Conversations about how schools affected our lives, and how do they affect our community finished last night at the Boys & Girls Club of Newport County and at the Claiborne Pell Elementary School.  The second community conversations around the topic, “What do we want our graduates to know and be able to do?” begin tomorrow, with a morning session at 10:00 a.m. – Noon scheduled for Newport Public Library and an evening session scheduled from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Florence Gray Center. The schedule continues on Thursday evening 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the St. Joseph’s Church Rectory and session two will conclude next Monday evening at the Boys and Girls Club of Newport and the Claiborne Pell Elementary School.

Led by local facilitators consisting of parents, students, educators, and community members from the Students & Partners Acting Collaboratively for Educational Success (SPACES) committee who have undergone community conversation training led by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation trainers, the groups will meet for three consecutive weeks, in five different locations around town, to discuss the following topics;

2. What do we want our graduates to know and be able to do?

3. How can we embrace racial and ethnic diversity?

4. Making a difference – What can we do in our community?

These community conversations are being held to include a wide-range of community stakeholders in open and frank discussions about Newport Public Schools, with the following goals:

  1.       Improving parent/guardian and family engagement, empowerment, and voice;
  2.       Improve communications within and among the school community, the district, and the wider Newport Community;
  3.       Create a shared understanding and improve the implementation of student-centered learning across the Newport School community;
  4.       Increase student and staff voice to participate in decision making;
  5.       Increase climate and culture within the Newport Public Schools community.

Locations and Dates:

Boys & Girls Club, 95 Church Street – Monday, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  11/6, 11/13 & 11/20

Pell School, 35 Dexter Street – Monday, 6:00-8:00 p.m. 11/6, 11/13 & 11/20

Florence Gray Center. 1 Shimoda Way – Wednesday, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. 11/1, 11/8 & 11/15

Newport Public Library, 300 Spring Street – Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. – Noon 11/1, 11/8 & 11/15

St. Joseph’s Church Rectory, 5 Mann Avenue – Thursday, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. 11/2, 11/9 & 11/16

If childcare and/or transportation is needed, please contact Cathy Nash at (401) 619-5376 or Marcin Rembisz at (401) 619-5384 two days prior to the meeting date.   Light refreshments prepared by the students of the Newport Area Career and Technical Center, will be provided.  These conversations are open to all member of the public.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.