Providence students welcomed back on the first day of school

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Wednesday marked the first day back for Providence Public Schools.

Students from all grades returned for the start of the 2023-2024 school year.

At Nathanael Green Middle School, students from Providence College were at the door to welcome students.

The middle school also revealed a brand new state-of-the-art library and media center for students to use this year.

Providence College students greet students at Nathanael Green Middle School on the first day back to class, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023. (WLNE)

Gov. Dan McKee, Mayor Smiley, Superintendent Javier Montañez, and School Board President Erin Rogel helped to welcome students off the buses and expressed their excitement for the start of a new year.

“This is for the students, the workers, everyone involved in the education of our students. This is exciting,” Montañez said.

Each student also received an attendance calendar to help track their school year. Improving attendance across the district this year is a key goal, the superintendent said, with a goal of 90% attendance for all students.

“Making sure that if we want anything to change it changes with attendance,” Montañez said. “Attendance is so important to us and we want to make sure they’re here every day.”

It’s an all-hands-on-deck approach across the district that also includes the newly implemented Learn 365 RI initiative put forth by McKee earlier this year, which includes federal funding to improve student outcomes in hopes of reaching Massachusetts level of learning by 2030.

“Bringing in the municipal leaders to create these learning centers across Rhode Island to provide this extra learning time and collaboration with everyone that wants to do well is going to be a key for us right now and in the future,” McKee said.

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority also helped high school students navigate the bus schedule on the first day and will continue to for the rest of the week.

RIPTA outreach staff were at Kennedy Plaza starting at 7 a.m. and some high schools in the afternoon.

To make the transition easier, students will not be required to present their Wave smart cards to the drivers until Sept. 30.

Students of all but two Providence schools returned to the classroom on Wednesday.

The first day for students of Frank D. Spaziano and William D’Abate elementary schools was delayed until Monday due to construction.

Categories: News