Janice DeFrances is an experienced school leader and mental health advocate with a proven history of innovation, effective program development and team building for meaningful change in learning environments. She has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors as a school principal, special education director and CEO/president. She holds two master’s degrees in special education and counseling, a doctorate in administration/special education and a post-doctorate in neuropsychology.
In addition to her administrative duties, DeFrances continues her work as an educator and researcher, with a focus in the areas of child development, holistic education, trauma-informed practice, arts and healing and the promotion of positive mental health, applying theory to practice and developing effective programs to serve children, youth and families. She served for eight years on the North Kingstown School Committee and held the position of state director of Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families. Currently she is an instructional coach for Southside Elementary Charter School and a grant writer for St. Mary’s Home for Children.