In 1998, early education options for children with Down syndrome in Texas were few and far between. Today, there are four Rise schools in Texas (Houston, Dallas, Corpus Christi, and Austin), each with its own separate 501(c)(3) status and governing boards.
The Rise School of Houston opened its doors on January 20, 2000 with 17 students in classrooms created within an office building. The school was dedicated to educating young children born with Down syndrome and developmental disabilities along side their traditional-learning peers.
The path to reach this day was a long one, led by trailblazers in the education of children with Down syndrome, in particular The Rise Program at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, which was founded in 1975 and serves as the model for The Rise School of Houston.
When there was no longer space in their current building, the board of directors decided to expand the school by building a new facility which could double enrollment. In Fall 2011, Rise completed the building on a prominent corner in the Texas Medical Center. This bright, beautiful building has capacity for 120 students. For more on the facility, click here.
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The Rise School of Houston, and its sister school The Rise School of Dallas, were founded through the tireless efforts of the Duncan and Post families of Texas. They were committed to finding the best learning environment for Michael, a beloved son and grandson born with Down syndrome on Easter Sunday in 1995. Their story is a special one, inspired by Coach Gene Stallings and his son Johnny. It is also a response to our country’s lack of educational opportunities for children with disabilities.