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Latest River Islands K-8 school open
epic academy
Several EPIC Academy K-8 staff and students pose on the playground of the new campus at River Islands in Lathrop.

The South County’ newest school campus is open.

The planned River Islands community — that now has a population bigger than Escalon’s 7,553 residents — opened its third elementary school, EPIC Academy, along with the River Islands High School’s Ninth Grade Academy on Aug. 10.

The ninth grade academy eliminated the need for eighth graders that graduated last school year from elementary schools at River Islands to attend West High in Tracy this school year.

There are 120 students in the ninth grade academy.

By the time the next school year rolls around, the new 64-acre River Islands High campus should be completed.

The high school will open with freshmen and sophomore students.

The K-8 EPIC Academy on Penrose Lane and consists of nine buildings, including a multipurpose building and administration building. The project broke ground in June 2021 and sits on 15 acres. The $45 million cost was funded by Cambay Group, the developer of River Islands. 

Supply chain issues and labor shortages had to be addressed to get the campus. Hale Construction Company, River Islands Development Company, and the River Islands Academy Administration worked many long hours to ensure that the building and the staff were ready for the first day of school. 

 The Meet the Teacher Night for the elementary was on Aug. 9.  About 1,400 people, consisting of 450 students and their families attended the evening event.

Brenda Scholl, Principal/Executive Director welcomed all of those in attendance to the new campus. 

On Monday morning Aug. 8, the River Islands High School staff welcomed their first students with the Riptide Roll-In.  There were balloons, games and music and a “terrific amount of spirit on display”. 

Students met their Principal Carey Simoni, along with their teachers.   They went on a tour of the classrooms, had their pictures taken and received their class


River Islands High is being built adjacent Paradise Road on 46 acres. The campus will open with two-story classroom wings, CTE buildings and a gymnasium. A later phase of construction will include classrooms and a smaller gymnasium on campus. Also in a later phase, a stadium will be built next to Islanders Field in the future Town Center area.

The cost of the high school is estimated at $144 million. It is expected to be completed by August 2023.

River Islands Academies (RIA), is the Charter Management Organization (CMO) for all of the four schools in River Islands: River Islands Technology Academy, STEAM Academy, Epic Academy and River Islands High School.  The schools are authorized by Banta Elementary School District.   



To contact Dennis Wyatt, email