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NEW: Online Charter School Opening in RI

Thursday, December 06, 2012


The YWCA Rhode Island has received the go-ahead from the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) for a groundbreaking online charter school designed for at-risk high school students.

The Sheila C. “Skip” Nowell Leadership Academy Charter School will combine online studies with classroom work and is aimed specifically at students whose family responsibilities interfere with their attendance at high school. That includes teenagers who are pregnant or already parents, who are responsible for taking care of other family members, who are victims of domestic abuse or who lack family support.

“We are trying to solve a problem for a specific demographic of students that everyone would agree is underserved and difficult to address in mainstream education, and we are doing so in a very pragmatic way,” said Deborah L. Perry, CEO of YWCA Rhode Island.

The Board of Regents has granted preliminary approval, which means it approves of the concept and design for the charter school. In coming months, YWCA will work with RIDE to make sure the program meets state rules and regulations; YWCA staff also will be looking for classroom sites. Final approval from the Board of Regents is anticipated in April, and the goal is to open the school in September 2013.


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