Expect More Tehama: No Excuses University network of schools


Last week I had the honor of joining Lianne Richelieu-Boren, Executive Director of College Options, and a group of educators and community members from Shasta, Tehama, and Siskiyou Counties in attending the “No Excuses University” conference in Chicago.  Other team members included, Kelly Salter with the McConnell Foundation, Marynn Kae-Munson, Nathan Zorn, and Becky Nail from College Options, Rob Adams and Brad Clagg from the Redding School District, Cheryl Olsen from the Enterprise School District, and Charlene Ramont, Shasta County Health Equity Coordinator. The mission of our group was to learn what the No Excuses system is all about and aid in the implementation of this system in schools across the North State.


The No Excuses University network of schools is the vehicle by which like-minded educators from across the nation link together to create school cultures and systems that ultimately result in every student being college ready. Educators at these schools are committed to coaxing remarkable academic success from every student, without exception and without excuse even students who bring the greatest challenges to the classroom.

Every No Excuses University has a well-defined process for identifying and creating the exceptional systems of Culture of Universal Achievement, Collaboration, Standards Alignment, Assessment, Data Analysis, and Interventions.

Staff members at No Excuses Schools are committed to insuring that every student is prepared for college, courageous in their endeavors to put the students’ needs first, collaborative as a staff to create the exceptional systems, creative, character centered – explicitly teaching and modeling behavior and academic expectations – and of course, college crazy as they promote college for all.

In addition, 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 No Excuses University is the perfect companion to Expect More Tehama’s effort to assure that the students of Tehama County leave high school equipped with the tools to be successful in college and beyond.

Richfield School will be the first in Tehama County to implement the program with other schools following after a regional training in March. Our community is very excited to be Tehama County’s first school in this remarkable network.

It is the duty of every educator to assure that our students are given every opportunity for success in life. No Excuses means just that.

Rich Gifford is the superintendent and principal at Richfield School. This year Richfield qualified to apply for the California Distinguished School selection process.