Hyde Park Day School & Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School at the University of Chicago

Excitement is mounting on East 63rd Street.

Why? The grand opening of the dazzling new shared-use campus for the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School and the Hyde Park Day School, two affiliates of U of C. The much anticipated Ribbon Cutting and Community Celebration will take place on April 27.

The Orthogenic School (SSOS) is a residential and day program for children and adolescents with severe emotional disabilities and autism. It has long been the standard in residential treatment, offering a strong academic program and a relationally based therapeutic environment as well as exceptional fine arts and recreational opportunities for students. Before enrolling in SSOS, many students and families struggled to feel hopeful about the future. In many cases, they had already sought help from multiple outpatient and inpatient programs that utilized less individualized approaches and resulted in a repeated sense of failure and increased hopelessness. By the time students leave SSOS, over 75% of them have a planned graduation and are able to return home or transition to independence by entering college or the work place.

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Hyde Park Day School (HPDS) is the only Chicago-area program specializing exclusively in the needs of children ages 6-13 of average to superior intelligence but also have learning disabilities. Teachers and other professionals foster academic mastery while boosting students’ confidence and helping them understand and address their learning strengths and challenges. HPDS’s mission is to prepare their students for the transition to their home school community. Ninety-five percent of college-age alumni attend colleges and universities. In addition to the new home in Woodlawn, HPDS has a campus in Northfield that draws students from the northern and western suburbs.

CannonDesign completed the campus master plan. The new facility combines the HPDS which provides educational spaces for 60 gifted students with learning disabilities in an intimately-scaled learning environment, and the SSOS’s residential treatment program with a strong academic program for 72 students whose needs require intensive therapeutic support for both residential and day students. The multi-story, 75,000 square-foot building has shared common areas between both programs, as well as available living spaces for SSOS residential and transitional students.

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These schools offer a rich resource for Chicago and Midwest families.They represent the best practices in addressing the issues of severe learning differences, emotional disabilities and autism in children and adolescents. These programs have been recognized for innovation and excellence and are highly endorsed by local school districts as well as education departments around the country. The stunning new campus will serve as a beacon of hope for students and families across metropolitan Chicago and beyond.

The Ribbon Cutting and Community Celebration will take place on Sunday, April 27 at 2:30 p.m. starting at the AKArama Community Center at 6220 S. Ingleside Ave. (across the street from our new campus). A gala Spark the Future Benefit Reception will be held on May 29, 2014 at CannonDesign, 225 N. Michigan Ave. James and Molly Perry will be honored as the first recipients of the SPARK Award for extraordinary commitment to helping students ignite their bright futures. Learn more at oschool.org and hpds.uchicago.edu.

For more information, contact:

The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School
1365 E. 60th St., Chicago,

Chicago Campus
6254 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago

Northfield Campus
1980 Old Willow Road, Northfield