Northern California

Our partners at California State University-Chico and North State Together are supporting innovative programs connecting new teachers to rural communities.

Our North California hub is a vehicle for organizing and sharing the transformational work being done in the region by a partnership between Chico State and North State Together. Through the hub, the Rural Schools Collaborative works with these partners to create, fund, and share innovative work and activity.

Ann Schulte, RSC advocate, recognizes the importance of these kinds of collaborations. "It's vital that California State University Chico engage with regional partners in order to support the recruitment and retention of rural teachers. The partnership with

Kevin O'Rorke and Ann Schulte forged a collaborative relationship to head up the Northern California Regional Hub.

North State Together is essential to not only "growing our own" teachers, but it also lends support to an increase in educational attainment and college going culture overall."

The Chico State-North State Together partnership includes two signature and exemplary programs that align perfectly with the Rural Schools Collaborative mission to build rural sustainable communities through a keen focus on place, teachers, and philanthropy.

Chico State's CLASS Program is teacher residency that differs from traditional student teaching in significant ways. CLASS Residents begin working with their mentor teachers prior to the opening of the school year and work full-time, four days per week at the school site for the entire academic year.

Residents assume responsibility for co-planning and co-teaching with their mentors from day one, and participate with their mentors in a variety of classroom-, school- and district-related activities. They are, in effect, additional faculty members in the classrooms and at the schools where they are assigned. CLASS is supported by a federal grant, and it replaces the former RiSE program.

North State Together was established in 2016 as a regional collective partnership. The effort was launched with support from The McConnell Foundation. As a result of the progress that has been made in the region, North State Together (NST) was awarded an 8 year multi-million dollar grant renewal by The McConnell Foundation. The grant allows NST to continue to develop our regional “Cradle to Career” partnerships, where leaders from education, business, philanthropic, nonprofit, civic, and faith communities join together to improve educational success for every child through a data-driven, collective impact approach.

North State Together Logo
North State Together Logo

North State Together is one of the largest geographical collectives in the United States, covering 10 counties and over 20,000 square miles. North State Together will continue to provide direct resources and data and research support to the ten county networks, including: Reach Higher Shasta, Expect More Tehama, Advancing Modoc Youth, Trinity Together Cradle to Career Partnership, and Cradle to Careers for Siskiyou. North State Together will support these partnerships with the goal to increase educational outcomes at all levels with ultimate impacts on the overall health and economic well-being of our communities.

The shared work in northern California is augmented by RSC's Grants in Place program, which supports rural teachers in California as they implement innovative, place-based efforts within their schools.

Susan Scroth, Operations Manager for North State Together, and Dr. Karen Schreder, Faculty Fellow for the Office of Civic Engagement and Education Specialist Program Coordinator at California State University-Chico, serve as the primary contacts for our Northern California Hub.

Building a Legacy

Grants in Place Project Unites Community in California

Pictured: Jan Mathews

Jan Mathews, a science teacher at Sycamore Middle School in Gridley, CA, noticed that students didn’t have a comfortable place to eat outside. She launched a place-based project with students using grant funds to make a lasting change.

After hearing about RSC's Celia B. Godsil Grants in Place Fellows program, Mathew's decided to apply. Her interest and determination wound up bringing not only the students together to take initiative on the project, but also the community. The Grants in Place program is funded through the generous support from Celia and Mark Godsil in honor of Celia's career as a public school teacher and their belief in the importance of classroom teachers to rural communities. The Fellows program is limited to teachers who teach in public schools that are located in the geographic regions of RSC Regional Hubs.

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