Back to School: The 2023-2024 School Year

Use the hashtags #Back2SchoolRI and #Cool2BeInSchoolRI to share how you’re preparing for the return to school! Note: this webpage will be updated throughout the school year.

It’s Cool to Be in School!

In the blink of an eye, Rhode Island students and educators are wrapping up their summer learning and kicking off the start to the 2023-2024 school year. This year, Rhode Island isn’t just opening doors to new, state-of-the-art buildings – we're also opening doors to opportunity. From real-world relevant courses to unique and engaging out-of-school learning opportunities, Rhode Island is working to ensure all students are equipped with what they need to thrive during their educational journey and graduate prepared for college and career.

To do this, we must work collectively to care for the whole child and support them academically, socially, and emotionally. We must build positive, inclusive school climates that promote strong engagement and attendance. We must address challenges and tear down barriers to student success. To truly move the needle and improve student outcomes, we must work together – because our students deserve nothing less.

This back-to-school webpage is intended to serve as a hub of resources for administrators, educators, families, and students navigating the start of school and the Rhode Island education system. Navigate the drop-down menus below and explore resources for use by students, families, educators, administrators, and community members alike.

School attendance is a powerful predictor of student outcomes. Rhode Island defines chronic absenteeism as the percentage of students who miss 10% or more of school days during the year (or two days per month). Research shows that chronic absenteeism is associated with a number of negative consequences for students, including lower achievement, disengagement from school, course failure, and an increased risk of dropping out. Attendance each day is even more critical to help get students on track in the wake of the pandemic.  We know some absences are unavoidable, but any absence makes it more difficult for children to keep up with the daily learning needed to grow and succeed. Absences may also speak to larger issues around school climate, which is why it is important schools use their data to problem solve and provide students with necessary support and interventions.

To assist school leaders in addressing chronic absenteeism, RIDE staff in partnership with the Governor’s Innovation Office developed the Attendance Tool in 2018. Unique to this suite of tools is the Attendance Nudge, a mobile application which allows principals to communicate with families when student absences become a concern. Piloted in East Providence, the Attendance Tool is now used in more than 120 schools across 23 school districts.

It pays to stay in school. Studies show workers’ earnings increase as educational attainment rises. The lifetime earnings of a full-time, full-year worker with a high school diploma is $1.6 million, while those with an associate degree earn $2 million. Bachelor’s degree holders earn a median of $2.8 million during their career.  

  • PrepareRI: Career exploration, education, college credit, jobs and internships
  • EnrollRI: All Course Network
  • Learn more about Rhode Island’s Readiness-Based Graduation Requirements

2023-2024 Student Spotlights

What are your goals for the 2023-2024 school year? In our annual Student Spotlight series, we’re hearing directly from students about their hopes during the new academic year. From eager elementary schoolers to students preparing for life after high school, hear from #OurKids in the spotlights below. New spotlights will be uploaded each week!

  • Maddy, Bernon Heights Elementary School, Woonsocket
  • Armani, Davies Career and Technical High School
  • Jeremiah, Cranston High School East
  • EvanWilbur McMahon School, Little Compton
  • Keily and Nana, Nathanael Greene Middle School and Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex, Providence

2022 Student Spotlights:

  • Charlie, Johnston High School 
  • Alex, Smith Hill Early Learning Center
  • Savanah, Cranston High School West
  • Blythe, Narragansett Elementary School
  • Paige and Abby, Narragansett Elementary School and Cumberland Public Schools 

Knowledge is power. A great way to stay informed on the latest in Rhode Island education is to sign up for Commissioner Infante-Green's weekly memos to administrators, educators, and friends of education. To sign up, we can be reached at From professional development opportunities to important deadlines, the Commissioner’s Field Memo provides news from across Rhode Island.

Join the conversation! Follow RIDE on:

Remember, use the hashtags #Back2SchoolRI and #Cool2BeInSchoolRI 

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.

In April 2023, Governor Dan McKee announced a new out-of-school learning initiative, Learn365RI, which is designed to shift learning from the traditional 180 school days to 365 days of learning by supporting partnerships between municipalities, local education agencies (LEAs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) to expand high-quality, extended learning experiences.

Learn more

From the Rhode Island Department of Health: 

Districts and schools are encouraged to share the updated Pre K-12 School COVID-19 Resource Guide with staff and use the materials for outreach and communication with students and families. [English][Spanish][Portuguese]