Exciting Changes at Rio Tierra
To enhance student learning and create conditions for the success of all students, Rio Tierra Junior High has made some significant changes for the 2017-18 school year.
As part of a redesign at the school, four classrooms now have a college or university name—UC Davis, UCLA, Sacramento State and San Jose State. And four out of five days a week, all students are in their "student university" classrooms.
"This is an outstanding opportunity for kids to think outside the box, to be introduced to different strategies that will help prepare them for high school, as well as open their minds up to going to college," says teacher Yvonne Alexander. "Whatever they feel they can't do, I am going to give them the tools to show them they can do it."
Rio Tierra has approximately 500 students. In addition to the "student university" classrooms, they now have seven periods instead of six, two electives instead of one, and identified students have one intervention period embedded in the school day.
"Our middle school redesign was adopted to help our students achieve higher academic success, build on their social and emotional skills, and provide more opportunities for electives," says Dr. Micah Simmons, Rio Tierra's principal.
Olivia McClain likes it, especially her Sacramento State "student university" classroom.
"I think it's better," says Olivia, an eighth grader who is already thinking about her future. "You can get ahead and you learn how to get prepared for college. I want to go to San Francisco State University or Mississippi State University for math."