By Emily Nguyen, Network Facilitator
As a network of schools, we benefit from the collective successes, ideas, and experiences of educators across our 10 partner high schools. Over the past several months, RISE’s Network Success Team has worked in partnership with network educators to assemble strategy guides for network-wide strategies ranging from On-Track Data Teams to On-Track Conferences. As publicly available Google Docs, these strategy guides facilitate the sharing of knowledge and resources across network schools and beyond, decreasing the lift for educators seeking to initiate similar strategies or improve current practices in their own schools.
We are proud to share our newest strategy guide focused on Summer Bridge Programs, which are no-cost, multi-week summer programs for rising freshmen as they prepare to enter high school. These programs are held at each of the RISE partner high schools and are staffed by high school educators, building early connections with and among students and staff. Each program is designed and led by a team of teachers and support staff at the high school who craft high-impact experiences that are responsive to the needs and nuances of their school context. Most RISE summer bridge programs include academic, social, and enrichment components to take a holistic approach to supporting students’ growth. Additionally, schools offer incentives to encourage students and families to participate by, for example, offering daily meals, field trips, and, in some schools, the opportunity to earn half of a high school credit. The Summer Bridge RISE Strategy Guide incorporates tips, tools, best practices, planning timelines, and more, gathered from across network schools.
Summer Bridge Programs represent one important approach in RISE high schools to promote a Grade 9 on-track culture among students, families, and staff. The Summer Bridge Strategy Guide is designed to support educators as they design and implement an engaging and high-impact summer transition program that will spark key connections and relationships, bolster students’ confidence in a new setting, and develop critical skills and knowledge to lead to their success in high school and beyond. Whether you’re in the active stages of planning your own school’s summer bridge program, or looking for some inspiration for creative ways to support students through their high school experience, we encourage you to check it out!