Janice DeFrances is an experienced school leader and mental health advocate with a proven history of innovative, effective program development and team building for meaningful change in learning environments.
DeFrances was director of Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth and Families serving from 2011–15. Prior to that, she served for more than 35 years in both the public and private sector as a school principal, special education director and CEO.Currently, DeFrances is the special education director and professional coach at a local charter school.
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 and the promotion of positive mental health, applying theory to practice and developing effective programs to serve children, youth and families. She has served on the North Kingstown School Committee for eight years, serving also as chairperson on the policy subcommittee. She had taught in the TLAD department for more than 25 years.