Providence announces Education Moonshot Summit

Mayor Elorza Announces All In: Providence Education Moonshot Summit

Summit to be held April 8 in Providence, Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Elorza Thurday joined City Council members, School Board members, representatives from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF) and the Harvard Graduate School of Education as well as community members to announce the All In: Providence Education Moonshot Summit. The summit, on April 8, will aim to engage all Providence stakeholders including families, students, teachers, community members and partners to make a citywide commitment to ensuring that all Providence students are successful. 

“Providence is All In for education. I believe Providence can have the top urban education system in the country. If we come together as an entire community to support our kids, I have no doubt we can achieve that goal,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “We invite every resident to join us and work to make even our most ambitious goals for our schools a reality. 

The Summit builds upon the City’s work as part of the “By All Means” initiative based at the Harvard Education Redesign Lab which focuses on ensuring that all students have the tools and resources required to achieve their educational goals.

“Providence is one of the leading cities in Harvard's By All Means initiative which aims to build community-wide coalitions to break down barriers to student success and build "Cradle to Career" systems of support and opportunity,” said Education Redesign Lab Director Paul Reville. “We applaud the Mayor, Superintendent and community leaders for organizing key stakeholders to build a powerful movement which will guarantee all of the City's children will be ready for success in college and career." 

In addition to the support of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation has committed to supporting the summit with a contribution of $200k. As part of their mission, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation strives to stimulate transformative change of public education systems across New England. Funds will be used to plan, execute and support the All In: Providence Education Moonshot Summit from conception to completion including continued ongoing community engagement after the summit. 

“The Nellie Mae Education Foundation is committed to ensuring every student graduates fully prepared for life after high school,” said Nick Donohue, President & CEO, NMEF. “This kind of transformative, systemic change within our public school system requires the engagement of our entire community, and Providence’s ‘Moonshot Education Summit’ is an opportunity to do just that. We look forward to working closely with the City of Providence to bring the community together to ensure all learners are successful.” 

A summit planning committee composed of community leaders, City and PPSD staff will be convened and a pre-summit Community Conversation is scheduled for February 2nd at 444 Westminster Street that will allow stakeholders to provide ideas, feedback, and suggestions to ensure that the summit leads to meaningful action.  

"The beauty of the mayor’s educational summit is that it brings student voice, teacher voice and community voice together to focus on the most urgent issues of urban public education,” added Chris Maher, Superintendent of the Providence Public School District. “These discussions, and the collaborative solutions it will foster, are vital tools in our efforts to support the success of all Providence’s young people."

The summit will bring together stakeholders to garner support for a cohesive vision, foster understanding of key initiatives currently in place, and set goals for a citywide “Cradle to Career” strategy. 

"The education summit is a great opportunity to build on the positive things happening in Providence schools. Last year, the school board began a community engagement initiative to encourage community participation in our schools, and we are excited to continue that work during this summit, connecting with stakeholders from throughout the city," stated School Board President Nicholas J. Hemond. "The summit comes at a perfect time, as the school board, with the superintendent, finalizes the district's strategic plan. Bringing together people who care deeply about education, our schools, and our students will offer new ideas and resources to help PPSD improve student achievement, and to prepare all students for college and career."

After the summit, ongoing engagement and targeted follow-up will be conducted using a network of partners to further advance the strategies identified and outlined by summit participants. 

(release from City of Providence)