Despite the relatively modest size of the population (~1 million), Rhode Island has 54 different Local Education Agencies (LEAs), or districts, each with its own unique challenges and opportunities. The State’s Office of Digital Excellence have tasked the Fellows with exploring ways to improve parental engagement, highlight educational resources within the State, reduce brain drain, and bridge the digital divide.

During the year, the Fellows met with school faculty and staff, policy makers, thought leaders, and community members — over 200 people — and ran several focus groups to find common challenges across the state. The projects that emerged focus on improving the first impression and continuing relationship that residents of Rhode Island have with the education system:

  • Ticket to RIDE (RIDE = Rhode Island Department of Education) is an application that translates the paper-based student registration process online, additionally making it warmer and friendlier for parents and school administrators.
  • Golden Ticket allows parents to register their children for lotteries of one or more State sponsored pre-kindergarten program. The application also performs the lottery selection process, automating a manual and time consuming process.