“Why Rise? Because appreciation of human difference is a core value for our family. At Rise, our children have the opportunity to develop empathetic hearts and an open minds right from the start.
This is the foundation of all education. “
-Quote from the mother of two typically developing children at The Rise School of Austin.
Spring is here, meaning many families are making decisions about schools-especially preschools and child care- for the coming school year. Here in Austin, Texas, we do not have universal preschool, so many families pay high tuition costs for private schools and day cares. There are many choices, but only a few inclusive schools. One school that offers a fully inclusive program is The Rise School of Austin.
Many families with children who are developmentally delayed are clearly drawn to inclusive preschool environments. The option of being able to send your children with and without delays to the same school is attractive (you can see the story of Rise here), and many inclusive schools, such as Rise, will often roll therapy costs in to the tuition. Therapies are also often play and classroom based, meaning children will practice skills needed to be successful in Kindergarten.
But what about families with typically developing children? When given so many options for preschool, why might a family without ties to special needs choose a school designed to meet the needs of children who have developmental delays? The numbers seem to say a lot. At Rise, you can find:
- a 3:1 student to teacher ratio
- a teacher with a Master’s degree in every room
- all teachers are first-aid certified and collect at least 54 hours of professional development each year
- therapy enriched classroom environments and lesson plans
- a campus that includes three playgrounds and a sensory gym
- classrooms equipped with the latest technology, including interactive whiteboards
Additionally, the social and emotional benefits and 21st-century skills children learn
in an inclusive school, from empathy to communication skills, are invaluable. The staff at Rise cultivate a daily practice of inclusion, meaning that they believe all people learn differently, that we are all unique, and that everyone’s education should be special. An inclusive school does away with the idea that one child’s education needs to be more special than another, rather, an inclusive school reinforces the idea that all children deserve the best and most personal education among their peers and friends.
The bottom line is that with an inclusive school has benefits for every child. You can also consider finding an inclusive school using the SWIFT network of schools.