Today, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) announced that Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School 1 (MS1) and twenty-one other schools across the state are Commended. RIDE’s 2016 classifications, the highest in their accountability system, are based on Composite Index Scores that comprise measures of student proficiency (in English language arts and mathematics), gap closing, student growth, and (for high schools) graduation rates. To view RIDE’s full 2016 classification summary, click here.

This announcement comes just after both BVP High School and Elementary School 2 received the same designation last February. All four eligible BVP schools have received Commended status since 2012 including Elementary School 1 and Middle School 1 (which received its first Commended rating in July 2012).

Central Falls Mayor and BVP Board Chairman James Diossa expressed his excitement about the rating. “We know that the work of public education is incredibly demanding. So when a group of teachers, leaders, families, and children themselves commit to hard work, anything is possible. BVP is a proof-point for what is possible in public education in Rhode Island. Once again, we are proving that with more time, high expectations, and incredible dedication, your street address need not define your opportunity and your zip code need not define your destiny.

When asked what attributed to the school’s academic success, BVP MS1 Head of School Joy Souza shared, “Our staff and scholars work incredibly hard. With a commitment to expanding writing across content areas and a focus on analyzing both fiction and nonfiction texts, our staff is deeply committed to supporting the academic achievement of every scholar. We are so proud of their hard work.

The network serves almost 1,600 students, grades K-11. Executive Director Jeremy Chiappetta is staying focused on the bigger goals. “We are incredibly proud of all of our schools that are doing tremendous work to close achievement gaps and prepare every scholar for success in college and the world beyond.

BVP scholars outpaced state averages by double digits in both English Language Arts and math on the 2016 PARCC assessment. Despite the achievement of BVP students, the 2017 approved state budget called for more than $1 million in cuts to the school’s funding. Now much of the school’s programming is up for consideration as the high-performing network is focused on balancing its budget.

To learn more about RIDE’s announcement, click here for the RIDE press release.

About Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy
Blackstone Valley Prep (BVP) is a network of tuition-free public schools chartered by the Rhode Island Department of Education. As a growing network of schools, BVP offers a high quality public school choice to the families of Lincoln, Cumberland, Central Falls and Pawtucket and currently serves almost 1,600 scholars in grades K-11 at 6 schools. A member of the Rhode Island Mayoral Academies network, BVP’s mission is to prepare every scholar for college and the world beyond. More information can be found at blackstonevalleyprep.org.