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Did you know that the Rishel Middle School building is actually home to three different schools?  First is the 7th and 8th grade of the old Rishel program that is being phased out one year at a time.  Second is the KIPP charter high school.  Finally is the Math and Science Leadership Academy (MSLA), which is a program based in service learning (incorporating classroom concepts into service projects to make learning more profound).

MSLA has kindergarten, first and second grades right now and expects to add new grades every year.  The interesting part about this program is the fact that there is no principal; rather, it’s led by two lead teachers.  I was visiting the building this past summer and got to see the enthusiasm of the teaching staff.  When I arrived, they were opening little microscopes, and you would think they were 5 year olds on Christmas morning.  It was charming.

Click here to visit their Facebook page.

Below is a video from the series on the space sharing at Rishel Middle School.  It’s fraught with some issues, but everyone is making the best of the situation.

Incidentally, it was suggested at a recent Board meeting that a Multiple Pathways center (an alternative education program) be also located at the Rishel campus.  Keeping in mind that on that block in the Athmar Park neighborhood there are already five different schools (Rishel, MSLA, Kipp High School, Kipp Middle School, Valverde Elementary), I am opposed to that location as a solution.  I am working with Senator Chris Romer and Representative Mark Ferrandino to find an alternate location and not place undue stress on the Athmar Park area.  If you have an idea for an alternate site, please contact me to send me your suggestions.

Anyway, here’s the video: