By Hillary Salmons, PASA Executive Director
Left to right: City Councilman Michael Solomon, AfterZone youth MC Kianna Moreno, AfterZone youth MC Niceo Aponte-Andrade, PASA Executive Director Hillary Salmons (back), PPSD Superintendent Dr. Susan Lusi
For the past ten years, PASA has focused on deepening the impact after school, summer, and expanded learning has on in-school outcomes like attendance, classroom behavior, and engagement in learning. As we’ve continued to hone this strategy, we’ve been lucky to have the Providence Public School District as a close collaborative partner—something that is entirely unique to Providence.
PASA has been able to work closely with the district’s teaching and learning team to align high-impact practices that PASA’s program providers can deliver, demonstrate, and share with one another and with school faculty. The AfterZone Summer Scholars Camp now functions has a truly integrated summer learning strategy with the district, having replaced PPSD’s remediation strategy 3 years ago. In the Summer Scholars, district teachers and informal community-based educators now come together to co-design and deliver a fully hands-on, citywide summer learning program that is aligned with district and national standards. Together they recieve professional development and training from PASA and district staff alike. Last year, PASA’s professional development offerings counted toward teachers’ district professional development requirements for the first time.
Superintendent Lusi has been critical in encouraging and helping to develop this trusting partnership, which has evolved from facilities usage and donated buses, to a full-fledged integrated strategy with shared funding, a high school strategy that awards course credits for out-of-school experiences, and a collaborative spirit unheard of in other districts around the country.
I can’t say enough about Dr. Lusi’s innovative and energetic leadership and dedication to the young people of this city.
Thank you for being an amazing partner! We look forward to another 10 years of learning and growing together.