This is a correction to an earlier post, which said the Providence School Board vote on Nathan Bishop was April 4th. The vote was Monday, April 3rd (today). The School Board voted to close Bishop and re-accomodate its students in other schools.

The Providence School Board voted this evening to close the Nathan Bishop Middle School for one year over the strong objections of everyone except the school’s East Side neighbors.

Supt. Donnie Evans’ recommendation to close Bishop caught parents, teachers and union leaders by surprise. Until Friday, Evans was proposing to close the middle school and re-open it as a high school for ninth-and tenth-graders in the fall.

On Monday April 4th the Providence School Board will vote on Supt. Donnie Evans proposal to close Nathan Bishop Middle School, the only middle school that serves Summit and other East Side neighborhoods. Evan’s proposal has caused an uproar among neighbors and parents for a variety of reasons. The public will have an opportunity to speak at the meeting before the vote. Full article at the Projo.

The Projo has been following this issue extensively, and a full list of articles can be found here.

Excerpts from Sunday’s (April 2nd) article:

According to the board’s agenda, Supt. Donnie Evans is recommending that the 400-student middle school be closed the next school year. School spokeswoman Maria Tocco said Friday that Evans was out of town and that she couldn’t discuss what the district planned to do with the building until tomorrow’s meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.

Evans’ plan to convert Nathan Bishop into a temporary high school has provoked outrage from Elmgrove Avenue neighbors, who have mounted an extensive e-mail campaign to persuade elected officials to oppose the proposal.


atear · June 6, 2006 at 10:43 pm

In answer to your question about how capacity for students magically appeared, allowing them to close Bishop…PPS had been working on a site for a new school that had permitting issues due to environmental concerns from a previous industrial use. The permitting was held up in court, but was cleared to proceed soon after the 1st discussion of Nathan Bishop by Dr. Evans.

The East Side Public Education Coalition is working very actively on tracking, reporting, and organizing around this issue. A good website, email list, and active blog can be found at:

Judith Schrier · June 5, 2006 at 1:40 pm

Dear Neighbors,

I wonder if I misunderstood what Donnie Evans said at the meeting at Hope High several weeks ago. It seemed to me that he started the meeting by telling us that he had considered all the options for where he could put the high school students who would no longer be able to use the school on the other side of town, and so he would have to put them into the Nathan Bishop building. He suggested that the meeting would discuss other options. In the end, apparently the only place that the School Board could put those students would be, in fact, Bishop.

A week or so later, there apparently WAS somewhere else to put those students, so Dr. Evans decided to close Bishop instead.

What did I miss that evening, please?

Thank you,

atear · April 4, 2006 at 9:58 am

An update on PPS’s plans for Bishop, discussed at the school board meeting last night. Though I find the reciprocal lack of commitment to a public middle school on the East Side depressing, the idea of a fresh start on a community-focused school is an exciting possibility.

“Evans told the School Board that Nathan Bishop would reopen in fall 2007. In the meantime, parents, faculty and neighbors will be invited to help the district plan what kind of school Bishop should become.

One possibility is for Bishop to become a K-8 neighborhood school, a concept that Evans plans to pilot this fall. Another is for Bishop to open as a model middle school, one that would encourage East Side parents to reconsider the public schools.”

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