Computer Science for Rhode Island (CS4RI) Initiative

Our kids deserve the best opportunities in the 21st century tech-driven economy, so we need to do everything we can to help them get ahead by developing the skills that matter. Part of turning our economy around and creating jobs is making sure every student, at every level, has access to the new basic skill: computer science.

CS4RI is among the most comprehensive statewide computer science (CS) initiatives in the country, and will bring together a coalition of partners—including Microsoft TEALS,, Project Lead the Way, Brown University’s Bootstrap, and University of Rhode Island’s CS curricula for high school — to offer a menu of options for schools to expand computer science education in kindergarten through grade 12. Also, General Assembly, a nationally recognized provider of industry CS training will collaborate to develop a pilot teacher CS boot camp offered in Rhode Island.

“We must ensure all students have the skills they need to compete in today’s innovation economy and that means making computer science much more accessible for all learners,” Acting U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. said. “President Obama’s budget includes funding for states and districts to increase access to computer science by providing training for educators, expanding access to high-quality instructional materials, and building effective regional partnerships. By offering computer science in every public school and every grade, Rhode Island has become the latest state to lead the way in offering computer science for all.”

Governor Raimondo’s current budget proposal includes $260,000 to support the expansion of CS programming to be available to every student in all of Rhode Island’s schools.

To increase our computer science options across all grades, we must on focus engaging community partners and resources and support schools and teachers on expanding their offerings. The data suggests that Rhode Island has a long way to go:

  • AP Computer Science is offered in only 9 public high schools, and no Title I schools.
  • Only 1 percent of RI public high school students are currently enrolled in CS courses.
  • Only 42 Rhode Island public high school students took the Computer Science AP test in 2015

CS4RI will:

  • Give kids the skills they need, starting in kindergarten, to access the skills they need to be successful
  • Stop the brain drain by creating partnerships between our schools and businesses to raise awareness about the opportunities open right now in the Rhode Island
  • Help kids get jobs that pay by giving them the 21st century skills they need
  • Attract 21st century businesses to invest in Rhode Island by demonstrating a commitment to building a pipeline of trained and talented workers
  • Address disparities so we create opportunities to ensure that everyone can “make it in Rhode Island”

To learn more, please visit