Chariho School Parents’ Forum

May 24, 2007

Analysis – RYSE

Filed under: page updates,RYSE paperwork — Editor @ 11:52 pm


I’ve decided to devote a permanent page to the RYSE program, obviously as a reaction to the information  and misinformation presented at the May 22nd meeting.  As Bill Day said, there were a lot of “discrepancies.” 

At this meeting, the board approved a contract for mental health services for the RYSE School.  We did not send this contract out for bid. 

Elaine Morgan, parent of a RYSE student, tried to testify on the services we were voting to purchase.  Bill Day, chair of the school board, ended the conversation after she told us that RYSE “forced” her to drop the clinical service from South Shore (funded by United Health Insurance) and utilize the services at RYSE (funded by the taxpayers). 

The reason she was denied the right to speak, according to Mr. Day, was because the Director of Special Education, Kathy Perry, disagreed with her testimony.  Thus the “discrepancies.”

The purpose of this website has always been to increase transparency and community involvement.  I will provide you with the same information that I have (with scans of related documents) and you can evaluate these discrepancies for yourself.  Hopefully, you will be encouraged to get involved. 

For more details, Chariho has written minutes of the meeting and a video tape.  They are both open to the public.  But please don’t expect them to make copies of the tape (we didn’t budget for this).   Maybe watch it there or obtain a copy from Cox.  Chariho should be able to provide the contact person.

Lets step back and  review how we got to this point.  Here is a brief outline and history of the RYSE program and the no-bid contract the board approved –


In 2003, Chariho developed the RYSE School.  Before RYSE was developed, students who needed professional services were sent to various service providers in the community. 

According to documentation provided, these service providers were Bradley (South Kingstown & East Providence), South Shore Mental Health (Charlestown) and Forwardview (North Kingstown).

Some students were given a variety of services by a collaboration of agencies.  As an example, a student could go to Bradley for “day program” services (funded by school budget, ie. taxpayers) and at the same time receive clinical and/or evaluation services from South Shore Mental Health (insurance funded) and also get diabetes treatment at the local hospital (insurance funded).

RYSE was developed to provide all of the services “in-house.”  We still integrate in the community but the services are provided by RYSE staff.

I would assume there are some services we don’t supply yet but we have recently added the “Autism Spectrum Disorder” program, and the ”Elementary At-Risk” program.  We also now provide diabetes treatments. 

I have been open about my concerns over the RYSE School.  RYSE is advertised as providing “twenty four hour a day/seven day a week mental health services” for students “from other districts” with “serious mental and emotional health issues.”  

My concerns include:
1) I don’t think we should get into the “mental health services” business.
2) If we are in it, are we doing it efficiently and effectively?
3) the treatment model we use (MST) is designed for “serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offenders.”   We are the only school in RI that has a program designed for this population.  If DCYF wanted to relocate a group home, our district and community would be a likely location.  Furthermore, Chariho policy allows “out of districtplacements into RYSE with board approval. 

In 2003 the board approved the development of the RYSE School (note – there is some debate as to whether the development of this program without voter approval was a violation of the Chariho Act).  

But Chariho did it and now they needed to find someone to provide all of these services (all the services previously provided by the above list of community providers) and advertised for these services with this Request for Proposals (RFP). 

We received 2 bids :

South Shore Mental Health Center, Charlestown-RI, bid $276,000 and uses the community based model.   This model utilizes a collaboration of services in the community and is designed for a variety of populations.

Psychological Centers, Inc., (PC does not have a website) bid $420,000 and uses the multisystemic (MST) model.  This model provides “in-house” all  inclusive services and the program was designed for “serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offenders.”  

Here are what I see as the major differences between the two service providers.

Psychological Centers Inc. (PC),
1)     has been in business since 2000,
2)     is located in Middletown (outside of our district)
is an agency that utilizes a system designed for “serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offenders” 
4)      the treatment model has never been used in a public school before. 
5)      this model does everything “in-house” and subsequently completely funded by taxpayers 
6)      the treatment model research supporting its efficacy is cited in the bid, “the strongest and most consistent support (comes from studies) focused on violent and chronic juvenile offenders.”  I should also preface this by saying that MST Group, LLC., was the developer of the MST model and is also the licensing agency.  They are not a government entity and the certification is not a government (federal or state) certification.

South Shore Mental Health Center (SSMH),
1)      has  been in business since 1964,
2)      is located in Charlestown (in our district)
3)      this treatment model was not designed for a specific population.
4)      we had already done business with SSMH for 7 years
5)      utilized a community collaboration (rather than soup-to-nuts “in-house” services) that allowed insurance to pay for some services.
6)      the treatment model is supported by research cited in the bid.  

UPDATE: May 24 

The Chariho school committee voted to accept the $420,000 bid in 2003.

I will explain how we get from there to Tuesday’s $669,000 no-bid contract soon, but the “real world” has been keeping me busy.  In the mean time, here is the 2007 contract the Chariho school committee voted to accept. 

The RYSE School – Psychological Centers Inc., “No-Bid Contract, 2007

more to come…. 

 PS.  There were 8 other board members present at the meeting (Giancarlo Cicchetti and Holly Eaves were not present).  5 voted for the no-bid contract.  I know you visit the website.  Please post your comments or questions below in the “comments” section.

Please post comments on the permanent “page” here.  Not on this “post.”