Sunrise Middle School
Sunrise Middle School was created in 2011 with the mission of serving the most at-risk students in the San Jose community. The school is now in its seventh year of existence, is financially stable, has high test scores for its low-income, English learner population, and is a sought-after school for children in its community. Sunrise operates under a charter from the Santa Clara County of Education.
Sunrise programs are designed to promote the full development of its students. Sunrise is a small school with about 200 students. Staff know students and families well, enabling teachers to make the school program responsive to their needs. It is a safe school. While gangs are active around the school, the school itself is a haven.
The students experience in their home lives the stresses that come from living in poverty. Usually schools do not allow a period of reflection in the day for students to assimilate their experiences and make sense of their lives. Sunrise students have fifteen minutes of daily meditation, something the new students feel nervous about, but the veteran students value and use to bring order to their lives.
Poor families have limited opportunities to experience the rich educational resources of the region. Sunrise takes students on field trips year-round, mostly after school and on weekends. The trips widen the world view of the students.