RISE: A new program in SPS


Creating safe and supportive learning environments that strengthen the social and emotional health of all students and staff is at the heart of Kaiser Permanente’s Resilience in School Environments, or RISE, now being shared with West Valley School District #363 and Spokane Public Schools.

Developed as part of Kaiser Permanente’s Thriving Schools initiative, RISE includes an on-the-ground regional coordinator dedicated to working with school staff, teachers, districts, and the community to better understand the underlying factors of stress in schools and foster more positive school environments.

RISE is designed to drive policy and practice changes in school communities through on-site engagement and virtually through data-driven tools and online learning curricula. “We are excited to tap into RISE as a continuation of our focus on the wellness of our students and staff,” says SPS Superintendent Shelley Redinger. “It is one more way to achieve our goal to increase each student’s achievement at every level, in every classroom. It strengthens our commitment to prepare students to follow any pathway they desire after graduation.”

Part of RISE centers on reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) including abuse, neglect and household dysfunction in childhood that can have a major impact on students’ ability to thrive in school today and later impact their health as an adult. “This is not a one-size-fits-all program,” says Jill Patnode, Thriving Schools program manager for Kaiser Permanente in Washington. “We look to schools to determine the areas they want to strengthen then help them access the tools and resources we know can make a difference.” Kaiser Permanente is deploying RISE in a number of districts across the state and the nation.

“We believe in partnering with our community and value how RISE respects the distinct needs of the schools in our region and builds upon our unique strengths,” says WV Superintendent Gene Sementi. “We look forward to the RISE UP workshop for teachers coming to Dishman Hills in November.”

RISE also has a strong focus on increasing school staff job satisfaction. The program offers on-site intervention and resources to manage and cope through stressful events, strengthen staff mental health support systems, prioritize staff wellness and increase skills related to adult social and emotional learning.

Dr. Cicely White, pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente’s Veradale Medical Center, says, “Just as I underscore the importance of self-care for the parents of the children I care for, it’s important that schools prioritize well-being for school teachers, staff, and administrators in order to be most effective in helping children learn and succeed.”