PROVIDENCE, RI – As Providence Public Schools undergoes a comprehensive turnaround effort, the district today issued displacement notices for 270 employees based on staffing consolidations, the ending of one-year positions, and failure to meet certification requirements. This process is based on programmatic and enrollment changes at the elementary, middle and high school levels and ensures that schools are staffed based on student needs, not building capacity or existing staffing as was previous practice. Positions impacted by district reorganization efforts are also included in these displacements.
“At our secondary schools, previous administrations often staffed based on the anticipated volume of students at a school versus the unique educational needs of those students,” said Superintendent Harrison Peters. “By doing a more in-depth review of credits and graduation requirements at each school, we are now able to create more effective and efficient staffing models to support student needs.”
“To deliver on our promise to the Providence community, it is critical to align all our resources to support student success,” said Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “The approach that PPSD leaders have taken to analyze and realign staffing with the needs of our school communities will allow us to make significant progress in improving teaching and learning in the coming school year.”
Of the displacements announced today, 188 are teacher positions. The majority—158 of the total—are in secondary schools, while 109 are in elementary schools and three are district-wide. The number of positions slated for displacement increased from 220 last year and 235 the year before, due to more effective class scheduling, projected reductions in middle and high school enrollment, and the district’s strategic decision to prioritize positions most critical to overall improvement. This approach is aligned with the Turnaround Action Plan, which puts student needs as its overarching priority.
Earlier this week, PPSD shared its plans to create new positions that will better support students and teachers. To implement national best practices and provide more comprehensive academic support to multilingual learners, the district intends to hire 32 instructional coaches to work with teachers in and outside of class time throughout the school year. These coaches will have specializations in specific content areas and will provide teachers with more focused, efficient support to help them better meet the individual needs of their students.
The district also plans to hire 22 elementary guidance counselor positions to provide academic goal-setting and age-appropriate career awareness support for learners at the start of their educational journeys. These positions will help support students’ social and emotional learning and ensure that families get connected to any necessary wraparound supports.
To support student achievement and social emotional learning with a focus on ensuring equity in all aspects of school life, the school district plans to hire 36 community liaisons. These positions will be filled by local members of the community who will perform outreach to families and provide critical mentorship to students.