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Providence, RI (January 7, 2015)

A team of educators from across RI will travel to the Bay area in California next week to visit with leaders of  Summit Public Schools.  The trip brings together local school leaders, education researchers, and school designers.

Participants in the trip to Summit Public Schools include:  Jessica Waters, RI Mayoral Academy’s Director of Next Generation Learning Partnerships and RI’s 2013 Teacher of the Year; Dr. Donna Okrasinski, Dean of Academics at Blackstone Valley Prep; Dr. Gara Field, Principal at Pleasant View Elementary School in Providence, RI;  Laura Jackson, Educational Strategies Specialist at Highlander Institute, and Donna Stone, Coordinator of Data, Assessment, and Instructional Technology at Pawtucket School District, Jessie Butash, Vice Principal at Cumberland High School, Maryellen Butke, Partner at Impact for Education, and Jessica Lavalle, Elementary ELA Intervention Specialist at the Providence Public School Department.

Summit was founded in 2000 by a group of parents interested in creating a student-centered learning environment.  Since then, the system of schools has grown to seven, all focused on personalization, empowerment and rigor.  Summit flips the traditional adult-driven school model on its head by creating an environment that allows students to drive their own learning objectives.

The Summit model fits with Rhode Island’s current statewide movement towards blended learning, an educational framework that utilizes technology as a tool to create learning environments that more accurately reflect the needs of the 21st century learner.  Highlander Institute’s Fuse RI movement has been an ignitor to blended learning throughout the state, and the upcoming trip to Summit will support the research and design of new educational models for RI.


Written By: Dana Borrelli-Murray