Courtesy of Julia Morgan
Skyline High School’s RISE Initiative
November 13, 2018
At the start of the 2018-2019 school year, Skyline High School put their RISE initiative into action. RISE is an acronym for Resilience, Integrity, Support, and Excellence. The goal of the program is to help students rise up to their highest potential. When asked to describe RISE, Melinda Reay, a Social Studies teacher at Skyline says “The point of RISE is to help Skyline students portray certain qualities to help them be successful both in school and in life.” Like teachers everywhere, Skyline teachers want students to be the greatest they can be. Instead of just getting frustrated when students are acting out or making bad decisions, the teachers at Skyline want to actually help their students.
The first letter of RISE stands for resilience. Being resilient is having the ability to bounce back after something difficult happens and to keep going even in hard times. This is a very important skill for students to have. Resiliency can be used after you fail a test, forget to turn a significant assignment in, or when school in general just gets so difficult. It doesn’t matter if the student is in all grade-level classes or if they are taking multiple AP courses, they will be faced with stress regardless.
The “I” in RISE stands for Integrity. Students with integrity make ethical decisions, don’t cheat, and are honest. This is important for students to embody so that the work they turn in will be an accurate representation of themselves and their personal knowledge. Teachers want their students to not only have good grades but to have earned that grade in an honest way. If the students know that integrity is a valued concept within the school, they will hopefully be less tempted to cheat on tests. Having integral students also means that they will be able to make ethical decisions for themselves. In high school, teenagers are faced with a lot of big decisions. Melinda Reay speaks to this in an email by saying that “Each day, you’re faced with ethical decisions that truly define you as a person.” The teenage years are extremely formative, and having integrity and personal ethics can make a large impact.
Support is the “S” in the acronym. This part of RISE is a large contributor to the culture at Skyline. Students need to have a solid support system in order to succeed at school and in their lives. This support should be found in multiple places. Being able to ask a teacher for clarity on an assignment or topic can have a large impact for that student. Having the ability to reach out to a friend or a classmate makes high school a lot easier. When students have a sense of community within their school, they will be able to take that into their future careers. Like a school, workplaces also thrive when people feel like they belong and have allies. Everyone benefits from mutual support. A healthy support system is a big part of having a positive experience at high school and in life.
The last letter of RISE stands for Excellence. Skyline Eagles strive to be excellent in all areas. From Sterling Scholars, Football, Community of Caring, school culture, etc. Skyline students and staff are constantly working to be the best that they can. When it comes to rising above average, Skyline takes the medal. Ever since the early 1960s, Skyline has been a powerhouse in the athletics department. Having their rival school in such close proximity made the Eagles very competitive, adding to their strong work ethic. Being one of the seven schools in the state to offer the IB Diploma Programme, academics are taken seriously. In 2018 Skyline had more Sterling Scholars than any other school in the state.
With a long history of greatness, Skyline continues to improve and evolve. The students are a great reflection on the staff, community, and culture. There is no question behind what makes these students stand out. Their performance is a reflection on the staff, community, and culture of Skyline. The Skyline Eagles will continue to strive for greatness, and the RISE initiative will help students stay on that path. Resilient students can take challenging courses, persevere, and continue to improve. Students with integrity turn in honest work, make ethical decisions and are true to themselves.
A high school with support has a strong community, happy peers, and a thriving culture. Excellence is achieved when students and teachers work together to keep improving, no matter what they are doing. When RISE is practiced there are healthy, smart, hard-working, and supportive students. When RISE is practiced there are healthy, smart, hard-working, and supportive students who enjoy their lives, and that is the goal.