By Associated Press - Wednesday, March 11, 2020

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The state-appointed superintendent of the Providence school system released a list of priorities Wednesday he intends to tackle in an attempt to turn the struggling district around.

The plan unveiled by Superintendent Harrison Peters, who started Feb. 20, is not the final state turnaround plan that is expected to be released next month, but the initial steps.

The 10-page plan includes reviews of every school in the district; a review of the district transportation policy; the establishment of a task force to “significantly reduce” employee vacancies; a recruitment campaign to attract “diverse and effective” teachers; and a plan to gather and track the social-emotional health and growth data of students.

“We have an incredibly unique opportunity, with leadership from the state and city aligned with us, and I do not intend to squander this rare moment,” Peters wrote in a letter accompanying the plan.

The state took control of the city’s school system on Nov. 1 in response to a scathing report by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy last June that called the system among the nation’s worst.

Providence has about 24,000 students in 41 schools.

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