Volume 10 is located at http://www.ric.edu/itl/pdf/ITL%20-%20Spring%202014.pdf
We are excited to share with you this newest volume of Issues in Teaching and Learning (ITL), our tenth. The first volume of ITL was published in 2002 and in it, the editor Sandra Enos explained that “The mission of the journal is to create and deepen dialogue among the faculty and others about teaching and learning and to create a forum for productive inter-disciplinary conversations about the art and practice of teaching.” We are pleased to carry these objectives forward with this latest volume of ITL, which focuses on civic or community engagement, a key element of RIC’s mission and strategic plan. Specifically, this volume attempts to answer the question: In what ways does Rhode Island College engage with communities beyond its campus borders?
Volume 10 is located at http://www.ric.edu/itl/pdf/ITL%20-%20Spring%202014.pdf
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island College will host a celebration of the first anniversary of its partnership with the Central Falls School District – The Innovation Lab – on Saturday, May 3, from 9 to 11 a.m., in Alger Hall Room 110, 600 Mt. Pleasant Ave.
The event brings together the Central Falls and RIC students, faculty, parents and community partners who have created a wide range of learning-based projects.
Launched in 2013, the Central Falls/RIC Innovation Lab is a collaboration designed as a catalyst to create a shared community where new models of learning, teaching and services are developed, piloted and researched.
...continued at http://www.providencejournal.com/news/education/20140502-rhode-island-college-celebrates-its-partnership-with-the-central-falls-schools.ece
CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — For the first time ever, a Central Falls High School student has been accepted to prestigious Harvard University.
Jean Paul Valencia, 17, is the Central Falls class valedictorian. He’s not only been accepted to Harvard, he’s been accepted to Brown, Yale, Dartmouth and Columbia, according to the high school.
“My parents are both very hard-working, and neither graduated high school, but they instilled in me an appreciation for education and a love of learning,” Valencia said in a news release from the school Monday.
Valencia was born in Queens, New York, to parents who had emigrated from Colombia. His family moved back to Colombia when he was two years old, but returned to the States when he was ready to enter kindergarten. By the time he was seven years old, the family had moved to Central Falls — and Jean Paul was fully bilingual in both Spanish and English.
The school said his family has struggled to make ends meet; this week, his mother started a new job after being unemployed for three years.
Valencia’s accomplishments, besides being a straight-A student, include a high school internship at the Rhode Island State House in the office of Sen. Christopher Ottiano.
He has yet to choose where he plans to attend college.
*$500 Scholarship awarded this year by the class of 2004 through the Central Falls Alumni Association*
The Warrior Scholarship was created as a way to help alleviate financial burden for Central Falls High School students who have been accepted to or plan to attend an institution of higher education. The scholarship is intended to seek individuals that exemplify the ideals that are aligned with the district’s mission “to develop its diverse student population into responsible citizens, effective communicators, innovative problem-solvers and critical thinkers who are able to fully participate in and positively contribute to society”. Beyond demonstrated excellence in the classroom, scholarship winners will demonstrate a strong awareness for issues affecting their community, a commitment to public service, and a willingness to propose solutions to said issues. Embodying, with fervor, what it means to be a Central Falls Warrior.
· Transcript (please attach a copy)
· List of activities (Page 3)
· Acceptance letter or proof of enrollment at an institution of higher education (please attach a copy)
· Response to question in section A (Page 4)
· Response to ONE question from section B (Page 5)
Please email all completed checklist materials to the following email address: Centralfallsalumni@gmail.com or deliver the completed packet to the main office at the high school. If you have any questions regarding the scholarship application or process, please send us an email or contact Stephanie Gonzalez at 401-626-7220.
We look forward to reading your application!!!
Pioneering school district, Central Falls, chooses Lenovo ThinkServers for:
- See more at: http://www.lenovo.com/education/us/en/k12/central-falls-district-case-study.shtml
CENTRAL FALLS — Central Falls High School, once the poster child of failed school reform, has turned a corner.
Math scores have improved.
Students say teachers treat them with respect and inspire them to do their best work.
Teachers say their voices are heard and their input respected.
And parents are a daily presence in the hallways.
Still, discipline and student absenteeism continue to bedevil academic progress. And student performance is still alarmingly low, with only 13 percent of 11th graders reaching proficiency in math.
Four years ago, when teachers were demoralized after a mass firing, it would have been hard to imagine that the state Supreme Court would hear arguments in the school’s auditorium. But that’s what happened last week.
“You could have heard a pin drop,” says Anna Cano Morales, chairwoman of the Central Falls Board of Trustees. “The level of engagement was intense. Is this the unruly Central Falls High School? Is this the district that some write off as a lost cause?”
Three years ago, the high school established several goals: increase the graduation rate, decrease the dropout rate boost student achievement in math and transform the school’s toxic climate.
A new report by Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform chronicles the numerous improvements since then.
One of the most remarkable turnarounds has been the dramatic change in school climate. During a recent visit, hallways were quiet, classes seemed focused and parents feel a new sense of collaboration in a school once torn apart by distrust.
“When we first came into the school, the teachers thought we were spies,” said Therese McMaugh, a parent of two high school students. “Now, teachers want us to be here. They’re not afraid to ask for help.”
Parents have been trained to be leaders. And, in a community where some families were afraid to even enter a school building, they now help out in the front office, serve as translators and make phone calls to families whose children have skipped school. A parent leadership team meets monthly with Supt. Frances Gallo.
Principal Joshua Laplante, assistant principal Roy Silvia and deputy superintendent Victor Capellan, who has an office at the high school, have led the change.
Teacher absences have declined from 1,470 days in 2010-11 to 676 days last year, largely, school leaders say, the result of an improved school climate.
“The healing process has happened,” said David Upegui, a biology teacher. “You see it in the teachers. We were asked to come in on a Sunday. Over half the staff showed up. That shows the commitment we have.”
Student attendance, however, continues to be a problem. Chronic absenteeism has actually increased since the 2009-2010 school year. Nearly one of two students at the high school is chronically absent, substantially higher than the state average of 17 percent.
Laplante says the high school has developed an attendance campaign, publicizing it on Spanish-language radio stations and reaching out to local churches.
For the first time, the school is sending letters home informing parents of the number of absences. And it is tracking absences more carefully.
On a positive note, both the graduation and dropout rates have improved, largely because the school now offers students alternative routes to make up credits.
In 2010-2011, the graduation rate improved by 19 percentage points. In one year, the dropout rate decreased by 27 percentage points and last year, it was 14 percent, only two points higher than the state average.
Janazhia Matos, 19, credits a special program for teen parents with her decision to finish high school.
“It’s like a college schedule,” she said. “I only come to school on the days I need to take math and science.”
Another program, called Square Mile, caters to special-needs students, focusing on problem behavior.
The school also offers Saturday and evening classes. It even offers a morning fitness program where students can make up physical education credits.
More than 10 percent of the school’s 840 students are enrolled in some type of alternative high school.
“We offer kids a life saver,” says Gallo. “We tell them, ‘There is no way for you to drop out.’ All we need from them is determination.”
Students have also been given a voice. There are 45 student leaders this year — up from 18 last year — running programs, partnering with adults and sponsoring activities.
They have a voice in what they want to see in the school and how they can contribute to making it happen, one student told the Brown researchers.
Student leaders agree that the high school has undergone a profound change.
“My freshman year was very chaotic,” says Alexandra Belleton, a senior. “There was little discipline. We had two different principals. Teachers were leaving. Sophomore year, everything changed.”
“It does feel happier,” says Abigail Reyes, a senior. “When I was a freshman, I had one substitute teacher after another. Now we have committed teachers who are willing to stay with us after school.”
But behavior problems continue, according to the report. The “restorative justice” model, which emphasizes understanding the cause of the behavior rather than simply imposing punishment, isn’t wholly effective, reported teachers, who said they are frustrated with the lack of consequences for poor student behavior.
Principal Laplante cautioned that this is the first year that “restorative justice” has been fully implemented. He also said that if students are really disruptive, the school removes them from the classroom immediately.
Now, Upegui says, it’s time to celebrate the school’s successes.
“Last year, our first graduate was accepted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” he says. “How do I get a bunch of these kids moving forward? How do I make this a habit here? What we are doing here is nothing short of revolutionary.”
BY KATIE MULVANEY
CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. -- The state Supreme Court brought its security staff, clerks, files and good humor to Central Falls High School Wednesday as it took its arguments on the road.
More than 100 students heard arguments about issues ranging from what constitutes a domestic assault to whether the state should be held responsible for chemical burns to a teenager who broke into the Ladd School to chase ghosts.
The justices heaped praise on the school in the state's smallest and poorest city.
"We're proud of Central Falls, where it's come and where we are now," Justice Francis X. Flaherty said at the close of more than two hours of arguments.
Justice William P. Robinson III called the city a "shining light in the state of Rhode Island."
He encouraged the teenagers to pursue a career in law, be it as a lawyer or in law enforcement. "Law is what binds our society together."
They appeared to have takers, though some students could be seen playing with their cell phones in the high school auditorium. Jean Paul Valencia, a senior, hopes to become a corporate attorney.
"I think it's amazing they would consider coming to see us," Valencia said.
“We’re proud of Central Falls, where it’s come and where we are now,” Justice Francis X. Flaherty said at the close of two-plus hours of arguments.
Dear Teachers and Staff,
Yesterday was a historic day for our school. Serving as the site for the Supreme Court proceedings is an honor and we are proud of the work of so many people to make this a successful event.
First, I want to start by congratulating our students. They were respectful and attentive and a wonderful representation of the best our school has to offer. Next, I want thank our teachers for their continued support and dedication to exposing our students to real-world learning opportunities. Most specially a big thank you to Ms. Grant, Mr. Deleo and Mr. Thompson for having their students participate throughout the entire process. Also, a big thanks to Ms. Daou, Ms. Vecchio and Ms. Desmarais for bringing their classes as well.
Also, a big congrats to Josh Carvalho our custodian, Richard Spahr from GCA Cleaning and to Mike Cardin for making sure that everything was ready and set up perfectly for the justices.
Thank you all for your flexibility and understanding with the changing schedule and all the adjustments made to execute this event.
We are very proud and grateful of everyone who helped make yesterday a special day for Central Falls High School.
- Victor Capellan
R.I. Supreme Court sets up court at Central Falls High/ Photos
CENTRAL FALLS, Rhode Island — A nonprofit arts organization on Thursday announced a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a new program in Central Falls that will teach students about film production.
VSA arts Rhode Island will use the $10,000 grant to support the "CF Cinema: Our Story" project, which will give students a chance to help make a documentary about education in the city.
The program will sponsor digital media classes for students in partnership with Central Falls High School, the Central Falls public library and the University of Rhode Island's Harrington School of Communication and Media.
The project is part of a broader vision for the creation of a youth digital media center at the library whose use will be expanded after the film is complete, according to VSA arts Rhode Island Executive and Artistic Director Jeannine Chartier.
Under the grant, students will produce a documentary about their experiences at Central Falls High School. The film will also look at the larger issue of public education reform, Chartier said.
She said Central Falls, whose schools were taken over by the state decades ago and which recently went through a municipal bankruptcy, is often dogged with a bad reputation.
"Students there wanted to be able to tell their side of those stories," she said in an interview this week.
The grant through the Academy's education program was formally announced at the library by Chartier and U.S. Rep. David Cicilline.
Nancy A. Carnevale Teacher of the Year Award for Excellence in ELL Teaching (PreK-12)
Nancy Carnevale, M.Ed., a National Board Certified Teacher of English as New Language (ENL) invested her 38-year career in supporting urban ELLs and their families. She exemplified the “can-do” philosophy. She serves as a model of best practices in urban education for ELLs. A lifelong advocate for children, she took every opportunity to acquire the latest ELL teaching practices so that she could promote success for her students in every way possible. She is honored for her passion, her love for and unwavering dedication to her students, her collaborative nature and for her clarity of vision that teaching is most successful when you “teach from the heart.”
Criteria for the Award. The nominee for this award must:
Nancy A. Carnevale Teacher of the Year Award for Excellence in ELL Teaching (PreK-12) Fall 2013
The application period for The Nancy Carnevale Teacher Award for Excellence in ELL Teaching (PreK-12) is now open. Nancy Carnevale was a much-celebrated ESL teacher who worked from 1988 through 2011 in elementary ESL classrooms in Central Falls. She taught English Language Learners in Grades K, 2, 3, and 5, and in the last year of her life took on the role of Sheltered Instruction (SIOP) coach for the district. She was known to excel in every role she held and was admired by all who knew her and were mentored by her. This award is to honor her memory and her passion for teaching.
Candidates must have 5 years of teaching experience and demonstrate a “sustained commitment to ELL education.”
The committee will meet to review applications and decide by October 31st.
The winner will receive the following:
The Nancy Carnevale ELL Teacher Award for Excellence in Teaching will be presented at the RITELL Fall Conference at RIC on Saturday, November 23, 2013