Ponaganset High School
Glocester, Rhode Island
A school on a path toward equitable, personalized learning for all.
Ponaganset High School students experience rigorous learning that connects with their interests and passions. The school sits on a rural 100-acre campus and enrolls more than 900 students from all over Rhode Island.
Educators at Ponaganset created a program of choice that offers industry-specific college and career pathways, allowing students to earn college credits and industry certifications. A leader in project- and work-based learning, Ponaganset offers programs like agriculture and animal sciences, engineering and robotics, materials and manufacturing, and biomedical sciences. Through partnerships with postsecondary institutions, students can enroll in courses that prepare them for high-demand, high-wage employment sectors.
“We believe all students must be prepared for college and careers, not college or careers.”
Senior Passion Project Coordinator and Math Teacher
“Our pathways are highly valued, highly regarded, and highly supported. Students graduate with either college credit or industry certification.”
Foster-Gloster Superintendent and former Ponaganset High School principal
Design Principles in Action
Learn how Ponaganset High School School applies these XQ Design Principles to sustain student success
Caring, trusting relationships
Ponaganset staff provides support through the Start, Stay, and Finish Strong program that ensures that all students have the benefit of a comprehensive system of academic, career, and social services to help them stay focused on the future, make yearly progress, and successfully complete college and career preparatory classes. Recognizing that the transition to high school is a particularly critical period, Ponaganset educators ensure alignment with students’ middle schools.
Youth voice and choice
Students pursue their passions through self-selected learning pathways designed to prepare them for success in college and careers. The Ponaganset High School community is committed to building an inclusive culture that ensures that every voice is heard, valued, and empowered.
Smart use of time, space, and tech
School leaders have intentionally built personalization blocks in the school schedule that allow students to assemble a personalized, digital portfolio, where they demonstrate their readiness for an ever-changing world. This includes a commitment to innovative credentialing—beyond seat time and course credit—which is why the team developed a badging system: a system of digital badges that track students’ progress toward several achievements. In addition to tracking traditional academic progress, Ponaganset students know exactly which benchmarks they’ve hit to achieve the school’s multi-dimensional Vision of a Graduate. Students can also earn external certifications or designations; credentials for the skills they develop both in and out of school; and personalized pathway badges that allow students to define their own pathway majors beyond the existing formalized CTE pathways. Students and adults receive support through an equitable allocation of resources, comprehensive school counseling, individual learning plans, flexible block scheduling, a personalization period, and connections to parents, community, business, and higher education institutions.