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Resources for Families

Families have an important role in ensuring student success in education.

RIDE has compiled resources for families about content standards, our statewide assessments, learning strategies, and programs that our state supports.

Content Standards

School districts align their curriculum and instruction to content standards to ensure that their students are prepared with the knowledge and skills they need for each grade level and beyond high school. Below are several questions about content standards, what they are, and how they are used.

What are content standards?

Content standards establish clear, consistent guidelines and learning goals in a particular content area for what your child should know and be able to do from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Rhode Island has content standards for mathematics, English language arts/literacy, science, social studies, fine arts, and world languages. Rhode Island’s statewide assessments for mathematics, English language arts, and science assess students’ proficiency in those standards.

What standards are used in Rhode Island?

The following table lists the standards endorsed by Rhode Island for each content area:

Content Area Standards Resources
English Language Arts / Literacy Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts / Literacy
Mathematics Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
Science Next Generation Science Standards
Social Studies Rhode Island Social Studies Grade Span Expectations

What is curriculum?

Standards are the goals for student learning. Curriculum is a plan for how students will achieve those learning goals. Curriculum includes the learning goals for that content area, organizes content into units of study, provides the lesson plans (such as activities and teaching methods) that teachers use in the classroom, sets tests and quizzes to check students’ progress, and lists the materials needed (such as books, technology, educational tools, and other resources).

How are content standards used in school?

Schools and districts choose their local curriculum based on the state’s content standards, students’ learning needs, cultural responsiveness, and other considerations such as technology. Teachers instruct students using the curriculum, and test students on the content to see whether students are meeting the learning goals as set by the standards. Even though curriculum may be different from district to district, the expectations for what students should be able to do in each grade is the same statewide.

Rhode Island's Statewide Assessment Program

Why do we have statewide standardized assessments?
Rhode Island has statewide standardized assessments in mathematics, English language arts, and science in order to meet a federal requirement and provide valuable information about how well our students, schools, districts, and state are doing. Results measure the knowledge and skills addressed in the Rhode Island Core Standards (RICS) for English Language Arts/Literacy and for Mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and are used in the following ways:

  • The results can help you track your child’s progress over time.
  • Results give you the ability to compare your child’s school to schools across the state.
  • Districts and schools analyze their results to inform decisions they make to support teaching and learning.

Learn more about our statewide assessments by clicking on one of the following questions.

What standardized assessments are given in Rhode Island's public schools?

The following table provides general information about the statewide standardized assessments given in Rhode Island's public schools by assessment, grade levels, and the content (and standards) assessed.

Assessment Grade(s) Content Area (Standards)
RI Comprehensive Assessment System
3-8 English Language Arts (CCSS), Mathematics (CCSS)
RI SAT School Day
Next Generation Science Assessment
5, 8, 11 Science (NGSS)
Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) Alternate Assessments
for differently-abled students who meet the eligibility criteria
3-8, 11 English Language Arts (CCSS), Mathematics (CCSS), Science (NGSS)
ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs
for students identified as English language learners
1-12 English Language Proficiency
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
for some schools across the state; not administered every year
4, 8 Mathematics, Reading, Science

What types of questions will my child be asked on the statewide assessments?

Students will answer different types of questions to measure understanding and show their skills in the content area being tested. Item types include multiple choice (or selected response), fill-in-the-blank, “technology enhanced” questions like drag-and-drop, and written responses. RIDE has posted examples of these types of questions, and other materials you and your child can use to familiarize yourself with each assessment, at www.ride.ri.gov/Released-Items.

How long are the statewide assessments and when do they happen during the school year?

Total testing time varies by content area and assessment, and districts schedule test sessions for specific days during each assessment’s testing window. For some assessments, RIDE sets a multi-week window and then districts select the days that the assessment will be administered in their schools.

The testing windows for each assessment are posted at www.ride.ri.gov/Assessment-Schedules.

Information on the length of each content area’s test (such as RICAS mathematics) can be found on each assessment’s web page.

What can you and your child do to prepare for statewide assessments?

There isn’t particular material for students to “study” before taking each of these assessments. The statewide assessments are a measure of the standards that students should be learning through their daily schooling if their school’s curriculum is aligned to the state’s content standards.

You can support your child’s educational success by doing a number of things throughout the school year:

  • Ensure your child attends school. School attendance matters, every single day. Missing just two days of school a month is chronically absent, so make it a priority to get your child to school on time daily.
  • Establish daily reading routines, let your child see you read, and encourage your child to read for fun all year long.
  • Highlight the use of math in everyday life through daily activities: games, household tasks, number puzzles, and even books.
  • Monitor your child’s grades through your school’s parent portal, your child’s report cards, and reaching out to your child’s teachers when you have questions.
  • Get involved and stay connected to your child’s school, however and whenever you can.
  • Share your voice! Help improve your child’s school by participating in SurveyWorks every year.
  • Start a conversation. Ask questions. Talk to your child about what they’re learning, and show an interest in the subjects that excite them. Children whose families stress the value of education are more likely to also find it important.

Where can you learn more about your student’s test results?

Assessment results, information on student score reports (including translated student report shells), can be found at www.ride.ri.gov/Assessment-Results.

Student Score Reports

Families should receive score reports for each test their child took. Typically, student score reports are distributed as either a paper and/or PDF report(s) by the district office. Each district office is responsible for distributing the student score reports in a timely manner, including for any students attending outplacement schools.

For families of students attending outplacement schools. All score reports for students attending outplacement schools are shipped to the sending district. Please contact your district office for copies of your child's score report.

Other formats. If a family requires the student score report in braille, translated into a language that is not available, or other format, please contact RIDE at assessment@ride.ri.gov.

What are Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs) and why are they important?

A Student Growth Percentile (SGP) describes your child’s learning over time compared with his or her academic peers. For student growth purposes, peers are other Rhode Island students in the same grade who had similar scores on previous state tests. An SGP is a number between 1 (least growth) and 99 (most growth). For example, if your child has an SGP of 80, we can say your child showed more growth between state assessments than 80 percent of his or her academic peers.

Achievement levels are important because they let you know if your child is meeting the learning expectations for his or her grade level, but they tell one part of the story. An SGP allows us to measure the progress your child is making in school in some key subject areas. Along with other indicators such as test scores and course grades, SGPs provide information about your child’s performance – where your child is now as well as the progress your child is making over time.

Download this helpful Parent/Guardian Guide to Student Growth Percentiles for more information.