Providence teachers and students back for first day following Johns Hopkins report
By: Brittany Comak
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) - School is back in session for Providence teachers and students for what is expected to a momentous year, with the state soon taking over control from the district.
"We've had a tough summer," said Mayor Elorza Tuesday morning. But we're trying to keep it really positive."
Elorza of course referring to the district's attempts to rebound from a damaging report out by Johns Hopkins that indicated deep rooted issues in the city schools that have made it difficult for students to learn at grade level.
He says he's looking forward to the state's help.
"There's a lot of hope, a lot of conversations, people kind of see the direction that we're going in, however we're not there yet," said Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green.
Among the things that need work, the report found that teachers feel unsupported, and that the buildings are falling apart.
Officials say it will take decades for the buildings to get where they need to be.
"I don't feel comfortable with where we are just yet," said Infante-Green Tuesday. "But we need to keep moving the agenda forward."
The report also said that parents feel shut out of their child's education.
Tuesday some of them told ABC 6 that they are cautiously optimistic, and that they are fairly content with the state of their child's school building, after the mad rush to clean up the schools before the first day.
"I think the superintendent is doing her best," said Parent James Wali outside of Carnevale Elementary School. "I think she's trying. I think she knows the schools that need to be taken care of. I believe she can do it."
"Carnevale has always been respectful and very responsible when it come to all of their students," said Juan Fortez. "I look forward to the school year, my daughter does too."
Wednesday is the deadline for anyone to object to the state take over, though Elorza says he doesn't anticipate that happening.
Infante–Green says they will know more on where the takeover stands as of September 13, as she continues to narrow her search for a permanent superintendent.
She also says she plans to continue to have more public forums as the year goes on.