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The 10 Best Schools in Rhode Island Today

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The 10 Best Schools in Rhode Island Today

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the U.S. It has an area of approximately 1,214 square miles with a total population of about 1,097,379 residents. This makes the state the second most densely populated, after New Jersey, with 864 people per square mile. 

Boasting a dynamic educational system, the state is home to some of the most highly esteemed universities and K-12 schools. Brown University, founded in 1764 as the seventh university within the colonies, breached religious boundaries by becoming the first institution to admit any student, irrespective of their faith background.

Currently, the state has over 271 schools in 34 districts serving roughly 138,556 students in K-12 grades. Picking the right school for your child doesn’t have to stress you out. We’ve come up with a comprehensive guide on the ten best schools in Rhode Island. 

Our ranking considers overall student experience, academic performance, quality of the faculty, parent reviews, student reviews, graduation rates, and class sizes, among many other factors. Here are the ten top-rated schools in Rhode Island today.

Best Elementary Schools

Hope Valley Elementary School

15 Thelma Dr, Hope Valley, RI 02832

Hope Valley Elementary is a top-rated public elementary school in the Chariho School District. It serves roughly 283 kids in prekindergarten through fourth grade. It’s one of the four elementary schools within the district with a special focus on visual and performing arts. 

The school has received numerous national and statewide accolades, most notably its designation as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2011. The school is also a RIDE-5 star-rated school and BrightStars 5 star-rated school. GreatSchools.org gives it a 10/10 overall rating. 

Most students at Hope Valley Elementary perform at or above the proficiency requirements for their respective grade levels. 66% gained proficiency in English and 65% in math. Besides the common core subjects, students can participate in rotational enrichment programs such as music, arts, and physical education.

Hope Valley Elementary prides itself on having an extremely tight-knit school community where everyone knows each other. The school has one teacher for every 11 kids, allowing the teachers to provide personalized instruction. 

All teachers are certified, and 93% have over three years of teaching experience. Additionally, Hope Valley has a part-time nurse, psychologist, and social worker. The school is an excellent pick for families in Hope Valley. 

Raymond C. LaPerche Elementary School

11 Limerock Rd, Smithfield, RI 02917

Raymond C. LaPerche Elementary is an award-winning public elementary school within the Smithfield School District. The school serves around 261 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. In addition to the general education program, LaPerche has a rigorous special education program. 

LaPerche Elementary received the National Blue Ribbon designation in 2021. The school is performing an excellent job of supporting the academic growth of its students, with 75% attaining proficiency in English and 48% in math. GreatSchools.org gave LaPerche an overall 10/10 rating. 

LaPerche has relatively small classes, with one teacher for every 11 kids. 86% of the faculty team has over three years of teaching experience. All full-time instructors are certified. The school also has a full-time nurse, a part-time psychologist, and a social worker. 

Parent and staff reviews of the school are overwhelmingly positive, with the school receiving 4.8/5 stars on GreatSchools.org. Here’s what one parent had to say about LaPerche,” Laperche school has an excellent faculty dedicated to the students and a principal who is truly committed to their success. The parent group is also incredible and provides so many opportunities for the children above and beyond the class curriculum. LaPerche is a wonderful school.”

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Hamilton Elementary School

25 Salisbury Ave, North Kingstown, RI 02852

Hamilton Elementary is a top-rated public school within the North Kingstown School District. It has roughly 316 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Hamilton Elementary received a 10/10 rating from GreatSchools.org. 

Students at the school excel in standardized tests, with 79% performing at or above the proficiency level in English, 71% in math, and 65% in science. The school also offers a STEM-focus program from Project Lead the Way (P.L.T.W.) that helps impart exploratory and discovery skills to students. 

Hamilton Elementary has achieved notable success in closing the achievement gap, with its underserved students outperforming other students from similar backgrounds in the state. The school has one teacher for every thirteen kids. 

Hamilton Elementary also has an incredibly experienced faculty team, with 96% having over three years of teaching experience and all having certifications. Further, the school has a full-time nurse, a part-time psychologist, and a part-time social worker. 

According to a parent review, this school offers excellent support and resources for its students. The parent also praised the school’s high parent involvement and staff who genuinely care about the success and well-being of the students. 

Rise Prep Mayoral Academy

30 Cumberland Street | Woonsocket, RI 02895 

Rise Prep Mayoral Academy is a public charter school that aims to provide a college preparatory program at all levels through its network of schools. The elementary branch of the Rise Prep Mayoral Academy serves kindergarten to eighth grade and has a student population of 283 students. 

Rise Prep provides students a deep focus on literacy. According to data from Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (R.I.C.A.S.), 76% of the kids gain proficiency in English and 66% in math.

The school has one teacher for every sixteen kids, a moderate figure that allows the instructors to provide individualized attention and feedback to the kids. The school also has a full-time nurse that tends to the kids’ medical needs. 

Rise Prep is also proud of its diversity, with the students coming from different social-economic backgrounds. 56.5% are white, 24.7% Hispanic, 8.1% multiracial, 7.1% black, and 3.5% Asian. 

A parent at the school left a positive review on the school, giving it 5/5 stars on niche.com. They highlighted the school’s support and fantastic staff as reasons they love it. 

Best Middle Schools

North Cumberland Middle School

400 Nate Whipple Hwy, Cumberland, RI 02864

North Cumberland Middle School is a suburban public middle school within the Cumberland School District. The school serves roughly 623 students in sixth through eighth grade. GreatSchools.org gave the School a 9/10 rating.

North Cumberland prides itself on upholding rigorous academic standards, with teachers and students working collaboratively to provide a firm foundation for instruction to successively navigate the world around them. Standard-based grading at the school reveals that 76% of students attain proficiency in English, 66% in math, and 68% in science. 

The school also utilizes the P.L.T.W. Gateway curriculum to provide a solid S.T.E.M. foundation for the students. North Cumberland Middle also provides exploratory opportunities in allied arts rotation, such as physical education, music, art, health, and world language.

The school has a student-teacher ratio of 12:1. The faculty is qualified to provide quality instruction, with 87% having three or more years of teaching experience and all having professional certifications. 

Outside the classroom, students participate in various extracurricular activities, including sports such as basketball, cross-country, and soccer. A current student expressed satisfaction with the school praising the teachers and the special education department.

Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School 2

52 Broad St, Cumberland, RI 02864

Blackstone Valley Prep Middle is a top-rated public charter school that is part of a six-school network under the Blackstone Valley Prep umbrella. It serves 240 students in fifth through seventh grade. GreatSchools.org gives it an overall rating of 9/10. 

Blackstone Valley Prep Middle uses common core standards and research-based instruction to inform the school’s curriculum and assessment. On state standardized test scores, 45% and 44% of students attain proficiency in English and math, respectively. The school also offers 50 minutes of special rotational programs daily, including art, music, and physical education. 

The school is intentionally diverse, providing excellent opportunities for students from underserved backgrounds to receive a quality education. 59% of the students come from low-income families. Additionally, the student population is racially diverse, providing an inclusive community with 43% Hispanic, 32% white, 12% Black, 4% Asian, and 7% multiracial. 

The school maintains small classes, with one teacher for every thirteen kids. All full-time teachers at Blackstone Valley Prep Middle are certified.

This young student is a great example of the power of education in developing confident, knowledgeable individuals.

©Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Barrington Middle School

261 Middle Hwy, Barrington, RI 02806

Barrington Middle is a public school under the Barrington School District. It serves roughly 830 kids in grades 6-8. The school uses a unique approach to daily instruction, with GreatSchools.org giving it a 10/10 rating. 

The school has received the National Blue Ribbon designation twice, in 2003 and 2012, proof of the quality of education provided at the school. In addition to the common core subjects, the school has a unique program identified as F.A.S.T. ( Flexible Academic Support Time). The students receive interdisciplinary instruction in a number of special programs meant to enrich their learning process. 

80% of the students at Barrington Middle attain proficiency in English, 69% in math, and 61% in science. The students can also use world language programs such as Spanish, French, Chinese, and Latin. 

Barrington Middle has one teacher for every eleven students, allowing the students to receive personalized attention and feedback from the teachers. Nearly all teachers have over two years of experience, and all full-time teachers are certified. 

One parent at the school praised it for its unique F.A.S.T. program and cluster system, which they believe enables the kids to learn and apply knowledge concepts with ease. 

Best High Schools 

East Greenwich High School

300 Avenger Drive, East Greenwich, RI 02818

East Greenwich High is a high-performing public school under the East Greenwich School District. It has roughly 763 students in ninth to twelfth grade. The school earned the National Blue Ribbon designation for 2018, evidence of the high quality of instruction provided. 

East Greenwich High provides a rigorous college preparatory education that sees 96% of its students graduate. 82% of the graduates pursue a college or vocational training program. GreatSchools.org gave the school an S.A.T. preparation rate of 72%, with students at the school averaging a 1,172 score. 

Students at East Greenwich High have numerous opportunities to earn college credits, from advanced placement programs and dual-enrollment classes to honor programs and the PrepareRI program. 43% of the students participate in the 18 A.P. programs available, while 8% enroll in dual-enrollment courses.

East Greenwich High has one teacher for every fourteen students, a slightly higher student-teacher ratio than the state average. Nonetheless, the teachers are highly experienced, with all teachers having over three years of experience and holding certifications. 

A former student praised the varsity sports programs available at the school. The alum goes ahead to rave about the music program and special education classes. 

Notable Alumni

Sara Gideon – Former Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives

Rye Barcott – Bestselling author

Donald Carcieri – 73rd Governor of Rhode Island

Debra Messing – Actress

Mark Thompson – Investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner

Andrew Revkin – Science and environmental journalist

Dean Budnick – Filmmaker and podcaster

Leeann Tingley – Miss Rhode Island 2006

Classical High School

770 Westminster St, Providence, RI 02903

Founded in 1843, Classical High School is a top-rated public magnet high school within the Providence School District. The school provides a demanding college preparatory education to roughly 1,087 students in ninth through twelfth grade. The U.S. Department of Education designated the school as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2017. 

The school encourages its students to pursue academic, athletic, and artistic excellence for a holistic, high school experience. 96% of the students graduate after four years, with 80% of the graduates proceeding to college or vocational training. The school has an S.A.T. participation rate of 97%, with the students recording an average score of 1127.  

The school offers 23 advanced placement courses, which may allow students to earn college credits while in high school. Approximately 57% of the students participate in the A.P. courses. Additionally, 17% join dual enrollment classes, providing an opportunity to gain college credits. 

Classical High School has over 47 clubs and organizations your child can participate in after school. Additionally, the school has over 15 athletic teams participating in the varsity league. Here’s what one alumnus had to say about the school in a review on GreatSchools.org, “I attended Classical and had caring teachers [and] ample extracurriculars offered to me.”

Notable Alumni

John W. Dower – Pulitzer Prize winner

Allan Fung – First Asian-American mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island

C.M. Eddy, Jr. – Short story horror author

John M. Barry – Author and historian

John O. Pastore – 61st Governor of Rhode Island

A.O. Scott – Chief movie critic for The New York Times

Paul Mecurio – Award-winning comedian, writer, and director

George Macready – Actor

Barrington High School

220 Lincoln Avenue, Barrington, RI 02806

Barrington High is an award-winning public high school under the Barrington School District. The school is a recipient of the 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools designation. It serves roughly 1,101 students in grades 9-12. 

The school provides a rigorous college preparatory curriculum with over 163 programs and courses. Barrington High prides itself on a 95% graduation rate, with 86% of the graduates proceeding to college or vocational training. 

96% of the students sit for the S.A.T.s, with the school recording an average score of 1201. This performance speaks highly of the school’s college preparedness focus. Students also have the opportunity to earn college credits through advanced placement courses and dual enrollment classes. 

32% of the students participate in the advanced placement courses, with the school offering 20 A.P. classes. Additionally, 13% participate in dual enrollment classes. The school also has specialized programs such as four world language courses, four art classes, two music courses, and a performance arts program. 

The school has numerous extracurricular activities that allow kids to develop their social skills and talents. There are over 40 different clubs and organizations, as well as 18 varsity sports teams. 

Notable Alumni

Shanna Moakler – Former Miss USA and professional model

Brad Faxon – Professional golfer who has won eight different times on various PGA tours

Brett Quigley – Professional golfer

These smiling graduates have achieved an outstanding accomplishment and are ready to take on their next journey.


Finding the Right School for Your Child

Rhode Island is home to many prestigious K-12 schools that provide a firm foundation for college education and life after. The schools in this list have earned numerous national and state awards and honors for their academic feats.

From traditional and magnet schools to public charter schools, there’s an option for each student type. This guide can provide an excellent starting point in your search for the ideal school for your kids in Rhode Island. 

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