RUSD STEM High School
The Regents of the University of California, on behalf of UC Riverside are partnering with the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) to propose a ground lease of University-owned land on East Campus for the purpose of constructing a new RUSD STEM High School serving grades 9 through 12. The RUSD STEM High School will be a magnet school for 800 students (half full-time and half part-time) who are pursuing their interests and aptitudes in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The High School would consist of classrooms, administrative office space, a multi-use discovery center, fabrication lab, food service, lecture facilities, a fitness center, outdoor learning areas and associated parking and circulation. Several sites on campus are currently being investigated and no site has been selected.
Town Hall Presentation - June 6, 2019
Frequently Asked Questions - Updated April 12, 2019
1. Will UCR Senate faculty members have teaching or mentoring responsibilities with the proposed STEM High School?
It is anticipated that UCR Senate faculty may choose to volunteer at the school as many have done over the past several years. However, the initial MOU is an evolving document and no faculty member will be expected nor required to engage with the proposed STEM High School. There should be no concerns that UCR students will have less access to professors or that professors will be required to take on additional responsibilities at the STEM High School. UCR’s partnership with the proposed STEM High School will largely manifest in research opportunities, voluntary or grant-directed community outreach, and student teaching placement for GSOE students.
2. How will the proposed STEM High School affect UCR students’ access to constrained campus resources?
The proposed STEM High School will be funded by RUSD resources. By the time the STEM High School is completed, UCR will have several new buildings online that will ease some of the current concerns regarding space constraints on campus, including the Student Success Center, the North District, the Mobility Hub, and the Barn complex. The proposed STEM High School is another piece of that growth plan, however, it is important to note that it will be largely self-contained.
While the STEM High School will not have scheduled time in UCR classrooms or labs, it is anticipated that UCR will be able to leverage the STEM High School space after hours.
3. Parking is limited on campus. Where will proposed STEM High School students and staff park?
Parking for the STEM High School faculty, staff and students will be the responsibility of RUSD and UCR will not be providing parking privileges to support the proposed STEM High School. Independent of any STEM High School on-site parking needs, there are current plans underway to ease current parking constraints and allow for growth by building a parking structure on Lot 13. We hope this next parking structure would be delivered by early 2021, if not before.
4. How will UCR manage the traffic issues surrounding the school?
UCR continues to work to ensure safe and efficient access to the campus for all community members. These efforts will be enhanced in the near future by the construction of the Mobility Hub which will ease traffic at crucial pinch points and encourage alternative modes of transportation. Access to the highway, reasonable opportunities to park that do not interfere with student overflow parking and the effect on our current traffic patterns will all continue to be taken into account throughout the site selection process.
5. Will STEM High School students be permitted to eat lunch on campus?
Currently, RUSD does not plan to allow STEM High School students to leave the school grounds for lunch. The school will have lunch facilities for their students and UCR campus eateries should not be significantly affected.
6. What is RUSD’s diversity plan for the proposed STEM High School? How does our partnership take diversity into account?
RUSD has revised the lottery process to support diversity at Riverside STEM Academy. Enrollment slots are balanced equally across our comprehensive high schools. Riverside STEM Academy now matches the district demographics in the areas of educational attainment, English language usage and estimated median income by household.
Part of the appeal for UCR in partnering with the proposed STEM High School is the opportunity to enhance access to STEM fields for underrepresented groups. The STEM High School will reflect the diversity of the district and will hopefully help UCR continue to recruit diverse cohorts of new students.
7. Why weren’t other public schools in the area considered as potential partners?
RUSD invited UCR to partner on this project. The proposed RUSD STEM High School is an excellent partnership opportunity due to the many advantages such a high-caliber school brings to our campus including providing excellent student teaching and research opportunities and helping UCR to compete for top faculty candidates. Partnership with UCR will also help elevate RUSD and enhance its ability to provide access to a high-quality education to our community. This partnership is a unique opportunity to help further develop a school of choice and improve our relationship with our local school district.
8. If UCR is planning to grow, why are we using land at this time for the proposed STEM High School?
While the site for the proposed STEM High School is not yet determined, the process to determine the site has been and will continue to be an open dialogue with our campus members, RUSD, and our neighbors. Whichever site is selected can be accommodated into our Long Range Development Plan and we do not anticipate any conflict with our growth plans. The proposed STEM High School is part of our growth plan, not antithetical to it, and in total we are committing approximately 6 acres within our east campus, which is over 500 acres, and our land holdings on east and west campus total nearly 1100 acres.
9. How will this process allow for transparency and input from the Faculty Senate?
As we move forward, we will continue to engage in Senate consultation regarding the proposed STEM High School. A white paper describing the project and clarifying some outstanding issues from the MOU was circulated to the Senate on July 22, 2018. The Senate’s response is available here. Several Senate committees were supportive of the proposal including the GSOE Executive Committee, the Committee on Research, the School of Business Executive Committee, the CHASS Executive Committee, the SOM Executive Committee, and the SPP Executive Committee.
There will continue to be opportunities for input and town hall discussions of this project. The next town hall will take place on June 6, 2019 in HUB 302 from 12:00-1:00. The Provost has convened an advisory committee for the proposed STEM High School comprised of faculty and staff to consult on the process moving forward.
10. How will we guarantee the safety of the STEM High School students and handle the liability issues this proximity raises?
UCR students are mature, hard-working, intelligent and deserving of our trust. While it might seem that this is a liability issue, it is unlikely that mere proximity to high school students will entice our students to take advantage of younger people. Of course, we will continue to work to educate our student body about issues around consent, safety, and any other legal situations that pertain to having minors on campus. But just as UCR is currently a safe place for high school students to visit and engage in pre-university activities, it will be a safe place for high school students to learn. And there are many examples of similar partnerships between universities and public high schools that can help us lay the ground work for future success including Cal Poly Pomona, UC Irvine and UCLA. Further, the proposed RUSD STEM High School would fund its own safety and security officers in addition to UCPD.
11. The proposed STEM High School could repurpose space currently used for recreation. How will the recreation fields be replaced?
We will work with multiple stakeholders, including Campus Recreation and Athletics, to determine the best course of action to meet campus needs for recreational space.
The Provost has established an RUSD STEM High School advisory committee to improve the process, communication, and transparency with UCR stakeholders.
The Charge to the Riverside STEM Academy STEM High School Advisory Committee:
1) Discuss UCR’s potential involvement with the academic programs of the high school. Identify challenges and opportunities associated with locating the high school on the UCR campus. Provide recommendations about how the challenges might be addressed. Make suggestions about how UCR can best take advantage of the opportunities.
2) Work with campus stakeholders to make recommendations about the logistics of the relationship between the high school and UCR. This could include protocols to streamline UCR student engagement with the school as volunteers, or requests from high school students to engage in research so that faculty are not overly asked or burdened.
3) Make recommendations for how UCR might use the high school facilities and how priority for different uses would be determined.
4) Refine the plan for implementing the RSA lottery process at UCR.
5) Establish a protocol for developing “Broader Impacts” sections for NSF grants etc. using the resources associated with the High school.
6) Summarize the committee’s recommendations in an annual report to the provost.
RUSD STEM High School Advisory Committee
|Co-Chair: Gerry Bomotti, Vice Chancellor, Planning, Budget & Administration|
|Co-Chair: Mary Droser, UCR Liaison for the STEM High School & Professor, Geology|
|Ademola Alagbada, Student|
|Alexander Balandin, Distinguished Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering|
|Leslie Bushong, Director, California Teach Program - Science & Math Initiative|
|Abigail Cortes, 2019-2020 Executive Vice President, ASUCR|
|Julian Gonzalez, 2019-2020 President, ASUCR|
|William Grover, Assistant Professor, Bioengineering|
|Juliette Levy, Associate Professor, History|
|Catherine Lussier, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Graduate School of Education|
|Carolyn Murray, Professor, Psychology|
|Miguel Ramirez Sanchez, 2019-2020 CHASS Senator, ASUCR|
|Vincent Rasso, 2019-2020 Government Relations Director, ASUCR|
|Louie Rodriguez, Interim Dean, Graduate School of Education|
|Wenwan Zhong, Professor, Chemistry|
|Staff support: Jeff Kraus, Director, Community & Local Government Relations|