Kathryn Crowley – East Providence School District
1. What’s the number one thing parents and students should know about this district this year?
The number one thing parents and students should know about the East Providence School district this year is that the district has broken ground and begun the building of a new high school. In the fall of 2021, the district will open the doors to a comprehensive state of the art high school that will provide 21st-century educational opportunities for its secondary students as well as offering access to services for members of the East Providence community.
2. What is the biggest challenge your district faces?
The biggest challenge the district faces is addressing the social-emotional needs of students. Advances in neuroscience over the last decade have increased our understanding about the importance of social-emotional learning and the negative effects of trauma, toxic stress, and poor social-emotional development on health and learning. While it is a challenge to embrace social-emotional learning and to educate and empower our staff and community, it is also an amazing opportunity that East Providence boldly accepts.
3. What is the vaccination rate for your district and what is your policy for opting out? Have you seen a spike or decline in the number of parents opting out over the last two years?
East Providence’s vaccination rate is above the statewide percentage rate for certain vaccines for school entry to kindergarten and grades 7, 8, 9, and 12.
The district follows the Rhode Island Department of Health’s rules and regulations pertaining to exemptions from the immunization requirements. To be exempt or opt-out, the district requires that it is provided with the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Medical Immunization Exemption Certificate, signed by a licensed medical practitioner, attesting the student is exempt because of medical reasons or the district requires the Rhode Island Department of Health’s “Religious Immunization Exemption Certificate,” signed by a parent/guardian, attesting that immunization conflicts with the tenets of their religious beliefs.
There has not been a spike or decline in the number of parents opting out over the last two years, numbers have remained flat.
4. Some school districts in the state are banning electronic devices/cell phones. What is your current policy? Do you have plans to also ban electronic devices? If so, why?
Cell phone usage is not allowed during school hours.
5. Tell us something nobody knows about your district.
The district has begun a system-wide initiative focused on cultural competency and equity.
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