STATE HOUSE – The Senate today passed a bill, sponsored by Sen. Dawn Euer, to protect consumers from duplicitous practices common in many auto-renewing subscriptions. “This has happened to all […]
City & Government
A look at What’s Up in city and government in Newport, Rhode Island, and beyond.
Governor McKee issues proclamation celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month
Governor Dan McKee today issued a proclamation designating June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. “Rhode Island stands with the LGBTQ+ community this month and every month. In June, we take the […]
Rhode Island launches Online Medical Marijuana Card Registration System
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH)’s new, user-friendly online registration system is now available for medical marijuana patients and authorized purchasers in Rhode Island. The prior system was entirely paper-based.
The web-based portal will shorten processing time and eliminate the need to fill out and mail paper documents.
The new system, known as the Rhode Island Cannabis Licensing Portal (see link below), lets existing card holders renew registrations, update personal information, and make necessary changes to their existing registration cards. New patients applying for a medical marijuana registration card will now apply through the Cannabis Licensing Portal as well. The RIDOH Cannabis Licensing Portal User Guide has step-by-step directions on how to use the online portal (see link below).
RIDOH’s Medical Marijuana Program accepts, reviews, and approves patients and authorized purchaser applications and renewals. The portal may also be used by caregivers who have been selected by a card holding patient and approved by the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (DBR) to obtain their own marijuana registration card. Caregivers should visit the DBR Office of Cannabis Regulation for further information regarding their registration.
RIDOH will stop mailing registration reminders and renewal forms in the coming months. It is very important that patients create an account in the portal to be sure they get important messages and updates from RIDOH, including renewal reminders 60 days before the expiration date.
Participants whose registrations will expire in the next 14 days should call RIDOH’s Medical Marijuana Program at 401-222-3752. Other questions should be emailed to email@example.com.
RIDOH approves or denies new applications and renewals within 35 days of receiving applications and all required documents. As a courtesy, RIDOH will email a renewal reminder 60 days prior to the expiration date on a patient’s card if the patient has an email on file with RIDOH.
DEM urges the public not to remove fawns and other baby animals from the wild
PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is again cautioning the public not to assume that finding a baby animal means it needs to be rescued. A fawn (baby deer) lying on the ground hidden in grass or brush should not be considered abandoned – it should be left alone by people and pets because moving or handling it may permanently separate it from its mother and jeopardize its life.
White-tailed deer give birth to fawns in May and June. Each year, DEM receives many calls about fawns mistaken to have been abandoned by their mother. This is almost never the case.
“In nature, the mother deer gives birth and for the next five to seven days, the fawn is incapable of following the mother, so it is natural for the fawn to lie in a curled ‘freeze’ position on the ground hidden in grass or sparse brush,” said DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife Biologist Dylan Ferreira. “Sometimes, however, well-intentioned people will assume the fawn is abandoned and take it home to ‘save’ it from predators or domestic animals. In fact, the doe will often be nearby out of sight and will only come to the fawn a few times during the day or after dark to feed it. If you see a fawn in this condition, please leave it alone. The mother will return to feed and care for it.”
After seven to 10 days, the fawn may run when approached and after a month will be able to follow and feed alongside the mother. Interference by people handling and taking fawns from the wild during this process can often doom young deer. If there is no dead doe found nearby or on the road, the fawn is not considered abandoned. To learn more about white-tailed deer in Rhode Island, see the wildlife factsheet here.
If you should find a fawn, the best thing to do is immediately leave the area and avoid creating any disturbance near it. “Fawns should not be handled – and counterintuitive as it may seem – do not need your help. Fawns are well camouflaged and have very little scent, which helps protect them from predators,” explained Ferreira.
Fawns also lie motionless when approached by a predator, a behavioral adaptation to help them survive. The doe-fawn bond is very strong. If you perceive a fawn to be in immediate danger – for example, lying in the middle of a road – first check your surroundings and monitor the scenario from a safe distance. The fawn may move on its own, once you, who the fawn may perceive as a predator, back away from them. If the fawn remains in an unsafe area, please call DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement 24-hour dispatch at 401-222-3070 for further guidance.
Rarely, a fawn may approach people or pets. If this occurs, DEM advises the public to immediately leave the area. Do not wait to see if the doe returns as she will avoid the area until the disturbance passes. She will return to search and care for the missing fawn once the area is clear of people and pets.
Fawns cannot be kept as pets and removing a deer from the wild and keeping it in captivity – however well-intentioned – is illegal in Rhode Island. Wild deer often do poorly in captivity, suffering malnutrition and behavioral changes as they become accustomed to humans. Captive deer also can pose health risks or may become dangerous to people or domestic animals as they mature. Tame deer raised in captivity have trouble returning to the wild as a free-roaming creature as nature intended. Any fawn obviously injured by a pet, vehicle, or farm equipment should be reported directly to the Wildlife Clinic of Rhode Island at 401-294-6363.
For more information on when it’s appropriate to assist young wildlife and a recording of the Division of Fish and Wildlife outreach program, visit DEM’s YouTube channel. For more information on DEM programs and services, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), Facebook, or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem and @ri.fishandwildlife) for timely updates.
Governor McKee issues Official Writ of Election for First Congressional District Seat
PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee today issued an official writ of election declaring a special election for Rhode Island’s first congressional district seat vacated by Congressman David Cicilline.
“I want to thank Congressman Cicilline for his 12 years of dedication and service representing the people of Rhode Island in Washington, D.C. His hard work will leave a legacy that Rhode Islanders can be proud of,” said Governor Dan McKee. “I hope all Rhode Islanders in the first congressional district use their voice to help elect their next representative.”
In accordance with federal and state law, Governor McKee issued the writ of election after receiving Congressman Cicilline’s letter of resignation. The Congressman’s resignation was effective at the close of the legislative day of May 31, 2023.
As previously announced by the Governor and as outlined in the writ, the Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 and the Special Election will be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.
Trump and DeSantis jab at each other on campaign trail in 1st dueling appearances as 2024 candidates
By MICHELLE L. PRICE, STEVE PEOPLES and THOMAS BEAUMONT Associated Press GRIMES, Iowa (AP) — Former President Donald Trump kept up a steady drumbeat of criticism of his chief rival Ron DeSantis on Thursday, […]
Op-Ed: It’s time to end childhood lead poisoning
Every day, on average, at least one child in Rhode Island is lead poisoned.Let that sink in. That’s at least one child at risk for developmental delays, reductions in IQ, […]
RIPEC analyzes Governor McKee’s FY 2024 Budget and the State’s Fiscal Outlook
The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC) released a report today analyzing Governor Daniel J. McKee’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget, revisions to the FY 2023 budget, and the […]
Senate passes Ujifusa bill to protect patients’ pharmacy options
STATE HOUSE – The Senate today passed a bill sponsored by Sen. Linda Ujifusa that protects patients from an insurance scheme called “white bagging” that interferes with how prescribed drugs […]
Senate passes Euer bill to ensure contraceptive coverage
The Senate today passed a bill sponsored by Senator Dawn Euer that would ensure contraception remains covered in Rhode Island, even if the coverage requirements in the Affordable Care Act […]
Rhode Island Department of Education releases 2023 SurveyWorks results
PROVIDENCE, RI — Governor Dan McKee, Lt. Governor Sabina Matos, Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, and Providence Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez today joined PPSD administrators, educators, students, and families at Sgt. Cornel Young, Jr. & Charlotte Woods Elementary School in Providence to release the results of RIDE’s 2023 administration of SurveyWorks [click.icptrack.com], the annual statewide school culture survey. The yearly survey provides valuable insight into what is working for Rhode Island students, and challenges that can be addressed in the education system.
This year’s survey showed the highest response rates ever from three key audiences: administrators, educators, and families, while the student response rate returned to pre-pandemic levels after declining in 2021 and 2022. The total response count was 122,672 across the state.
“Rhode Island’s outstanding participation in SurveyWorks demonstrates our shared commitment to shaping a brighter future for our children. As we dive into this important data, my administration remains committed to ensuring that Rhode Island’s education system meets the needs of all learners,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Thank you to all educators, students, and families who participated in SurveyWorks. We look forward to your continued collaboration and engagement as we work to improve student outcomes and expand opportunities for students across Rhode Island.”
“SurveyWorks provides a platform for students to share their thoughts and experiences, allowing educators to better understand their needs, challenges, and aspirations. We are pleased to see such strong survey engagement within Providence,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. “I encourage Rhode Islanders to examine the results, and together, we will build a stronger, more equitable educational system that prepares every learner for success.”
Statewide, RIDE saw Hispanic or Latino and Black or African American above average response rates among educators and families across almost all survey topics. For example, family engagement was up 10 percentage points from 2022 at 25 percent, and the highest it has been even before the pandemic. The highest rates of favorability for family engagement questions came from Hispanic or Latino and Black or African American families.
“On behalf of the Council, I am grateful for the dedication and passion exhibited by our educators, students, and families,” said Chair of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education Patti DiCenso. “Your voices matter, and your valuable feedback is instrumental in helping us understand the current landscape of our schools and identifying areas of improvement.”
“Engaging with our school communities is paramount to what we do here at RIDE. With our annual SurveyWorks, we are able to take a look inside classroom environments statewide and see what is working for students and what’s not,” said Commissioner Infante-Green. “I am thrilled to see that we had large gains in engagement across the board, and that we are on track to recovering from the learning loss experienced during the pandemic. This data is critical for improving educational outcomes for our students, staff and families. There’s still much to build on, but these statistics show that we are moving in the right direction. I thank all Rhode Islanders for participating in this survey and making sure their voice was heard.”
Other highlights include:
When asked what is working for their children in the classroom, the most common response from families was social-emotional learning.
Grades 6 through 12 had a 12-percentage point increase in discussing college and careers and using Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) in the classroom, with 65 percent of students responding favorably.
ILP usefulness for students increased by 9 points, up to 33 percent.
When asked what is working for students, their largest response was hands-on learning and activities. This comes as RIDE recently revised the state Secondary Regulations, which will incorporate more real-world relevant learning experiences for students through career and technical education (CTE) and increased flexibility with coursework choices.
In addition to statewide gains, Providence demonstrated strong improvement in several key areas of the survey. For example, students in grades 3 through 5 responded 64% favorably to supplemental questions regarding learning goals, strategies and explanations – up 16 points from 2022. Additionally, students grade 6 through 12 had gains in ILP usefulness, up 11 points from 2022.
Providence also had a higher rate of family engagement than the rest of the state, with favorability coming in at 30 percent in comparison to the state average of 25 percent. Within these results, the district saw a 13-point increase in families attending school events at their child’s school.
Teachers also had positive feedback regarding high quality instructional materials (HQIM) in the district, and for leadership of their schools as well. Implementation of HQIM saw up 7 points from 2022, and leadership responsiveness was up 9 points from last year.
“I am so proud of all the hard work our Providence community has put in to improve student outcomes in our schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez. “Their hard work is paying off. Our educators and families play a major role in how our students succeed in the classroom and beyond. I commend them for working tirelessly to ensure all Providence kids, regardless of their background, are prepared for school and life today and in the future.”
Two Providence schools performed exceptionally well in their SurveyWorks results: The Sgt. Cornel Young, Jr. & Charlotte Woods Elementary School, and 360 High School. For Young Woods, engagement and School Rigorous Expectations favorability was the highest it has been among students School leadership favorability reached 91 percent, which is the school’s highest among educators, and families had a 17-point increase in engagement.
360 High School saw a nine-point increase in family engagement overall, with an 11-point increase in families attending events at the school. Family engagement at 360 is the highest it has been even before the pandemic.
Pawtucket also had two schools who had significant increases in favorability rates. Francis J. Varieur Elementary School saw a 16-point increase in school belonging from spring 2022, with 71 percent of students saying their peers understand them as a person and 67 percent saying they matter to others at the school.
Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing & Visual Arts had impressive teaching efficacy gains since spring 2022. One of the highest increases was seen in social-emotional learning (SEL), where there was a 26-point increase, putting SEL favorability at 86 percent – the highest it has ever been, including pre-pandemic.
In addition to viewing results, educators in each local education agency (LEA) can access the free tool Playbook [click.icptrack.com], which allows them to craft lesson plans based on their school results designed and reviewed by educators across the country based on Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) tiers.?In the coming days, all educators will receive an email inviting them to create an account for Playbook.
To view the complete 2023 SurveyWorks results for the state, your district, or your school, please visit our SurveyWorks Resource Center on our website. To raise awareness about our annual survey and to join the conversation, use the hashtag #SurveyWorks on social media.
How gas prices have changed in Rhode Island in the last week
Memorial Day Weekend is upon us and gas prices are inching a bit higher this week in reaction to an increase in demand as Americans hit the road. Even the […]
Governor McKee directs flags to fly at half-staff in honor of Memorial Day
Governor Dan McKee is directing U.S. and Rhode Island flags at all state agencies and buildings to be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon on Monday, May 29, in […]
This Week at the Rhode Island General Assembly: Legislators address the housing crisis and pass key bills
Rhode Island’s General Assembly made significant strides this week as legislators tackled pressing issues, including the housing crisis, healthcare accessibility, climate change planning, coastal development, special education, driving safety, and […]
Op-Ed: Our foster kids are still falling behind and no one cares
In 2021, I introduced a new law which directed superintendents to create an annual report on the academic progress of children in foster care. The legislation was signed into law […]
House passes Chairman Abney’s bill to increase affordable housing units
The House of Representatives today passed legislation (2023-H 6058A) sponsored by Rep. Marvin L. Abney, Chairman of the House Finance Committee, which would increase the percentage set aside for affordable […]
House OKs bill allowing low-speed vehicles on RI roads
STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives today approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Terri Cortvriend to establish rules of the road for low-speed vehicles. Low-speed vehicles, particularly electric models, are […]
Free “Hop-On Hop-Off” RIPTA service returns to Newport this summer
With summer just around the corner, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority announced today the return of the popular free “Hop-On Hop-Off” bus service promotion in Newport beginning Friday, May […]
City of Newport is launching a new seasonal Park Ranger program
The City of Newport today announced it is set to launch a new seasonal Park Ranger program this summer to provide visitors to the City’s network of public parks a […]
Op-Ed: Ranked Choice Voting Strengthens Democracy
The 2024 presidential primaries are underway, and eight Republicans have already jumped into the contest. That number will likely grow – 29 Democrats ran for president in 2020, and 17 Republicans in […]
DEM announces the opening of 515-acre shellfishing area in Mount Hope Bay along with seasonal area closures
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is announcing that with its latest water quality tests earlier this month confirming a year-over-year trend of improvement, it is opening a […]
Rhode Island attorney general sues manufacturers of ‘forever chemicals’
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha filed a lawsuit Thursday against the manufacturers of so-called “forever chemicals,” commonly referred to as PFAS, saying they have caused […]
Op Ed: Pharmacists can help make birth control more accessible in Rhode Island
We have made significant strides in recent years in reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies. Since 1983, the rate of unplanned pregnancy in the United States has dropped by around 40 percent. The […]
City of Newport looking for donations for Annual Fireworks Fund
The City of Newport is gearing up for its annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration and is once again turning to the community to help light up Newport Harbor. “Every […]
Newport School Superintendent provides weekly community update
Newport School Superintendent Colleen Burns Jermain provided the following weekly community update for parents, teachers, and the community on May 24, 2023.