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Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a new federal education law (replacing No Child Left Behind) that provides states with a great deal of flexibility in a number of key areas, including academic standards, accountability, support for school improvement, student and educator support, and use of federal education funds.

The law gives an opportunity for us to further develop our work and our resourcing plan for Rhode Island's Strategic Plan for PK-12 Education, completed in 2015, using ESSA as a lever to achieve our state-developed vision.  The U.S. Department of Education has asked all states to submit a plan for transition to ESSA, and our goal at the R.I. Department of Education (RIDE) is to complete our plan and submit it by July 2017. Over the course of the 2016-2017 school year, RIDE will be engaging with the greater education community with critical questions surrounding our state plan through multiple channels, including:

Updated information on ESSA and RI-specific resources will be posted below.

Rhode Island Community Outreach

The general public will be given multiple opportunities to weigh in on the ESSA state plan, including community forums, surveys, meetings to give suggestions, and a public comment period.

Spring 2017: Community Forums

RIDE will host four regional community forums in late April and early May to share updates and gather feedback on the draft recommendations for the state's ESSA plan.

All forums will take place from 5:30-7:30pm at the following dates and locations:

  • Providence Area: Monday, April 24
    Cranston High School East
    899 Park Avenue, Cranston, RI
  • Southern Rhode Island: Wednesday, April 26
    Narragansett High School
    245 South Pier Road, Narragansett, RI
  • East Bay: Thursday, April 27
    Pell Elementary School
    35 Dexter Street, Newport, RI
  • Northern Rhode Island: Monday, May 1
    Cumberland High School
    2600 Mendon Road, Cumberland, RI
  • West Bay: Wednesday, May 3
    West Warwick High School
    1 Webster Knight Drive, West Warwick, RI

More information and registration links will be posted soon!

Winter 2017: Community Engagement


Our ESSA team has been meeting with various groups since the Fall 2016 Community Forums, including but not limited to the following:

  • Progreso Latino (November 14, 2016)
  • English Learners Advisory Council (November 28, 2016)
  • Rhode Island Superintendents Association (December 1, 2016)
  • Child Welfare Community Meeting (December 12, 2016)
  • NEA/AFT Leadership (December 19, 2016)
  • District Teachers of the Year (January 11, 2017)
  • Rhode Island Association of School Principals (January 18, 2017)
  • Ambassador Design Team for the RI Strategic Plan for Education (January 19, 2017)
  • 21st Century CCLC Community (January 24, 2017)
  • Title I Directors (TBD)

Fall 2016: Phase 1 Input Survey

The public forums for this phase of the process are finished, but we still want to hear from you! If you missed a forum, or if you attended but would like to share more, we welcome your input via this online survey: Phase 1: Seeking Input Survey.  The questions are the same as were asked in the small discussion groups at the forums. You can review the questions here: Phase 1: Seeking Input Survey Questions [PDF, 47KB]

This survey will be open until December 16, 2016.

Please share the link through your networks: with your colleagues, family, friends, schools, teachers, students, organizations, elected officials - every Rhode Islander.

For more information, please contact ESSA@ride.ri.gov.

Fall 2016 Community Forums: Every Student. Every Voice.


As Rhode Island prepares to transition to the new federal education law - the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) - RIDE held five community forums to collect public input about how we can reach RI’s vision for every student. Students, parents, teachers, community members, and leaders across the state were extended an open invitation to share experiences to help inform the ESSA implementation plan in Rhode Island.

A flyer was posted on the website in English [PDF, 221KB] and Spanish [PDF, 223KB], shared through social media (Twitter and Facebook), and sent out via newsletter (sign up ESSA updates here). Printer-friendly versions are available in English [PDF, 199KB] and Spanish [PDF, 206KB].

All forums took place from 5:30-7:30pm at the following dates and locations:

  • Providence Area: Wednesday, November 2 at Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex. Spanish language interpretation services available.
  • Northern Rhode Island: Wednesday, November 9 at Lincoln Middle School
  • West Bay: Monday, November 14 at Coventry High School
  • East Bay: Thursday, November 17 at Portsmouth High School
  • Southern Rhode Island: Monday, November 21 at South Kingstown High School
Fall Forum Documents:

Committee of Practitioners

To help guide this process, we are convening a Committee of Practitioners, which will meet monthly to give the RIDE team input on high-level questions concerning ESSA, to serve as liaisons to the community at large regarding our planning process, and to weigh in on multiple drafts of the Rhode Island State ESSA Plan.

More information on the Committee of Practitioners can be found below.

ESSA Resources

Helpful ESSA documents and other resources related to RI's vision for education in Rhode Island will be posted here.

Critical Stakeholder Groups

Affinity groups across the state will be consulted at various points throughout the ESSA state planning process on specific topics that pertain to them through individual and joint meetings, and web-based communication.


Policy Makers

Elected and appointed officials at the state level will be informed of the input from constituents across the state and will be asked to weigh in on a variety of topics throughout the planning process.