TEEN BOARDING SCHOOLS
Frequently Asked Questions
These programs seem expensive. What types of financial assistance or insurance is available to help defray the cost?
Sallie Mae, Key Bank, and other lending institutions offer student loans for K-12 education. These are often at very competitive rates. These loans may cover part or all of your child's secondary private education. Many programs are licensed to offer residential treatment for psychiatric diagnoses or substance abuse. If this is the case, your health insurance may cover some of the cost. Discuss this with the program's admissions counselors and your insurance company to find out if this is the case.
What is the difference between the boarding schools I have always heard about and these "emotional growth" boarding schools?
The main difference is the focus on behavior. Academics are extremely important, but if a teen is acting out, skipping class, defying teachers, and refusing to do homework, the best academic program in the world will not help them. The traditional boarding school is fine for students who are already motivated to some degree.The structured setting can be helpful for teens who are a struggling a bit in school, but the structure is not such that a traditional boarding school will work for defiant teens whose behavior is out of control or who are significantly behind on school work.
The therapeutic boarding school specializes in working with adolescents who need a highly structured environment and need not only academic support but therapeutic support. The focus is on the whole child--emotional, behavioral, and academic--rather than just school work, and the high ratio of instructors/therapists to students means no one child will slip through the cracks. These schools also specialize in learning disabilities or challenges such as attention deficit or dyslexia. The child is challenged without being frustrated.
What should I look for in choosing a residential program?
It's important to find the boarding school that best suits the needs of your child. Some programs specialize in ADHD, some in substance abuse issues, some have reputations for turning failing students into top SAT scorers. When you visit the websites or request materials from programs, make a list of the questions that are important to you before you contact an admissions counselor. You want to make sure you are making the best choice for your teen. Most programs will also offer phone numbers of parents who have sent their children to their school. These parents can help you decide if a particular residential program will best serve your child.
How long will my teen need to stay at a therapeutic boarding school?
This varies from child to child. One adolescent may need an academic year to catch up, improve behavior, and develop more responsibility. Another teenager may need 2 years to make up for lost coursework, deal with entrenched behavioral problems, and develop a more responsible attitude. One of the biggest mistakes made by parents who enroll their children in such schools is that they are often too anxious to bring the teen home as soon as they see an improvement in behavior. Many therapists believe 24 months is the optimal time frame to effectively improve behavior and academic performance in a lasting way.
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Confidential Child Assessment
Our assessment test will help you determine if a residential or wilderness program might benefit your child.
1. Does your child disregard rules and ignore parental guidance?