Advanced Coursework Network to provide opportunities for R.I. students RIDE seeks initial proposals from coursework providers

As part of our on-going work to reimagine high schools in Rhode Island, beginning in
the fall of 2016 our public secondary schools will have the opportunity to expand
the advanced-level coursework available to their students through a new initiative,
the Advanced Coursework Network.

Students in schools and districts that join the network will be able to take
advanced-level, credit-bearing courses offered by a wide range of approved providers
at no cost to themselves or their families, subject to available state and district
funds.

«Now, more than ever, we know that Rhode Islanders need to obtain some postsecondary
education in order to get a good job. I am proud that we have implemented many
initiatives to support and encourage our students, including a commitment to
expanded access to preschool programs, the Rhode Island Promise college
scholarships, and our Prepare Rhode Island program, which enables high-school
students to enroll in credit-bearing college courses,» said Governor Gina M.
Raimondo. «The Advanced Coursework Network is another key step in the process of
transforming our schools and providing greater opportunities for our students.
Through participation in challenging coursework, more of our high-school graduates
will be able to make it in Rhode Island.»

«This network has the potential to provide all Rhode Island students with a vast
selection of challenging courses such as advanced science and mathematics courses,
Advanced Placement (AP(c)), world languages, and career-focused and
early-college-enrollment courses,» said Barbara S. Cottam, Chair of the Board of
Education. «The network will draw on expertise across our entire state, and we
expect to receive many strong proposals for high-quality courses that will be
available to many of our students. I look forward to providing this resource for our
students at the start of the next school year.»

«The Advanced Coursework Network will help close the opportunity gap, as students
across Rhode Island will have access to challenging courses previously unavailable
in their school or district,» said Daniel P. McConaghy, Chair of the Council on
Elementary and Secondary Education. «It’s important that we hold high expectations
for student achievement, and this initiative will give students the chance to meet
these high expectations and advance their learning.»

«Enriching experiences through advanced coursework helps students get a head start
on postsecondary success, master the skills required of a lifelong learner, and be
prepared for jobs in sectors critical to the future prosperity of Rhode Island,»
said Education Commissioner Ken Wagner. «Because of limited time and resources,
however, districts and schools have often been unable to meet the diversity of needs
for all students. The Advanced Coursework Network will provide another tool to help
districts and schools meet this need by creating opportunities for Rhode Island
students to envision and pursue their own pathway toward graduation and success.»

Supplementing several course networks already in place in Rhode Island, such as the
Early Enrollment Program at Rhode Island College and The Virtual High School, the
Advanced Coursework Network will provide two options for participation: Districts
and schools can join the network both as providers, who will offer coursework to
others in the network, and as members, whose students will be able to enroll in
network courses.

The R.I. Department of Education (RIDE) has issued a Request for Proposals from
schools, districts, community-based organizations, institutions of postsecondary
education, and other organizations seeking to provide courses through the network.
RIDE staff members will review the proposals, and Commissioner Wagner will award
grants for the development of advanced courses for the network. RIDE has posted the
Request for Proposals and further information about the network at
www.ride.ri.gov/advancedcoursework.

Providers will offer high-school courses both online and face to face; they will
offer middle-school courses online only. Local school districts will decide which
courses in the network their students may take for credit.

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