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Rochester Academy for Independent Living

Rochester Public Schools offers Rochester Academy for Independent Living (RAIL) to help young adults with disabilities integrate into the community and work settings. The program's goal is to assist the adults at RAIL in developing the independent living and social skills needed to become active, productive, and integrated members of their community.

First page of the RailTransitionApplication PDF file

Application
for RAILPrintable PDF Form

Looking for more information?

If you are still looking for more information about RAIL, looking for a tour, or how to get connected, Please contact, Deana Dontje, our lead teacher, by phone (507) 328-4306 or by email.

RAIL is located at the Education Services Center (334 16th Street SE, Rochester, MN 55904).

Information about RAIL

Work

The schedule for times you will be at RAIL are flexible, and will fit around your work hours.  Talk to your case manager about your individualized schedule.  If you are scheduled to work on a non- school day you are expected to work.  It is your responsibility to get to work or cancel work if you need to take the day off.  Student must give two-weeks notice to take a day off of work, as with any job. 

Transportation

RAIL uses public transportation instead of school buses.  

  • City bus #6 leaves downtown 8:15 AM, arrives 3rd Ave & 16th St. SE at 8:22 AM.
  • City bus #6 leaves 3rd Ave. & 16th St. SE at 2:58 PM, arrives downtown 3:10 PM
  • Fridays – City bus #6 leaves 3rd Ave. & 16th St SE at 11:58 AM, arrives downtown 12:10 PM

RAIL will provide bus tickets for your fare on public transportation, for days school is in session. Once you receive a ticket, you are responsible for holding on to the ticket, or replacing it if it is lost ($42.00 for a monthly and $16.00 for a weekly). If you are working on organizational skills and don’t want to start out being responsible for a monthly bus ticket, talk to your case manager about receiving a 10-punch bus ticket instead of a monthly bus pass.

Some students use ZIPS dial-a-ride service.  You must apply for this service.  See the following web site for information and application:

Dress

RAIL is designed to prepare students for the adulthood. We encourage dress-casual attire. Clothing should be clean, free of holes,and presentable for being in public places. Students should present a positive appearance, as they will be in public frequently and maybe picking up/dropping off job applications.    

Lunch

We have cafeteria service at RAIL. If you want to use this, you are responsible for having money in your account. Hot lunches are prepared at Mayo High school and delivered to ESC. Students wanting hot lunch need to indicate this upon check-in every day. If students are not at RAIL first thing in the morning and want hot lunch, they are expected to call the main RAIL phone and inform staff. Students also have the option of bringing lunches from home. Refrigeration and microwaves are available. Students are encouraged to label containers. There are vending machines available in the building with limited snack and beverage options.

Lunch Menu

Absences

Students should call the main RAIL phone number (507) 328-4360 to report absences. While some individuals prefer sending emails to notify teachers of absences, this has caused communication issues when teachers have been absent. We would prefer students to call in their own absences or tardies, as opposed to parents doing this for them as this is a work skill they will need to develop for life.

Social Expectations

RAIL is focused on teaching skills related to adult life in home, work and community settings. Behavior is expected to be acceptable at work settings. This may differ from a high school cafeteria where noise levels are higher. Social interactions are expected to be appropriate,respecting personal boundaries.  

Electronic devices (i.e. audio MP3 players, cell phones) are not to be used during class times. Cell phones can be used during class, for class related work, if approved in advance by instructor. On community outings, cellphones are to only be used for communication with RAIL, as these outings are part of the learning experience.

Lockers

Lockers are available for students to keep belongings safe. Some sharing of lockers will be necessary, as locker availability is limited. Locks should be used on lockers, with students providing case managers with extra key or combination, to assist when or if problems occur opening lockers or keys forgotten or lost.

Come Prepared

Each student should bring a personal planner (paper or electronic device) that contains space to keep track of your schedule of activities and appointments (community trips, food preparation, work and volunteer events, etc.), a place for your personal information (name,address, phone number, computer passwords), and contact information for family or support people. 

Students are required to supply their own pencils and pens and bring them to class daily.

Students also keep a “to do” or “reminder” list. Some have found small notebooks that fit in their planners to be helpful. Some students have used note taking applications on their electronic devices. 

Teachers

Mary Alcott

Mary Alcott
Community Participation
(507) 328-4362 | Email

School Schedule:
Monday - Thursday from 8:45AM - 2:45PM
Friday from 8:45AM - 12PM 

*RAIL follows the Rochester Public School calendar.

Chrissy Andring

Chrissy Andring
Home Living Skills
(507) 328-4363 | Email

School Schedule:
Monday - Thursday from 8:45AM - 2:45PM
Friday from 8:45AM - 12PM 

*RAIL follows the Rochester Public School calendar.

Julia Breza

Julia Breza
(507) 328-4347 | Email

School Schedule:
Monday - Thursday from 7:20AM - 2:00PM
Friday from 7:20AM - 11AM 

*RAIL follows the Rochester Public School calendar.

Tanya Dayland

Tanya Dayland
(507) 328-4350 | Email

School Schedule:
Monday - Thursday from 7:20AM - 2:00PM
Friday from 7:20AM - 11AM 

*RAIL follows the Rochester Public School calendar.

Kelly O'Leary

Kelly O'Leary
(507) 328-4382 | Email

School Schedule:
Monday - Thursday from 7:20AM - 2:00PM
Friday from 7:20AM - 11AM 

*RAIL follows the Rochester Public School calendar.

Lori Jensen

Lori Jensen
(507) 328-4330 | Email

School Schedule:
Monday - Thursday from 7:20AM - 2:00PM
Friday from 7:20AM - 11AM 

*RAIL follows the Rochester Public School calendar.

Theresa Goerss

Theresa Goerss
Work Experience
(507) 328-4364| Email

School Schedule:
Monday - Thursday from 8:45AM - 2:45PM
Friday from 8:45AM - 12PM 

*RAIL follows the Rochester Public School calendar.

Colleen Farley

Colleen Farley
(507) 328-4330 | Email

School Schedule:
Monday - Thursday from 7:20AM - 2:00PM
Friday from 7:20AM - 11AM 

*RAIL follows the Rochester Public School calendar.