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District Level System Change

The Central Falls School District applied for the Nellie Mae Education Foundation District Level System Change (DLSC) Grant because the initiative was designed to promote the integration of student-centered reforms by working simultaneously across three areas: education practice; policy; and public understanding and demand by promoting the integration of Student-Centered Learning.

Student-Centered Learning is characterized by education that takes place both in and out of the classroom; focuses on the needs and interests of learners; finds innovative uses of time; includes a wider variety of adults in all aspects of learning; and measures skills and mastery of content using a combination of demonstration and traditional testing.

Since January 2011, a diverse and inclusive group of invested Central Falls’ stakeholders have been actively engaged in every aspect of the initial planning year DLSC Initiative. Among them are teachers, school and district administrators, community-based organizations, students and parents. As a result, school and community relationships have grown steadily over the year to new and deeper levels of interagency collaboration and cooperation. Additionally, this partnership has taken family and student participation to unprecedented new levels of involvement and leadership.

Given this, our stakeholders recognize the need to extend another year of planning in order to further coordinate, sharpen, and systematize their efforts in order to ensure effective stages of implementation. With supports from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s League of Innovative School Network, our stakeholders’ strategic activities for the school year include: the New England Association of Schools & Colleges self-study for accreditation; the mapping and assessment of an array of school and community initiatives utilizing the Center for Secondary School Reform DLSC Initiative Mapping Tool; cross school alignment of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment components focused on students’ mastery of 21st century skill; and staging/scaffolding the essential elements of student centered education.

The DLSC stakeholders truly believe that effective and expeditious transformation relies on authentic collaboration among members representing every facet of our school and community.