Rhode Island · School Talk

They May Live in the Poorest City in the State But #YesTheyCan

It’s always inspiring, not to mention remarkable, when students defy the odds and succeed despite the naysayers. Central Falls, Rhode Island is a poor community where 65 percent of its residents are Latino and it bears the nickname “The Comeback City” for good reason and one local charter school is a big part of that.

From Channel 10: 

A charter school in Central Falls is defying the odds despite being in the poorest district in Rhode Island.

Students of color at The Learning Community tested better than white students in Rhode Island on the PARCC Assessment.

“Our students actually outperformed more than half of the suburban districts in Rhode Island, including a school in East Greenwich, a school in South Kingstown,” Sarah Friedman, who is the co-director of The Learning Community, said.

While so many spend their days trying to prove that poverty is destiny and schools are powerless to change that, staff at the Learning Community are busy proving them wrong. And they work very hard to make that happen, including by investing a great deal of time in connecting personally with parents.

Whenever the school holds a family event, each family receives a personal call from the school — not an automated call. With 575 students, that’s a lot of calls.

When a school that is 27 percent English Language Learners and serves low income children outperforms the state’s most affluent (and overwhelmingly white) districts, it’s reason to celebrate. And replicate. And luckily, the school makes that possible with the professional development offerings at their Teaching Studio. 

So bravo to the Learning Community —students, staff and parents—for proving what is possible for the Comeback City’s kids.

What do you think?

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