Students and teachers from Providence's Academy for Career Exploration marched as part of a rally to save their high school, at risk of being shut down by the state.
The fight comes on the heels of a recommendation from Education Commissioner Deborah Gist. The head of the school wants more time to improve, but Gist says there is nothing in place that makes her believe it will change.
Devantee Briggs remembers what it was like before his teachers helped him go from the back of the class to the honor roll.
"I didn't know what to do. I was always in the class stuck," Briggs said. "And now I'm here today after all of the struggles I've been through.
It is a chance Briggs wants others at the Academy for Career Exploration to have, which is why he marched with a group all the way to the Department of Education to save it.
Education Commissioner Deborah Gist wants to close down the high school because of low math scores and leadership problems. Of the 60 juniors that attend the school, zero tested proficient in math this year.
"We agree with it. We agree that we need to do better," Head of School Lawrence DeSalvatore said. "But there are so many things that we do well, it would make no sense for it to close."
It is a case they were hoping to make by showing up to a meeting of the Board of Regents, who will ultimately decide the Academy's fate. On Thursday, the discussion was postponed and a public hearing was scheduled sometime in July.
"We're being given an opportunity to present our case. It's not over," DeSalvatore said.
Commissioner Gist says the effort to improve the school should have come a lot sooner.
"The intervening and the tutoring and the extra sessions to get students where they need to be, those are not things we found in place," Gist said.
If the Board of Regents votes to shut down the school, it would close at the end of the next school year.