The State of Computer Science in Rhode Island developed nine specific policy ideas to help expand access to K-12 computer science education for all students. By 2018, 44 states have enacted one or more of these policies.

Nine Policies to Make Computer Science Fundamental

Nine Policies to Make Computer Science Fundamental

RI State Plan for K-12 CS Implementation

2018 State of Computer Science Education. (2018). Retrieved from

Although the principle Equity and Diversity  is incorporated in each of the nine policies listed below, CS4RI has made broadening participation in computer science (BPC) among historically underrepresented populations a key focus.

CS4RI’s multi-dimensional approach is taking many forms:

  • Including a diversity coordinator on the CS4RI Core Team;

  • Requiring all RI CS content providers to demonstrate their support for broadening participation by including BPC elements in their curricula and professional development;

  • Offering an online course for RI CS educators which supports teachers in implementing strategies for recruiting, retaining, and teaching student who are historically underrepresented in computer science;

  • Incorporating BPC elements in all CS4RI workshops;

  • Connecting with other states to share and exchange ideas about increasing equity in computer science education; and

  • Participating in research projects across the country through the collection of data in Rhode Island.

Focus: Clarity

State Plan
  • Ensures that CS learning opportunities and access are available to all Rhode Island students in the years ahead.

  • Currently in year 3 of a 5 year implementation plan addressing each of the additional 8 priority areas.

  • RI K-12 Computer Science Education Standards endorsed by the Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Council in May 2018.

  • Approved RI CTE Program CS Industry Standards - June 2018 - CS programs for students in high school going into CS college/careers.

Focus: Capacity

  • Operates with limited state funding, corporate contributions, and federal grants.

  • Provides free professional development through a matrix of vetted content providers, including:

    • Microsoft TEALS,, Project Lead The Way, University of Rhode Island, Brown University/Bootstrap, Creative Computing with Scratch

  • Trained over 800 practicing teachers in CS from 2016 - 2019.

  • Actively funds and supports a community of practice for CS teachers through the Computer Science Teachers Association - Rhode Island (CSTA-RI).

  • Establishing a RIDE CS Endorsement for teachers with a goal of adoption by the end of 2019.

    • Empowers educator to demonstrate a depth of CS knowledge and skill set to potential employers.

    • Empowers administrators who are best suited to make hiring decisions to better understand job candidate skills and knowledge.

    • Click here if interested in becoming involved in and contributing to the CS endorsement design.

Preservice Teacher Prep
  • Designing Pre-Service CS Teacher programs at the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College, the two institutions that train the greatest number of RI pre-service teachers.

  • Providing funding to develop a CS Methods course and a CS Middle School course aligned with RI K-12 CS Education Standards with a goal of the first CS Methods course taught at both institutions in Spring 2020.

Focus: Leadership

State Supervisor
  • Engages in a coalition approach combining national initiatives with local expertise to increase and broaden participation in quality CS.

  • CS4RI Core Team:

    • Vic Fay-Wolfe (URI CS)

    • Holly Walsh (RIDE Specialist)

    • Carol Giuriceo (RIC/RI STEAM Center)

    • Andrea Russo (Microsoft TEALS)

    • Jessie Barrett (URI/

    • Desiree Forsythe (URI CS Coordinator)

    • Mike Kelly (Community College of RI)

Focus: Sustainability

Require HS to Offer
  • Holds data driven decision-making and distributive leadership as central tenets.

  • Provides guidance to school districts to ensure reporting of accurate student participation in courses that cover computer science standards.

    • 100% of traditional RI school districts offer CS opportunities.

    • One RI District trained every 2nd grade teacher to integrate CS according to RI K-12 CS Education Standards via CS Fundamentals.

    • Several RI high schools have every student taking a CS course.

    • 78% of RI high schools offer an AP CS course - highest percentage in the country.

    • 72% of RI School Districts attended SCRIPT workshops to establish CS K-12 pathways - highest  percentage in the county.

    • 2000+ students attended the CS4RI Summits each of the three years held.

Core Grad Credit
  • Computational Thinking integrated in many subject areas in grades K-8.

  • Offers curriculum integrating Computational Thinking into algebra and social studies courses through matrix partner, Bootstrap.

  • Expanding integration of Computational Thinking and cyber opportunities in years 4 and 5 of the strategic plan.

Higher Ed Admission
  • Offers dual and concurrent courses leading to accelerated CS degree.