The Trinity County Office of Education’s R.I.S.E. Academy has won the California School Boards Association Golden Bell Award along with the California County Boards of Education Apple for Excellence Award.

The Golden Bell Award, “promotes excellence in education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices of school boards … and reflect the depth and breadth of education programs and governance decisions supporting these programs that are necessary to address students’ changing needs.”

And CCBE, “established the Apple for Excellence Award to recognize outstanding programs administered by county offices of education reflecting the depth and breadth of a county education program necessary to address students’ changing needs. This award is bestowed upon the top County Office of Education program that is a winner of the CSBA’s Golden Bell Awards."

The creation of R.I.S.E. Academy (“Raising Individual Success in Education” as it was named by the students) was a result of a two-year collaborative process between Trinity County Office of Education and the two largest school districts in Trinity County, TAUSD and MVUSD. The concern was the lack of an alternative setting to assist students who were struggling and who needed a smaller class size, along with wrap-around support services. The mission of the R.I.S.E. Academy is to be a trauma-sensitive, alternative school serving at-promise students who need a second chance to succeed. The vision of R.I.S.E. is “Changing Lives and Renewing Hope.”

R.I.S.E. is dedicated to working with parents and students to help develop the academic and behavioral skills that will ensure a successful future for each child. They use a positively oriented behavioral program with a strong academic approach that helps students learn to achieve success and view themselves as important, worthy, and competent. The school values diversity and recognizes that every student has a unique voice, developmental rate, and learning modalities. 

R.I.S.E. is committed to serving a population of students who have struggled in the traditional school setting. R.I.S.E. specializes in serving students affected by School Attendance Review Board, expulsion, probation, homelessness, being a foster youth. It also serves any student that needs extra support and love to be successful. They believe they can and will make a difference — a lifelong impact — in the lives of students that will not only make a difference to them personally, but also leave a positive impression on the community as a whole.

Building relationships is key to R.I.S.E. Academy. They believe that once you capture a student’s heart, you are then able to capture his/her mind. Students come to R.I.S.E. with a wide range of social and emotional needs so they employ an emphasis on trauma-based practices and instruction. Each student at R.I.S.E. has his/her own personal educational plan tailored to meet their specific academic and social/emotional needs. A strong character foundation is emphasized through various community outreach efforts, such as working with the homeless, building community gardens, cleaning up neighborhood parks and streets, etc. 

As one of the leading experts in childhood trauma has written,

The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely he/she will be to recover from trauma and thrive. Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.

? Bruce D. Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog:

And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook

“Our staff builds positive relationships with each student and their caregivers,” Fabio Robles, deputy superintendent at TCOE, explained. “As a result, students learn how to forge long-lasting relationships with peers and adults while overcoming adversity so that the can succeed. R.I.S.E. Academy is a beacon of hope in Trinity County.” As one R.I.S.E. Academy student echoed, “It feels like family here.”

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