Amphitheater represented at No Excuses University conventionby Andy Morales on Oct. 22, 2012, under Sports
SAN DIEGO: The “No Excuses University” network was founded in 2006 by Damen Lopez, a former elementary school principal in the San Diego area. At it’s base, there is a belief that “every child has the right to be prepared to attend college” and that it is “the responsibility of adults in the school to develop exceptional systems that make that dream a reality.”
To that end, every No Excuses University campus works diligently to expose students to powerful college symbolism. This symbolism is seen in the college flags and banners hung on every door, felt through the close partnerships forged between classrooms and universities and heard in the college chants that exist at each grade level.
The Amphitheater School District sent representatives from Rio Vista Elementary, Nash Elementary, Amphitheater Middles School and Prince Elementary to the second national convention of the network last week in San Diego.
There are 147 schools in the network from 22 states. Each school finds ways to help students dream and prepare for a college education with no excuses for not succeeding.
The process for identifying and creating the following exceptional systems includes, Culture of Universal Achievement, Collaboration, Standards Alignment, Assessment, Data Analysis and Interventions.
The administrators, teachers and staff at Rio Vista, for example, have set a goal that states: “Every Student will be proficient or excelling in all subjects without excuse and without exception.”
In addition, each classroom has adopted a college or university to help set the tone for each child that they can and will succeed. Banners and college songs are learned and student athletes from the University of Arizona have had a constant presence at the school.
Several speakers presented at the convention including, Rudy Ruettiger and Tim King.
Rudy, as most know him from the movie depicting his efforts to play for Notre Dame, gave a simple message that education must come from inspiration.
King is the founder of the Urban Prep Academies. Every student at the all-male high school in the Chicago area has attained acceptance to a four-year college or university. His message included inspirational statements like, “Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”
Contains information from news releases. I am an educator at Rio Vista Elementary School.