Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1961, Rice's first order of business was a reduction in class sizes and an increase in teacher-student ratios from the overcrowding that had prevailed at Cathedral High School. In the late 1960's Rice's enrollment reached its historic peak of 1174 students. In order to meet the demands posed by spiraling growth, the school scrapped its original plans for an auditorium at the western end of the building and instead added classrooms at the far end of the academic wing.
Through the 1970's, the Catholic Church saw a decline in the numbers of priests, nuns and brothers. Accordingly, the proportion of professed religious among Rice's teaching faculty also shrank, while the school grew to depend more and more on lay teachers. As a consequence, salaries and tuition rates climbed, while in further consequence the school's enrollment began to retreat.
In the 1980's, Rice came under the leadership of a succession of Brothers of the Sacred Heart. To reinforce the school's distinctive Catholic identity, all students were required to take prescribed religion courses. Driven by changes in the law and student expectations, Rice's athletic programs expanded to include more offerings for young women. In addition, programs in soccer and ice hockey augmented the traditional football-basketball- baseball-track array. These changes set a precedent for later expansions, which would add men's and women's lacrosse, women's ice hockey, and eventually Rice's elite prep hockey programs.
The 1980's also saw a new emphasis at Rice on retaining highly qualified faculty. Of necessity, salaries - and tuition - increased dramatically throughout the decade, as did rapidly evolving technology and increasing economic challenges. The decade also saw the evolution of Rice's relationship with technology. As the 21st Century began, Rice had networked computer labs, an online presence, and email capabilities for staff. Today, teaching with technology is required of all teachers. In 2015, Rice is embracing a 1:1 ratio of computers to students, the next step in the evolution of teaching with technology.