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Data & Information

Rhode Island

There is little fully online learning activity in Rhode Island, but increasing blended learning activity (with a 72% increase in blended learning over the past three years). Rhode Island has no state virtual school and no statewide fully online schools. Two fully blended schools opened fall 2013.

Fully online schools

Rhode Island has no statewide full-time online schools.

State virtual school

Rhode Island does not have a state virtual school.

District programs

The Northern Rhode Island Collaborative, in association with the Virtual Learning Academy of the Jefferson County Educational Service Center in Ohio, has been offering online courses that are paid for by individual school districts. It serves grades 3-12 and offers over 80 courses.  The Virtual High School reported 710 course enrollments from 24 Rhode Island middle and high schools in SY 2013-14.

Online learning policy history

The Statewide Virtual Education Act (S2276) passed in 2012, formalizes virtual learning regulations and definitions, and instructs the commissioner of education to develop policies in support of and guidelines for virtual education, including specifics on an annual report to be delivered to the legislature. It also “ensures that teachers of virtual courses and other online learning activities are appropriately trained and qualified and meet certification requirements set forth by the commmissioner of education.” This allows teachers outside of Rhode Island to teach virtual courses to Rhode Island students.

Blended learning

There are several blended learning initiatives. The Village Green Virtual Public Charter High School and Sheila C. “Skip” Nowell Leadership Academy opened in fall 2013 and are the first two blended charter schools. Pleasant View Elementary School in Providence implemented a blended learning model for its 460 K-8 students SY 2012-13, and Wakefield Hills Elementary followed as the second RI Model School grant recipient in SY 2013-14. Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy received a $450,000 Next Generation Learning Challenges grant to open a blended learning high school in fall 2014. Also in 2014, The Learning Accelerator (TLA) is helping the state department of education create a five-year strategic plan for implementing blended learning statewide. The Highlander Institute, with support from TLA, is launching FuseRI, which is a way for districts to share, implement, and evaluate blended learning in schools across the state.

last updated October 20, 2014

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