Starting a Private School in Rhode Island
Regulations, Resources, & Support
Rhode Island State Regulations
There are no accreditation or licensing requirements but all schools must be registered and approved.
The Rhode Island Department of Education has assembled a page of detailed requirements for private schools.
The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in Rhode Island.
Homeschooling requirements are done on a local level and those interested should contact their local district for information.
The Rhode Island DOE has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.
State Funding Sources & Support
In Rhode Island the Corporate Scholarship Tax Credit Program provides tax credits to corporations that contribute to Scholarship Organizations (SOs). Scholarships are available to low-income students to attend private schools.
Teacher Certification & Hiring
Certification is not required for private school teachers. In general, teachers are expected to maintain and develop up-to-date competencies with appropriate professional development in the content area or grade levels they teach. All teachers in private schools must have a national and state criminal records check.
Food Services / Lunch
In Rhode Island, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Department of Education.
Length of School Year
Students must attend school for at least 180 days per year and a school day must consist of at least 5.5 hours of instructional time.
Recordkeeping & Reports
Private school teachers must keep a register of the names of all students, their sex and age, names of parents or guardians, the time when each student enters and leaves the school, and their daily attendance.
Healthy & Safety Requirements
Students must be immunized or provide proof of a medical or religious exemption. A minimum of 15 fire drills must take place each year.
Rhode Island is divided into five regional transportation areas. Districts must provide transportation for private school students within the district and within the region if no other similar school operates within the district.
Private school students’ participation in state testing is voluntary.
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Rhode Island State Resources
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