Rhode Island Department of Education Awards $4.8 Million in Federal Subgrants to Support Safe, Healthy, and Supportive Schools

Published on Monday, August 07, 2023

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Dan McKee, Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, and the Rhode Island Department of Education today announced that the State has awarded 12 local education agencies (LEAs) with $4.8 million in federal subgrants to establish strategies and carry out activities that will help increase students’ sense of belonging and safety. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) authorized $1 billion in federal funding to support state education agencies, LEAs, and schools in establishing and expanding safe, healthy, and supportive learning opportunities and environments through the BSCA Stronger Connections Grant program.

“We must ensure every school is safe and school districts have the resources they need to support students, teachers, and school staff,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed. “This federal funding will improve mental health services and school security improvements at schools across the state. It will go a long way toward violence prevention and better school-based mental health services that are essential to safe, healthy, and supportive schools.

“When students feel safe and supported in the classroom, they are positioned for long-term success,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “I voted for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and I’m pleased this funding from the bill will help make schools safer, healthier, and more inclusive for students and educators across Rhode Island.” 

“Every student deserves to be safe and supported in the classroom,” said U.S. Representative Seth Magaziner. “By investing in education and inclusive learning environments, we will ensure that the next generation is set up for success.”

Through a competitive application process, RIDE is awarding 12 LEAs with subgrants of up to $425,000. According to federal guidelines, grantees must be considered “high need” and meet the following metrics established by RIDE:

  • LEAs with at least one Title I-A participating school with 35% or more poverty and one or more SurveyWorks student risk factors;
  • or LEAs with at least Title I-A participating schools and one or more SurveyWorks student risk factors ranked in the top ten.
  • Student risk factors include data surrounding violence and belonging in and out of school.

The funding is for a three-year performance period, ending September 30, 2026. The 12 LEAs will use funds for a variety of efforts including expanding social-emotional learning and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) projects.

“Through the awarding of these funds, Rhode Island is sending a clear message that student safety and wellbeing is of utmost importance as we approach the new school year,” said Governor Dan McKee. “These grants will allow school districts to establish the proper resources and tools necessary to promote safe, inclusive, and successful learning environments. When our students feel supported, they can achieve excellence.”

“Because of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, students and educators across the state will be able to feel increasingly supported through a multitude of resources,” said Council on Elementary and Secondary Education Chair Patti DiCenso. “I am excited to see how our school districts will think outside of the box and expand on the important work already being done within our schools. These investments will benefit our children for generations to come.”

“Ensuring our students are thriving in safe and welcoming environments is the key to success,” said Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “To truly move the needle and improve student outcomes, we must address gaps in our supports and act with urgency to ensure every student feels a sense of belonging in their school. We are deeply appreciative of this grant opportunity provided by the U.S. Department of Education and look forward to a successful school year.”

Several LEAs will be leveraging these grants to expand ESSER-funded projects and initiatives, as well as expand efforts initiated through Project AWARE. Additionally, LEAs will be continuing MTSS initiatives such as Responsive Classroom Training for elementary school teachers; Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports district program expansions; hiring of more social workers and other mental health supports; family outreach; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion professional development for high school staff; and professional development/implementation of Yale Ruler.

The LEAs and their respective award totals are as follows:

  • Bristol Warren - $396,694.50
  • Central Falls - $424,263.23
  • Chariho - $424,995.75
  • Cranston - $422,116.75
  • East Greenwich - $424,999.15
  • Narragansett - $255,000.00
  • North Providence - $425,000.33
  • Pawtucket - $425,000.00
  • Smithfield - $261,480.83
  • Warwick - $424,359.00
  • West Warwick - $425,001.08
  • Woonsocket - $425,000.00

Total: $4,733,910.62

For more information on how RIDE is utilizing these grants, please visit our website and head to the Education Programs page.

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