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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 Council on Elementary and Secondary Education (the Council) as the authorizer for charter schools. In this capacity, the Council 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 team, the Council 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's Board of Education, is the sole authorizer. As the sole authorizer, the Council 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

The complete list of charter schools, grades served, their locations and enrolling communities are listed below.  To access a school's web site, please click the school name below.

Printable List of Charter Schools in Rhode Island.  This document provides information in a single, printable page for all charter schools, links to each web-page, grade levels served, communities served and charter type

Name Grades
(Fall 2018)
Grades
(Authorized)
Location Enrolling Communities
Academy for Career Exploration 9-12 9-12 155 Harrison Street
Providence, RI
Providence
Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Elementary K-4 K-4 370 Hartford Avenue
Providence, RI
Cranston,
North Providence,
Providence,
Warwick
Achievement First Illuminar Mayoral Academy Elementary  K-4 K-4 370 Hartford Avenue
Providence, RI
Cranston,
North Providence,
Providence,
Warwick
Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Middle 5, 6 5-8 370 Hartford Avenue
Providence, RI
Cranston,
North Providence,
Providence,
Warwick
Beacon Charter School 9-12 9-12 320 Main Street
Woonsocket, RI
Statewide
Beacon Founder's Academy 6-8 6-8 1 Social Street
Woonsocket, RI
Statewide
Blackstone Academy Charter School 9-12 9-12 334 Pleasant Street
Pawtucket, RI
Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - ES1 K-4 K-4 291 Broad Street
Cumberland, RI
Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - ES2 K-4 K-4 52 Broad Street
Cumberland, RI
Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - ES3 K-3 K-4 3357 Mendon Road
Cumberland, RI
Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - MS1 5-8 5-8 909 Lonsdale Avenue
Central Falls, RI
Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - MS2 5-7 5-8 3 Fairlawn Way
Lincoln, RI
Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - HS 9-12 9-12 65 Macondray Street
Cumberland, RI
Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Charette High School 9, 10 9-12 335 Westminster St
Providence, RI 
Providence
Highlander Charter School PK-12 PK-12 Upper School (Grades 7-12)
360 Market Street
Warren, RI

Lower School (Grades PK-6)
42 Lexington Avenue
Providence, RI
Statewide
Hope Academy K-4 K-8 1000 Eddy Street
Providence, RI
Providence,
North Providence
International Charter School K-5 K-8 334 Pleasant Street
Pawtucket, RI
Statewide
Kingston Hill Academy K-5 K-5 850 Stony Fort Road 
Saunderstown, RI
Statewide
NEL/CPS Construction & Career Academy 9-12 9-12 4 Sharpe Drive
Cranston, RI
Statewide
Paul Cuffee Charter School K-12 K-12 Upper School (Grades 9-12)
544 Elmwood Avenue
Providence, RI

Middle School (Grades 6-8)
30 Barton Street
Providence, RI

Lower School (Grades K-5)
459 Promenade Street
Providence, RI
Providence
RI Nurses Institute Middle College Charter School  9-12 9-12 150 Washington Street
Providence, RI
Statewide
RISE Prep Mayoral Academy K-3 K-8 1 Social Street
Woonsocket, RI
Burrillville,
North Smithfield, Woonsocket
Segue Institute for Learning 5-8 3-8 325 Cowden Street 
Central Falls, RI
Central Falls
Sheila C. "Skip" Nowell Leadership Academy - Central Campus 9-12 9-12 43 Hawes Street
Central Falls, RI
Statewide
Sheila C. "Skip" Nowell Leadership Academy - Capital Campus 9-12 9-12 133 Delaine Street
Providence, RI
Statewide
SouthSide Elementary Charter School K-4 K-4 135 Prairie Avenue
Providence, RI
Providence
The Compass School K-8 K-8 537 Old North Road
Kingston, RI
 Statewide
The Greene School 9-12 9-12 94 John Potter Road
West Greenwich, RI
Statewide
The Learning Community K-8 K-8 21 Lincoln Avenue
Central Falls, RI
Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence
Times2 Academy K-12 K-12 Middle/High School (Grades 7-12)
50 Fillmore Street
Providence, RI

Elementary School (Grades K-6)
50 Fillmore Street
Providence, RI
Providence
Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts 7-12 7-12 150 Washington Street
Providence, RI
Providence
Village Green Virtual Charter School 9-12 9-12 135 Weybosset Street 
Providence, RI
Statewide

 

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]

2019-20 RI Charter School Application: EnglishEspañol | Português

  • All charter school lotteries will be held on March 1, 2019. An application needs to be submitted to each individual school the student is interested in. Please check with the school for application deadlines.
  • The applications above are editable Microsoft Word documents. To complete an application, please write in the school name in the form and return to the school to which your student is applying.
  • For more information on charter schools, grades and communities served, please see the list of charter schools on this page.

Resources for Charter School Administrators

For School Use: 2019-20 RIDE Issued Charter School Application Templates:

  • When more students apply to a charter school than there are seats available, the school must conduct a random lottery to determine enrollment. Charter school lotteries should be scheduled for March 1, 2019 (Friday).
  • Charter school names and contact information should be pasted into the top of the template. Remove the “optional” placeholder language, highlighted yellow, unless the school has a RIDE-approved optional question.

Updates & Announcements

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.

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

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

  • Student Academic Performance
  • Financial Performance
  • Organizational Performance
  • Legal, Regulatory and Charter Contract Compliance

The handbook has been updated to reflect the revised Statewide Accountability System in alignment with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

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

Starting or Expanding Charter Schools

Starting or Expanding a Charter School


Requests for Proposals for New Student Seats

The resources on this page are for all charter proposals to open new student seats (new charter schools and expansions) in the fall 2020. RIDE invites members of the public to submit applications in response to the Request for Proposals for New Charter Seats to open in academic year 2020-21. RIDE streamlined the authorization process for new and expanding charters into one centralized document, to help provide consistency and clarity for charter applicants. 

RIDE will prioritize proposals that focus on increasing the number of high-quality education options for students who would have otherwise attended a school identified as in need of Comprehensive Support and School Improvement and for educationally disadvantaged students: economically-disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, and/or English learners.

The deadline for submission is July 8, 2019. All completed proposals under review will be available to this website on July 15, 2019.

Technical Assistance

RIDE will host two Charter New Seats Convenings, Please see below for more information. Any party interested in additional technical assistance should e-mail RICharters@ride.ri.gov. 

  • What: “Call to Action,” technical assistance sessions for community members interested in applying to open new charter seats. 
  • Who: Facilitated by The League of Charters and Rhode Island Department of Education 
  • Where: Rhode Island Department of Education, Room 501
  • When: May 1, 2019, 5:30PM
  • RSVP: Please Register for the session using this form
  • Why: The “Call to Action,” requests the activation of community stakeholders to help ensure that every student is afforded their right to a high-quality education. The “Call to Action” is anchored in the demonstrated demand for high-quality educational seats, through lottery and waitlist data, and the academic performance of students under ESSA. The “Call to Action” will be one of many modes for technical assistance to community stakeholders and applicant groups that are seeking to respond to the demand for high-quality seats with a new seat application. Other modes for TA include one on one meetings, webinars, and other avenues for follow up.

Charter School Program Grant Startup Information

Charter School Proposals Under Review and Public Hearings

2019 Requests for Proposals for New Charter Seats and Public Comment

The Charter School Office will invite members of the public to provide written public comment on completed charter proposals starting on July 15 and lasting through October 30. 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 3.

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 23, 2019. 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 3, 2019. 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.

RIDE will invite members of the public to provide written public comment on completed charter proposals through October 30, 2019. Members of the public may submit public comment through the following opportunities:

  1. Written Public Comment – Once proposals are available, written comments may be submitted via mail to 255 Westminster Street Providence, RI 02903 Attn: Pascale Pierre Thompson, e-mail to RICharters@ride.ri.gov, or to RIDE staff at scheduled public hearings.
  2. Public Comment Hearings – 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 may be found in the information above. In the event that translation services are needed, please e-mail RICharters@ride.ri.gov, at least 7 days prior to the public hearing date so appropriate accommodations can be made.
  3. Local Impact Analyses - The Local Impact Analysis statement may 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. All applicant teams, school districts, elected officials, government entities, and research institutions (including, but not limited to post-secondary institutions) will be invited to provide a written local impact analysis statement directly to RIDE by August 23, 2019. 

 

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