RISE Locations & Eligibility

Additional resources

Administrative Staff

Worth Campus:
Jana Montesdeoca

Chicago Heights Campus:
Ken Peterson

Intake Coordinator:
Debby Lynch 

An optional educational opportunity

Regional Institute for Scholastic Excellence

Along with providing professional development and regulatory services, South Cook ISC also implements alternative school programs for the Regional Safe Schools Program legislation. South Cook ISC serves as the district office for the Regional Institute for Academic Excellence (RISE).

Established as a result of P.A.89-383, effective 8-18-95 and P.A. 89-636, effective 8-9-96, South Cook ISC operates the Safe Schools Program pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/13A of the Illinois School Code. The RISE program is an alternative school program serving students from grades 6 – 12 who are eligible for suspension or expulsion, or who have been suspended or may be expelled, due to gross misconduct. RISE program is offered to students by the local public school districts serviced by the South Cook ISC as an optional educational opportunity for students who may be expelled, are suspended, or at risk of failure or dropout.

Available at the following locations:

Chicago Heights Campus
405 Ashland Ave.
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
(708) 756-2834
FAX: (708) 756-3476

Worth Campus
11218 S. Ridgeland Ave.
Worth, IL 60482
(708) 671-0935
FAX: (708) 671-1014

Eligibility Criteria:

What Qualifies a Student?

Students enrolled in grades 6 through 12 during the current school year, and meeting one or more of the following criteria may be eligible for services through the Safe Schools Program:


  • suspended at least twice for “gross misconduct”.
  • arrested by the police or remanded to juvenile or criminal courts for acts related to school activities.
  • eligible for disciplinary reassignment pursuant to violation of school district “zero tolerance” policies.
  • involved in “gross misconduct” that can be demonstrated as serious, repetitive, and/or cumulative.
  • youth returning from juvenile corrections facilities.
  • have pending expulsion hearings.
The definition of:

Gross misconduct

  • use of or possession of weapons or guns.
  • sale and/or possession of illegal substances.
  • chronic fighting, assault or physical violence.
  • arson.
  • theft or destruction of property of the school, staff, or other students.
  • sexual harassment, harassment and/or hazing.
  • gang-related activity.
  • insubordination posing imminent danger to the health, safety, and welfare of students and staff.
  • repeated and willful behavior of:
  • flagrant or persistent disrespect, verbal assault and/or verbal threats, and/or deliberate attempts to intimidate faculty, staff, sponsors, or students.
  • flagrant or persistent disregard for the rules and regulations of the home school.