• Providence Public Schools are committed to supporting and affirming lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ+) students, families, and staff.

    An overview of Gender Equity policies and procedures is available in our Resource Guide for Students and Families.


    Gender and Sexuality Alliances (student clubs): A GSA is a type of student club, most often in high schools or middle schools, which provides a space for students to connect about issues related to gender identity and sexual orientation. GSAs can help all students build understanding around LGBTQ+ issues, as well as provide opportunities for peer support and community building. 


    To form a GSA or any student club, students should identify a staff member in their school to be an advisor, and follow the school’s protocol for establishing a club. Register your GSA or equity-related club here. Check out GLSEN and Youth Pride, Inc. for organizing ideas.

Glossary- language is constantly evolving, but here are some important terms to know:

  • Gender & gender identity

  • Gender expression

  • Sex asssigned at birth

  • Cisgender

  • Transgender

  • Nonbinary

  • Gender expansive

  • Gender marker

  • Chosen or Affirming name

  • Pronouns

  • Sexual orientation & Sexuality

  • DO’s and DON’Ts-- supporting LGBTQ youth


    • Normalize gender diversity and the needs of gender-diverse students. Since gender identity is not limited to boy or girl, provide options for nonbinary students who may not be comfortable in gender-segregated situations.

    • Do acknowledge if you need more time or information to support a student

    • Do commit to getting the information you need and following up with a resource or connection

    • Do remember that identity is not singular but layered. Someone can experience harmony in all parts of their identity, and face roadblocks or discrimination due to bias toward their race, ethnicity, gender, etc.

    • Advocate for LGBTQ and gender expansive students in the classroom, playing field, and beyond

    • Do make an effort to learn about your students and take time to thoughtfully practice inclusive language



    • Don’t assume students’ gender or pronouns

    • Don’t reduce or restrict gender to body parts

    • Don’t use these terms: Biologically Male/Biologically Female/Genetically Male/Genetically Female/Born a Man/Born a Woman, Lifestyle. Sex Change or Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS), Sexual Preference, Transgendered (Verb), Transgenderism

    • Don’t put your learning on students-- practice names, language, etc. Learning can not only happen through mistakes, but also through intentional, thoughtful and careful practice

    • Use microaggressions, and beware of how implicit bias can manifest with the best intentions

    • Don’t assume a deficit perspective. LGBTQ students are amazing and their futures are full of possibility.

Transgender and gender expansive students

  • Terminology

  • Supporting Students

  • Gender Inclusion

  • Communication

  • Names & Pronouns

  • Student records (official vs unofficial, medical) & Student Information Systems

  • Athletics and Physical Education

  • Facilities - restrooms and locker rooms

  • Privacy

  • IEPs or Section 504 Plans and Gender Identity

  • FAQs

    What’s a Gender Support Plan? Why do we have them?

    A Gender Support Plan can be completed with a student or parent/guardian and their school counselor or administrator. We use them to support students. The Gender Support Plan identifies specific needs, requests and timelines to affirm the student's gender identity. It also details confidentiality, student safety, facilities, and how the student wants to be addressed in class, in correspondence to the home, or at conferences and other communications with the student’s parent/guardian. 


    How can I make sure my name in Skyward is the name I go by?

    A student or their parent/guardian can request a change of student information by completing a Change of Student Information Form. Students do not need a court-ordered or other legal change to update their name or gender markers in Skyward or other student information systems. This means that records such as diplomas, report cards, yearbooks can reflect a student’s chosen name. Students may also choose to have the pronouns they use appear in their Skyward profile. There is also an option to update the “preferred name” only, which limits where the student’s chosen name appears. Access this form at school or here


    If I use a name different from my “legal name,” where will it be listed and who will see it?


    If I…

    Who can see what?

    Let specific teachers know my name, pronouns, and/or gender identity. 

    Everyone sees my “legal” name in all student information systems. No changes will be made, but the teachers I tell will know.

    Create a Gender Support Plan with a counselor or administrator.

    The Gender Support Plan is stored in your Skyward profile, where counselors, administrators, school nurses and E&B Office can view it. 

    Parents/guardians and other teachers cannot view the Gender Support Plan unless I indicate that I want them to receive copies.

    Change of Student Information Form

    Full Skyward Change (all user view) WITHOUT a court-ordered or legal name change.  

    Changes you make to your name are viewable to:

    • You

    • Parents/guardians

    • All teachers & substitutes

    • School counselors and administrators

    • Attendance rosters, report cards, diplomas and other school-generated materials

    • Google Classroom

    • Platforms that follow Skyward such as Clever and Kinvo

    Change of Student Information Form

    Preferred Name Skyward Change (limited user view) 

    Changes you make to  your name and/or pronouns in the “preferred name” field are viewable to:

    • All teachers & substitutes

    • School counselors and administrators

    • Attendance rosters

    • Other platforms that you specifically indicate on the Change of Student Information form 

    • Your “legal” name will still appear in your Skyward profile

    Change of Student Information Form -

    Gender Identity

    Changes you make to your gender identity are viewable to:

    • All teachers & substitutes

    • School counselors and administrators

    • Attendance rosters

    Change of Student Information Form - 

    Full Skyward Change (all user view) WITH a court-ordered or legal name change

    Changes you make to your name & gender marker are viewable to:

    • You
    • Parents/guardians
    • All teachers & substitutes
    • School counselors and administrators
    • Attendance rosters, report cards, diplomas and other school-generated materials
    • Google Classroom
    • Platforms that follow Skyward
    • Academic transcripts and any other Rhode Island Department of Education official records



    Youth Pride, Inc. - local org that provides training, GSA support, and support groups for children and teens

    PFLAG - support for parents and families

    TGI Network - serves the needs of the transgender, gender diverse, and intersex (TGI) communities in RI

    Rhode Island’s guide to changing ID documents


    Support & rights

    Human Rights Campaign – Toolkit for creating safe and healthy schools for LGBTQ+ youth

    The Trevor Project - an organization dedicated to creating a welcoming, loving world for LGBTQ young people. Crisis services (24/7 helpline), advocacy, education and research.

    TransAthlete - a resource for students, athletes, coaches, and administrators to find information about trans inclusion in athletics at different levels of play. 

    Pronouns - Why they Matter 

    Gender Spectrum - organization that “works to create gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens.”

    GLSEN - works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in school environments free from bullying and harassment. Read their 2021 National School Climate Survey & Gender studies primer 


    Research & Policy

    American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, “Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth,” May 2020. 

    American Academy of Pediatrics, “Gender Identity Development in Children,The AAP Parenting Website, 11 May 2022.

    Barack, Lauren, “Improving LGBTQ representation in curriculum reduces stigma, bullying,K-12 Dive, 24 June 2020.

    GLSEN, “Respect for All: Policy Recommendations to Support LGBTQ Students A Guide for District and School Leaders.


    Book lists 

    Human Rights Campaign, “Supporting Transgender & Non-Binary Students Booklist for Elementary.”

    The New York Times, 15 LGBTQ Books for Kids and Teens Recommended by Queer Librarians, Educators, and Independent Booksellers.”

    Family Equality, “Early Elementary LGBTQ Family-Friendly Books.”