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6/20/2016 General Assembly passes bills that enable Providence and Central Falls to form alternative high school
STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly has passed legislation (2016-H 8113 / 2016-S 2867 SubA) that enables the cities of Providence and Central Falls to create an alternative academy for students having difficulty in traditional public school.  The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jean Philippe Barros and Sen. Juan M. Pichardo, now heads to Governor Raimondo’s desk for action.

“I believe every child in Rhode Island deserves a quality education that sets them up for success later in life.  That being said, it has to also be recognized that some kids desperately want to do well in school but are unable to function adequately in traditional school settings.  These children should not be left behind and this legislation hopefully will allow those children who are in need of a different model of education to thrive,” said Representative Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket).

“There are many students at risk for failure who need the extra help that YouthBuild Academies can give them,” said Senator Pichardo (D-Dist. 2, Providence). “These schools give a special focus on the diverse needs of urban students, creating an environment for individual growth, and cultivating social and emotional development.”

The legislation authorizes and empowers the school committees of Providence and Central Falls to initiate and implement cooperative efforts to provide an alternative, diploma-granting secondary educational program that would be known as the YouthBuild Preparatory Academy for their respective resident students aged 14 to 21 who are achieving limited success in traditional school settings.

The purpose of the academy would be to provide an alternative learning environment for disconnected and at-risk students who desire to complete their academic careers in a setting that offers comprehensive support services, accelerated academic curriculums, leadership development, and life skills that will enable them to become resilient and self-sufficient adults.
Students attending the academy would do so on a full-time basis and the costs of their educations at the academy would be shared by the state and the district of the student’s residence.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903