Two Highlander Institute partner schools recognized with governor’s citations for improving outcomes despite pandemic challenges

May 12, 2022 by highlander

“We are incredibly proud of these two school communities and 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.”

— Louise K. Seitsinger, Assistant Superintendent, North Providence School District  

At the 2022 Rhode Island State of Education address on Monday, May 9th, Greystone and Centredale Elementary Schools in North Providence were recognized for improving student achievement despite the many challenges educators have faced since school buildings closed in March 2020. 

Centredale Elementary school increased the performance of ELA scores on the 2021 RICAS exam by 4.3 percentage points. Further, the school team reduced the percentage of Special Education students performing in the “not meeting expectations” category from 55.6% to 35.3% in ELA; and from 88.9% to 47.1% in Math, reflecting current school goals and priority areas.  “These results are a testament to our collaborative efforts and perseverance,” stated principal Donna Hanley. “The dedication of our teachers and support from our entire teaching staff is the cornerstone of our success.”   

Greystone Elementary school increased the performance of ELA scores on the 2021 RICAS exam by 5.3 percentage points, outperforming district averages by 16.4 points and state averages by 18.1 points. Further, Greystone students outperformed district averages on the Math RICAS 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,” remarked principal Jennifer Quattrucci.

“I am extremely proud of our North Providence students, staff, and families, particularly at Greystone and Centredale Elementary Schools, for their RICAS achievement and perseverance which occurred in the middle of a historic pandemic. Certainly everyone should be commended for this tremendous academic accomplishment.”  

— Joseph B. Goho, Superintendent, North Providence Public Schools

Supported by strong, collaborative leaders at both the building and district levels, Centredale and Greystone are poised for continued success. Their clear, equity-based vision is supported by data-driven decision making, research-based strategies, strong technology infrastructure, responsive professional development, and measurable goals. Both faculties are knowledgeable, committed, and involved in developing systems and solving challenges. 

North Providence School District leadership credits Highlander Institute as a critical collaborator in increasing instructional consistency and making research-based adjustments that helped each school level up. 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, Mike 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. 

“It has been a pleasure working with the talented educators and leaders in North Providence. When COVID hit and we were all faced with uncertainty and new realities, we were able to continue to make progress because of the cohesive leadership and the collaborative atmosphere.” 

— Mike Miele, Partner, Highlander Institute

About Greystone Elementary

Led by principal Jennifer Quattrucci, with partnership efforts begun by former principal Stefanie Lafleur, Greystone Elementary School is a PK-5 school located in North Providence. Greystone has a strong neighborhood identity, as a number of families walk their children to school each morning. At Greystone we believe in building positive relationships within our school community where student and family voice, choice and interests are valued. In our classrooms, students are driving their learning by actively engaging in rigorous lessons while setting goals, reflecting on progress, and working toward mastering skills. Greystone supports 297 students; 54% are considered economically disadvantaged; 42% of students identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). 

About Centredale Elementary

Led by principal Donna Hanley, Centredale Elementary School is a PK – 5 school located in North Providence. Centredale is a place that values exploration, rigor, creativity, and individualism. The hallmark of our school is student success – in academics, socially, and emotionally. Centredale supports 221 students; 45% are considered economically disadvantaged; 42% of students identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC).


Learn more about Highlander Institute’s Culturally Responsive School Change Model by visiting our Partner with Us page.

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