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 equity.

The 2019 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: The College Crusade runs over 60 different college readiness programs in 38 schools, colleges, and universities, and serves approximately 4,200 students annually. The Crusade has developed longstanding partnerships with the cities of Central Falls, Cranston, Pawtucket, Providence, and Woonsocket to provide programs during the school day, after school, on the weekends, during school vacations and over the summer. Through these programs “Crusaders” - the students who participate - graduate high school, on time and enroll in college immediately following high school graduation, at higher rates than their peers.

We invest in enhancing teacher and school leader capacity, supporting professional development opportunities that are both job-embedded and ongoing. We aim to strengthen efforts to recruit and retain diverse teachers and teacher candidates that reflect the student population, as we know this is critical to student success.

Example: The Center for Leadership and Educational Equity (CLEE) runs two professional development programs for educators, the Principal Residency Network (PRN) and the Learning Leader Network (LLN). To demonstrate the impact of these programs CLEE utilizes changes in student outcome data as a measure of success. In their 2017 Outcomes Report the programs demonstrated positive results in the form of reduced achievement gaps. With funding from the Rhode Island Foundation CLEE has developed a new program, the Novice Principal Induction Program (NPIN) to provide support for new school principals through peer networking, individual coaching and ongoing feedback.

We seek to inform the development and improvement of policies and procedures that provide opportunity to all school-age students. As a compliment to that work, we will 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: School facilities are the foundation for learning; without buildings that are warm, safe, and dry, learning the abstract concepts of academics can become more challenging. In 2017, The Rhode Island Department of Education identified over $627 million in much-needed repairs and improvements to public school buildings. As a result, Rhode Island Foundation leadership served on the Rhode Island School Building Task Force, along with other stakeholders from across a variety of sectors. The task force has since made recommendations to improve the state’s funding and approvals processes, which will streamline school building improvement efforts.

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.