Charting the course 
        for public education...

Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association


  • 07 May 2015 2:14 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Commissioner Purcell recently presented at a RISSA meeting.  Below is the link to his presentation.

  • 07 May 2015 2:10 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)


    At CVS Health, our company purpose is helping people on their path to better health and the CVS Health Charity Classic really brings that purpose to life through the ongoing support the tournament provides to organizations that are helping children and families. Organizations such as the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association stress the importance of having AED units in public schools in order to ensure support for students, teachers and staff that may experience a heart-related emergency. Recognizing this need, the CVS Health Charity Classic is offering all public high schools in the state the opportunity to receive AED units for their schools.


    Each school is asked to complete an application form, confirm the number of units they are requesting and agree to a training date in order to receive their AED Units. The training will provide a demonstration on proper use of the units and give local fire chiefs the opportunity to connect with local schools. Fire chiefs will be on hand to support the demonstration and also to provide key tips to ensure safety.


    A link to the application is below. You will receive your AED units at your training. Please complete the application and submit as quickly as possible.


    CVS Health Charity Classic AED Program Application


    If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call.


    Faith Weiner

    Director, CVS Health Charity Classic


  • 07 May 2015 2:08 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Kathy Sipala did a great job on Channel 12 speaking about the value of State Assessments and the PARCC opt-out situation. The link is below:

  • 06 May 2015 11:40 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Congratulations to retiree and RISSA member Ennis Bisbano, former Superintendent of Bristol/Warren, for the honor of being selected the 2015 George Willard Achievement Award recipient by the Rhode Island College Alumni Association. 

  • 06 May 2015 11:36 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Victor Capellan and Jeannine Notta-Masse on their appointments as Superintendent of Central Falls and Cranston.

    Victor has served as Assistant Superintendent of Central Falls and comes to the position after a stint at Mass Insight.

    Jeannine has been the Assistant Superintendent of Cranston and is an active RISSA member, serving on the Strategic Planning and Safety Committees.

    We are very pleased that these two excellent professionals are on the job. 

  • 30 Mar 2015 10:46 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Below is the link to an OpEd written by Superintendent Barry Ricci on How to Make RI Schools the Best:

  • 04 Feb 2015 1:53 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    The Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association eighth annual Paul W. Crowley Award is awarded to Tom DiPaola Ph.D. Director of the Education Leadership Doctoral Program at Johnson & Wales University. The presentation will take place in the State Room of the Rhode Island State House at 3:00 pm on March 4, 2015.

    The PAUL CROWLEY AWARD is given each year by the Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association to a Rhode Island citizen who, in his or her professional and personal capacity, has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to improving the quality of education for the children of Rhode Island as did Representative Paul Crowley throughout his career as a state representative from Newport. A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a deserving senior planning a career in education and graduating from a Rhode Island public high school to be selected by Dr. DiPaola.

    Dr. DiPaola has a long history of being a passionate advocate for public education. He has been a leader in special education, education reform, and best practices through his work at the RI Department of Education, the Westerly Public Schools, and Johnson and Wales University.

    Tom served as the Director of Special Education in Central Falls (1977-84), Pawtucket (1984-91) and Providence (1991-92. He was the Director of the Rhode Island Technical Assistance Project from 1991-2000 and assisted the late Representatives Sherlock and Crowley which resulted in reforming the special education process by focusing on early reading difficulties, common among many of the children who were entering the ‘system”.

    Dr. DiPaola has served as an active member of the Rhode Island School Superintendents Association, Superintendent of the Westerly Public Schools, and State Director of Special Populations  at the Rhode Island Department of Education and remains one of the most respected leaders of public schools in our State. He is married to Nadine Champlin DiPaola.  He is also the parent of two children – son Chris who is the owner and operator of WBLQ radio in Westerly RI and daughter Jaime who is a military veteran specialist in student academic services at JWU.

    Speakers at the presentation included Governor Raimondo, House and Senate Legislative leaders, and Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner Deborah Gist. The award will be presented by the Rhode Island School Superintendents Association President Kathleen Sipala, Superintendent of the Narragansett Schools.

  • 22 Jan 2015 10:48 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996

    Congress enacted limitations on certain foreign students planning to study in U.S. public elementary and secondary schools. The "Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996," which took effect on November 30, 1996, places the following restrictions on students seeking F-1 visas who wish to study at public secondary schools. The student (or his or her sponsor) is required to reimburse the public secondary school for the full, unsubsidized per capita cost of education for the intended period of study. Proof that such tuition has been paid must be evidenced on the I-20A-B application form for the visa. Waivers are not allowed. This law also limits school attendance to a maximum of 12 months for secondary students under F-1 visas. Overseas advisors should know that this law additionally prohibits attendance in public elementary schools, K-8, or publicly-funded adult education programs by any individuals coming under F-1 status. These restrictions do not apply to students who come to the United States under a J-1 visa, nor do they apply to private schools. Violating the law or failure to reimburse the school district can lead to a student being barred from the United States for five years.

    The F-1 foreign student's obligations under U.S. immigration regulations are to:

    ·         provide evidence that the unsubsidized cost of tuition for any academic study in the United States is paid in order to obtain their visa

    ·         have sufficient financial resources for the anticipated stay in the United States

    ·         have a residence abroad to return to upon completion of the program in the United States

    ·         always maintain lawful immigration status while in the United States by keeping a valid passport, not working without authorization, and leaving the United States upon expiration of the visit or securing an extension of permission to stay if needed.

    F-1 non-immigrant students must maintain a full course load while in the United States. They must follow a specific transfer procedure if they change schools. They are eligible for certain types of employment, provided the Designated School Official or DHS grants permission before the employment begins.

    Both the F-1 Visa and M-1 Visa are non-immigration student visas which allow international students to study and live full-time in the US. If you want to study more than 18 hours a week at any course of study you will need to secure either an F-1 visa or an M-1 visa. First, however, you will need to determine which type of student visa is right for you.

    The F-1 Visa is designed for students who will be attending and academic program or full-time degree program at a university, school, or college which is approved by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If you will be attending any traditional style of school were you will be studying a traditional type of academic program, such as the arts, humanities, sciences, or technology, you will need the F-1 Visa. You also need the F-1 Visa if you will be attending high school or elementary school in the United States and are not a US Citizen or Green card holder. If you are taking language classes in order to master English in the US, you may also need to apply for the F-1 Visa, depending on where you will be studying English.

    The F-1 Visa also gives you more options and a little more flexibility than the M-1 visa. For example, the F-1 Visa is usually granted for four years or more, and allows you to transfer to a university or college more easily. If you have the F-1 Visa, you can also sponsor your unmarried children and spouse as dependents. They can live and stay with you in the US with an F-2 visa while you pursue your studies.

    The M-1 Visa is used for vocational and nonacademic courses of studies. If you are engaged in some types of language programs, flight school, technical studies, cooking classes, some types of technical studies, cosmetology programs, religious vocational schools, and other types of degree programs that do not fall into the traditional academic category, you will need to apply for the M-1 Visa. You may also need the M-1 Visa if you are applying for a school which is not approved as a traditional institution. Some non accredited schools, for example, may require you to apply for the M-1 Visa because the school is not approved as a traditional faculty of learning.

    Generally, the M-1 Visa is granted for shorter periods of time than the F-1 visa, since the nonacademic and vocational programs offered at most US schools are of shorter duration. In general, you can stay in the US for two years with the M-1 Visa. The M-1 Visa is generally granted for one year at a time and you may apply for extensions after that. There are also more restrictions with the M-1 Visa. For example, you cannot continue on to an academic or university program on your M-1 Visa; you will need to apply for the F-1 visa. As well, when studying in the United States under the M-1 Visa, you must maintain full-time course status. You can only reduce your course studies to part time for medical reasons and only for up to six months. As well, you can only transfer schools within the first six months of your course of studies.



    A J-1 visa is known as an exchange visitor, holders of this visa are participating in a program that's aim is to promote cultural exchanges between the two countries (programs can be like student studies, or short term visits, etc.). It is monitored and exchange visitors and programs are accepted into it by department of state. A lot of programs require that the exchange visitor return to their home country for at least two years after the program has ended in order to pass along the cultural learnings. See the state department website for more information: 

    An F-1 is a student visa that allows a foreign national to enter into certain levels of study in the U.S., even public high school, providing that they have the necessary funds to pay for school tuition. Attendance is limited to 12 months for a public secondary school, though, so if you wanted to spend your entire high school career in the U.S., you would have to attend a private institution.

    Department of State rules for student visa.pdffederal handbook on visas for foreign students. - 1.pdf

    federal handbook on visas for foreign students. - 1.pdf

  • 16 Dec 2014 10:48 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)


         Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association

    Rhode Island Association of School Business Officials

                                JOINT RISSA/RIASBO

                          LEGAL INSTITUTE

                                    RISSA    GENERAL MEMBERSHIP  MEETING

                                                Friday, January 9, 2015

                                    Radisson Airport Hotel in Warwick


    Open to all RISSA and RIASBO members.

                                           Presented by the Law Firm of

              Brennan, Recupero, Cascione, Scungio & McAllister LLP




    11:30 - 12:00             Registration and Lunch

                                                                          Sponsor Presentation


    12:00 – 12:15            RISSA General Membership Meeting

    1.    Call to Order

    2.    President’s Comments

    3.    Approval of Minutes of August 14, 2014*@

    4.    Adjourn


    12:15                          Introduction and Explanation of Presentations


                          12:15 – 1:15             Breakout Session I


    1.     Access to Public Records   


                                                          2.    Residency, Homeless and Visas    


    1:20 – 2:20               Breakout Session II


    1.    Administrative Contracts                                                      

                                                          2.    Employee 504 Plans               


    2:25 – 4:00               Plenary Session Current Cases, Laws and Trends

                                                          by Attorney Ben Scungio

    RIDE Cases, Social Media, Evaluation Law,


    The 2015




    Is sponsored by

    The East Bay Educational Collaborative


    The event is free for RISSA and RIASBO members and teams from their districts. Contact Tim Ryan (RISSA) ( or John Ritchotte (RIASBO) to register.

  • 08 Dec 2014 10:25 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)


    On November 20 RISSA members from nearly every district in the State attended a professional development activity for public school leaders the Hassenfeld Institute at Bryant University.  

    The seminar, Foundation for Success: Superintendents Managing the Transition to a New Administration, was attended by superintendents as well as the leadership team from the Rhode Island Department of Education. Gary Sasse, Director of the Institute, led the first session by discussing the best practices and opportunities with the next gubernatorial administration and newly elected school committees. Dr. Elzobtbek Rustambekov  of the Management Department then conducted a fascinating discussion of multi-stakeholder collaboration.

    The afternoon discussion, moderated by Gary, led an open and in-depth dialog between district and State educational leaders regarding their goals and perspectives and laid the groundwork for an ongoing, formal structure for collaboration. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Gary Sasse and Kate Cantwell from the Institute and the hospitality of Bryant University.


2480 Post Road, Warwick, RI  02886

Mailing Address:  PO Box 7791, Warwick, RI  02887

(p) 401.272.9811, Press 3
(f) 401.272.9834
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