Providence receives $3M grant to develop new high schools

Mayor Angel Taveras and education officials announced Thursday that Providence received a three-year, $3 million grant to support the development of two small, innovative high schools in the city.

The grant was made by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

"What they believe in is the work of the district in the direction we're trying to go in," said Keith Oliveira of the Providence School Board.

The first year, the grant money will be used for planning. Over the next two years, the money will be used to start the schools.

The schools will exist within current school buildings, and the high schools will serve no more than 900 total students.

"We are right now advertising for two design team leaders. The design of the grant is that those leaders will become the principals of each of the schools," said Superintendent of Schools Susan Lusi.

The news comes after a recent report showed that more high school students are not graduating on time.

School officials said the schools will serve to close learning gaps and will implement different curriculum and instructional methods.

"There will be new innovative and creative ways for teachers to teach a variety of students with varying abilities or disabilities," said Marybeth Calabro of the Providence teachers union.

The goals of the new schools are college and career readiness.

The new schools will be open to all Providence public school district students through the school choice process.

It wasn't immediately known where within the district the schools would be located.