Rhode Island's Charter Public 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 public 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, 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.

    About Charter Public 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.

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

    • Autonomy: Charter public 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 public schools are held accountable for meeting student achievement goals and face charter revocation if they under-perform.
    • Choice: Charter public schools provide choice for parents and students seeking alternatives to traditional public education.
    • Innovation: Charter public schools are expected to be vanguards in improving and expanding opportunities within public education.

    Rhode Island charter public schools are free and open to the public. Use the Family Information Tool (FIT) to search through the charter public school options available in Rhode Island. Explore academic programs, compare schools and find more information within each school’s profile. Information for every Rhode Island charter public school can be found in the Family Information Tool.

     

    NAME

    GRADES (SY23-24)

    GRADES
    (AUTHORIZED)

    LOCATION

    ENROLLING COMMUNITIES

    Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Elementary K-4 K-4 370 Hartford Avenue
    Providence, RI
    Cranston,
    North Providence,
    Providence,
    Warwick
    Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Middle 5-8 5-8 370 Hartford Avenue 
    Providence, RI 
    Cranston,
    North Providence,
    Providence,
    Warwick
    Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy High  9-11  9-12 315 Laurel Hill Avenue
    Providence, RI 
    Cranston, North Providence, Providence, Warwick
    Achievement First Iluminar Mayoral Academy Elementary  K-4 K-4 85 Garfield Avenue
    Cranston, RI
    Cranston,
    North Providence,
    Providence,
    Warwick
    Achievement First Iluminar Mayoral Academy Middle 5-8 5-8   85 Garfield Avenue
    Cranston, RI
    Cranston, 
    North Providence,
    Providence,
    Warwick
    Achievement First Promesa Mayoral Academy Elementary   K-4 K-4 234 Daboll Street 
    Providence, RI  
    Cranston, 
    North Providence,
    Providence,
    Warwick
    Achievement First Envision Mayoral Academy Elementary  K-3  K-4 370 Hartford Avenue
    Providence, RI 
    Providence, North Providence
    Beacon Charter School 9-12 9-12 320 Main Street
    Woonsocket, RI
    Statewide
    Beacon Founders 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-4 K-4 3357 Mendon Road
    Cumberland, RI
    Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
    Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - Upper Elementary 5-6 5-6 3 Fairlawn Way
    Lincoln, RI
    Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
    Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - Junior High 7-8 7-8 909 Lonsdale Avenue 
    Central Falls, 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 9-12 9-12 335 Westminster St
    Providence, RI 
    Providence
    Excel Academy  5-6  K-12 622 Woonasquatucket Ave
    North Providence, RI 02911 
    Providence, Central Falls, North 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-8 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
    Nuestro Mundo Public Charter School  K-3 + 6-8  K-8 17-21 Gordon Avenue
    Providence, RI 
    Providence
    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
    Providence Preparatory Charter School  5-8  5-8 155 Harrison 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-8 K-8 30 Cumberland Street
    Woonsocket, RI
    Burrillville,
    North Smithfield, Woonsocket
    Segue Institute for Learning K-8 K-8 325 Cowden Street 
    Central Falls, RI
    Central Falls
    Sheila C. "Skip" Nowell Leadership Academy 9-12 9-12 150 Washington St.
    Providence, RI
    Statewide
    SouthSide Elementary Charter School K-5 K-5 135 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 7-12 275 Westminster Street
    Providence, RI
    Providence
    Village Green Virtual Charter School 9-12 9-12 135 Weybosset Street 
    Providence, RI
    Statewide

    Proposals for New or Expanding Charter Public Schools

    The 2023 Request for Proposals for New Student Seats is closed. The following resources are listed as reference documents.

    --

    Technical Assistance

    Any party that has specific questions, interest in future proposal opportunities, or questions about the process should email RICharters@ride.ri.gov  

    New Charter Seats Applications 

    RIDE’s Office of School Opportunities received three applications for New Charter Seats, two of which are material expansions of current charters, and one as a proposal for a new charter. These three applications are posted below for public review.

    Additionally, Local Impact Analyses for each proposal is included.

    These proposals will be voted on at the January 30th, 2024 meeting of Council on Elementary and Secondary Education.

    Material Expansions 

    A proposal for an expansion for an existing charter that will result in any of the following: a) an increase of enrollment at least 25% of current enrollment or 100 students; b) changes to the charter’s grade levels; c) changes to the charter’s enrollment catchment area; and/or, d) the addition of at least one new school. 

    RISE Prep Mayoral Academy [PDF] 

    • Enrolling Communities: Woonsocket, Burrillville, North Smithfield

    • Local Impact Analysis of this Expansion (RIDE) [PDF]

    • Local Impact Analysis of this Expansion (submitted by Woonsocket School Committee, 10/11/2023) [PDF] 

    • This request is to lift a 50% enrollment cap on Woonsocket, thus allowing more students from Woonsocket to fill approved student seats. This would be effective for the 2024-25 enrollment cycle. The request is specific to RISE Prep’s flagship elementary school. 

    Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts [PDF] 

    • Enrolling Communities: Providence 

    • Local Impact Analysis of this Expansion (RIDE) [PDF] 

    • Requests adding grades 5-6 to their current model (Grades 7-12) and increasing class sizes from 34 to 40 students. The proposal is a total of 116 new seats, all drawing from the Providence catchment area. This will start with the 2024-25 school year with the 5th grade and will then add 6th grade in 2025-26. They will be at-scale in 2027-28. 

    New Charter Schools 

    A proposal that will result in a brand-new charter. 

    Medical Preparatory Academy of Rhode Island [PDF] 

    • Enrolling Communities: Pawtucket, Providence, Central Falls 

    • Local Impact Analysis of this New Charter (RIDE) [PDF] 

    • The vision of the Medical Preparatory Academy of Rhode Island (MedPrep) is to “reduce the disparity that exists for marginalized youth in medicine and in postgraduate medical professionals.” They propose opening in 2024-25 with 156 students in 7th-8th grade and will be at-scale at grades 7th-12th in 2028-29 with 468 students. 


    Public Comment Period: August 31, 2023 - October 31, 2023

    The Public Comment Period and Public Hearings closed on October 31, 2023. For any questions you may have, you are welcome to reach out to RICharters@ride.ri.gov

    Resources for Families and Community

    Visit EnrollRI.org/charter to learn more! 

    Enrollment in a charter public school is nonselective and conducted by random lottery. 

    Use the Family Information Tool (FIT) to find the school(s) that meets the performance, accessibility, and programmatic targets you are seeking. Next, use the EnrollRI Common Application to apply to any participating charter schools you are interested in and for which your child is eligible to attend.

    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]

        Resources for Charter School Administrators

        Charter Public School Accountability

        In addition to being classified just as any other Rhode Island public school, charter public 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 Performance Review System Handbook for more detail on the charter performance indicators and information about the renewal process.

        Charter public 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 compiles an annual Charter School Performance Dashboard, for each charter public school, based on the indicators above. The report template can be found here.

        Charter School Financial Reporting

        Rhode Island General Law § 16-77-3.1 (f) states: “All charter public schools shall adhere to financial record keeping, reporting, auditing requirements, and procedures as required by the Rhode Island department of education and in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations.”

        This quick guide provides an overview of reporting deadlines for financial reports.

        District-Charter Collaboration Awards, 2022-2023 

        The Office of School Opportunities, at the Rhode Island Department of Education, awarded grants to district-charter partnerships, with the explicit purpose of creating and sustaining collaboration in the two sectors. These projects were: 

        Afterschool Programming in Central Falls 

        • Blackstone Valley Prep (BVP), Blackstone Academy, Segue Institute for Learning, The Learning Community, Central Falls Public Schools, and the City of Central Falls all applied to focus on strengthening and sharing afterschool programs across the city of Central Falls through the hiring of a shared afterschool program coordinator. 

        Enrollment Landscape Analysis in Providence 

        • Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts (TAPA) and Providence Public Schools (PPSD) applied to lead the next phase of work on Unified Enrollment, including reviving stakeholder engagement and contracting a landscape analysis to inform all charters on what is needed to move toward a robust Unified Enrollment system. 

        Multilingual Learner Consortium and Professional Development 

        • Charette Charter, Village Green, Nowell Academy, Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College, Providence Preparatory Academy, UCAP, and PPSD applied to hire a shared MLL Specialist to lead shared professional development and consortium work geared towards supporting multilingual learners. 

         

        Learn more about RIDE’s District-Charter Collaboration work here:  

        "Building a “Transformative” Partnership between Charter and District-Managed Schools in Rhode Island: Design and Implementation of RIDE’s District-Charter Collaboration Grants" (PDF, 3,695K)

         

        Urban Core Education Summit

        The Rhode Island Department of Education served as host to a meeting series called the "The Urban Core Education Summit," where we laid the foundation for collaboration between school leaders in Providence Public Schools, Central Falls Public Schools, and charter schools in those cities. This initiative launched in Summer 2021 and is ongoing.

        The core objectives are relationship building and identifying common areas for further discussion and potential collaboration. The summit was facilitated by Dr. Kenneth Wong, Annenberg Professor and Director of the Urban Education Policy program at Brown University.

        For further questions and/or comments, please contact RICharters@ride.ri.gov.

        Any other examples of Sharing Practices between Charters and Traditional Schools that you want to share?

        Please contact RICharters@ride.ri.gov. We would love to share it!

        Charter Support Initiative Projects, 2023-2024 

        The Office of School Opportunities, through the Charter Support Initiative, has provided sub-awards to projects that pull multiple schools and districts together and encourages collaboration that benefits all students. These projects are: 

        Root Literacy Design Partnership 

        Awarded to the following Schools: 

        • The Compass School 

        • The Kingston Hill Academy 

        Learn more about The Rhode Island Science of Reading Conference, hosted by The Compass School. You may also visit the Root Literacy Design page to learn more about future trainings and opportunities.

         

        High-Quality Dual Language and Bilingual Curriculum Development and Implementation 

        Awarded to the following schools: 

        • The International Charter School 

        • Nuestro Mundo Public Charter School 

         

        Data Wise Improvement Process Professional Learning Community 

        Awarded to the following schools: 

        • The Paul Cuffee School 

        • Blackstone Valley Prep 

        • The Greene School 

        • RISE Prep Mayoral Academy 

        • Southside Elementary Charter School 

         

        Square Mile PM Academy: After School Program Extension 

        Awarded to the following schools: 

        • The Segue Institute for Learning, in partnership with other middle schools, both charter and traditional, in the city of Central Falls. 

         

        Data Coaching and Planning Initiative  

        Awarded to the following schools: 

        • Blackstone Academy Charter School 

        • Charette High School 

         

        There are currently no items associated with the Office of School Opportunities open for public feedback.

        If any major amendments to any charters are proposed in the future, information can be found here.

        Related Resources