June 13, 2024

IE COMMUNITY NEWS

El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Rialto Unified School District and CSUSB partner to launch Teach Rialto, an initiative to train homegrown teachers

3 min read
On March 15, the Rialto Unified School District (RUSD) and California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) launched Teach Rialto. This program will put them in a position to meet the requirements for admission to CSUSB, where they will earn a bachelor’s degree and teaching credentials so they could return to teach in Rialto.

Tomás D. Morales, (left) president of CSUSB, and Cuauhtémoc Avila, superintendent of the Rialto Unified School District, sign the memorandum of understanding formally launching the Teach Rialto initiative. Looking on from the back row, from left, Chinaka S. DomNwachukwu, dean of the James R. Watson & Judy Rodriguez Watson College of Education, CSUSB; Stephanie E. Lewis, Rialto Unified School District board member; Edgar Montes, Rialto Unified School District board member; and Rafik Mohamed, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, CSUSB.

On March 15, the Rialto Unified School District (RUSD) and California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) launched Teach Rialto.
The initiative will provide ninth-grade students, beginning with the 2023-24 school year, a program of study and support services throughout their high school experience. This program will put them in a position to meet the requirements for admission to CSUSB, where they will earn a bachelor’s degree and teaching credentials so they could return to teach in Rialto.
Rachel Rincon, an alumna of Eisenhower High School and now a freshman at CSUSB, is in a pilot cohort of Teach Rialto. Majoring in child development, she shared with the audience what inspired her to want to be a teacher. “My 4th-grade teacher taught me that one student’s success is everyone’s success and each person who needs help, you help them.”

Teach Rialto Pilot Program Participant Rachel Rincon sharing what inspired her to pursue an education in child development and why she aspires to become a teacher. 

CSUSB President Tomas D. Morales said, “The number of applicants is beginning to trend upwards after a string of a decline in applicants after the pandemic. We’re returning to 2019 numbers. The total number of RUSD applicants this year was 535 students and 411 were admitted, which is 77 percent.
Morales said, “ The achievement of a college degree plays a significant part in the quality of life and lifetime earnings. I share that with you because when I listen to commentary on NPR and read commentary on the value of college education, there’s a narrative that college education is not important, but it still is.”
Dr. Cuauhtèmoc Avila, superintendent of RUSD, said, “I want this to become a center ship. I don’t want this future center ship to be replaced. I want it to be innate because the kids in our community deserve that. While I had some great teachers growing up, none were Latino during my K-12 experience. Maybe if I had teachers that looked like me, my educational growth may have been accelerated.”
He continued, “In Rialto, we take agency seriously. We are exercising our agency to think of the shortage of teachers now. That is why we are here today; there is a shortage due to political warring. Among the incoming Class of 2028 in the RUSD, will be the first cohort of students who will one day return to teach in their home district.”
Teach Rialto will help bring students into positions of leadership and community engagement through the teaching profession, said Rachel Beech, associate vice president of Enrollment Management at CSUSB. “The program was spurred by the needs of the district to find qualified teachers for various programs where it is often hard to find educators,” Beech said. “This includes high school teachers in sciences and math, special education, and other specialized fields.”
Patricia Chavez, the lead innovation agent for the RUSD, said Teach Rialto is “a grassroots movement, aimed to inspire Rialto Unified students to serve the community through the profession of teaching.”
The agreement, in the form of a memorandum of understanding, is the first of its kind.
At the event, it was said that RUSD will give Teach Rialto graduates priority employment opportunities for completing the program.

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