BWRSD Update - September 2022

Message from Ana C. Riley, Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent's Message

Last Spring, we finalized our district’s Strategic Plan for the next five years. Our strategic plan will act as a compass for our work, offering the necessary guidance as we strive to enable each and every student to succeed in college, career and life.


During the strategic planning process, we met with our charter groups comprised of different stakeholder groups and found that the district had many areas of strength to build upon in these five areas that became our key priorities which are listed here:


  1. Climate and Culture: Engage families and community partners in creating safe, inclusive, vibrant and adaptive learning environments that support all students in realizing their full potential as productive and successful members of our community.

  2. Teaching and Learning: Strengthen students’ PK-12 roadmap to college and careers through high quality core curriculum and robust Multi-tiered Systems of Support within each school.

  3. Professional Learning: Develop High Quality Professional Learning experiences for all staff that are relevant, purposeful, systematic, and structured with a goal of improving and building upon educator’s practices and student outcomes.

  4. Career and Technical Education: Expand Career and Technical Education (CTE) offerings for students and create the infrastructure and policies to support CTE expansion.

  5. Communication: Communicate timely and intentionally with students, families, staff, and the community to create and deepen an intentional, inclusive, and transparent culture.


Our work each and every day will be dedicated to ensure that all of our students receive the education that will enable them to be successful in careers, college and life. In this community update, you will find updates on our work in the key priorities of our strategic plan as we begin the new school year.


With our children in mind,


Ana C. Riley

Superintendent of Schools

New Staffing and Positions

Please join us in welcoming teachers and leaders who are new to the district this year, including our new administrative team at Hugh Cole: Colin Grimsey, Principal; Stephanie Pedro, Assistant Principal; and Renee MacDougall, Assistant Principal. We are also pleased to have Michelle King as interim Principal and Frank Duvall as interim Dean at Mt. Hope High School.


At the district level we are excited to have Dr. Lisa Colwell onboard as our new Student Support Services Director, Dr. Deborah DiBiase, MTSS Director; and Frank Caliri, Facilities Director.


Staff Recognition

During our Aug 29th Staff Orientation we recognized the dedication of staff who have been with the district over 15 years! We also announced our 2022 District Teacher of the Year, Kimberlie Peecher, a Kindergarten teacher at Rockwell and our District Support Staff Member of the Year, Joseph Pacheco, a custodian at Mt. Hope High School. We received over 100 nominations from colleagues, parents, and students, highlighting the extraordinary staff we have in BWRSD and the many ways they contribute to the positive culture of our schools and success of our students.


Career Opportunities at BWRSD

Career opportunities with the Bristol Warren Regional School District can be found on School Spring (https://www.schoolspring.com/).


BWRSD is currently recruiting for a full-time, permanent Certified Math Teacher for Mount Hope High School and a Certified Reading Specialist at Colt Andrews Elementary School to cover a leave of absence through January 2023. Please contact Lee-Ann Beaupre, Director of Human Resources, leeann.beaupre@bwrsd.org, if you or someone you know may be interested.


We are always looking to add substitutes to our outstanding substitute pool. If you are interested in becoming a substitute Teacher, School Nurse Teacher or Teacher Assistant, click here to learn more.

Strengthening the Road Map to College and Careers

BWRSD Strategic Plan Goal #2: Strengthen students’ PK-12 roadmap to college and careers through high quality core curriculum and robust Multi-tiered Systems of Support within each school.


Preschool Expansion

This year we added two new 4 year old full day preschool classrooms, one at Hugh Cole and one at Colt Andrews (our Title I schools). We also added an additional 3-4 year old integrated program at Hugh Cole, to promote early access to intervention services. Numerous studies demonstrate the benefits of preschool, such as greater frustration tolerance, better social skills, fewer conduct problems, fewer learning problems, and more positive approaches to learning at the start of kindergarten (LoCasale-Crouch et al., 2007). Our most recent data for students entering kindergarten reveals approximately 50% of our students have not participated in preschool. This opportunity gap is greatest in Hugh Cole and Colt Andrews. A grant from the RIDE was received to offset the costs of new curriculum, materials, and teacher training.


High Quality Instructional Materials

Beginning in 2020, BWRSD teacher and administrators have implemented new high quality curriculum in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, meeting the RI Department of Education requirement that all RI districts adopt high quality (HQ) curriculum materials identified by RIDE and vetted through EdReports by Sept 2023. All staff have been trained and engaged in ongoing coaching by our K-5 Achievement Coaches and ELA and Math Coordinators. The new curriculum and training is funded through Federal ESSER funds. We have also begun researching a new HQ science curriculum to be implemented by Sept 2025.


The Science of Reading and Structured Literacy

Beginning in 2020, we have been training all educators under the RI Right to Read Act, which requires that by June 2025, all PK-12 educators increase their knowledge of the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy. The intent is for educators at all grade levels and content areas to better support reading development and prevention of reading difficulties. This is most critical in the early years. Here is a presentation that explains the Science of Reading.


Students who are not proficient in reading by the end of third grade are found to be four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers and 88% of students who fail to earn a high school diploma were found to be struggling readers in third grade (Annie Casey Foundation, 2010).


To date, we have trained over 50 PK-2 teachers and leaders with the goal of promoting reading proficiency by grade 3, a key milestone in a child’s academic career. This year we will train an additional 221 educators, ensuring that all educators have the appropriate endorsement and the knowledge of the science of reading to ensure all BWRSD students are proficient in reading. Federal ESSER funding and other grants have been used to provide this training.


Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

This year we are excited to be piloting a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program in grades K-8 called Second Step. Social emotional learning teaches students specific skills and strategies for managing emotions, solving problems, and getting along with others. This supports a more positive school environment and builds a sense of community where students can thrive, improving educational and social-emotional outcomes.


This year we have also hired additional support staff to address the increased social, emotional and mental health needs of our students. To further support students we will be using a universal screener, SAEBRS (Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener), which is a brief, norm-referenced tool for screening all students K-12 to identify those who are at risk for social-emotional behavior problems. This information will help us to provide a more personalized approach to students needing additional support.

Expanding CTE Opportunities

Strategic Plan Goal #4: Expand Career and Technical Education (CTE) offerings for students and create the infrastructure and policies to support CTE expansion.


Career And Technical Education (CTE)

Mt. Hope High School now offers several CTE programs that are certified by the RI Department of Education (RIDE) and open to all students in RI, including:

  • Project Lead the Way Engineering

  • Business Finance

  • Construction Technology


We received full certification for Construction this summer and have 96 students enrolled in the construction courses this year. CTE programs prepare students for both college and careers through coursework, 80 hours of work based learning, and the opportunity to graduate with an industry recognized credential and college credits.

Safe and Healthy Schools

Strategic Plan Goal #1: Engage families and community partners in creating safe, inclusive, vibrant and adaptive learning environments that support all students in realizing their full potential as productive and successful members of our community.


Safe Schools Initiative

School and district leaders have been working with Bristol and Warren police departments to make safety upgrades to all of our schools, including:

  • Replacing and updating exterior doors

  • Updating door alarms and security cameras

  • Installing emergency solar 911 Blue Light Towers at Guiteras and Mt. Hope

  • Installing a new visitor management system

  • School Resource Officer (SRO) at both Kickemuit and Mt. Hope and School Safety Officers at Mt. Hope and Colt Andrews

  • Providing training for all BWRSD staff in school safety procedures


Mental Health First Aid Training

BWRSD was proud to offer our first Mental Health First Aid Course this summer in partnership with the East Bay Regional Coalition and Bristol Warren Education Foundation. This course will assist our schools and district in increasing mental health awareness for students and staff, and to meet the requirement of the Nathan Bruno and Jason Flatt Acts. We had 46 staff members complete the course this past August. In addition, we have trained two teachers as district trainers so that the course can be offered in the future.


Health Updates

Quarantine is no longer recommended for those exposed to COVID-19, except in high-risk congregate care and healthcare settings. Placing students in cohorts (or remaining in stable groups) is no longer recommended.


RIDOH is shifting away from requirements to recommendations. In line with their changes, we recommend that students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 isolate at home for at least 5 full days and, if returning to school on days 6-10, wear a well-fitting mask. Masking is recommended at all times in school nurses’ offices, regardless of COVID-19 Community Level.


Our nurses are still able to provide antigen testing free of charge to our staff and students. Prior to conducting in school testing for students under the age of 16 we will need an updated signature on consent forms. Please update your consent in Aspen.


School Lunch Program: A Quick Reminder!

Families be sure you have completed the FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH APPLICATION by 9/30/22. Even if you think you are not eligible or don’t want to participate, this information is part of the state aid formula and the calculation of funds we receive each year.

The school meal application is online!


Please remember to only submit one application per family. The application only takes a few minutes to complete. Visit this link at https://www.myschoolapps.com to access the application.


Parents as Teachers Program

This a free program available to Bristol and Warren families/guardians who have children ages birth to kindergarten entry. The program uses a national evidence based curriculum and its goals are to improve caregiver knowledge of child development, develop parenting capabilities, and promote school readiness. Parent Educators provide family visits, group connections meetings, screenings, and referrals to community agencies to meet the needs of individual families. We also offer other enrichment programs such as parent workshops and field trips. All families are welcome to join our weekly play groups held on Thursdays at Colt Andrews School.