• Early Intervening / Disproportionality Team

    As one of the nine districts in the State of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Department of Education has cited the Providence Public School District as having “significantly high disproportionality” in several special education categories. Accordingly, when a district is cited for having “significant disproportionality,” three important provisions are triggered to assist the District in eliminating disproportionality.

    1. Provide for the review and revision of policies, procedures, and practices used in identification or placement of children.
    2. Public reporting of revisions to policies, procedures, and practices.
    3. Require LEA’s to use maximum amount (15%) of the flow-through funds for early intervening services, particularly, but not exclusively, for children in those groups significantly over-identified.


    What is Disproportionality?

    Disproportionality refers to any situation in which a particular racial/ethnic group of children is represented within a specific category at a higher percentage than other racial/ethnic groups. It looks across racial/ethnic groups at relative ratios of children at various points in the evaluated area to their numbers in the general population. Overrepresentation refers to the difference between how children are represented within a specific category as compared to how they are represented in the general population.


    Our Mission:

    To eliminate incidents of over-representation or under-representation of any specific racial/ethnic group within the Providence School Department.


    What you can do?

    Disproportionality is a long-standing national problem to which no other school district has found answers. Solving it is a collective responsibility. Schools, families, churches, businesses, government and others must work together.


    Parents can help by:

    • Attending district sponsored forums aimed at identifying resources and effective strategies to increase each child’s academic achievement.
    • Participate in the district’s family reading and literacy programs.
    • Be attentive and responsive to your child’s education. Talk to your children, monitor their homework and stay in touch with their teachers.
    • Attend parent/teacher conferences.



    • Maintain high expectations for children of all races.
    • Sponsor community forums to brainstorm on ways to eliminate disproportionality. Include district and city representatives.
    • Volunteer in schools, tutor a child, share your knowledge and expertise.
    • Get involved with the districts school committee meetings and Parent Teacher Organization meetings at individual schools.


    Information about your School:

    Visit the school’s website (click here to find our school listing) for detailed information about the school and student achievements. Each school’s web site should have information regarding school programs, key initiatives, school test data, and volunteer information.


    Future Work:

    In the future the Early Intervening Team on Disproportionality will continue to identify and target practices which contribute to the over-identification of students in special education.

    • We will work with representative groups (school psychologists and other professionals) in order to identify, develop, and implement procedures for diagnosing emotional disturbance.
    • We will work with teacher and behavior support teams to ensure fidelity in implementing school-wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support practices as well as academic supports.
    • We will support schools with the analysis of data gathered from discipline referral forms.
    • We will create a system to better track special education student data such as TST interventions, special education referrals, diagnosis’, placements, student progress, and exits from special education placement and services by race, grade, and program.
    • We will continue our efforts in professional development to provide staff with the latest research and data regarding culturally responsive, multitier academic and behavioral interventions.