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Health & Safety

In 1994, we launched the Rhode Island  Coordinated School Health Program, now known as "thrive,” with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thrive is designed to prevent serious health problems and to improve educational outcomes by ensuring that our schools are safe and healthy places for teaching and learning.

"School success and academic achievement are built on a strong foundation of healthy students who learn in safe and caring school environments."

Coordinated School Health

high school students in a sack raceSchool health starts with partnerships at the state, school, and community levels - involving families and other stakeholders. Together, we can create coordinated activities across areas of:

  • health education, 
  • nutrition, 
  • physical education
  • HIV/AIDS & sexuality education, 
  • bullying and school violence, 
  • along with other components of school health.

The thrive website is the central source of information about health and safety in Rhode Island schools.

Visit the thrive website


RI’s Coordinated School Health Program – thrive:

As partners, the Rhode Island Departments of Education and Health work to build infrastructure supports with state, school, and community partners to help create safe, healthy, and nurturing schools that reduce barriers to learning. Aligned with the Rhode Island Department of Education Strategic Plan, Basic Education Program (BEP), and Health and Physical Education Frameworks, thrive has also been successful in:

  • Effecting legislative, regulatory, and policy changes,
  • Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting school health data,
  • Developing and implementing policy,
  • Improving standards-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment, and
  • Designing and providing professional development opportunities for school administrators, policy-makers, teachers, parents, students, and community organizations.


Healthy School Components include:

Physical Education

Physical education is a curricular-based program that is comprehensive, sequential and developmentally appropriate for grades K-12 that promotes lifelong physical activity. It helps students to develop the knowledge, motor skills, self-management skills, social skills, attitudes and confidence needed to adopt and maintain physical activity throughout their lives.

Sexuality Education

Sexuality education includes human growth and development; personal skills; relationships; disease control and prevention; sexual health and behavior; family life; and societal and cultural issues. Sexuality is complex and it encompasses emotional, physical and social changes and factors. It includes gender, gender identity, body image, and sexual orientation. 

School Safety

School safety involves a comprehensive and integrated approach to develop a full continuum of programs and services encompassing efforts to promote positive development, prevent problems, respond early, and offer interventions and resources to promote school safety.

Afterschool Opportunities

Before and after school programs provide supervised and structured expanded learning opportunities for children and youth. These programs offer a critical service for working parents, as well as an opportunity for children and youth to build social, academic and life skills.


Nutrition promotes health and wellness as well as learning and academic achievement. Schools provide a broad range of programs, services and nutrition education for students in grades K-12. The RI Department of Education is responsible for administering major U.S. Department of Agriculture Child Nutrition Programs.

Health Services

Health services are programs and services provided to students to assess, protect, and promote health. Schools employ qualified professionals such as physicians, nurses, dentists, and other allied health personnel to provide these services.

Family & Community Engagement

Family and community engagement encourages schools, families, and the community to work together to promote the health, well-being and learning of all students. Family and community involvement fosters partnerships among schools, families, community groups and individuals so that all students succeed in school.

Healthy School Buildings

Healthy school buildings and school grounds include policies and protocols that must be in place to ensure food protection, sanitation, safe water supply, healthy air quality, good lighting, safe playgrounds, and emergency evacuation, among other issues that relate to healthy school buildings.

Other Health & Safety Issues

In addition to the above components of thrive, you can find more information on the following issues here on the RIDE website: