Principal’s Message

I am the founder of R.I.S.E. Academy, Rebecca Chambers, and I am so excited to launch our first year of virtual alternative high-school.  R.I.S.E has been something I’ve dreamt of for years and it’s finally happening.  Over the past 17 years I’ve been an educator in the traditional public school system fighting for change. Change is coming, but not fast enough.  

Offering a unique approach to learning and obtaining credits that go towards the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, youth who join R.I.S.E. can take one or more courses all while continuing to be part of their home schools or homeschooling programs.  R.I.S.E. was created to complement traditional schooling, not replace it.

Each course will be inquiry-based, following the Social Change Maker Model.  Throughout, students will discover their strengths, motivations, and passions. While doing so they will acquire valuable skills required for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). By connecting with their community and co-creating passion projects with facilitators, each student will become a Social Change Maker (read more about the SCM Model here).

What makes R.I.S.E. Academy different?

Students will:

  • Take personalized programs to fit their strengths and passions
  • Learn to love themselves in all endeavours
  • Use individual strengths to help their community
  • Work one-on-one with facilitators
  • Get to know classmates from around Ontario
  • Learn necessary skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)
  • Network with important community members
  • Receive continuous feedback from educators and classmates
  • Become self-directed, lifelong learners—fostering continuous curiosity for maximum engagement and impact on the world around them

I can’t wait to see all the amazing things you do at R.I.S.E. Academy!

Rebecca Chambers
Principal, R.i.s.e. academy

Social Change Maker Model

Our current education model, created for the time of the industrial revolution has not changed or kept up with our ever changing world.  It is time to change things up and teach our young people how to use the technologies of the 21st century along with how to use their voices to make a difference in their world.  All courses at R.I.S.E. Academy will offer a model that focuses on working on global competencies that are required to be successful in our ever changing world of work.  These include critical thinking and problem solving, innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship, learning to learn/self-awareness and self-direction, collaboration, communication, global citizenship and sustainability  Students will work on things that matter to them by finding issues in their world that breaks their hearts, they will research those issues in depth, they will create solutions to those problems, they will connect and network with people in their communities and they will implement their solutions and make a difference.  They will become social change makers.

The Social Change Makers model was created in accordance with Community-Connected Experiential Learning A POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR ONTARIO SCHOOLS, KINDERGARTEN TO GRADE 12

“Community-connected experiential learning is an approach to student learning that provides students with opportunities to participate actively in experiences connected to a community outside of school (local, national, or global); reflect on those experiences to derive meaning from them; and apply their learning to their decisions and actions in various aspects of their lives.” 

“Three questions – What?, So what?, and Now what? – are associated with each stage of the process, respectively, and help to focus students’ thinking and drive the process, as follows:

Participate: What? Students are immersed in an experience, acknowledging what they are doing, what they are thinking, and what they are feeling during the experience.

Reflect: So what? Students think about their experience, guided by reflective questions and prompts, and identify what they learned as a result of the experience – about themselves, other people, the world, their opportunities, or the subject of study.

Apply: Now what? Students describe how their learning stimulates further inquiry; how it has influenced – or may influence – their decisions, opinions, goals, and plans; and what they might do differently if they have a similar experience in future.”

“Experiential learning requires educators to provide explicit instruction in the skills of reflection and to assist students in developing the habit of looking for learning that can be drawn from all life experiences. Reflection is a strategy that develops skills of metacognition – the process of thinking about one’s own thought processes. Metacognition includes the ability to monitor one’s own progress towards achieving a learning goal, a skill that is reinforced in curriculum expectations and assessment policy (assessment as learning).” {Source}

Unlearn With Us

Video Series

Over the past 17 years I have been unlearning everything I know about education.  I have read books, I’ve watched documentaries, I have taken courses, I have attended conferences and I have reached out to other educators, I have experimented in my classroom and now I am starting a new journey into opening up a virtual high school.  Three years ago I was inspired by one of my students to start writing a blog.  I wanted to chronicle mine and my students’ journey through our unlearning journey, you can check it out here if you are interested.  I wanted a place where educators who were curious had the opportunity to peek inside my chaotic classroom and see that change is messy, crazy, exciting and scary but totally worth it.  

In my unlearning journey, I have realized that I am a lifelong learner and want to continue my quest to make our education system better.  I want my unlearning to continue and I want to continue to get better for my students.  Therefore I have decided to start a video podcast where I interview amazing people from all around the world, in all kinds of different roles to hear about what they do, what their thoughts are on our current education system and finally what they feel needs to change.

Thanks for continuing to unlearn with us.

introduction

S1 E1

S1 E2

Social Change Maker Podcast