Strategic Initiatives

Educational Success

Rhode Island's children will succeed with learning opportunities and learning environments that inspire success. We are working to invest funds and provide resources beyond grantmaking to encourage just that.

Read through the sections below to learn more about the impact we are hoping to make, and the strategies we use to guide this priority area.

The impact model for educational success presents a high-level view of the logic driving our strategic priorities and investments. It serves as an “if-then” summary for impact: IF we invest in targeted strategies and activities THEN we can expect to see interim outcomes and changes for Rhode Island residents and communities, with the expectation that working together with partners and communities we can help achieve long-term impact.

For example, in educational success specifically - IF we improve student learning experiences with an emphasis on rigor, relevance, and belonging and a focus on high need students, while improving coordination between schools and community partners THEN we can expect to see more students with access to better learning environments, better school attendance, improved test scores, and reduced infractions among students . Together with our partners - with this focus, and the others outlined in the impact model - we will begin to see improved student outcomes, better quality educational environments, strengthened coordination within and across the sector, and a reduction in achievement gaps.

The activity targets you'll find in the impact model for educational success are benchmarks for our own internal accountability.

And, in terms of the annual targets within the impact model - in some cases the annual targets are quantifiable and large, and others are more difficult to quantify.

Across all three strategy areas (Economic Security, Educational Success, and Healthy Lives) we have highlighted 65% equity targets to serve Rhode Island residents and communities that are traditionally marginalized or underserved.

We support academic and social-emotional learning, with an emphasis on efforts that include rigor, relevance, and belonging. A focus is placed on students in high-need communities. We also support improved coordination between entities providing services to support students through the learning experience.

Example: A current example of this kind of work is our ongoing support of CityYear Providence. CityYear Corps Members are housed in selected Providence Public Schools, and provide students with math and literacy tutoring along with social-emotional coaching and whole-school attendance initiatives.

We invest in the recruitment, preparation, continuous professional development and retention of a diverse network of excellent teachers and school leaders who are supported in applying the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of a professional educator.

Example: The Foundation has supported efforts through the Center for Leadership and Educational Equity (CLEE) and the Rhode Island Instructional Leadership Academy (RIILA) to support leadership capacity. CLEE’s work is focused on Creating Leaders (through the Principal Residency Program), Sustaining Leaders (through Equity Sessions and Transformational Leadership Coaching), and Transforming Systems (through Collaborative Equity Audits and Continuous Cycles of Improvement). RIILA is focused on facilitating collaborate and professional learning communities, principal training and coaching.

Additionally, we are focusing efforts on diversifying the teacher workforce by supporting the TA to BA program at College Unbound and alternative certification programs at the Rhode Island School for Progressive Education (RISPE). These efforts are supplementary to the Foundation’s $3.2M initiative to provide student loan debt repayment for up to 125 new teachers of color to the Providence School Department over the next five years.

We support existing and developing partnerships and coordinated efforts that are aimed at addressing state and local policies, procedures, and practices that are barriers to strengthening public education. We seek to inform the development and improvement of policies, procedures and practices that provide opportunity to all school-age students. As a compliment to that work, we look to support meaningful partnerships within and across the K-12, early learning, and higher education systems that better inform policies, practices, and use of resources.

Example: The Foundation has supported The Center for Youth and Community Leadership in Education (CYCLE) at Roger Williams University to serve as a convener and organizer in coordination with five youth-led organizations and community partners to create the backbone of Our Schools PVD (OSPVD). As a result of the state takeover of Providence Public Schools, OSPVD is organizing constituencies of youth, parents, allied educators and community members to demand greater democracy, dollars, and dignity for students and families in PPSD.

Explore 2025 impact targets.

Find out more about our Strategic Initiatives Grants program.

Looking to support our Educational Success Initiatives? Invest in the Fund for Rhode Island.