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FAQ

The advent of the Richardson School came from the same vision shared by all of ORP’s Family of Companies—To be the provider of choice for people with disabilities—and to provide innovative services and settings to meet individual needs.  The Richardson School was developed in response to local school districts seeking an alternative and a therapeutic day school option, within the local community, to effectively educate and treat students who previously struggled in more traditional school environments.  The Richardson School is committed to this vision, and to the success of the students it serves.

The Richardson school combines the latest, cutting-edge technology like advanced computer labs and smart boards with traditional school amenities like large classrooms, a full gymnasium, playground equipment, and cafeteria. TRS also boasts specialized amenities like a sensory room. For more information, watch TRS Director, Kevin Silkey, discuss the many amenities here.

For more information about The Richardson School, or to speak to a member of TRS staff, use the Contact Us page.

You can also download a copy of our brochure here.

And, follow The Richardson School on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute information.

If you're interested in working for The Richardson School and wish to have a positive influence in the lives of the children we serve, visit our Employment site to complete the first phase of our employment application.

The Richardson School is located at:

6753 W. Rogers Street
West Allis, WI 53219

Enrollment at TRS happens one of two ways:

Placement by the IEP team:

With approval by the home school district, the tuition, transportation and related services are 100% paid by the district.  TRS will implement the IEP in our classroom settings.  The home school district and IEP team continue to meet, and are legally responsible for the IEP, determine length of enrollment and goals for focus.    TRS’ role is to implement the IEP as directed by the team.

Private pay by the family:

When this occurs, there is no Individualized Education Program (IEP) to follow.  Goals and curriculum are determined by an assessment given upon enrollment.  Tuition, transportation, and other related services such as Speech and Occupational Therapy are the responsibility of the private payer.

Once it is determined that a student will be placed at TRS, an observation is scheduled, preferably in a school setting.  An intake is also scheduled with the family.  The purpose of these steps is to get to know as much about the student as possible before their first day, with the goal of making their experience at TRS as successful as possible.  Consent forms, contact and medical information are completed during the intake as well.

No.  While Wisconsin legislation was passed in 2009 that specifically requires insurers to provide coverage for the treatment of autism, the mandate is not generally understood to include the realm of education.  Additionally at this time, TRS is not an approved Medicaid service provider.

Tuition is based on an assessment of the student’s needs.  Tuition is established by the administrative team at TRS and is reviewed on an annual school calendar basis.

TRS offers Extended School Year (ESY) throughout the summer months.  However, participation in ESY is not guaranteed for any student, as it is dependent on their IEP.  Since ESY is a separate IEP team decision, it is possible to enroll in just ESY, and not the regular school year.  It can also be used as a transition period if a student is planning on starting in the fall at TRS or returning to their district.

No.  The Richardson School operates as private school, and is recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI)

Although both TRS locations are in buildings owned by a local school district or owned by a local religious institution, we only lease space from these organizations.  TRS believes in providing as close to a natural setting as possible, which has made the locations we choose ideal for the supports we offer.

 

TRS is approved and recognized by:

  • NAPSEC (National Association of Private Special Education Centers).
  • We are recognized as a private school by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI)
  • We are members of the Council for Exceptional Children (http://www.cec.sped.org), the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin (http://www.assew.org), and the Wisconsin Association of School Personnel Administrators (http://waspa.org)
  • Additionally, TRS has participated in local awareness events such as the Autism Gala, WalkNow for Autism Speaks, and Autism Society of Wisconsin conferences.

 

TRS offers Respite as an option for families needing care for their student both before and after school hours.  Supports are provided by well-trained professionals in our current educational areas.  During winter, spring, and summer break, TRS offers Bobcat Camp:  a week long, recreation-based, community centered camp.  Please contact the school for more information about either of these offerings.

The average student-to-staff ratio is 4:1.  Our classroom model is 8-10 students per classroom with 1 teacher and at least 1 teacher’s aide.  Safety is always our first concern, and our classrooms are staffed primarily based on this need.  We also have Intervention Specialist(s), who provide support and assistance to students during crisis moments, ensure overall building safety, and teach social skills and coping strategies.

TRS serves children and young adults diagnosed with emotional, mental health, neurological and/or developmental disabilities.  TRS has specific expertise in Autism Spectrum Disorders, anxiety and mood disorders, and behavioral disorders.  Specific diagnoses/disabilities include:

  • Autism
  • Asperger’s
  • PDD-NOS
  • Emotionally or Behaviorally Disturbed
  • ADHD
  • Bi-Polar
  • Depression
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiance Disorder
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Mood Disorder
  • Cognitively Delayed
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Rumination Syndrome
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Apraxia of Speech
  • Other Health Impairments

Approximately 33% of our population is diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder, 17% PDD-NOS, 7% EBD, and 2% RAD.

 

The Richardson School enrolls students year-round.