Reach Higher Shasta is a cradle to career collaborative started in 2012 with support from the Public Health Branch of the Health and Human Services Agency knowing that educational attainment and career readiness directly impacts the overall health of our community. Its motto ‘every student, every option’ echoes the belief that no child in Shasta County should be left behind. Partners from across the community include early childhood organizations, all 25 Shasta County school districts, local colleges and universities, and business organizations.
Their most celebrated accomplishments to date include the Shasta Promise, an agreement between Shasta schools and area colleges that Shasta will make sure all students are college ready, and, in return, participating colleges—all located within 150 miles of Shasta County—will guarantee enrollment and in-state tuition. For the schools’ part, this means aligning curriculum and assessments across the county’s 25 independent school districts so that all students, no matter their zip code, are equally prepared. For example, Shasta’s elementary schools have adopted uniform reading assessments for kindergarten through the third grade; its high schools have strengthened graduation requirements, agreed on common assessments and the same math courses throughout the county, and eliminated numerous courses not linked to college or career readiness, while making sure to retain sports, music and art classes.