Charting the course 
        for public education...

Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association


  • 13 Feb 2020 1:58 PM | Tom DiPaola (Administrator)

    The RI Foundation provides this completed report from the Long-Term Education Planning committee. The Committee solicited ideas and feedback from people across RI and incorporated them into the final report: 

    Chart a Course, Stay the Course: Rhode Island's Path to a World Class Public Education System

    Rhode Island Foundation, One Union Station, Providence, RI 02903

  • 17 Jan 2020 10:27 AM | Tom DiPaola (Administrator)

    Your Image HereNew England League of Middle Schools

    39th Annual Middle Level Conference

    March 9 & 10, 2020

    Everything is in place for the New England League of Middle Schools 39th Annual Conference this March 9 & 10 at theRhode Island Convention Center in Providence. It’s going to be an incredible two days of learning, sharing, and laughing.
    The theme for the conference is “Inspire, Connect, Shine” and we are fortunate to have three outstanding keynoters, AJ Juiliani, co-author of the book Empower; middle level expert and humorist, Jack Berckemeyer; and inspirational speaker Scarlett Lewis.  There will be more than 90 concurrent sessions covering all contents and topics facilitated by your middle school colleagues. This is the best in middle level professional development.

    The New England League of Middle Schools, through the generosity and support of the Brown Foundation, can provide assistance to schools experiencing financial challenges. This assistant may include school membership, conference registration and lodging for eligible schools. Eligibility is based on need. The deadline for applications is Friday, January 31, 2020. 


    For additional information, feel free to contact Karin Wilmarth at or by calling 978-557-9311
    Looking forward to seeing you in Providence this March.
    » For more information regarding the conference go to:

  • 22 Oct 2019 11:41 AM | Tom DiPaola (Administrator)

    Use this link to access data:

    Rhode Island Assessment Data Portal

    RICAS Results Underscore Need to

    Stay the Course in Education

    Rhode Island Sees Expected Bump in Second Year of Administration


    PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) todayreleased results of the 2018-2019 administration of the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (RICAS). Statewide, 38 percent of students in grades 3 through 8 met or exceeded expectations in English language arts (ELA), as did 30 percent in mathematics.


    These results represent an increase of 4 and 3 percentage points, respectively, but RIDE cautioned that a spike is a common trend in the second year of administration of a new assessment as students and teachers become accustomed to the test style and format. When Rhode Island first adopted the PARCC exam, the state saw increases of 3 and 5 percentage points in ELA and mathematics.


    “These results are moving in the right direction, but it is too early to determine a consistent trend. What is clear is that much more needs to be done to bring Rhode Island performance where it needs to be,” said Angélica Infante-Green, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, who pointed out that Rhode Island still lags behind Massachusetts by 14 percentage points in ELA and 19 percentage points in math. “We have high standards, a strong assessment, and a lot of great work happening in our schools. Now it’s time to stay the course and double down on the things that will move us forward, faster, in order to improve outcomes for students.”


    “We adopted the RICAS because Massachusetts is a trusted partner, and if we want to be a national leader in education, it’s the right comparison to make,” said Barbara S. Cottam, Chair of the Rhode Island Board of Education. “As we complete a second year of testing, we are reminded of how much work we have to do, but incredible possibilities lie ahead if we all follow through on this long-term vision for education. Our students and families deserve nothing less.”


    Rhode Island continues to face significant equity gaps, as well. On both ELA and math, differently abled and multilingual learners are performing at single-digit proficiency levels.


    “Calling out these achievement gaps is so important. We need to name equity gaps, talk about them, and establish intentional strategies to better serve all students. All means all, and we cannot effectively serve all students by doing more of the same,” Infante-Green added.


    As part of the release, RIDE also shared with school communities their results for ACCESS and Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), assessments given specifically to multilingual learners and students with significant cognitive differences. On ACCESS, Rhode Island saw nearly single digit proficiency across the board. On DLM, 24 percent of students tested met their target in ELA, 12 percent in math, and 16 percent in science. More detailed results can be viewed in a presentation given this week to LEA leaders.


    With PSAT/SAT and RICAS results complete, RIDE will begin preparing for the release of 2019 accountability results. The accountability release is expected by the end of November.

  • 25 Jun 2019 7:20 PM | Tom DiPaola (Administrator)


    Message from Education Commissioner 

    I would like to update you on an important issue. 

    Today, the team from the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy officially released its final report on the Providence Public School Department (PPSD). You can read and download a copy from their website. The results of the review were both hard-hitting and sobering. Based on direct observations and interviews, Johns Hopkins found that:

    1. PPSD has an exceptionally low level of academic instruction, including a lack of quality curriculum and alignment both within schools and across the district.
    2. School culture is broken, and safety is a daily concern for students and teachers.
    3. Beyond these safety concerns, teachers do not feel supported.
    4. School leaders are not set up for success.
    5. Parents are marginalized and demoralized.

    While distressing on their own, the Johns Hopkins team concluded that the problems they encountered across the system point back to a central, structural deficiency:

    “Providence Public School District is overburdened with multiple, overlapping sources of governance and bureaucracy with no clear domains of authority and very little scope for transformative change. The resulting structures paralyze action, stifle innovation, and create dysfunction and inconsistency across the district. In the face of the current governance structure, stakeholders understandably expressed little to no hope for serious reform.”

    In short, the system is broken. Now is the time to start rebuilding. Every stakeholder, including RIDE, has played a part in getting us here – and every stakeholder must play a part in moving the Providence schools forward. That is why I am so encouraged by the leadership shown by Governor Raimondo and Mayor Elorza, joining with me to send a clear message: the status quo is unacceptable, and it will require all of us working together to fundamentally improve outcomes for students in Providence.

    That work starts tomorrow, with the first of our public forums with community members. We hope you will join us at D’Abate Elementary School at 6 p.m., or at one of the other events scheduled over the coming weeks. You can see the full schedule at the RIDE website. Everyone – teachers, students, parents, community leaders, and anyone else who cares about the future of our kids – is invited, and I am calling on all of us to set the example and be a part of positive change for Providence. Your participation in these events would be incredibly helpful.


    Commissioner Infante-Green

  • 05 May 2019 11:07 AM | Tom DiPaola (Administrator)

    The U.S. News High Schools rankings include data on more than 23,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    More than 17,000 schools were ranked on six factors based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.

     How US News Ranks High Schools

  • 15 Feb 2019 8:02 AM | Tom DiPaola (Administrator)

    Welcome to Your New National Community for Effective Leaders!

    AASA members and conference attendees may connect, learn and share resources like never before. Our goal is to bring together the voices and talents of all education communities under one umbrella. 

     We hope to start the conversation on the following topics:

    • Community in Action: Why Relationships Matter.
    • Why do Leaders Matter? Effective Leadership Creates Success.
    • Why is Equity Critical? Building National Networks of Diversity.
    • Why is College and Career Readiness an Integral Component of K-12 Education?

    You have been added to the community site and now you should be able to login with your AASA membership username and password at If you don't know your username and password, please contact to reset your password.

    Here are a few options for getting started in the platform:

    1. Access the Leadership Portfolio page to update your info. 
    2. Upload your profile photo and update fields such as bio and job history. You may also import information directly from LinkedIn.
    3. Join a community that speaks to your interests, and don't worry, there are many more communities to come.
    4. Select National Community for Effective Leaders  on "My Communities" page and start posting your questions, comments and thoughts.
    5. Update your Community subscriptions, establish notification overrides, and create Consolidated Digests, click on 'Notifications' in the upper left corner of the Online Community.
    6. For help you may refer to the FAQ section at

    If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact AASA webmaster at

  • 15 Feb 2019 7:59 AM | Tom DiPaola (Administrator)

    Georgia’s Curtis Jones Named 2019 AASA National Superintendent of the Year®

    Announcement Made at AASA’s National Conference on Education  


    Los Angeles – Feb. 14, 2019 – Curtis Jones Jr., superintendent of Bibb County School District in Macon, Ga., has been named the 2019 AASA National Superintendent of the Year®. Today’s announcement came at the National Conference on Education, hosted by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.


    The conference is also serving as a platform to highlight AASA’s Leaders Matter campaign, an initiative created to showcase school districts where the exemplary leadership of the superintendent has resulted in meaningful outcomes for schools and students. 


    The other National Superintendent of the Year® finalists were:

    “This award shows that leadership matters,” said Jones as a 2019 National Superintendent of the Year® finalist. “I am so humbled. For me, it means that our district is doing the right work. It means that our teachers, our principals have worked hard and are being recognized, not only at the state level but also nationally.” 

    Jones joined the Bibb County School District in April 2015. Using his classroom and administrative experiences, he developed the district’s strategic plan, “Victory in Our Schools.” The plan has five goal areas: increasing student achievement; increasing student and stakeholder engagement; increasing teacher and leader effectiveness; being a reliable organization; and learning and growth. This plan drives the district’s continuous improvement efforts through shared accountability for all stakeholders and resource alignment.


    Now in its 32nd year, the National Superintendent of the Year® program, co-sponsored by AASA, VALIC and First Student, celebrates the contributions and leadership of public school superintendents.


    “We congratulate the 2019 Superintendent of the Year®, Curtis Jones, along with the finalists who contribute so much to the advancement of public education,” said Robert Scheinerman, president, group retirement, VALIC, a division of AIG. “Superintendents work so hard to support the students in their districts and they play a critical role in shaping tomorrow’s leaders. VALIC is proud to serve as a co-sponsor of the AASA National Superintendent of the Year® program and recognize such strong leaders. For more than 60 years, VALIC has been committed to our nation’s educators and the important work they do to help students learn, achieve and grow.”


    “Curtis Jones and the three National Superintendent of the Year® finalists all exemplify the highest standards when it comes to leading a school district,” said First Student President Dennis R. Maple. “Superintendents are vital to the success of our public schools, and an exceptional superintendent creates a ripple effect with lasting influence. Superintendent Jones’ leadership can be felt in the lives of students and the future of the community. We are honored to partner with AASA in a program that has a profound impact on the lives of students throughout our country.”  


    “We truly appreciate the positive contributions being made by Curtis Jones on behalf of the students learning and growing at Bibb County Schools,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “It is an honor to congratulate Superintendent Jones, as well as our other three finalists, Jeff Butts, Mary Ann Ranells and Brian Woods. These individuals are all champions for children. We are excited to recognize them at our conference where we annually convene the foremost education thought leaders. I thank VALIC and First Student for supporting our program.” 


    Members of the 2019 AASA National Superintendent of the Year® Award Blue Ribbon Selection Committee include:

    • Rich Bagin, executive director, National School Public Relations Association, Rockville, Md.
    • Wanda Cook-Robinson (former National Superintendent of the Year® finalist, 2013), superintendent, Oakland Schools, Waterford, Mich.
    • Tom Gentzel, executive director and CEO, National School Boards Association, Alexandria, Va.
    • Patricia Neudecker (past AASA president), director, School Leadership Programs, Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wis.
    • Darline Robles, professor, Clinical EducationUniversity of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.
    • Thomas Tucker, 2016 National Superintendent of the Year®, superintendent, Douglas County School District, Castle Rock, Colo.

    The AASA National Superintendent of the Year® program is open to all U.S. superintendents who plan to continue in the profession. The program also honors Canadian and other international school superintendents. The applicants were measured against the following criteria:

    • Leadership for learning – creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in the school system;
    • Communication – strength in both personal and organizational communication;
    • Professionalism – constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team; and
    • Community involvement – active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national and international issues.
    A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of the 2019 AASA National Superintendent of the Year® to a student in the high school from which the superintendent graduated, or the school now serving the same area.

    For more information about the program, contact Jennifer Rooney, AASA assistant director, meetings, at

    Click here to access a list of the AASA 2018 State Superintendents of the Year. For more information about the 2019 National Conference on Education, access AASA’s Conference Daily Online

  • 05 Dec 2018 7:32 AM | Tom DiPaola (Administrator)

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Council on Elementary and Secondary Education voted unanimously tonight to approve updated teacher certification regulations that increase practical experience for teacher candidates, open up more flexible professional pathways into education, and establishes ongoing professional learning requirements for all teachers.


    The vote comes after nine months of extensive public engagement and discussion, including four public hearings and 13 Council meetings that helped to create a comprehensive proposal aimed at strengthening Rhode Island’s educator workforce.


    “Just last week, we released our RICAS results and underscored the need to adopt the same kind of long-term strategy that has made Massachusetts the gold standard for public education,” said Barbara S. Cottam, Chair of the Rhode Island Board of Education. “A meaningful approach to professional learning for educators has been a crucial part of the Massachusetts strategy, and a similar focus will define the future of Rhode Island classrooms. As Chair of the Board, I commend the Council for taking decisive action to better prepare teachers, better serve students, and to ensure that all educators have access to the kinds of opportunities that will improve teaching and learning in our classrooms.”


    “This is an exciting step forward for education in Rhode Island. At the same time that we expand career pathways for our students, we need to invest in pathways for our educators. This set of regulations will serve to support and enhance the practice of all educators, from teacher candidates to first-year teachers to 20-year veterans of the classroom,” said Daniel P. McConaghy, Chair of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education.


    Rhode Island’s new teacher certification regulations include three main components: teacher preparation, pathways into the profession, and ongoing professional learning. Most notably, the new regulations double the student teaching requirement from one semester to one year for future teachers, and require ongoing professional learning for all certified teachers.


    “In order to be ready on day one of teaching, teachers need a strong foundation with more hands-on experience, and we need to carry that approach – anchored in practice – throughout an educator’s career. Great teachers are always learning, and we need a system that supports this continuous improvement,” said Ken Wagner, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “Every strong organization invests in its people. These updated regulations will empower schools, districts, teacher preparation programs, and the state, to invest in the people who make education come alive for students.”


    Currently, teacher preparation programs in Rhode Island include a 12-week student teaching requirement. Under the updated regulations, the state would shift to a full year residency model, doubling the amount of time spent gaining practical, hands-on experience before graduating and joining the teaching profession.


    Professional learning requirements would be phased-in over time and prorated during the first few years of implementation. Once the regulations are fully phased in, teachers will be required to complete 20 professional learning units each year, and new teachers applying for initial certifications will be required to complete 30 units.


    To support professional learning, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) will build the Educator Course Network (ECN). Modeled after the Advanced Course Network in place for students, the ECN will be a network of professional learning providers that offer quality, vetted learning opportunities, with an emphasis on sustained professional learning, rather than one-off professional development days. Offerings through the ECN could include credit-bearing coursework at institutions of higher education, traditionally district-provided opportunities, and no-cost options like teacher-to-teacher professional learning communities.


    “Rhode Island has incredible educators. They work tirelessly each day in and out of their classrooms to strengthen their professional practice and they are great models for their students of what it means to be a lifelong learner. It is so important that we recognize their efforts and support our teachers with professional learning opportunities that are relevant, engaging and worth their valuable time,” said Colleen A. Callahan, Ed.D., member of the council and Professional Issues Director for the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals (RIFTHP). “I think these revised regulations recognize that need, and I’m grateful to the Commissioner and the Department of Education for listening to the issues raised during the public hearing process. Now we can work together with our district partners and educators to plan and implement professional learning opportunities reflective of the needs and challenges facing Rhode Island’s students and educators.”


    “Throughout this process, we had the opportunity to speak with teachers at every stage of their career, administrators, and community members. My priority has been and continues to be protecting the interests of both Rhode Island students and our talented educators, and I believe these regulations represent a compromise that all stakeholders can understand and appreciate,” said Larry Purtill, member of the Council and President of the National Education Association of Rhode Island (NEARI).


    Through the certification requirements, RIDE will also reintroduce the concept of endorsements on a certification, allowing teachers to demonstrate additional skills and competencies to schools and districts without achieving a full certification. RIDE would start by introducing an English Learner endorsement and a reading/dyslexia endorsement, two key areas to improving student outcomes.


    Other certification changes include:


    • Expanding full reciprocity to teachers from Connecticut and Massachusetts

    • In shortage areas, giving teachers with relevant career experience or expertise seven years to get to certification, as opposed to seven one-year renewals

    • Establishing cultural competence as a shortage area in the Rhode Island educator workforce, thereby opening an alternate recruitment pathway
    • Establishing endorsement areas on teacher certifications, or demonstrated areas of competence short of a full certification (with initial endorsements established in reading/dyslexia and English language learners)
    • Aligning teacher requirements in Career and Technical Education (CTE) with industry expectations
    • To be consistent with the certification requirements of all school-based clinicians, requiring only a nursing degree for certification as a Registered School Nurse


    These certification requirements would apply to any certifications that are up for renewal in 2020 or beyond. To view the complete set of regulations, visit the RIDE website.


2480 Post Road, Warwick, RI  02886

Mailing Address:  PO Box 7791, Warwick, RI  02887

(p) 401.272.9811, Press 3
(f) 401.272.9834
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