Our Mission


To ensure all RISE high school students graduate with a plan and the skills and confidence to achieve college and career success. We partner with public high schools to lead networks where school communities work together to use data to learn and improve.

Our Story

In 2015, public school teachers, counselors, and administrators across Connecticut came together with Dalio Education to launch the RISE Network. Sharing the urgent belief that we can do more to help students realize and achieve their full potential, RISE’s founding partners aspired to create a community built by educators, for educators, to advance shared goals to improve students’ college, career, and life outcomes. The idea was relatively simple—if we bring together talented and passionate educators across public school districts, then we can amplify our collective impact for students.

Today, RISE’s core and most comprehensive network represents a collaboration between nine high schools and eight public school districts, reaching over 13,000 students. The majority of RISE high school students identify as Black, Latinx, and/or low-income, and we intentionally partner with historically marginalized communities.  RISE brings together stakeholders across schools and districts to advance shared student outcome goals to amplify our collective impact. We work together to ensure all students experience success as they transition to, through, and beyond high school.  We focus on Grade 9 on-track achievement because success during freshman year is highly correlated with high school success and on-time graduation. This strong foundation in Grade 9 serves as a building block for school-wide improvements in Grades 9 through 12, supporting college and career readiness, access, and success.

Partner schools have improved Grade 9 promotion rates by nearly 20 percentage points, while also decreasing subgroup gaps and increasing school-wide graduation and college access rates. In 2021, the RISE Network was honored to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s annual Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement recognition. Increasingly, RISE is pursuing opportunities to scale its impact through research publications, consulting partnerships, professional development experiences, and other avenues to drive excellent student outcomes.

Learn more about our partners

As our cross-school collaborations continue to yield meaningful learning, we endeavor to share learnings and resources with new partner schools and districts, in Connecticut and beyond, through our vitally important scale work. We have expanded upon existing partnerships in districts such as Hartford and Norwalk; partnered with the State of Connecticut on the Connecticut FAFSA Challenge; hosted a Symposium focused on 9th-grade success for partners within and beyond our network, and recently launched a Freshman Focus Network to promote ongoing learning. Learn more about coaching and professional learning offered by the RISE Network.

What We Stand For

Our community’s aspirations are embodied in our name; as the RISE Network, we believe that through new resources, data-driven innovations, improved systems, and educator empowerment, we can help all students succeed.

  1. RESOURCES: Mobilize resources through targeted investments and collaboration.
  2. INNOVATION: Promote data-driven inquiry and innovation in response to shared, complex challenges.
  3. SYSTEMS: Strengthen systems and structures to achieve scalable, sustained, and equitable impact.
  4. EMPOWERMENT: Empower educators to drive improvements through peer learning and collective responsibility.

10 Big Ideas

As a network community, several key beliefs and commitments shape and guide our work. While these big ideas will evolve as we continue to learn more from and with each other, the below statements articulate how we’ve approached our collaboration as network partners and what we’ve learned thus far.

  1. Building Networks. We can achieve more on behalf of our students by working together — across schools and districts — towards shared goals.
  2. Focusing on Transitions. Transitions to, through, and beyond high school are important to get right, and students often need targeted support to successfully navigate these transitions.
  3. Promoting Equity. Achieving educational and racial equity requires our collective efforts to close long-standing opportunity gaps for historically marginalized groups.
  4. Embracing Data. Data should drive improvement, not just compliance and accountability.  Data support our efforts to be student-centered and results-driven.
  5. Empowering Educators. Schools succeed when educators are respected as professionals and have access to the information and resources they need to help all students succeed. 
  6. Welcoming Ideas. Those closest to the student experience — educators and students themselves — are also closest to new and creative ideas to improve it. 
  7. Learning to Improve. Continuous improvement requires both the courage to act boldly and the humility to know our work is never complete. 
  8. Advancing College and Career Readiness. All students need to be prepared for college and career success, and the entire school community shares responsibility for this goal. 
  9. Fostering Connections. We celebrate students’ diverse passions, interests, and experiences, and build personal connections to help all students thrive. 
  10. Scaling What Works. We value RISE high schools as centers for innovation, and we are committed to sharing promising practices beyond RISE high schools through research, replicable strategies, and tools.