Rhode Island's Charter Schools

Rhode Island's charter schools are public schools authorized by the State of Rhode Island to operate independently from many state and local district rules and regulations. Each charter school is able to establish educational strategies that meet the specific student achievement goals and objectives outlined in each school's charter.

Rhode Island General Law 16-77-5.1(b) designates the Board of Education as the authorizer for charter schools. In this capacity, the Board of Education is responsible for charter school approval, renewal and revocation. RIDE is delegated with the authority and responsibility to manage a comprehensive system of charter school accountability, review, and monitoring, and system management. With the support of RIDE’s charter office, the Board of Education plays a fundamental role in maintaining and advancing the quality and accountability of the charter sector. Rhode Island is one of only seven states in which the SEA, in conjunction with the State Board, is the sole authorizer. As the sole authorizer, the Board bears substantial responsibility for balancing the statutory goal of increased autonomy of charter schools against the accountability required by the state and federal authorities.

Types of Rhode Island Charter Schools

  • District Charter Schools: Schools created by existing public schools, groups of public school personnel, public school districts, or a group of school districts.
  • Independent Charter Schools: Schools created by: (i) Rhode Island nonprofit organizations provided that these nonprofit organizations shall have existed for at least two (2) years and must exist for a substantial reason other than to operate a school or (ii) Colleges or universities within the State of Rhode Island.
  • Mayoral Academies: Schools created by a mayor of any city or town within the State of Rhode Island, acting by or through a nonprofit organization (regardless of the time said nonprofit organization is in existence) to establish a mayoral academy.

Attributes of Charter Schools

The charter school differs from the traditional public school in the following ways:

  • Autonomy: Charter schools are created and governed by independent boards and operated separately from the policies of traditional school districts. In exchange for this autonomy, the state has certain expectations.
  • Accountability: Charter schools are held accountable for meeting student achievement goals and face charter revocation if they under-perform.
  • Choice: Charter schools provide choice for parents and students seeking alternatives to public education.
  • Innovation: Charter schools are expected to be vanguards in improving and expanding opportunities within public education.

List of Charter Schools

To access a school's web site, please click the school name.
Name Grades (Fall 2016) Grades (Authorized) Enrolling Communities
Academy for Career Exploration 9-12 9-12 Providence
Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy K-4 K-5 Cranston, Providence, North Providence, Warwick
Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy II K-2 K-4 Cranston, Providence, North Providence, Warwick
Beacon Charter School 9-12 9-12 Statewide
Beacon Founder's Academy 6-7 6-8  Statewide
Blackstone Academy Charter School 9-12 9-12 Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - ES1 K-4 K-4 Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - ES2 K-4 K-4 Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - ES3 K-1 K-4 Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - MS 5-8 5-8 Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - MS2 5 5-8 Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - HS 9 9-12 Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
The Compass School K-8 K-8 Statewide
The Greene School 9-12 9-12 Statewide
Highlander Charter School PK-12 PK-12 Statewide
Hope Academy K-2 K-8 Providence, North Providence
International Charter School K-5 K-8 Statewide
Kingston Hill Academy K-5 K-5 Statewide
The Learning Community K-8 K-8 Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence
NEL/CPS Construction & Career Academy 9-12 9-12 Statewide
Paul Cuffee Charter School K-12 K-12 Providence
RI Nurses Institute 9-12 9-12 Statewide
RISE Prep Mayoral Academy K-1 K-8 Burrillville, North Smithfield, Woonsocket
Segue Institute for Learning 6-8 6-8 Central Falls
Sheila C. "Skip" Nowell Leadership Academy - Central Falls 9-12 9-12 Statewide
Sheila C. "Skip" Nowell Leadership Academy - Providence 9-12 9-12 Statewide
SouthSide Elementary Charter School K-2 K-4 Providence
Times2 Academy K-12 K-12 Providence
Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts 7-12 7-12 Providence
The Village Green Virtual Charter School 9-12 9-12 Statewide

List of Charter Schools in Rhode Island
This document lists all charter schools, grade levels served, communities served and charter type. 

Charter School Resources and Lottery

Resources for Families and Community

  • State of Rhode Island's Charter Public Schools: The Office of Charter Schools is pleased to release The State of Rhode Island’s Charter Public Schools, a report providing data and descriptive information on charter public schools across Rhode Island. - April 2014 [PDF] 
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): This document addresses many common questions about charter public schools in Rhode Island. [PDF] 
  • 2017-18 RI Charter School Application:  English |  Spanish | Portuguese   These are editable Microsoft Word documents. To complete this application, please write in the school name in the form and return to the school to which your student is applying.

Resources for Charter School Administrators 

Charter School Accountability

Charter School Accountability

In addition to being classified just as any other Rhode Island public school, Charter schools are reviewed and held accountable for meeting student academic and organizational performance goals and face charter revocation or non renewal if they under-perform. If successful, each charter may be granted a term for up to 5 years. 

Charter schools in Rhode Island are held to common measures of academic, financial and organizational performance. Specifically: 

Please review the new Charter School Performance Review System Handbook for more detail on the above indicators and information about the renewal process. 

 *Updated January 2017 to reflect the revised 15-16 Statewide Accountability System.

Each year beginning with the 2016-17 school year, RIDE will publish an annual Charter School Performance Report based on the indicators above. The report template can be found here.  


Charter School Proposals Under Review and Public Hearings

2018-2019 Requests for Proposals for New Charter Seats and Public Comment 

The Office of College and Career Readiness will invite members of the public to provide written public comment on completed charter proposals starting on July 7 and lasting through November 1. Comments may be submitted by e-mail to RICharters@ride.ri.gov, by mail to RIDE at 255 Westminster Street Providence, RI 02903 or at public hearings, scheduled by RIDE. RIDE will conduct at least two (2) public hearings to be held in the community where each proposed charter school is to be located. The schedule for public hearings will be provided on this website no later than September 1. 

Proposals for New Charter Schools: 

  • To Be Posted

Requests for Expansion: 

  • To Be Posted

Local Impact Analyses

Any applicant, school district, elected official, government entity, or research institution (including, but not limited to post-secondary institutions) may provide a written local impact analysis statement directly to RIDE by August 25, 2017. This local impact analysis statement may choose to comment on a proposal’s: a) fiscal impact on a city or town; b) programmatic impact on the sending school district; and/or, c) the educational impact on the students in the district. These local impact analysis statements may be submitted by e-mail to RICharters@ride.ri.gov or by mail to RIDE at 255 Westminster Street Providence, RI 02903.

RIDE’s local impact analysis and all received local impact analyses will be publicly posted for each proposal on September 1, 2017. The public may choose to review and incorporate these local impact analyses into their public comments that they provide in written format to RIDE or via public comment hearings.

Comments and Local Impact Analyses may be submitted by email to: RIcharters@ride.ri.gov or by paper mail to:
Rhode Island Department of Education
Office of College and Career Readiness 
Attn: Charter School Comments
255 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903


Public Hearings

Public Hearings Schedule

  • TBD


Starting or Expanding Charter Schools

Starting or Expanding a Charter School

Requests for Proposals for New Student Seats

The following resources are for all charter proposals to open new student seats (new charter schools and expansions) in the fall 2018. RIDE streamlined the authorization process for new and expanding charters into one centralized document, to help provide consistency and clarity for charter applicants.

Please refer to this timetable of anticipated dates

Sharing Practice

Site Documents

Documents on this site require the use of the following programs:

DOC - Microsoft Word

PDF - Acrobat Reader

PPT - Microsoft PowerPoint

XLS - Microsoft Excel