RISE Network Schools Provide Crucial Supports for Students Throughout the Summer

College and Career ReadinessGrade 9 SuccessRISE by 5 Strategies

Successful student transitions were a key focus for RISE Network schools as they hosted their 2022 summer programs.

Summer Bridge programs, which give incoming 9th-grade students an opportunity to learn more about their school community and build relationships with educators, were held at all nine RISE Network schools this summer and attended by over 500 students!

Schools continued to find new and creative ways to build connections with and between students. At Naugatuck High School, the program challenged students to discover their school through an interactive scavenger hunt, and at Westhill High School, a new mentorship program paired sophomores with incoming freshmen to help them along the way. 

RISE continues to support students as they move along their high school journeys, including through summer college and career readiness academies for rising seniors. These programs provide students with one-on-one support to achieve milestones such as completing their Common App, requesting letters of recommendation, auditing their personal essays, reviewing financial aid options, and covering important dates and deadlines. 

This year, RISE school partners renewed their focus on helping students achieve key milestones in the postsecondary planning process before the school year even begins. During Brien McMahon High School’s College Apps Bootcamp, a 5-day program providing targeted support to 50 rising seniors, students received coaching in financial aid, writing their college essays, and finalizing their college lists. A select group of students even received awards for showing self-advocacy, leadership, and preparedness.

The Summer Bootcamp at Middletown High School challenged counselors and students to work together to achieve eight milestones by the end of the program. This year, they also added mini-sessions focusing on specific aspects of the Common App and employed four English teachers to help students workshop their essays. Hear what two Middletown High School seniors had to say about their experiences at the summer academy.

Following graduation, as many as 40% of graduated seniors who intend to enroll in college detour from their postsecondary plans, a phenomenon known as “Summer Melt.” To combat this, RISE’s Summer Melt texting campaign helps support these students by sending them key reminders and providing individualized support. This summer, RISE educators were in touch with over 2,000 graduated seniors, sending over 26,000 messages to help them with key milestones!