East Providence News Briefs
Forand Chosen as New Schools Superintendent of Schools
Local resident Dr. Sandra Forand was promoted from Assistant Superintendent of Schools to Superintendent. Forand is replacing current Superintendent Kathryn Crowley who will be finishing her term in East Providence. Forand has previously served as the principal for both Martin and Riverside middle schools. At one point Forand was hired by the RI Department of Education but returned to East Providence as one of two Assistant Superintendents.
With East Providence in flux after a turnover in senior school department administrative posts, Kathryn Crowley was hired as an interim Superintendent of Schools here. Crowley had been retired from other school districts but came to East Providence to help with the proposed new high school bond issue and provide for a transition of administrative leadership. Crowley was hired in 2015 after Kim Mercer retired.
The School Committee vote to hire Dr. Forand was unanimous and contract details are to be released during its May meeting. “I have always made decisions in the best interest of students,” said Forand. “I will continue to do that as Superintendent,” Forand told the committee in April.
Forand was at the pivot point of East Providence’s plan to move to distance learning during the recent, an ongoing, pandemic.
Crowley was selected as the 2020 Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year. Crowley was Little Compton Superintendent from 2010-2015. She was Assistant Superintendent in Johnston, RI from 2003 to 2010. Crowley was credited with guiding the passage and development of the state-of-the-art new East Providence High School construction project.
New Principals Hired in District
When school begins next September, 2022, here will be a couple of new school principals. Announced in April, veteran East Providence educator Laurie Marchand will become the new principal at Martin Middle School. Marchand is currently principal at Whiteknact Elementary School and will move on to fill the vacancy at Martin left by the promotion of former Martin principal William Black to the high school. Shane Messier is now the interim principal at Martin but will be returning to his prior role as Martin’s assistant principal. Messier has opted to return to his prior role.
Replacing Marchand at Whiteknact will be Gregorian Elementary School (Providence) principal, Matthew Russo. The mission statement at Gregorian school states: “At Vartan Gregorian Elementary School we seek to create an educational experience that is collaborative, equitable, and engaging for all students. We strive to ensure that every child learns in a caring and supportive environment so that they feel empowered to take risks, and begin to unlock their unique qualities as individual learners. The partnerships with all members of our learning community serves as the foundational support for ensuring that every student is inspired to develop a growth mindset and become a lifelong learner.”
Recreation Dept 2022 Summer Concert Series
The East Providence Recreation Department announces the 2022 Summer Concert line-up. Shows are weather permitting and take place at Rose Larisa Memorial Park located at 701 Bullocks Point Avenue in Riverside. Concerts are held on Thursday evenings from June 2 – July 28 and start at 6:00 PM, unless otherwise noted. The 2022 “Concerts in the Park” series is sponsored by Navigant Credit Union. The schedule is as follows:
- June 2, 6:00 PM, Rick Ashman. Oldies and Pop standards.
- June 9, 7:00 PM, The Strictly Sentimental Swing Band. Big band jazz and swing.
- June 16, 6:00 PM, David Tessier’s All-Star Stars. Classic Rock.
- June 23, 6:00 PM, Atwater-Donnelly. American and Celtic Folk.
- June 30, 6:00 PM, The Reminders. Classic Rock and Pop from the 50’s to today.
- July 7, 6:00 PM, Mixed Emotions. Classic Rock.
- July 14, 6:00 PM, 19th Nervous Breakdown. Rolling Stones tribute.
- July 21, 6:00 PM, MoJo Rising. Classic Rock.
- July 28, Vini Ames. Oldies Rock n’ Roll Show.
City awarded $150,000 “Take it Outside” Grant
The City of East Providence has been selected by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation as a “Take it Outside” grant awardee. The funds will enable the City to provide up to $10,000 in grant funding to East Providence small businesses that are working to take business services outside during the pandemic.
“We are grateful to Gov. Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation for granting us this award,” Mayor DaSilva said. “These funds will assist our East Providence small businesses with the necessary funds to obtain goods or services to increase outdoor opportunities for both the small businesses and our residents.”
The businesses may apply and use the funds to purchase chairs, tables, heat lamps, tents, outdoor Wi-Fi systems, masks, hand sanitizer, staffing, security, insurance costs related to specific outdoor activities, lighting, power sources, relevant signage, bike racks, and other costs for purchasing or obtaining goods or services that, in the sole discretion of the City, are deemed necessary to increase outdoor opportunities for impacted small businesses. Businesses may apply beginning May 2022.
Of the full $150,000 grant funding, 20 percent will be allocated to businesses in the following categories: Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)-owned businesses, Women Business Enterprise (WBE)-owned businesses, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)-owned businesses.
In response to the impact on small businesses, the City applied for the funds through a competitive process seeking more than $4.8 million in grant funding. East Providence businesses interested in the grant support should: APPLY for the “Take it Outside 2022 Grant.”
Infrastructure Bank Announces $4.9 Million in Grants
The Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank last month announced $4.9 million in Action Grants for participants of the Municipal Resilience Program (MRP). Communities prioritized local actions through the program and will use grant funds to implement projects that will increase their climate resilience.
“The Infrastructure Bank stands by our commitment to Rhode Island’s municipalities to accelerate investment in critical infrastructure and nature-based solutions that will better prepare communities for a changing climate” said Jeffrey R. Diehl, CEO of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. “The Bank’s Municipal Resilience Program directly supports cities and towns to identify and fund priority resilience projects, with a particular focus on nature-based solutions and those benefitting disadvantaged communities. We look forward to building on the success of the first three rounds of the program and strengthening relationships with our municipal partners statewide to proactively address climate change.”
With support from The Nature Conservancy, 20 municipalities have completed Community Resilience Building workshops and developed prioritized lists of actionable resilience plans and projects. Municipalities are then eligible to submit applications for MRP Action Grants with a 25% local match requirement. After a competitive review process, the selection committee recommended the following proposals to receive funding for implementation:
East Providence - Stormwater management installations incorporating green infrastructure at Beach Road and Willet Pond and floodproofing of the Silver Street Pump Station.
Local Police presents Rape Aggression Defense Systems Inc. R.A.D. Course.
R.A.D. is a contemporary basic self-defense course for WOMEN ONLY. Rape Aggression Defense Systems, Inc. and East Providence Police Officers trained in this program provide attendees with information, tactics and considerations, which can be useful in various types of abductive encounters perpetrated against women. Even though your family, husbands, domestic and intimate partners want to protect you from harm and keep you safe, they are not able to be there every hour of every day.
“The fact is, there is one person who will definitely be there in your time of need...that is YOU! YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST DEFENSE!,” - EP Police statement.
The R.A.D. Women Basic Physical Defense Course is a series of six, 3 hour classes, given twice a week for three weeks. Any questions, please contact one of our R.A.D. Women Instructors: Lt. Maari Stainer at (401) 435-7600 x20181, SRO Corporal Tammy David at (401) 433-6230 or Detective Matthew McNulty at (401) 435-7600 x20165.
Spring 2022 - R.A.D. Class Schedule
- Tuesday - 5/10/2022 (6pm-9pm) Thursday - 5/12/2022 (6pm-9pm)
- Tuesday - 5/17/2022 (6pm-9pm) Thursday - 5/19/2022 (6pm-9pm)
- Tuesday - 5/24/2022 (6pm-9pm) Thursday - 5/26/2022 (6pm-9pm)
*(Classes held at Martin Middle School - 111 Brown St. East Providence)
Pre-registration is required either online https://eastprovidenceri.gov/RAD
or at the East Providence Police Department, 750 Waterman Ave. A one-time, $20 fee is necessary to reserve a slot in this class (Fee waiver if needed). Space is limited! Grab a family member or friend and attend.
Mayor DaSilva Announces Official Reelection Bid
Mayor DaSilva Reelection Statement
In a press release from the campaign of Mayor Bob DaSilva, the city’s first-ever elected mayor officially declared his intention to seek a second four-year term of office. “A little more than four years ago, the residents of East Providence declared that they had had enough of political inaction and uncertainty. They elected to change the city for the better. I was given an opportunity to lead that change as the first elected mayor in the history of East Providence. Under my leadership and under the direction of my administration, together with our City Council, we worked to prove to our residents that they made the right choice,” DaSilva told a group of supporters and media on April 26th. The announcement was made at the Phillipsdale Landing former mill complex on the waterfront off Bourne avenue.
“Phillipsdale Landing is a great example of the resurgence of East Providence. Phillipsdale Landing, once a mostly vacant, old mill complex, has become a hub for creative and innovative companies,” DaSilva said in his announcement. “Philipsdale has gone from completely vacant to 100 percent full occupancy and was recently purchased by an investor for $8.3 million. That investor told me personally that he chose East Providence because of our administration's willingness to collaborate, our administration's transparency and our ‘open for business’ attitude,” said DaSilva.
“Together, with a strong team, my administration has led the city through a pandemic, while also working to ensure sensible growth and continued progress,” he added. “During these last three years we have seen incredible progress on projects and properties that had long been derelict and abandoned,” he said. DaSilva then went on to list some of these projects. He rattled off projects including; the vacant Hot Rides at the bottom of Veteran’s Parkway, the abandoned Platt/Waters schools, former industrial brownfield Vamco on Bullocks Point Avenue and other blighted vacant properties that DaSilva said are now being developed in the best interest of the city.
Governor Dan McKee and Lt.Governor Sabina Matos were in attendance at the DaSilva press conference to support him. “Last spring, Governor McKee, Lt.Governor Sabina Matos and I announced that ONE Neighborhood Builders had purchased a 36-unit development in East Providence that will now become deed-restricted affordable housing. This renovation will make East Providence only the seventh of Rhode Island’s 39 communities to meet the state goal that 10 percent of each municipality’s housing stock qualifies as low- and moderate-income housing,” DaSilva said.
“We have not wasted any time making things happen for our businesses, residents, and our local artists over the last three plus years. Our administration, working with our state legislators and the East Providence City Council has established the first-ever Arts District in the city. This move will exempt artists that live within the area from state income taxes. And this has already resulted in a major investment in the district with the purchase of three, rundown properties,” added DaSilva. A vibrant arts and creative community is vital to a city’s revival. In partnership with the East Providence Arts Council, we have seen new art installations throughout the city.
The DaSilva statement also explains his plans to bring a community center to the city. “In 2021, our Administration began the work of exploring the feasibility of bringing to fruition a community center for our residents. We are now uniquely positioned to see their wishes become a reality leveraging ARPA funds to build our residents a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose community center featuring workforce training areas and programs, a performing arts stage and an aquatics center,” explained DaSilva.
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