Rhode Island

Leaning In on DACA, Learning Spanish, Breaking Records and my Favorite Story of the Week

#1 Leaning in on DACA


A group of Rhode Island school leaders from both charters and traditional districts are leaning in and raising their voices in support of all children, all students, regardless of their immigration status.

Among calls about bus schedules and school vacation dates are calls about immigration. Current events have shaken many in the communities we serve to their core. Every day, we worry about the fear our students have for their loved ones, friends, neighbors, and themselves. From our experience, we know, that regardless of difference, whether it be economic status, race, or anything else that makes a child unique, that every student deserves a high-quality education. Every child – even if the thing that makes them unique is their immigration status.

Our schools are home to the workforce of tomorrow. One with a legacy rich with cultural diversity. DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy) has given new meaning to the American Dream. Right now, DREAMers have come under attack. Our young people, many of whom came here as infants or small children and have only ever known America as their home, could face immediate deportation. Our students – future doctors, scientists, teachers, leaders, and innovators – are facing a future where they could be separated from their parents, not knowing whether they will ever be reunited. A future where they could be forced to leave their college and career dreams behind. A future of complete uncertainty.

I applaud these school leaders for cutting through the noisy rhetoric and standing up for students and families who feel shaken, uncertain, and in many cases, under attack.

Here’s a list of the school leaders who authored the piece:

Victor Capellan, Superintendent, Central Falls, Jeremy Chiappetta, Executive Director, Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy, Angelo Garcia, Founder/Head of School, Segue Institute for Learning, Julie Nora, Director, International Charter School,Carolyn Sheehan & Kyleen Carpenter, Executive Director and Head of School, Blackstone Academy Charter School, Toby Shepherd, Executive Director, Nowell Leadership Academy

To read more at GoLocal Prov, click here.

#2 Meeting Parents (and Students!) Where They Are in Central Falls


The Pawtucket Times has an exciting piece about Central Falls District Administrators heading back to class in an effort to break down language barriers and better serve their families.

A group of Central Falls School District administrators, which includes principals and central office staff, have already signed up to participate in the weekly after-school Spanish lessons. The goal of the class, school officials say, is for administrators to learn basic Spanish, which they will then be able to use when communicating with the families of their students, many of whom speak only Spanish.

According to statistics provided by the district, Central Falls’ student population is 65 percent Hispanic, 15 percent African-American, and 13 percent white. A Spanish teacher was contracted by the district to offer the specialized class to focus on Spanish lessons that can be used daily in the city’s elementary, middle, and high schools.

Troy Silvia, principal at Central Falls High School, expressed interest in learning a second language, which he and other school officials believe will aid in closing the existing language gap.

“I want to learn Spanish to reach my students and their families in their native language,” Silvia said. “I think is important to communicate directly with the parents and also it is a personal goal I’ve had for many years.”

School Superintendent Victor Capellan said the impetus for the program was when Silvia and Ella Risk Elementary School principal Michael Templeton came to him, saying they had always wanted to learn Spanish so they could directly communicate with students’ parents.

Click here to read more.

#3 New State Record in the 300 Meter Dash and 1st place in the 4 x 200 Relay


Central High School’s track team continues wow with another big win, this time at the New England Interscholastic Indoor Track and Field Championships. Not only did Central take first place in the 4 x 200 relay with a time of 1:29.62 but senior Cyriaque Donatien Djero broke the Rhode Island state record in the 300 meter dash with a time of 34.48.

Just the week before, Central’s team broke the state record for the 4 x 400 meter relay. That team is comprised of Donatien Djero, Austin Wolo, Dametrius O’Connor and Chris Kolie. Their time of 3:21.87 put them in twelfth place nationally.  The first place relay team from this past weekend at the Reggie Lewis Center is comprised of Donatien Djero, Jones Mallay, Dametrius O’Connor, and Austin Wolo. All four young men are Seniors.

Way to Go Knights! You are making Rhode Island proud.



And my favorite story of the week…

Two little boys thought it would be so funny to get the same haircut so that their teacher wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. If only we adults could find the courage and wisdom to follow their lead.

Meet Jax and Reddy!

Jax on left, Reddy on right. (Photo credit: Debbie Weldon/AP)

Here’s what Jax’s mom wrote on her Facebook page:

This morning Jax and I were discussing his wild hair. I told him that he needed a haircut this weekend. He said that he wanted his head shaved really short so he could look like his friend Reddy. He said he couldn’t wait to go to school on Monday with his hair like Reddy’s so that his teacher wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. He thought it would be so hilarious to confuse his teacher with the same haircut.

Here’s a picture of Jax and Reddy from their Christmas program. I’m sure you all see the resemblance.

If this isn’t proof that hate and prejudice is something that is taught I don’t know what is. The only difference Jax sees in the two of them is their hair.

So glad this Mom decided to share this story with all of us.

To read the full story at the Philly Voice, click here.

Have a great day everyone!







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