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Resilience in School Environments

Schools are places where we bring our whole selves — our life experiences, cultural backgrounds, challenges and trauma, and hopes and aspirations — into interaction with the world. But often, the experiences we encounter in school environments can become sources of stress and adversity that can have a major impact on our health and well-being.

Kaiser Permanente’s Resilience in School Environments, or RISE, empowers schools to create safe and supportive learning environments by cultivating practices that strengthen the social and emotional health of all school employees and students. Developed as part of Thriving Schools, RISE works with schools and districts to prepare school employees to better understand and integrate social and emotional well-being into all aspects of school life, both theirs and their students.

Schools function best when students, staff, and teachers are happy and healthy. RISE is an important pathway to helping schools get there.

By bringing together our strengths and assets in health care and education, with an emphasis on the role that school staff and leadership play in ensuring healthy school environments, we believe we have a unique contribution to offer to this work.

How RISE Works

RISE works with school staff, teachers, and districts to address the underlying factors of stress in schools and develop strategies and practices that foster more positive school environments. RISE seeks these outcomes

  • Increased staff job satisfaction, including reducing staff stress
  • Improved safety, connectedness, and relationships among students and staff
  • Increased skills related to social and emotional learning for staff and students
  • Increased mental health supports

The RISE Index and Action Center

RISE work is guided by the RISE Index, an assessment tool that gauges how well schools and districts are addressing social and emotional health and lifts up best practices. The RISE Action Center encourages achievable action steps toward improvements. Insights from the RISE Index serve as the foundation for resilience work in schools.

On-Site Intervention

Through the support of Alliance for a Healthier Generation program managers, RISE’s onsite programming provides selected schools with guidance, training, and technical assistance to help them make positive changes in their school environments.
Additionally, Kaiser Permanente workforce health consultants engage with school districts to assess current strengths and opportunities, introduce the RISE resources, develop relevant action plans, and measure progress made toward building more resilient schools.

Virtual Support and Learning

We want all schools to benefit from the support that RISE offers. The RISE Index and Action Center, as well as additional tools, resources, and curricula for building social and emotional health, will be available online in the 2019-2020 school year to any school in the country at no cost.

RISE Ambassadors

Kaiser Permanente wants everyone who works with schools to understand the impact of social and emotional well-being and how cultivating resilience can help to counter everyday stress and adversity. Together with our workforce health leaders, community health leaders, clinicians, labor liaisons, and sales and account managers, we are building teams of people empowered to provide on-site presentations and workshops to promote greater understanding of school resilience and support access to RISE resources.

Educational Theatre and Arts-Based Learning

For more than 30 years, Kaiser Permanente has been has been delivering powerful educational theatre performances to school audiences across the country, helping to foster breakthrough conversations that get audiences thinking about how to live healthier lives.

Several theatre performances have been developed with an intentional focus on social and emotional health. RISE UP (Resilience In School Environments: Understanding and Practice) is an educational theatre workshop designed for school employees that addresses topics of mental health and wellness. And, Ghosted is a performance for youth designed to raise awareness about anxiety and depression, helping young people take the first steps towards resiliency, personal strength, and mutual support.

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