PROVIDENCE, R.I. __ A beloved motif in sitcoms and cartoons is the bumbling high school faculty. Teachers, principals and guidance counselors are portrayed as incompetent fools who can hardly help themselves, much less their students. But in Rhode Island, this image is itself divorced from reality. The Ocean State’s high schools are on the offense, helping undocumented students navigate the thorny process of applying to college.
Kyleen Carpenter, Head of Blackstone Academy Charter School in Pawtucket“We get so much information. We’re feeding it to the students and their families,” says Kyleen Carpenter, Head of Blackstone Academy Charter School in Pawtucket. Since the passage of the in-state tuition policy for undocumented students in 2011, Rhode Island high schools have bombarded undocumented students with information, making clear their education doesn’t have to end after high school.