RISE is one of the parent groups under the umbrella of the Associated Parents' Groups of Hillsborough (APG) and is facilitated by a group of dedicated parent volunteers. Our mission is to support students of all abilities to achieve excellence based on their individual journeys and goals. As part of this mission, RISE promotes a school community where students of all abilities and their families/caregivers can thrive and have a fulfilling school experience. RISE also strives to increase awareness and decrease stigma about learning and ability differences throughout HCSD, empowering all students to become global citizens and people of good character (two of the six Essential Outcomes for HCSD students).

We work collaboratively toward these goals with parents, teachers, staff, and district personnel. We support parents/caregivers who are exploring whether or not their children may be eligible for the type of supports Special Education or 504 Plans offer, who are new to the world of IEPs/504s or have a child with a newly diagnosed/identified learning difference, whose child is transitioning from one type of educational setting or service to another, and more! We also love to work with families who simply support the mission of RISE and want to learn more or be involved in our efforts.

Who We Are:

RISE has representation on APG and SELPA:

    • The President of the RISE Parent Group attends monthly Associated Parents' Group (APG) Board meetings with Presidents from North, South, West and Crocker Parent Groups, the President of the Hillsborough Schools Foundation, the HCSD Superintendent, and a HCSD Trustee to ensure district-wide collaboration and alignment as we work together to further the mission of RISE.

    • The President also represents HCSD at San Mateo County's Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) monthly Resource Parent Council meetings, with the goal of learning about events and resources that might be of interest to HCSD's RISE community, and collaborating on best practices with similar Parent Groups in other school districts.

What We Do:

Annual Events for Parents & Caregivers:

      • "Sharing the Journey" (Aug/Sept) is the RISE Parent Group Kickoff Coffee where we introduce our committee and District leadership, goals for the year, and network. District Personnel provides updates on programs and services, and we collect feedback from parents about what is going well for special learners in our District and what could be improved. RISE uses this valuable feedback to collaborate with the District and parent community over the course of the year and prioritize our efforts.

      • "High School Night for Parents of Special Learners" (Sept/Oct) provides an overview and Q&A opportunity for those with IEPs/504s preparing for the transition to high school. Speakers typically include representatives from the San Mateo Unified High School District (SMUHSD), and a panel of parents with relevant experience whose students have recently transitioned to various local public and private high schools.

      • "Transition to Crocker" (Mar/Apr) provides an overview and Q&A opportunity for parents of 5th grade special learners preparing for the transition to Crocker Middle School. Speakers typically include Crocker staff representatives, Crocker students and parents with relevant experience.

      • Winter and Spring Networking + Parent Education events: RISE invites guest speakers to provide parent education on a variety of topics relevant to many in our community.

Abilities Awareness Initiatives for Students:

  • These initiatives aim to increase understanding and empathy of different abilities, and decrease stigma around learning differences--which benefit ALL students! After completing several well-received pilot programs at North School in collaboration with North Service Learning, RISE hopes to extend similar Abilities Awareness initiatives across the other schools. Stay tuned and contact rise.parentgroup@gmail.com or your school RISE representative if you'd like to be involved!


      • New to the world of CST/IEP/504s? Has your school called for a meeting and you're unsure of next steps, how to prepare, or what to expect from a parent perspective? Just need a listening ear? Reach out to your school RISE rep or rise.parentgroup@gmail.com, we are here to help and give support! Confidentiality is maintained unless you allow otherwise. (Note: as a group of parent volunteers, RISE is not responsible for providing specific IEP/504 advice such as legal guidance, but can point to available resources).

      • RISE maintains a variety of internal resources and also a list of local external organizations that can support families and caregivers.


      • RISE needs your help! Volunteering with RISE is rewarding, excellent for networking, and for anyone who supports the mission of RISE (whether you have a "special learner" or not). There are a variety of flexible opportunities that can fit around many different work schedules, and we appreciate any small contribution of time. Let us know if you would like to volunteer by emailing RISE.ParentGroup@gmail.com or your RISE school representative.