Early College High School Expansion at Redding School of the Arts

The GRAD Partnership team had an amazing tour of the Redding School of the Arts and learned more about their Early College High School expansion plans.

Cross-posted from Rural Schools Collaborative

November 21, 2023

Redding School of the Arts (RSA), a charter school located in Far Northern California, believes that when it comes to young minds, art enriches, expands, and prepares them for a full life in useful and unexpected ways. RSA opened its state-of-the-art campus in 2012 and became the first in the world certified Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) school. Every aspect of the campus is purpose-built as a visual and performing arts school, with a focus on green architecture and sustainable use.

Redding School of the Arts state-of-the-art campus

The GRAD Partnership team had an amazing tour of RSA and learned more about their Early College High School expansion plans. RSA’s philosophy of achieving academic success through a student-centered, interdisciplinary, thematic approach within a multicultural/multilingual environment that emphasizes the arts, is well aligned with the goals of the GRAD Partnership. By establishing a College and Career Access Pathway (CCAP) agreement with nearby Shasta Community College, RSA high school students gain college credits through Dual Enrolled courses. RSA’s high school provides a positive, small school environment, where students can continue to pursue their love of the arts while exploring career opportunities and beginning their college and career journeys.

Students participating in a “Claims and Evidence” activity

With an initial class of thirty-three students in 9th and 10th grade, and adding 11th grade in the 2023-2024 academic year, the GRAD Partnership is helping to implement a student success system at RSA. The staff is keenly aware that high school students’ success is directly related to their sense of connectedness and belonging. By surveying students, they are co-creating clubs and activities that foster connectedness, such as a newly formed Associated Student Body (ASB) whose president is a high school exchange student from Kuwait that is excited about organizing events and making the school year fun.

During our visit we spoke with high school students who shared that they are passionate about staying connected with the arts.

“I didn’t want leave RSA because this is where my creativity is supported, and I get to do really cool things.”

Students dressed up in costumes.

“I decided to stay at RSA after 8th grade because I do better in smaller environments, I knew that a bigger school wouldn’t work for me. I am so happy that I stayed, I’m really enjoying my classes and the teachers I have.”

With the support of North State Together and our national partners, including Rural Schools Collaborative, University of West Alabama, and The GRAD Partnership at Johns Hopkins University, we are excited to partner with RSA’s Early College High School expansion and to implement a new student Success system!

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