NEARI's position as a leader in Rhode Island public education puts the priorities of educators like you at the forefront of activities such as Board of Education meetings, State House lobbying, and local association visits, called Listening Tours. Across the state, NEARI leaders belong to a myriad of committees and commissions determining education and public policy.
NEARI President Larry Purtill serves on the RI Board of Education and the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, a subcommittee. Currently, he reports, the Board is continuing discussions around the new 2015-2020 Strategic Plan for Public Education passed in October.
This document includes the six overarching goals for public education in Rhode Island drafted by the Board; a five-year strategic plan for Elementary, Secondary, and Adult Education that was adopted by the Council on Elementary & Secondary Education on August 24, 2015; a five-year plan for Post-secondary Education that was adopted by the Council on Post-secondary Education on October 14, 2015; and a five-year plan for significant work toward shared objectives.
Under the auspices of the Board, there is also a committee of superintendents, principals, RIDE officials, RIFT and NEARI leaders, and classroom teachers studying ways to improve the teacher evaluation system. NEA Tiverton President Amy Mullin serves as NEARI's representative on the governor's commission to study the school funding formula. A Senate committee is studying the concept of a statewide contract.
Newport teacher and former RI Teacher of the Year Barbara Walton-Faria chairs the RI Teacher Advisory Council, which includes representatives from every district and serves in an advisory capacity to the RI Board of Education. The Council is aligning its work with the strategic plan recently approved by the BOE - working on a statewide professional development plan, identifying key points in improving teacher preparation and mentoring/induction, and discussing how to improve collaboration between our public charter and public schools.
New! Listening Tours
NEARI staff members and leaders who attended the Northeast Organizing Institute this past August determined that local members might benefit from a NEARI "Listening Tour" - a day that President Larry Purtill and Executive Director Bob Walsh would spend with members in their workplaces, discussing issues and experiencing their workdays. The first Listening Tour was conducted in Chariho December 10, and included a meeting with the district superintendent, and 10-minute meetings with teachers and ESP within each school. The day culminated with a social event and "Ask the President" session. Contact your local president if you would be interested in such a program in your district.
Tracy Lafreniere is your Teacher of the Year
Honored last June by the RI Department of Education, North Smithfield reading specialist Tracy Lafreniere says about reading, "If it doesn't begin here you can't get anywhere else. No one stands alone in education." Read more about Tracy.
The Whole Child Approach to education is the focus of What Works!, a series of professional development workshops planned by the Learning First Alliance/Rhode Island (LFA/RI). Beginning in February, 90-minute sessions will be offered around the state. Here's information and registration material.