Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hope High Students Win a Round

Linda Borg for the ProJo:

PROVIDENCE — Hope High School students on Monday won a preliminary round in their fight to preserve one of the reforms they say has been crucial to the school’s dramatic turnaround.

Forest Avila, a lawyer with the state Department of Education, denied the Providence School Board’s motion to dismiss the appeal brought by several Hope High School students and their parents. In his decision, Avila ruled that the students do have standing in this case because the regulations regarding common planning time directly affect them.

“We therefore find that these students will be aggrieved by any reduction of common planning time at Hope High School,” Avila wrote, “and that they therefore have standing to bring the petition now before us.”

This decision, which was signed by state Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist, clears the way for the students’ case to go forward. Avila is expected to schedule a hearing to take testimony from the Providence School Board.

“This is proof of what happens when an entire community — students, parents, teachers and members of the community — comes together,” said Erin Regunberg, one of the Brown students who organized the Hope youth.

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