New CF schools head eyes im­prove­ments

In­terim su­per­in­ten­dent says dis­trict test scores need to im­prove

Pawtucket Times - - FRONT PAGE - By JONATHAN BISSONNETT­E jbis­son­[email protected]­tuck­et­

CEN­TRAL FALLS – In­terim Su­per­in­ten­dent Stephanie Downey Toledo may have only a month on the job lead­ing Cen­tral Falls’ schools, but she’s ap­proach­ing the up­com­ing school year with the fo­cus of a sea­soned pro­fes­sional, ready to show that Cen­tral Falls’ ed­u­ca­tion is on the up­swing.

“I am thrilled to have this op­por­tu­nity,” said Downey Toledo, who was named in­terim su­per­in­ten­dent in July. “I’ve been in Cen­tral Falls just over a year as Chief Aca­demic Of­fi­cer and I’m re­ally ex­cited to bring that work of think­ing about teach­ing and learn­ing dis­trict-wide into the role.”

Downey Toledo sup­planted for­mer School Su­per­in­ten­dent Vic­tor Capel­lan, who stepped down from the post in July to be­come a se­nior ad­viser to Rhode Is­land Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sioner Angélica In­fante-Green.

The dis­trict re­design kick-started by Capel­lan last year will con­tinue to evolve in the com­ing school year, Downey Toledo ex­plained, as she said “we’re think­ing about how do we cre­ate small learn­ing com­mu­ni­ties within each of our schools to pi­lot new and in­no­va­tive ideas.”

Among the pi­lot pro­grams in city schools in the com­ing year will in­clude a “new­comer academy” at Ella Risk El­e­men­tary School to pro­vide sup­ports to stu­dents who are new to the coun­try, pro­vid­ing English-lan­guage de­vel­op­ment while ad­just­ing them to the school and coun­try’s cul­ture. Mean­while, in class­rooms at Vet­er­ans Memo­rial El­e­men­tary School this year will be a “ver­ti­cal strand” that will of­fer a more “in­quiry-based ap­proach” for stu­dents in first through fourth grades.

“The work to do is com­plex, but the vi­sion is sim­ple,” Downey Toledo later said, not­ing that each child in Cen­tral Falls should have ac­cess to a three-, four-, or five-star school ac­cord­ing to the Rhode Is­land Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion’s School Re­port Card Plat­form; and should be sup­ported in English-lan­guage learn­ing, attendance, Rhode Is­land Com­pre­hen­sive As­sess­ment Sys­tem test­ing, and ul­ti­mately grad­u­at­ing.

Sub­mit­ted photo

In­terim Su­per­in­ten­dent Stephanie Downey Toledo re­cently took the helm as the head of Cen­tral Falls schools.

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