A State on the Move
A Message from the Commissioner of Education
It’s long been said being challenged in life is inevitable, but being defeated is optional. In Rhode Island, we are rising to the challenge to provide students of all zip codes with a world-class education -- because our kids deserve nothing less.
As we move forward, the Rhode Island Department of Education is committed to tearing down barriers to success and opening doors for students. To do so, we must provide the academic, social-emotional, and wrap-around services our school communities need year-round. We must invest in all students. In accordance with the Learning, Equity, & Accelerated Pathways Task Force Report and recommendations, RIDE and schools statewide are elevating and centering the needs of historically underserved students. To improve student outcomes, we have to ensure that students most in need are not forgotten.
From implementing high-quality curriculum to providing more professional development opportunities for educators and the 2022 approval of a historic $1.5 billion in local and state school construction referendums, Rhode Island is reimagining its education system and empowering students to create their own futures. A major step in that effort is the revision of Rhode Island’s high school graduation requirements. The revised secondary regulations establish college and career-ready coursework as the default expectation for every child in Rhode Island regardless of where they live, their parent’s income, the language they speak at home, or their disability status. Learn more about the Readiness-Based Graduation Requirements here.
The 2022 RICAS results showed a significant increase in math proficiency, demonstrating that we are moving in the right direction. To truly move the dial, Governor Dan McKee and I recognize the need to support students in and out of the classroom. That’s why we are proud to be making significant investments in extended learning opportunities that strengthen partnerships between schools and community-based organizations. This shift to year-round learning – from 180 school days to learning 365 - will help close the gap caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, researchers from the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment found it will take three to five years to return to pre-pandemic levels of learning. However, we don’t just want to catch up; we want to move ahead – we want our students to leap ahead to achievement. After all, we are a state on the move.
RIDE shares its gratitude with our school communities who are working alongside the agency to ensure equitable learning recovery, making strategic investments, and creating positive school cultures. Together, we will rise to the challenge before us and create a new and better education system—one that gives every student the support and opportunities they need to thrive.
A statewide school calendar enables Rhode Island students, educators, and families to operate on an aligned schedule. This recommended calendar allows:
The LEA decision for the first day of school to be scheduled no later than September 7, 2023.
The option to include additional holidays observed by the school community.
Alignment of vacation weeks, which provides consistency for families and staff.
Flexibility to LEAs on the last day of school, depending on the year start date, professional development days, holidays, and other observances, while still requiring a minimum of 180 days of instruction.
Families and staff should check with their local LEAs and schools for specific schedules.