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Admissions Information

The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School (O-School) offers rolling admissions for its Residential and Therapeutic Day Programs. The majority of admissions coincide with the beginning and end of the academic terms. However, the School continues to evaluate applications throughout the year as spaces become available and as families’ and school districts’ needs arise.

At some point during the process, it is expected that the family and the prospective student will visit the program for an interview, allowing the family and O-School personnel to get to know one another. The O-School does not admit students until the team has reviewed the referral information and interviewed the applicant directly. No students are admitted without knowing the nature of the School’s programs and its expectations.

If you would like to schedule an interview or apply to the O-School, contact the Admissions Coordinator, Kristin Friesen, at 773.420.2891 or by e-mail at kfriesen@oschool.org.

Required Documents and Initial Assessment

The O-School receives referrals from a wide range of sources, including parents seeking placement for their own children, educational consultants, special education advocates and attorneys, special education departments from boards of education across the nation, the Illinois Individual Care Grant office, professional clinicians, and other child welfare agencies. The O-School does not have contracts with any departments of child protection or juvenile justice.

Parents and referral sources are asked to submit a packet of clinical materials to the Admissions Coordinator, including:

  • Copies of the latest psychological assessment (including results of I.Q. and academic achievement testing)
  • Recent psychiatric evaluation, including current medications
  • Discharge summaries from any in-patient psychiatric hospitalizations
  • Most current I.E.P.
  • Educational transcript showing all credits earned (for high school students)

The Admissions Committee will review these materials and determine if an interview is indicated based upon several qualifying factors, which include but are not limited to:

  • The Committee’s assessment of the student’s ability to benefit from the program
  • The ability and willingness of the student and family to participate in and support the treatment
  • The consideration of other related variables, such as the existing group/milieu and classroom dynamics

Student Interview

After reviewing the submitted paperwork and student profile, the Committee invites qualified candidates and their parents to the O-School for an interview.

Prospective students meet with two members of the School leadership team and the Admissions Coordinator who discuss the School’s major policies and procedures. Together, the family also tours the School’s residential and academic facilities.

Acceptance and Enrollment

The Admissions Committee makes the final determination of acceptance with feedback obtained from staff members. After acceptance of the offer of admission, a formal admission date will be arranged.

Admissions Office Contact Information:

Kristin Friesen, LCSW
Admissions Coordinator
Phone: 773-420-2891
Fax: 773: 420-2805
Email: kfriesen@oschool.org

Norm Ostrum, M.A.
Business Development Associate
Phone: 269-830-8576
Fax: 773-420-2805
Email: nostrum@oschool.org