Rowland Unified School District - Digital Promise

Rowland Unified School District

12,668

Number of Students

72%

Free and Reduced Lunch

100%

Students with Access to High Speed Broadband

100%

K-12 Students with Access to a Personal School-provided Device (1:1)

Learn from this district about:

Kinder Care and Connect: Knowing that the foundation of students’ success in school begins in kindergarten, the district focuses resources and efforts directly with their littlest learners. Most of the district’s students do not come with preschool experience and start Transitional Kindergarten or Kindergarten as their first introduction to school. While infusing learning with play, students are exposed to learning reading, writing, math as well as social skills. At the start of the 2020-2021 school year, in the midst of the pandemic, the district pivoted and reinvented the kinder learning experience while maintaining high standards of care, compassion, connection and content. While each kinder student was a part of a class community, using the vehicle of reading, Kinder Care and Connect brought together every kindergarten student and their family, from across the district into one large community of approximately 900 students.

Kinder Care and Connect is an “all-in” effort by district employees across the district. Warehouse employees, mailroom personnel, reprographics, purchasing, delivery drivers and teachers all contribute to supporting their littlest learners and make sure their first introduction to school is joyous and rewarding.

Connecting all students to music education: Music education is often seen as a luxury and one that is provided only to those who have the means to pursue learning an instrument or engaging in the arts. In 2016, Rowland Unified set out to change this by launching Music for All, which has continued to grow and flourish over the years, including during remote learning. Rowland Unified recognized that music education supports academic success and allows a creative outlet for many students. All students, starting in first grade, receive music education, taught by a credentialed music teacher, once per week throughout elementary school. First through third graders are taught the foundations of music, including rhythm, beat, notes and sight reading, while also being exposed to different instruments and songs from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. Beginning in grade four, students are able to select general music, choir or beginning strings and in fifth grade students have these options plus band. Every student is given full access to music arts and any instrument of their choice, regardless of their ability to pay for an instrument. The district provides all students with an instrument should they choose to learn one, and they also provide additional weekly lessons, after school, at no cost to the family. As students enter middle and high school, they are able to continue their music interests in individualized classes for choir, band, guitar, mariachi, orchestra or jazz band.

Creating a college-going and career-forward culture: Rowland Unified creates a college and career going culture starting at the elementary level. Students are introduced to colleges, take virtual trips to campuses, and set their sights on the year they will graduate from college. Most of the district’s elementary classrooms are “adopted” by a college and students proudly wear their college classroom shirts for spirit days. As students age up and the reality of college grows closer, they introduce College Connect.

Making college accessible to at-promise students: College Connect addresses access to a four-year university for the district’s at-promise students. The district provides every support needed throughout the college exploration, including essay writing and applications, FAFSA, scholarships, and acceptance process. Because students hold many fears, anxieties and myths when it comes to applying to college, the district provides specialized and individualized assistance to bring their dreams into reality. College Connect serves any interested student, however, its target population is the district’s most underserved students, including young people experiencing homelessness and in the foster care system, English learners, and undocumented students who may not be a part of an AVID program or have any other means of support while navigating post secondary education options. The first year College Connect was established, all twenty four participants, some who came from extraordinary circumstances were offered admission into one of their top choice schools.


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