Official Names Announced For Providence’s Two Newest Schools

It’s official! The two newest schools in Providence have their names. Formerly referred to as the “Opportunity by Design” schools, the two innovative high schools, whose creation was supported by a grant of the same name from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, now have distinct identities.

The school to be co-located at Hope High School will be known as 360 High School. And Evolutions High School will live alongside Mt. Pleasant High School.

Both schools have undergone an extensive, collaborative planning process this year, with design teams comprising students, teachers, parents and community members working together to define the schools’ structures, curriculum, culture and more. Additionally, a Student Steering Committee and an Advisory Group provided oversight and feedback to both schools’ design teams. Teams met for more than 100 hours apiece across the 2014-15 school year to ensure the schools would be fully realized and ready to welcome their inaugural classes of up to 104 ninth graders in September 2015. The schools will grow to a full complement of 9 through 12 by adding a class each year.

Both schools will promote student-centered learning, with technology supporting students as they recoup needed skills and accelerate at their own pace. This mastery-based approach is key to the design principles outlined in the grant funding the work, and holds great promise in addressing students’ wide variations in needs, interests and talents.

The schools’ design processes were supported by the Business Innovation Factory and by Youth in Action, groups who facilitated discussions up to and including the creation of the names.

360 High School Design Leader Kerry Tuttlebee, now the school’s principal, supported her design team’s creativity, engaging in a human-centered design process to hone in on what was important about this school. They discussed the significance of “360 degrees” of opportunity and support throughout the community for future students, ensuring that “360 degrees” of feedback would be used to shape ongoing school development, and determined that the name 360 High School best reflected the school’s mission and vision. The design team vetted their thoughts throughout the process with the Student Steering Committee and Advisory Groups. Tuttlebee shares that the 360 High School name was met with universally positive feedback from the planning groups.

Evolutions High School’s design team, under the leadership of now-principal Donna Lucy, took a similarly thoughtful and democratic approach, with brainstorming and discussion on the feature elements of the school. The group found that Evolutions was a natural fit to the school’s model because of its intent to continuously adapt to meet the needs of all learners. The school will create personalized learning plans adapted to students’ learning styles and needs, and they will remain connected and adaptable to the community at large, says Lucy. Their focus will be on adapting plans to support students’ long-term aspirations, and to help students be adaptable to an evolving global economy.  The Evolutions High School mantra is “Developing Minds and Inspiring Achievement.”

Both school names were brought to their respective City Council members for official passage. Ward 2 Councilman Sam Zurier and Ward 5 Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan worked with school department officials and the school leaders to propose the names for 360 and Evolutions, respectively. The motion passed City Council, was signed by Mayor Jorge Elorza, and has now been filed with the City Clerk, marking a milestone in the start of these two promising schools.

Both 360 High School and Evolutions High School will open their doors on September 2, along with the rest of the Providence Public Schools. Limited seats are available for these two schools. Rising Providence Schools ninth graders and their families interested in attending these schools are encouraged to complete the Transfer Request Form available at http://bit.ly/1Jw21vP, and return it to the Student Registration and Placement Center as soon as possible. Students registering from outside the district can request either of these schools in their registration process (ninth grade only).

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