Dr. Rita Hocog Inos Junior/Senior High School has a student population of 214 students in 7th-12th grade. The majority of the students are indigenous Chamorros followed by Filipinos, Bangladeshi, Chuukese, Korean and South Afrikanner. The population of Rota is around 2,000 people. For the past three years, there has been a steady exodus due to limited job opportunities and no institution of higher learning.
RHI has one Principal, one Vice Principal, a Guidance Counselor, two Administrative Staff, a Custodian, Maintenance man, a School Aide Libriarian Aide, , 15 teachers (to include two JROTC Instructors and one Leadership Corp Instructor) and three Special Education Aides. The majority of the faculty and staff were born and raised on Rota.
Due to the isolation and remoteness of the island, commodities and goods are two times the cost of our sister island. To attend professional development and meetings on Saipan entails a plane fare of $230.00 round trip and all instructional materials sent here add additional costs that adversely impacts money that is allocated to our school. This results in inequitable opportunities for our teachers and students since these activities are primarily on Saipan.
RHI’s Mission is that we will maintain the highest standards of excellence through partnerships and quality education in a safe, caring, and nurturing environment. Through partnerships with all stakeholders, RHI’s vision is to develop, respectful, independent and lifelong learners who will have the skills necessary to achieve success and be effective contributors to the global society. RHI believes that quality education must center on students’ unique needs, be relevant to the students’ culture and life experiences and prepare them with the knowledge and skills that they will need to be contributing members of their island and society at large.
In addition to the Board of Education mandated graduation requirements, each year we conduct surveys to address the interests of the students by offering their choice of electives. Due to pervasive poverty levels on islands, most students will enroll in Cooperative Education as it provides them the opportunity to earn money as well as expose them to the world of work.
Since the inception of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (JROTC) in 1993, this program has been a “shining star” and a popular elective. Students take great pride in wearing their uniforms and attending multiple community events where they serve as Color Guards and Post and Retire Colors. The students are exposed to a plethora of opportunities to compete in off island events and competitions.
Per capita there are more young men and women who enter the armed forces from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island. This is particularly, evident on the island of Rota where the majority of jobs are with the government and the private sector offers minimal jobs with minimum wages. The military provides our students with opportunities to receive a higher education (which they could not otherwise afford) and venture the world. JROTC provides an excellent foundation for students who will join the armed forces.
Notable Achievements and Areas of Improvement
Notable achievements are garnering multiple awards in JROTC and Leadership Corp Competitions, our 1st time Choir winning a Bronze Medal at the prestigious Tumon Bay Musical Festival on Guam, one participant who attended a five-week course on coding, another student who attending the Junior Stateman of America at Stanford University Summer Program and one student’s participation in the STEP-UP Research Project in Virginia which will extend during her senior year and throughout college. Every year one student receives a scholarship to participate in the Close Up Program
RHI’s greatest challenge is to recruit and retain teachers in required higher level mathematics and science courses. Consequently, students must take these courses online through the PSS Distance Education Program with teachers from Saipan. The absence of an on the ground teacher can be problematic for many students who learn best in a real classroom setting.
Historically, we have recruited off-island teachers who invariably leave within 2-3 years. To address this issue, we have made a concerted effort to build local capacity. Several of our Special Education Aides are pursuing their education degrees and upon graduation will be able to fill these positions.
A top priority within the next three years is that all classroom instruction will embody rigor, relevance and build relationships. Regardless of the students’ ability level, rigor must take be inherent in all instruction and assessment. When students are able to see real life connections to their own lives, instruction is meaningful and purposeful. Human connections is critically imperative for instruction to possess the overarching goal of enduring knowledge. Additionally, it is the administration’s goal is to invest in our teachers and students by providing them with professional development opportunities on Saipan and the states and to engage in personal and academic growth by attending classes and participating in competitions off island respectively.
Dr. Rita H. Inos Jr./Sr. High School is the namesake of one of the most renown and respected educators in the Pacific Region who was raised and taught on Rota. We take great pride in maintaining her legacy by focusing providing our teachers with the knowledge, skills and competencies to be effective facilitators of learning who capitalize on students’ individual needs unique strengths and build on their weaknesses so they have the option to pursue their dreams after they graduate high school.