Friday, March 25, 2016

A Win for Equitable Education

       At BVP, we believe that all scholars can achieve. But, while the aspirations of students throughout Rhode Island are high, opportunity can be harder to come by. Thanks to the new Advanced Course Network, the students of Rhode Island are getting greater access to the kinds of coursework that will prepare them for college and work in whatever field their aspirations lie.

       The program, pushed forward by the Rhode Island Department of Education, is a statewide initiative that will provide thousands of students with advanced courses, many at college level. Partnerships between private and public colleges, community partners, and among high schools throughout the state will make courses available online and in-person. For the first time, hurdles such as the size of schools, facilities, and resources available within a community will be removed. Opportunities that were available in the past based on zip code or a family’s ability to pay for extra enrichments will be open to all. Thanks to the Advanced Coursework Network, Rhode Island is one step closer to a system where education is equitable.

       As BVP High School enters its next year, we will have 11th graders for the first time. With a crop of students looking to expand their learning by integrating advanced and AP courses into their program of study, the timing of this program couldn’t have been better. We are excited to have our scholars join the thousands throughout the state who will now have the ability to enroll for free in any advanced coursework offered by participating schools and organizations around the state. This program will also provide our scholars with tuition-free access to dual enrollment courses at local colleges and universities.

       To prepare for our involvement with the program we recently surveyed our sophomore class to gather information about their interests. We plan to use this data along with support from our College and Career Counselors to provide each and every scholar with personalized counseling to match them with the opportunities available to achieve the best fit. Thinking long-term, we will also use this data to proactively seek new partnerships with members of the Advanced Coursework Network who can offer courses that our scholars are particularly excited about.

       Next year, there will be AP Chemistry and AP Spanish classes at Classical High School in Providence, Community Development courses with Roger Williams University for aspiring community leaders, Oceanography from West Bay Collaborative, and so much more. The potential for this program has us truly optimistic for the future of education in Rhode Island. Earlier today, an opinion piece co-written by Jeremy Chiappetta (our Executive Director) and Victor Capellan (Superintendent of Central Falls Schools) was published by The Providence Journal. To read more about their take on the Advanced Course Network, click here.

To read more about the Advanced Course Network from the Rhode Island Department of Education, click here.

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