The Rise School of Houston

The Rise School of Houston™ provides specialized early childhood education services to children with Down syndrome or other developmental disabilities (and also to children without disabilities, who represent about 30% of the 100 children enrolled). The school’s curriculum is designed to foster children’s self-esteem, confidence, independence and curiosity and aims to support children in their current environment as well as prepare them for mainstream kindergartens. Services are designed around an individualized intervention plan with goals and outcomes based on the family’s concerns, priorities and resources; the child’s strengths and needs; and expectations of the next environment.

In addition to donating the facility that housed The Rise School for its first 10 years, Texas Children’s invested in professional resources (OT/PT and Speech) for the education of parents, educators and administrators relating to the development and needs of young children, including those with Down syndrome and other developmental delays.

Watch a video about the Rise School.

Long-Term Goals

The goal of Rise’s early childhood intervention is success in grades K-12 and life, allowing youngsters with disabilities to develop into productive citizens who contribute actively to society as tax-paying employees, citizens, volunteers, neighbors and friends.

Short-Term Goals

  • Assessments are utilized to discover each child’s learning strengths and learning styles
  • Low student-to-teacher ratios
  • Individual Instructional Plans (IIP) developed to target and track language development, cognition socialization, motor skills and early academic skills through multisensory and experimental activites
  • Implement specialized programs to meet the diverse student needs, including therapeutic writing and reading programs, music therapy, sensory processing plans
  • Mulitsensory learning, featuring leading edge technology in classrooms including touch screen monitors, iPads, and assistive listening devices
  • Multidisciplinary staff training to meet the unique learning needs of students
  • Ongoing parent education and support

Community Impact 2014

  • The VAST Program at Houston Community College works closely with The Rise School to provide volunteers and teacher’s aides allowing adults with special needs to gain experience, employment and independence in the workforce.
  • The Rise School sponsors the T21 conference held in Houston, TX which allows parents, teachers and medical professionals to address trends, answer questions and provide new insight on Down syndrome.
  • The Rise School works with universities such as St. Thomas, HBU, San Jacinto Jr. College and HCC as well as The University of Houston School of Optometry, Baylor College of Medicine, UT Genetics and the Kansas State University Music Therapy Program for student teachers, therapists and interns to receive observation time.
  • The Rise School receives volunteers from local high schools such as Debakey High School for Health Professions, St. Agnes Academy, St. John’s, Episcopal High School and The Presbyterian School.
  • The Rise School works with the University of Texas Health Science Center’s Lend Program which strives to prepare future leaders in the medical treatment of children with all types of disabilities, as well as provide more accurate diagnosis, improve service delivery and treatment and to empower and encourage families to become an active participant in their child’s diagnosis and treatments.

Community Partners

  • Texas Children’s Hospital
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • University of Houston
  • Down Syndrome Association
  • Houston Community College
  • Debakey High School for the Health Professions