Providence overhauls School Department Central Office

Mayor Elorza Announces Overhaul of School Department Central Office

Plan Shifts Resources into Schools, Supports Teachers and Principals

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Elorza Tuesday convened school administrators and officials to announce the overhaul to the Providence Public School Department which moves staff out of central administration and into schools, where they will better support teachers and administrators, and restructure positions within the central office to better support students, parents and schools.

“We have answered the call to action and overhauled central administration to better support our students, parents, and schools,” said Mayor Elorza. “These changes bring Central Office into the 21st century and better enable the School Department to meet the current and future needs of our public schools.”

The overhaul follows an audit from Mass Insight from May 2015 which showed that central offices were ill-equipped to meet the demands of the current school district. The revenue-neutral restructuring was done in collaboration with clerical workers’ union who voted last week to move members out of central administration and into schools. 

Among the changes, the reorganization:

•         Creates a multilingual call center to provide a central point of contact for parents and the community. The center will track incoming calls, emails, and web inquiries to ensure that all customers receive prompt service and follow-up;

•         Dedicates a Human Resources Officer to expanding diversity in the School Department and meeting Equal Employment Opportunity requirements;

•         Allows academic policy experts to spend the majority of their time in schools instead of central offices, so they can better understand problems in context, provide site-specific solutions, and increase equity for all students;

•         Creates a Chief Transformation Officer and a performance management unit within the Office of Transformation and Innovation, including an Academic Innovation Specialist and Operational Innovation Specialist to increases the department’s ability to track student performance; 

•         Moves 13 clerical workers out of central administration offices and into schools, where they will be able to more directly support the work of principals and other school administrators;

•         Streamlines and automates transactional work, allowing central office employees will have more time to spend working with schools on site-specific solutions and innovations.

The proposed changes to central administration positions are in the process of being submitted to the Providence City Council for consideration.

(release from City of Providence)