Greystone, Centredale recognized for improving test scores

Valley Breeze Article

By Nicole Dotzenrod

Please note: This article was first published on May 18, 2022 on The Valley Breeze website. We are re-posting on the Throughline Learning website now to coincide with our organization's rebrand (formerly Highlander Institute).

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Greystone and Centredale Elementary Schools have been recognized with governor’s citations for improving student achievement despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

The schools were honored during last week’s Rhode Island State of Education address for their scores on the 2021 Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System tests. The RICAS exam assesses students in grades 3-8 are in English language arts and math.

At Centredale, ELA scores on last year’s RICAS exams increased by 4.3 percent.

Among special education students, the school reduced the percentage performing in the “not meeting expectations” category from 55.6 percent to 35.3 percent in ELA, and from 88.9 percent to 47.1 percent in math.

Principal Donna Hanley said the results are a testament to the school’s “collaborative efforts and perseverance,” adding that, “the dedication of our teachers and support from our entire teaching staff is the cornerstone of our success.”

Greystone Elementary increased its ELA scores by 5.3 percentage points, out-performing the overall district averages by 16.4 points and state averages by 18.1 points.

Greystone students out-performed the district math averages by 10.8 points, and state averages by 10.3 points.

“We have a unique, talented and dedicated group of educators at Greystone, and we are fortunate to be able to partner with our families to provide each and every learner with the tools they need for success,” said Principal Jennifer Quattrucci.

School district leaders in North Providence said their partnership with the Highlander Institute has been essential in their efforts to improve student achievement by making research-based changes at the schools.

Headquartered in Providence, the Highlander Institute is a nonprofit that aims to help schools improve learning outcomes and experiences. North Providence was among the school departments to work with Highlander in 2020 to help with its shortage of substitute teachers.

Working with North Providence school leaders, Highlander Institute facilitator Mike Miele made “connections between the district vision, high-quality curricula and research-based instructional strategies aligned to Highlander Institute’s framework for culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy to forward each school’s momentum.”

Over the past three years, Miele “introduced routines to develop student academic mindset, persistence and critical thinking while enhancing the involvement of teachers and families in strategic planning underway at both schools.”

Supt. Joseph Goho said he’s extremely proud of the North Providence students, staff and families, particularly at Greystone and Centredale for their RICAS achievement and “perseverance, which occurred in the middle of a historic pandemic. Certainly, everyone should be commended for this tremendous academic achievement.”

Likewise, Assistant Supt. Louise Seitsinger said the School Department is incredibly proud of the schools for “all of the hard work, dedication and resilience they have demonstrated over the past couple of challenging years.”

“It is a true example of how combining the expertise of our leadership and educators with a talented Highlander Institute facilitator and effective school change model created successful outcomes — especially for our students,” she said.