School and District Improvement

Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) Schools

The Rhode Island ESSA State Plan requires the lowest performing schools in the state to be identified for comprehensive support and improvement (CSI). These schools will develop and implement Comprehensive Support and Improvement Plans (CSIPs) which satisfy the requirements of ESSA and the Education Accountability Act's (EAA) requirements for School Improvement Plans (SIPs). CSIPs will be developed and implemented with support of a Comprehensive School Improvement Team (CSIT) which satisfies the community advisory board requirements of ESSA and the EAA's SIT requirements.

List of CSI Schools and LEAs

CSI Practitioners' Guide (coming soon)

  • Module 1
  • Module 2
  • Module 3
  • Module 4


Continuous improvement modules:

  1. Education Accountability Act Guidance Document 
  2. Needs Assessment: Navigating the School Report Card
  3. Conducting Root Cause Analysis
  4. Setting SMART+E Goals
  5. Selecting Evidence-based Interventions
  6. Planning for Implementation
  7. Setting Priorities
  8. Evidence Based Initiative Planning

Redesign Schools

The Rhode Island ESSA State Plan stipulates that schools which remain in CSI status for four consecutive years must undergo additional intervention, known as School Redesign.

Through a School Redesign, LEAs will authentically engage with their educators and Community Advisory Boards (see below) to fundamentally redesign and relaunch the school as a model that will be best positioned to address student needs and promote student achievement.

LEAs may choose from one of the five following School Redesign models: 

1. Empowerment: A school is redesigned pursuant to the Rhode Island General Law 16-3.2-1: School and Families Empowerment Act, with elements including alternative governance, an empowered leader, and a comprehensive list of autonomies and performance targets agreed upon by the school, the LEA, and RIDE. Success of similar approaches in Massachusetts was supported by a 2016 study conducted by the American Institute for Research. 

2. Restart: A school is reopened under the management of a charter management organization, educational management organization, or other state-approved managing entity with a proven record of successfully operating schools. 

3. Small Schools of Choice: An evidence-based whole school reform, where a school is reorganized into one or more “small schools” (roughly 100 students per grade) which emphasize student-centered personalized learning programs and relationships between students and adults; a rigorous and well-defined instructional program; long instructional blocks that promote interdisciplinary work; and a focus on postsecondary preparation. Evidence supporting Small Schools of Choice as an effective turnaround model can be found in MDRC’s research study of NYC public schools in 2014. 

4. LEA Proposed Redesign: An LEA designed alternative model, which meets the following criteria: a) a high quality school leader, b) a new school model, and c) significant school autonomy. This may include an alternative governance model for the school. 

5. Closure: A school ceases all operations and students are relocated to schools that are not identified as in need of comprehensive support and improvement. 

The model selected by LEAs should be grounded in data accompanied by thoughtful analysis of why school improvement efforts thus far have been insufficient. LEAs’ redesign plans will be subject to approval by the Rhode Island Council for Elementary and Secondary Education. 


School Redesign Application
School Redesign Rubric

LEAP District Support Program

The Learning, Equity, and Accelerated Pathways District Support Program is a 2-year program to support the state’s districts that were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and align their post-pandemic recovery efforts to the recommendations of the LEAP Task Force. Program participants will be eligible for matching funds from a pool of more than $20 million to invest in programs that will accelerate student learning in the coming years, as well as specialized supports.

The LEAP District Support Program will support districts in accelerating learning post-pandemic through a multistep process that will dovetail the LEAP Task Force findings, RIDE’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, and the state’s District Accountability legislation to provide a centralized support mechanism for school districts. Eligible districts will have access to matching funding, ranging from $1.4 million to $4 million, from RIDE to invest in targeted district improvement efforts, a designated LEAP District Support Fellow to support the work, workshops and professional development through the Center for Education Policy and Research at Harvard University’s Proving Ground program, support with data analysis and disaggregation, and specific supports tailored to each districts’ needs.


District Fellow Grant Amount District Selected Priority Areas
Central Falls  Mike Mancieri $3.8 Million Instruction, Talent, Student Well-being, School Improvement
East Providence  Stacy Jones $2.9 Million Instruction, Talent, Equity
Johnston  Mike Mancieri $1.4 Million Equity, Instruction, Talent
Newport  Stacy Jones $1.7 Million Equity, Expanded Learning, Student Engagement 
North Providence  Azi Noorbaloochi $1.5 Million Equity, Instruction, Student Well-being
Pawtucket  Stacy Jones $4.0 Million Student Engagement, Talent, Equity
Providence  Mike Mancieri * *
West Warwick  Azi Noorbaloochi $2.0 Million Instruction, Equity, Student Engagement
Woonsocket  Azi Noorbaloochi $4.0 Million Instruction, Student Well-being, Expanded Learning, Equity

*Due to the state takeover, Providence's participation in the DSP and its grants are different from the other 8 participating districts.


District Resources

The LEAP DSP districts are engaging in a process of continuous improvement and strategic allocation of resources in four distinct phases. Along each step of the process, they will be tasked with specific activities and provided relevant tools, resources, and supports, found below.


  • Resources coming soon


  • Tool Link - Description of Tool
  • Quarter 1 Memo Link
  • Phase 1 Update
  • Press Release


  • Implementation Guide - Description (coming soon)

LEAP DSP Steering Committees

About the LEAP DSP Steering Committees


The Education Accountability Act

In 2019, the R.I. Education Accountability Act (SO6084) (referred to as the “Act”) passed to allow for site-based management at the school level, creating an expansion in the responsibilities of school leaders and School Improvement Teams (SITs).  This shift in governance structure within an LEA also created differences in the roles and responsibilities held by LEA administrators and School Committees/Boards. Additionally, the Act expanded upon the ways in which LEAs and individual schools will be assessed, monitored, and held accountable for reporting on progress and performance. Finally, RIDE was tasked with providing guidelines around school and district planning, reporting, and sharing of best practices.


EAA Guidance (coming soon)

School Improvement Teams Guidance

Self-paced modules on establishing and maximizing School Improvement Teams 

LEA Strategic Planning

The Education Accountability Act of 2019 requires that all LEAs develop and implement a 3-5 year strategic plan. RIDE has developed a Statewide Strategic Planning System (SPS) to house these plans in a uniform manner.

RIDE will be providing tiered supports to LEAs developing new strategic plans and/or entering strategic plans into the Strategic Planning System. More information can be found here: Link to Tiered System of Support One Pager


(coming soon)

LEA Strategic Planning FAQs

LEA Strategic Planning Template

LEA Strategic Planning Exemplar

Strategic Planning System

Strategic Planning System Technical Manual

Resource Allocation Tools

School Improvement Team Composition

School Improvement Planning

As part of the Education Accountability Act of 2019, all schools are required to develop and implement a School Improvement Plan with input and support from a School Improvement Team, comprised of educators and community members.

The primary duties stipulated by the Education Accountability Act of 2019 for SITs include consulting with and assisting the principal to:

  • identify the educational needs of students,  
  • develop, assess, and evaluate a curriculum accommodation plan to meet student needs, 
  • prepare the school budget,  
  • develop an annual plan for improving student performance, and 
  • recommend the hiring of school personnel


(coming soon)


School Improvement Template

School Improvement Exemplar

RIDE School Improvement Team Guidance

Self-paced modules on establishing and maximizing School Improvement Teams 

School Improvement FAQs

Continuous improvement modules:

  1. Education Accountability Act Guidance Document 
  2. Needs Assessment: Navigating the School Report Card
  3. Conducting Root Cause Analyses
  4. Setting SMART+E Goals
  5. Selecting Evidence-based Interventions
  6. Planning for Implementation
  7. Quick Reference Guide: School Improvement Composition
  8. School Improvement Team Suggested Timeline