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.

About Charter Schools

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]

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

Student at Paul Cuffee School reading a bookThe 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

To access a school's web site, please click the school name.
Name Grades (Fall 2016) Grades (Authorized) Enrolling Communities
Academy for Career Exploration 9-12 9-12 Providence
Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy K-4 K-5 Cranston, Providence, North Providence, Warwick
Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy II K-2 K-4 Cranston, Providence, North Providence, Warwick
Beacon Charter School 9-12 9-12 Statewide
Beacon Founder's Academy 6-7 6-8  Statewide
Blackstone Academy Charter School 9-12 9-12 Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - ES1 K-4 K-4 Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - ES2 K-4 K-4 Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy ES3 K-1 K-4 Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - MS 5-8 5-8 Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - MS2 5 5-8 Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - HS 9 9-12 Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket
The Compass School K-8 K-8 Statewide
The Greene School 9-12 9-12 Statewide
Highlander Charter School PK-12 PK-12 Statewide
Hope Academy K-2 K-8 Providence, North Providence
International Charter School K-5 K-8 Statewide
Kingston Hill Academy K-5 K-5 Statewide
The Learning Community K-8 K-8 Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence
NEL/CPS Construction & Career Academy 9-12 9-12 Statewide
Paul Cuffee Charter School K-12 K-12 Providence
RI Nurses Institute 9-12 9-12 Statewide
RISE Prep Mayoral Academy K-1 K-8 Burrillville, North Smithfield, Woonsocket
Segue Institute for Learning 6-8 6-8 Central Falls
Sheila C. "Skip" Nowell Leadership Academy - Central Falls 9-12 9-12 Statewide
Sheila C. "Skip" Nowell Leadership Academy - Providence 9-12 9-12 Statewide
SouthSide Elementary Charter School K-2 K-4 Providence
Times2 Academy K-12 K-12 Providence
Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts 7-12 7-12 Providence
The Village Green Virtual Charter School 9-12 9-12 Statewide

List of Charter Schools in Rhode Island
This document lists all charter schools, grade levels served, communities served and charter type. 

Resources for Starting or Expanding Charter Schools

Starting a Charter School

The following resources and request is for new charter applicants planning to open schools in the fall of 2017.  A request for applicants planning to open in the fall of 2018 will be announced. Please refer to this timetable of anticipated dates

Expanding an Existing Charter

The  Request for Expansion (RFE) is for existing charters that wish to increase the number of students served. The RFE serves as guidance for existing charters to use when collecting required data and developing a narrative for the rationale and scale of the requested expansion. An optional deadline to check for comple​​teness is September 23, 2016. Complete requests for expansion will be accepted until September 29, 2016. 


Charter School Boards


Charter School Proposals Under Review

2017-2018 Charter Proposals 

The Office of College and Career Readiness invites members of the public to comment on new charter school proposals and requests for expansions currently under review.  Proposals are attached below. Comments will be accepted and considered for a 60-day period, until November 29th, 2016. There will also be an opportunity to provide spoken or written comment at public hearings.  The schedule for public hearings will be available on the RIDE website no later than Friday, October 7th, 2016.

Proposals for New Charter Schools: 

Requests for Expansion: 

Comments may be submitted by email to: richarters@ride.ri.gov or by paper mail to:
Rhode Island Department of Education
Office of College and Career Readiness 
Attn: Charter School Comments
255 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903

RIDE's Role

The Authorizing Role and Responsibilities

Rhode Island General Law 16-77-5.1(b) designates the Board of Education as the authorizer for charter schools. In this capacity, the Board of Education 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 office, the Board of Education 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 Board, is the sole authorizer. As the sole authorizer, the Board bears substantial responsibility for balancing the statutory goal of increased autonomy of charter schools against the accountability required by the state and federal authorities. 

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. 

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

  • Student Academic Performance 
  • Financial Viability and Sustainability
  • Organizational Quality 
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance

An update to the charter school performance framework is coming soon. 

  • Charter School Renewal Process Overview
  • Charter School Performance Review Framework
  • Charter School Renewal Guidelines 

Sharing Practice

Site Documents

Documents on this site require the use of the following programs:

DOC - Microsoft Word

PDF - Acrobat Reader

PPT - Microsoft PowerPoint

XLS - Microsoft Excel