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RI’s Private + Parochial High School Diversity: Which Schools Reported

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Though the results are incomplete, a look at diversity in Rhode Island's private and parochial schools is quite telling.

While Rhode Island public schools are required to submit information related to their racial makeup and composition, doing so is entirely optional for the state’s private and parochial schools.

As such, it’s difficult to get a true picture of how diverse many of the schools are as some of the state’s highest-profile institutions—such as La Salle, Mount St. Charles and Moses Brown—chose not to participate.

Still, there are some intriguing results.

The most diverse private school is Ocean Tides, a small school of just 80 students located in Narragansett.

That school’s racial makeup is spread evenly through three groups as Black and Hispanic students represent 27.5 and 28.8 percent of the student body overall while 32.5 percent of the students at the school are White.

The numbers are vastly different than the Narragansett community as a whole, however, as the public school in that town was 95.1 percent White.

The second through fourth spots on the private/parochial list also belonged to smaller schools as Bishop Keough Regional High School, Tides School (Pawtucket) and Hillside Alternative Program—which reported a total combined enrollment of 90 students—were all very well balanced between Black, Hispanic and White students.

Pawtucket’s much-larger St. Raphael Academy, meanwhile, reported its 450 student population was made up of 53.3 percent of white students, 30.7 percent Hispanic students and 15.6 percent Black students. Its numbers were good enough for the fifth most-diverse school overall.

St George's School, The Tides School, Bishop Hendricken High School, The Prout School and the Immaculate Conception Academy were all at the bottom of the rankings for private/parochial schools that reported, with all but the Tide School—which only has eight total students—reporting a white student population of at least 82.7 percent.

Some of the more notable private/parochial schools that chose not to submit data include St. Andrews, The Wheeler School, La Salle Academy, Mount St. Charles, Moses Brown, Bay View, Fatima and Portsmouth Abbey.


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