Rise has 10 classrooms which can accommodate eight to twelve children dependent on age and other factors. In each classroom, about 70% of the children have developmental disabilities and about 30% are traditional learners or children without disabilities. Rise can support children with a range of developmental disabilities including those due to genetic conditions like Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, and cerebral palsy; brain injuries suffered in utero or at birth; and conditions which have not yet been diagnosed. The inclusion of children of differing abilities at Rise, also known as an “integrated environment” is absolutely core to Rise’s mission and principles. The short and long-term benefits of an integrated environment are equally great for children with developmental disabilities and those without. Rise Philosophy
Children are assigned to classrooms based on their chronological age (ages six months to six years) and educational needs. The classroom levels include infant, young toddler, toddler, preschool, and pre-kindergarten. Each classroom employs a teacher who holds a Master’s degree or is working towards one, and two instructional teacher assistants. The child-to-adult ratio is approximately three children for every adult. Children are under the supervision of a responsible adult at all times.
Rise operates on a year round schedule which is aligned as closely as possible with the schedule of our local school systems. The projected days of operation for each year are supplied in advance to allow parents time to plan alternative childcare options. There are planned breaks which include one week in the spring, two weeks in May, three weeks at the end of the summer, a week at Thanksgiving and three weeks at Christmas. The classes operate from 8:00 A.M. until 2:30 P.M., Monday through Friday.
Each child at Rise receives an individualized instructional plan (IIP), which is evaluated twice per year to measure the progress in five areas critical to early childhood - cognitive, physical/motor, language, social emotional, and approaches to learning. These evaluations are reviewed and discussed with parents, and the IIP is adapted as needed so that it continues to meet the child's specific needs. During the typical school day, each child follows a schedule that includes individual activities, group activities, gross motor play indoors or outdoors, therapeutic services as indicated, lunch and rest. The instructional theme of the week for each class is posted in the classroom. Rise practices Conscious Discipline, a comprehensive social and emotional intelligence classroom management program that empowers both teachers and students, and offers a relationship-based community model of classroom management. The goal is to inspire behavior change from within.
Rise offers a number of services to children that may include physical, occupational, speech and music therapies. Services are delivered through an integrated therapy model in which the therapeutic activities are provided routinely by the teachers and instructional teacher assistants with ongoing input from the therapists. The therapeutic activities are integrated into the daily routine of each classroom. The therapists monitor the activities on a regular basis. Using this approach, therapy is delivered in an efficient manner during the school day. Based on individual children’s needs, some children may be referred for supplemental direct therapies available in the community. Therapists confer with parents and teachers to discuss classroom recommendations and make referrals for additional therapy services.
The Rise School functions as an instructional program for local colleges, universities and Texas Children’s Hospital. Students of these programs may participate at Rise in a variety of ways, usually working directly with the children in some capacity. Students are closely supervised by the Rise staff. If students are performing any tests or procedures that may be considered experimental or are being completed for the purpose of a thesis or dissertation, parental permission must be received.