In The News

Rhode Island League of Charter Schools Announces Open Enrollment for 2023-24 School Year

Rhode Island League of Charter Schools Announces Open Enrollment for 2023-24 School Year

Applications are being accepted for public charter schools across Rhode Island beginning November 22nd


PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island League of Charter Schools (RILCS) announced today that the application period for charter public schools will open on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 for the 2023-24 school-year.

“Rhode Island charter schools are proud to offer free, public-school options for all Rhode Island families seeking public school alternatives for their children,” said Keith A. Oliveira, executive director of the Rhode Island League of Charter Schools. “We know one-size public education does not fit all students. More and more Rhode Island families are seeking the innovative, student-centered learning environments that our charter schools provide.”

Demand for charter school seats in Rhode Island continues to grow, with a record number of families applying for seats for the current 2022-23 school-year. According to data provided by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), Rhode Island charter schools received a record 23,263 applications for 2,353 available seats, which is a 17% increase from the 2021-22 school-year. Total applications have increased by more than 27% in the last five years and more than doubled since 2014-15.

Charter schools are public schools, free and open to all Rhode Island students. Charter schools are located throughout Rhode Island and provide elementary, middle, and high school options.

Rhode Island families can learn more about their public charter school options by exploring the family information tool at Families can also set up an account and submit a common application to all eligible charter schools. Information is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Applications will be accepted through March 16, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. All charter school lotteries will be held in early April 2023.

Families can learn more about our individual charter schools by attending a scheduled open house. A calendar of upcoming open houses can be found on our website at


Changing Course: Public School Enrollment Shifts During The Pandemic

A new report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools shows increased enrollment for charter schools during the pandemic. Read the full report here.

Nowell Academy Students Get a Lesson in the Law

PROVIDENCE, R.I. –Nowell Leadership Academy students learned firsthand about the legal system, First Amendment rights in schools, and legal precedent by participating in the program “Students and the Law.” The program leverages a partnership with students from Roger Williams University Law School to support Nowell students in a moot court and in writing judicial opinions.

“Our students have truly enjoyed the opportunity to work with and learn from Roger Williams law students,” said Krissy Werner, a history educator at Nowell teaching the class. “They were challenged to think like a constitutional lawyer and make strong legal arguments defending their position. It opened their eyes to the profession, as well as the intersection of the legal system and their daily lives. We can’t thank Roger Williams Law School, Springpoint, and the Barr Foundation enough. We also were so fortunate to be able to use the courthouse and to have expert legal advice and feedback from real judges. Our students began to see the legal profession as a potential fulfilling career.”

Roger Williams law students facilitated discussions and preparation as well as mentored Nowell students through the moot court, diving into First Amendment cases involving schools as their area of focus. On Friday, October 21st, twenty students from Nowell participated in a moot court in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, where they offered arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court case Mahanoy v. B.L. After the simulated appellate court proceedings, students received feedback on the case from Chief Judge John McConnell and Judge Mary McElroy. 

“Students and the Law,” a Transformative Learning Experience created by Springpoint, Nowell’s innovative design partner, was supported by a grant through the Barr Foundation. 

Nowell junior Jaevon Gomes served as a judge in the Moot Court and enjoyed challenging both the petitioners and respondents about their arguments. Jaevon says, “this class got me thinking about how the First Amendment issues in schools have been settled by the Supreme Court and if I agree with it. It was also fun to challenge the lawyers on both sides in the Moot Court and push them to show me how their arguments are better.” Jaevon is considering a career in the law after the experience. 

Transformative Learning Experiences, like Students and the Law, align with Nowell’s mission providing engaging, meaningful learning experiences through a competency based educational framework.  

Nowell Leadership Academy is a public charter high school founded to serve pregnant and parenting young adults.  They serve approximately 160 students in downtown Providence. Nowell combines a rigorous, college and career-preparatory academic curriculum with a strong network of wrap-around supports to create a high-support, high-expectations school environment.

Nowell Academy students presenting at U.S. District Court

Nowell Academy students address the moot court judges.

Providence Business News: Five Questions with Kyleen Carpenter

Kyleen Carpenter is the head of school of Blackstone Academy Charter School in Pawtucket. She is a Fulbright scholar and spent time in Finland to understand the country’s way of learning. Carpenter spoke with Providence Business News about her time in Finland and how she plans to apply her knowledge locally. Read more here

R.I. Charter Schools Increase Student Applications for Federal Student Aid

The Rhode Island League of Charter Schools announced that eight charter schools met the state’s completion goal of 70% participation for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA form determines a student’s eligibility for financial aid for college or graduate school. Read the full press release here.