The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions from families of new students at Rise Austin. If you have a question that has not been answered, or any comments or concerns, please feel free to call or email the staff at Rise: (512) 891-1682 or director@riseschoolaustin.
How long is the school day?
The Rise School day is from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. daily. Children need to be in the classroom by 8:15 and promptly picked up at 2:30.
What if my child is having trouble transitioning?
The first 3 weeks are always the hardest, especially for new students. This is why we ask the classrooms be parent/volunteer-free for the first 3 weeks. This will allow your child time to acclimate to the classroom setting and structure and reduce separation anxiety. The teachers and teaching assistants have ample experience with this situation and are there to help. We will be happy to call you and give you updates if a child is having difficulty transitioning. During drop-off, it is best if parents do not stay in the classroom for an extended period of time. The more quickly drop-off is executed, the easier the transition will become.
What snacks or food should I bring?
Bring the quantity of milk or juice that your child usually consumes during school hours. Snacks are provided, though you may send other snacks if you want your child to eat something else due to allergies, food preferences, etc. (ask your Teacher for the weekly snack list). Bring a lunch for your child. Please try to use containers that the child can open her/himself (as applicable). We have very limited refrigeration space in each classroom, so please bring food that can stay in the lunch bag until lunch time. You can also send a polar ice pack in the lunch bag.
If your child has food allergies, please let the teacher know.
How should the food be prepared?
Your child’s lunch will need to be provided each day. We ask that lunches be healthy choices as well as non-microwavable. Water is provided. Frozen foods or lunches that have to be prepared are not appropriate given the time constraints of the lunch preparation. Teachers are not able to heat lunches up for the children. We ask that parents have food pre-peeled, -sliced, -cut, etc. for your child (ex: orange peeled, hot dog cut up). The school provides plates, cups, spoons, bibs, etc.
What is a nap mat? Where can I get one?
Nap mats are available online (Google “nap mat”) and in some local stores. Basic red/blue mats are provided for your child to nap on. They are cleaned and disinfected daily. You may also send a blanket and pillow for your child to use on the nap mats. These can be stored in the classroom on a weekly basis but must be taken home every weekend.
What if my child needs to sleep in a Pack & Play?
This can be accommodated – just ask your Teacher about the details. You will need to bring the Pack & Play for your child.
How many diapers should I bring on the first day?
We can store up to one box of diapers per child, so bring up to one box of diapers (though fewer is fine too).
Do I need to bring wipes?
The school provides wipes. You should bring any diaper creams/baby powders/lotions or other items that you use for your child’s toileting. We can store these items in your child’s diaper bin or cubby so you don’t have to bring them every day.
Should we bring a toothbrush?
Yes, please send a toothbrush and toothpaste for your child to use throughout the year. We can store these items in the classroom.
Do I need to bring other class supplies?
Look for a note from your teacher that outlines the supplies you should bring for your child’s class. Typically these include a nap mat, diapers & toileting accessories, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a change of clothes to store at the school.
Can I observe my child’s classroom? How often? Any restrictions?
We ask that the first 3 weeks of school be parent -free so students can transition into school more easily without distractions. After the first 3 weeks, parents are more than welcome to come and observe their child. However, we ask that the observation time be limited to 30 minutes. The observation time will need to be arranged with the teacher and the director.
What therapies will my child receive? How often/which days? From whom? Can I observe?
All students will receive speech/language, occupational, physical, and music therapy. Speech/language therapy is provided 3 times a week per class in small group settings within the classroom. Occupational therapy is provided 1 time a week per class, and physical therapy is provided 3 times a week per class. Music therapy is provided for 30 minutes daily in each class. Therapists consult weekly with the teachers to guide them on how to incorporate these services into their daily instructional time. Parents are welcome to observe therapy sessions.
How can I give input to the director/teachers/therapists/
school in general? What’s the process for having a dialogue, asking questions, getting feedback, etc.?
All of the Rise staff is open to input and feedback from parents. We would appreciate parents going through the proper channels in the line of communication (teacher, therapist, director, Board). Parents can reach the director by calling the school at 891-1682 or by email at director@riseschoolaustin.
Can I volunteer at the school? In my child’s classroom? How can I get involved?
Parents are encouraged to participate as volunteers in the school’s operations and activities. The following items are a short list of Volunteer Opportunities for our parents.
- Do a special presentation for your child’s class
- Invite a friend to do a special presentation
- Read a theme-related story
- Share or donate a related item
- Drive / chaperone field trips.
- Come in and read a story.
- Assist with creating a class scrapbook.
- Donate educational books
- Donate educational toys or games
- Donate recycled art materials like:
- Used twist ties
- Used bottle caps
- Used ribbon
- Leftover stickers
- Torn off fronts of cards
- Anything that can be glued, taped, cut, etc.
How can I meet other parents, teachers, people involved in the school?
We host a Back to School night the second week of school. This gives parents the opportunity to meet with each other, the director, and the Rise staff. All families are invited to attend. The Parent Directory and Parent Handbook are distributed at this time. Children are allowed to attend, but there is no childcare provided. Rise also holds an Open House each month for prospective parents, donors, and interested members of the Austin community. For a list of dates, see the Rise Calendar.
When do we get to sit down together and make a plan for my child? What happens before we make the plan?
Children with developmental disabilities receive a formal developmental evaluation. This evaluation is conducted using an arena format that includes parent information, the teacher, a licensed diagnostician, the physical and occupational therapists, and the speech/language pathologist assessing the child in a natural environment. Within 90 days of enrollment, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed based on the recommendations of Rise’s team of professionals and the child’s family. This plan identifies the developmental strengths, needs, and priorities for each child, and outlines a set of goals around which the child’s services are individualized. These goals are formally reviewed within the six months following the implementation of a child’s IEP.
Children without disabilities are also evaluated using a developmental checklist, parent questionnaire, and formal/informal assessments by the teacher, the physical and occupational therapists, and the speech/language pathologist. Parent meetings are held a minimum of twice a year with all parents to discuss student progress. Goals and objectives are reviewed and revised to reflect progress through the curriculum based on the assessments. Parents are welcome to request additional meetings with the teacher, therapists and/or director at anytime.