The Individual Learning Plan can be an important tool for students to discover their path and passion.  Learn how to enhance career exploration for your students through your Individual Learning Plan Program.

    Speakers: Onna Holland, RI School Counselor Fellow, RIDE

    Stacy Haines-Mayne, PrepareRI Ambassador and Director of Guidance at Exeter West Greenwich High School

    Recommended for: Educators, school leaders, district leaders, special education directors, school counselors, community based organizations at the middle and high school level.  

  11. Supporting Diverse Learners in the Transition to College and Career

    Summary: Learn about and share best practices and resources to better prepare ALL students for career pathways, including Advanced Course Network (ACN) and Dual Enrollment. This interactive panel session will discuss the supports for students with disabilities and English Language Learners available in high school, college, and the transition between the two.

    Speakers: Jane George, PrepareRI Ambassador and itinerant ESL Teacher for the North Kingston School Department

    Keri Rossi-D'entremont, PrepareRI Ambassador and Director of Disability Services, Rhode Island College

    Cynthia Vanavery, PrepareRI Ambassador and Director of Transition and Vocational Services at the Northern Rhode Island Collaborative

    Ann Durham, PrepareRI Ambassador and Deputy Director of the Providence After School Alliance

    Recommended for: General, special education, and ESL faculty, directors, and counselors in both high school and college.

  12. Pathways by Design: Highlighting Pathway Development in RI High Schools

    Summary: Learn from 8 RI high schools that form the Pathways by Design network to support development of new pathway programs that lead to Pathway Endorsements for students.  Session presenters will share their discipline area(s) of focus, discuss development processes and lessons learned to date.

    Speakers: Julianna Charles Brown, Pathways by Design Project Lead at the Center for Collaborative Education

    Cali Cornell, College and Career Readiness Specialist, RIDE

    Recommended for: High School Educators, school leaders, district leaders, special education directors, school counselors, community based organizations.   


Industry Fair and Closing Lunch

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Donovan Hall

The Spring Summit will feature an Industry Fair and Networking lunch. Summit participants will have the opportunity to meet with industry and community-based organization representatives and learn about their engagement with students and schools. The list of represented industries and organizations will be updated here as it becomes finalized.


Thank you to the organizations whose funding has made this Summit possible!