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EPISODE #108, March 26 at 7:30pm

This episode of Rhode Island Classroom presents four stories.

New Skills for Youth visits North Scituate's Ponaganset High School's career and college readiness program that has grabbed national attention. The program allows students to choose one of seven different career paths, and graduate with college credit or career certification.

RIDE Commissioner Ken Wagner 
The segment includes interviews with the superintendent of Foster-Gloucester Regional Schools, Michael Barnes, the RI Commissioner of Education Ken Wagner, and the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Chris Minnich.

Paying for College explores the various options for students and families to plan, save, and pay for college. Starting with Governor Gina Raimondo and her “free tuition” proposal, Rhode Island Classroom also interviewed representatives of the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority, about various plans from financial aid to scholarships to low-interest loans.  

Family Fun Activity CardsPre-school prep presents the RI Department of Education’s "Fun Family Activity Cards," designed to help parents prepare their young children for school.

Data supports the belief that children are more successful academically if they are prepared for school at an early age. Aligned with the latest early learning standards, the cards provide ideas (books and activities) for parents and caregivers of pre-school children, to give the children a jump-start on learning, long before Kindergarten.

Rhode Island Classroom visits with Mary Ann Snider, the deputy commissioner of the Rhode Island Department of Education, as well as a mom and her children who use the cards, and an educator who trains families to use the cards.

fidget spinners In the last segment, they are the latest “toy” craze: Fidget Spinners. And they are being sold faster than local stores can stock them. They are fun, come in an array of colors, and it seems every school-age child has one.

However, what was once a “tool” to help a child concentrate has now become a distraction. Educators, administrators, and therapists weigh in on the benefits and drawbacks of this latest phenomenon. 

EPISODE #109 (Air date TBA)

There's a new academic game show in town and Rhode Island Classroom takes a first look.

High School QuIz Show: Rhode Island

Rhode Island Classroom cameras go behind-the-scenes of the brand new Rhode Island PBS production of High School Quiz Show: Rhode Island® in advance of the show's premiere on March 31 at 6 p.m. Meet the debonair host John O’Hurley (Family Feud, Seinfeld) and show producer John Smith. Viewers will see video and photos of the competing teams on the set, and learn how the show came to be here at Rhode Island PBS.


​In another segment, Rhode Island Classroom visits with the Teacher of the Year Niko Giannopoulos, whose photo with President Donald Trump went viral on social media. But just what does it mean to be "Teacher of the Year"? What does it entail, and how and when is the honoree chosen? Rhode Island Classroom asks the current and immediate past Teachers of the Year, as well as the commisioner of education.

In the third segment, Rhode Island Classroom explores recess in elementary schools. Rhode Island passed a law in 2016 mandating 20 minutes of recess in every elementary school. Some schools are taking recess to a new, 21st century level, making it part of the social-emotional learning in their schools. Playworks New England is a non-profit organization that helps schools to transform recess from a free-for-all into a safe, healthy, active place. 


Rhode Island Classroom explores the latest technology, lessons, and people who are making the grade in Rhode Island's Kindergarten through grade 12 classrooms. Produced by WSBE Rhode Island PBS, Rhode Island Classroom is a half-hour quarterly series that introduces stand-out teachers who are inspiring students, break-through courses offered in area schools, and new, exciting programs that are motivating students to succeed.

Nicole Muri SearlesNicole Muri SearlesProducer: Nicole has vast experience in television as a reporter, anchor and producer covering some of the biggest stories in New England. A native Rhode Islander, she is happiest telling local stories that make an impact. Nicole brings tremendous storytelling acumen to the programs she produces including, Community Conversations, Rhode Island Classroom and Our Town, a Rhode Island favorite.

For comments and questions, please email Nicole Muri.