The RISE Program at Oak Park & River Forest High School is designed to provide support and structure for adolescents who have social or emotional challenges, which interfere with their academic progress. The goal of the program is to provide an opportunity for each student to integrate successfully into the mainstream academic environment. The RISE Classroom provides a challenging, nurturing, supportive, structured individualized education program. Specific attention is given to building self-esteem, increasing positive relationships and developing good citizenship skills in order to ensure success in school and the community.

Academics are determined by each student’s individual IEP. The courses provided may be modified to address the unique needs of the student population. Course content is comparable to that of the general education curriculum at Oak Park & River Forest High School. All graduation requirements are offered through the RISE program and academic/social-emotional accommodations are built into the class setting. Credit Recovery options are available to recoup credits lost to failing grades, non-attendance, or disengagement.

Social work services are integrated into the RISE program and provided weekly in both the group and individual setting. Starting this school year, social workers that support SED and RISE students are using Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) as a model to deliver services. This is a research and evidence based therapy that focuses on social emotional awareness and skills training in order to address multiple behaviors that may get in the way of success not only at school but also in various settings and contexts.

Oak Park and River Forest High School -Department of Special Education

Program Chair

Linsey Kirby

Executive Director of Special Education

 Shalema Francois-Blue

Assistant Director of Special Education

Dr. Lesley Roberts