Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What BVP is Thankful For

We asked our families and scholars to share what they are thankful for this holiday season. 

Here is what a few of them said:
  • "We are very thankful for our close friends & family!! We are also thankful for family time together with loved ones!" -Rachel Arone, Elementary School 2 Parent
    • What her scholar said: "Isabella is thankful for her mommy & cuddling!" 
  • "I am thankful for the health of my three sons - their boundless energy drives me crazy, but is also a reminder that they are healthy and strong. I'm thankful that BVP continues to work hard to move the needle for kids and I'm extra thankful that my children get to go there and that I get to work there." -Erika Sanzi, Elementary School 1 Parent and BVP Staff Member
    • What her scholar, Matthew, said: "I am thankful for family because if I didn't have family, I wouldn't have anything and I wouldn't know what to do because I'm just a kid. Without family, I'd be sad and hungry."
  • "I am thankful that Mr. Chiappetta started this wonderful academy . I am also thankful that my boys are receiving the best education. We truly won the lottery!" -Nancy Estrada, Elementary School 1 Parent
    • What her scholars said: "Nikolas is thankful for wonderful teachers. Jordan is thankful that he can read on his own now."
  • "Doy gracias por mantener mi familia hermosa llena de bendiciones, salud, prosperidad y un amor tan fuerte que crece y crece todos los días..... gracias!" -Gretty Sarria, Elementary School 1 Parent
    • What her scholar, Daniela, said: "I am thankful for my family because they love me."
  • "I'm thankful for my family that always supports me." -Ana Leon, Elementary School 1 Parent
    • What her scholar, Michelle, said: "I'm thankful for my family because they support me when something is hard, and I'm also thankful for my school and my teachers because they help me learn knowledge to get to college."
    • What her scholar, Mia, said: "I'm thankful for my family because they support me, and I'm also thankful for my school, my teachers and my friends."
  • "This year we are thankful that we have so many family members joining us for thanksgiving dinner (20 people!!)" -Carla Bouthillette, Elementary School 2 Parent
    • What her scholar said: "Breanne said she is thankful that her family cares about her and her brother so much."
  • "I am thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful for sharing this holiday season with family. I am thankful for health and happiness every day of the year." -Kelly Foley, Elementary School 2 Parent
    • What her scholar said: "My daughter, Analyse, is thankful for her family, especially her mom, dad and brothers, who she loves very much."
    We at Blackstone Valley Prep are thankful for the support of our amazing community, families, scholars, and staff this holiday season and always! 

    Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

3 to 7... by 2017

Hannah Colestock, External Affairs Associate

My days at BVP are not spent in the classroom, although I treasure the moments I have the opportunity to see firsthand how incredible our teachers and scholars truly are.  It is those moments that reinforce the importance of the work I do on a daily basis-- as an External Affairs Associate on the Network team-- to ensure the quality of the talent we recruit and select to join our team.  BVP recognizes that a highly effective teacher is the single most important factor in a child’s academic success. Furthermore, we believe that great teaching is intellectually challenging, and a student’s success is dependent on an educator’s ability to build genuine and lasting interpersonal relationships with their scholars. Recruiting even more highly effective team members in all facets of the organization is one of the most important and invigorating challenges we have to growing our network from three to seven schools by 2017

For the 2014-15 school year alone we will hire an estimated 38 new team members across the BVP network.  On bad days the task can feel daunting. On good days the work is invigorating and, no matter the day, there’s no place I would rather be working.  In the next 7 months I will learn the stories of over 1,000 applicants who are interested in working at BVP.  For those that advance in our process, our team will spend over 10,000 minutes on the phone interviewing candidates.  Prospective applicants will also spend time on-site attending recruitment events throughout the winter and spring. In fact, this process will kick-off today as we host our very first event for prospective Founding High School Team Members.  Later in the recruitment season, as candidates advance in our selection process, we will open our classroom doors for candidates to teach sample lessons in front of their future scholars.

Just last week we were reminded just how amazing our teachers are when our Middle School was visited by some very special guests.  Governor Chafee, Commissioner Gist, and Board Chair Mancuso are just  a few of the Rhode Island leaders that filled our Middle School for what we quickly learned was a surprise announcement to award Founding Middle School Math Teacher and Dean of Academics, Marielle Emet, with the incredibly prestigious Milken Educator Award.  We are so proud of the work that our team does everyday.

If you are just as energized as we are to join a movement of educators that are working every day to show what IS possible, please go to our career portal or reach out to me directly at to learn more about the 2014-15 opportunities at BVP and mark your calendar for our next recruitment event on December 18!  

Monday, November 4, 2013

High School Updates: Thoughts from BVP High School Designer Jonathan Santos Silva

A rigorous high school experience is the bridge between a great middle school and true college and career success. That is why we are working with national and international educators, successful school founders, and your child(ren)’s teachers to design a truly world-class Blackstone Valley Prep High School. As we engage in this work, I am sure that you have many questions about the high school and how it will look, sound, and feel. 

Included below are thoughts on several school topics about which you may be wondering. It is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully it will answer some of your big questions. I also hope to gather your thoughts to make sure that we understand your needs. Please take the time to fill out this short survey by November 8th, so we can design a truly world-class high school. All in for Day 1!

Please click here for the survey in English.
Please click here for the survey in Spanish.

Academics: The curriculum at BVP High School is being aligned to the Common Core standards and designed to prepare students for success in college and careers. Teachers will employ a variety of instructional strategies including Socratic seminars, extended research projects, and design thinking to develop students’ abilities to think critically, work collaboratively, and solve real-world problems. We will offer Advanced Placement and pre-AP courses.

Activities/Athletics: BVP High School will encourage scholars to pursue academic, athletic, artistic, and personal growth so that they will experience success in colleges and universities. We will field teams with the RI Interscholastic League and, when that is not possible due to our scale, we are exploring the logistics of partnering with home-districts. We are also exploring exciting and engaging activities such as chess, debate, mock trial, and journalism. 

Behavior System/Culture: Our culture will be founded upon the PRIDE values, maintaining high academic and behavioral expectations while giving students opportunities to take risks and learn from mistakes in a supportive environment. The disciplinary program at BVP High School will incorporate a faculty-advised, student-led disciplinary board and evolve from the Middle School’s merit/demerit system to prepare students for the real world.

Dress: The high school will continue the BVP tradition of scholar uniforms and gradually release students into a professional dress code as juniors or seniors. In creating the dress code, we will be mindful of age-appropriateness and affordability. 

Grading: The grading system will blend the instructional benefits of a standards-based approach with a traditional format (letter grades and GPA) that is easily understood and commonly utilized by colleges and universities for admissions decisions.

Length of Day: We are creating a schedule that will allow for academic time to be followed by clubs and athletics, all within the school day. Our initial plan is for the academic day to last from 8am-2:45pm. From 2:45-4:45pm, every scholar is expected to participate in one of the following activities: interscholastic athletics, school-sponsored activities, faculty office hours (tutoring), online coursework, or early release for a school-approved outside activity (internship, job, etc.). 

Technology: BVP High School will leverage instructional technology to personalize aspects of the curriculum and supplement classroom learning experiences. We will adopt a 1:1 device model, meaning every scholar will have a laptop (subject to fundraising).