Insider’s Guide: List of (Almost All) Therapeutic Boarding Schools

I get loads of calls and emails every month for advice on how to find the best therapeutic boarding school. Unfortunately, there is no one-stop shopping list of schools so I’ve done my best to list them all out below. I’m sure I’ve missed some. By the time this is posted, there will probably be a few new ones that pop up, a few that changed their name or got gobbled up by a big company. If you have updates, feel free to email me and I’ll post the new info here. This is not meant to be an endorsement of these programs, just a list. As I visit schools that do great work, I generally will do a blog post about what I’ve found and why I like what they’re doing.

Academy at Sisters

62895 Hamby Rd Bend, OR 97701
800.910.0412
Female Only, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Adelbrook

60 Hicksville Rd. Cromwell, CT 06416
860.635.6010
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen, Religious

Alabama Institute for Deaf and…

1209 Fort Lashley Ave. Talladega, AL 35160-2339
256.761.3259
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Allendale Association

600 W Grand Ave, Lake Villa, IL 60046
888.255.3631
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Flexschool

97 Whitney Avenue New Haven, CT 06510
203.628.4018
34 Russo Place Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
908.322.0554
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Kids Peace – Graham Lake Campus

16 Kidspeace Way Ellsworth, ME 04605
800.257.3223
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Kids Peace – Orefield, PA

5300 KidsPeace Drive Orefield, PA 18069
800.854.3123
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

King’s Daughter School

412 West 9th Street Columbia, TN 38401
931.388.3810
Coed, College Prep, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

La Amistad

1650 Park Avenue North Maitland, Florida 32751
800.433.1122
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Lake Mary Center

100 Lakemary Drive Paola, KS 66071
913.557.4000
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen

Laurel Ridge Facility

17720 Corporate Woods Drive, San Antonio, TX 78259
210.491.9400
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Learning Clinic, The

473 Pomfret Rd, Brooklyn, CT 06234
860.774.5619
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen, Wilderness Program

Liahona Academy

325 W 600 N, Hurricane, UT 84737
800.675.8101
High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Male Only, Pre-Teen

Life Development Institute

18001 North 79th Ave. Glendale, AZ 85308
866.736.7811
Coed, College Prep, High School, Licensed

Little Keswick School

500 Little Keswick Lane, Keswick, VA 22947
434.295.0457
High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Male Only, Pre-Teen

Logan River Academy

1683 S. HWY 89/91 Logan UT 84321
866.755.8400
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Luther Hall RTC

3911 20th Ave. S. Fargo, ND 58103
701.235.7341
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen, Religious

Main Place Youth

1111 North Main Street Kingman, KS 67068
620.532.2681
Female Only, High School, Junior High School, Religious

Marsh Foundation

1229 Lincoln Highway Van Wert, Ohio 45891
419.238.1695
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Matheny School

65 Highland Ave Peapack, NJ 07977
908.234.0011
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

May Center for Child Development

511 Main St, West Springfield, MA 01089
413.785.5462
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Melmark

2600 Wayland Road Berwyn, PA 19312
800.695.6815
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Menninger Residential Treatment Program

12301 Main Street Houston, TX 77035
800.351.9058
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Meridell Achievement Center

12550 W Hwy 29 Liberty Hill, TX 78642
800.366.8656
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Mid-Pacific Institute

2445 Kaala Street Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
808.973.5000
Coed, College Prep, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen

Midwest Center for Youth and Families

1012 W. Indiana Street Kouts, IN 46347
888.629.3471
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Monarch School

2815 Rosefield Dr. Houston, TX 77080
713.479.0800
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

New Haven

228 West 400 North, Saratoga Springs, UT 84045
888.317.3958
College Prep, Female Only, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

New Leaf Academy

63050 Dickey Rd, Bend, OR 97701
877.820.5050
Female Only, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Newport Academy

Conneticut, California, Pennsylvania
888-934-1222
Coed, College Prep, High School

Northwest Academy

1130 SW Main Street Portland, OR 97205-2047
503.223.3367
Coed, College Prep, High School

Northwest Academy

139 Success Lane Naples, ID 83847
877.882.0980
Coed, College Prep, Middle School, High School

Northwest Children’s Home

602 13th St, Lewiston, ID 83501
208.743.9404

Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen


Oaklawn, the Children’s Campus

1411 Lincolnway W, Mishawaka, IN 46544
574.259.5666

Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen


Oliverian School

28 Becket Drive Pike, NH 03780
603.989.5100

Coed, College Prep, High School


Paradise School – Catholic

6156 West Canal Road Abbottstown, PA 17301-8982
717.259.9537
Coed, Junior High School, Pre-Teen, Religious

Penrith

662 Scotia Rd, Newport, WA 99156
509.447.0665
Coed, College Prep, High School

Providence Pass Girls Academy

866.738.2785 Orlando, Fl, 32836
High School, Female Only, Religious

Red Rock Canyon School

747 E St George Blvd St. George, UT 84770
877.705.7831
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

S.A.I.L. at Ferncliff Manor

1154 Saw Mill River Road Yonkers, NY 10710
914.968.4854
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Saint Francis Center at Salina

5097 West Cloud Salina, KS 67401
785.825.0563
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

San Marcos Treatment Center

120 Bert Brown Road, San Marcos, Texas 78666
800.251.0059
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Secret Harbor School

225 N. Walnut St., Burlington, Washington, 98233
360.755.5700
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen

Shelterwood Academy

3205 N Twyman Rd, Independence, MO 64058
866.585.8939
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen, Religious

Shortridge Academy

619 Governors Rd, Milton, NH 03851
877.903.8968
Coed, College Prep, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School

6245 S. Ingleside Avenue Chicago, IL 60637
773.420.2900
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Spaulding Youth Center

72 Spaulding Road Northfield, New Hampshire 03726
603.286.8901
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Spring Mountain Treatment Center

7000 West Spring Mountain Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89117
702.873.2400
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Spring Ridge Academy

13690 S. Burton Rd. Mayer, AZ 86333
928.632.4602
Female Only, High School

Springbrook

105 Campus Drive Oneonta, NY 13820
607-286-7171
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen, Religious

Stetson High School

455 South Street, Barre, MA 01005
978.355.4541
High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Male Only, Pre-Teen

Stewart Home School

4200 Lawrenceburg Road Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
502.227.4821
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen

Summit Preparatory

1605 Danielson Road Kalispell, MT 59901
406.758.8100
Coed, College Prep, High School, Licensed

Summit School at Nyack

339 North Broadway Upper Nyack, NY 10960
845.358.7772
Coed, College Prep, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Sunrise Girl’s Home/Academy

65 N 1150 W, Hurricane, UT 84737
888.317.3961
Female Only, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen

Sunrise School

13130 Burbank Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91401
877.994.3588
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Pre-Teen, Autism, Developmental Disabilities

Uinta Academy

3746 South 4800 West Wellsville, UT 84339
435.245.2600
Female Only, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

United Methodist Children’s Home

2002 S. Fillmore St., Little Rock
501.661.0720
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen, Religious

Villa Maria

2300 Dulaney Valley Road, Lutherville-Timonium, MD
410.252.6343
Coed, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen, Religious

Villa Santa Maria

19 Cirguela Rd, Cedar Crest, NM 87008
505.281.3609
Coed, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen, Attachment Issues

Visions Adolescent Treatment Program

33335 Mulholland Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
866-889-3665
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Wediko Children’s Services

11 Bobcat Blvd., Windsor, NH 03244
603.478.5236
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed

Wellspring Foundation, Inc.

21 Arch Bridge Road Bethlehem, CT 06751
203.266.8002
College Prep, Female Only, High School, Licensed

Wildwood School

2995 Curry Road Extension, Schenectady, NY 12303
518.836.2200
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Willow Springs Center

690 Edison Way, Reno, NV 89502
800.448.9454
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Woods Services Mollie Woods Program

40 Martin Gross Dr, Langhorne, PA 19047
215.750.4000
Coed, High School, Junior High School, Licensed, Pre-Teen

Treatment 101: Therapeutic Boarding Schools and Residential Treatment Centers

Today we examine some of the basic differences and similarities between therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment centers (or programs).

 

THERAPEUTIC BOARDING SCHOOLS

Also known as Emotional Growth Boarding School (not used so much any more), is a boarding school based on the therapeutic community model that offers an educational program together with specialized structure and supervision for students with psychological, behavioral, substance abuse, or learning difficulties. Another newer term is Academy which lends some gravitas and impressions of legacy. Basically, it sounds fancier. 

In contrast with Residential Treatment Centers, which are more clinically focused and primarily provide Behavior therapy and treatment for adolescents with serious issues, the focus of a TBS is toward emotional and academic realignment involving clinical and academic oversight for physical, emotional, behavioral, family, social, intellectual and academic development. Therapeutic and educational approaches vary greatly; with the approaches best described as a combination of interventions often based on the founders’ perspective. The typical duration of student enrollment in a TBS range from one to two years with many schools mandating a minimum stay of at least 1 year. Students may receive either high school diplomas or credits for transfer to other secondary schools. Some therapeutic boarding schools hold educational accreditation within their respective states. TBS’s may be for-profit or non-profit entities and might also be owned by a much larger company (eg. Aspen Education Group, Red Cliff Ascent, Universal Health Services to name a few). 

Therapeutic boarding schools are generally middle schools and high schools that have comprehensive therapeutic interventions (medication management, individual/group counseling, life skills) for the students and a program to help them with self-esteem and problem behaviors. Some are more therapeutic than others while some boarding schools are actually therapeutic but will not list themselves in that category to avoid any negative connotation. 

Most of the therapeutic boarding schools do not have a medical plan for bipolar disorder, and do not provide psychiatrists on staff. If you want your child to attend a therapeutic boarding school he or she needs to be stable enough to attend school with therapy support (typically includes individual counseling 1-2x/wk, group counseling 1-2x/wk and 1 weekly phone conference with parents/therapist), while maintaining a relationship with an outside psychiatrist. Additionally, some schools do not wish to administer psychotropic meds. Ask the admissions folks if this is something important for you. 

 

RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTERS

Sometimes the school that best meets the child’s needs just doesn’t exist anywhere near home, or the child may become too unstable to stay at home and attend school. It may become painfully obvious that a change in environment with a twenty-four-hour peer group and non-parental authority figures may help the child grow and mature in a safe environment. Maybe they are a danger to themselves or others and they need to be in a setting that can monitor their illness and behavior, as well as provide them with tools to understand and deal with their illness while not losing ground in school.

Residential Treatment Centers (RTCs) are medical facilities (most of the time). They should have psychiatrists and nurses on staff. They administer medications, make medication adjustments, and provide therapy and schooling. They are required to follow a student’s IEP.

Residential schools can cost anywhere from $56,000 to over $125,00 per year. A school district may pay part or most of the fee of such a placement, but typically only after a due process hearing. This process is not recommended for parents – Definitely bring in professional support for this (yes, a case manager or educational consultant with expertise in IEP/504 process and laws within your state). 

If you have not noticed the theme, here it is – Parents should ask for help from a clinical case manager or educational consultant. While the vetting and application may seem like an easy project for accomplished parents, the timing, financial and clinical complexities can create significant challenges. The case manager should have any professionals working with your child contribute to the discussion on placement strategies and options. Leave this to the professionals. It costs money on the front end but will save you thousands of dollars over months and years and also help you to understand your child, family and the education/psychological process much better. 

Here are some additional resources:

Blogs of Note: The Interpreted Rock by Steve Schultz

The Interpreted Rock is a blog written by our good friend Steve Schultz from Oxbow Academy in Utah. Steve was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon. He graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in psychology and received formal training as an addictions counselor. He spent several years working with health care facilities in clinical services, operations and marketing. With over twenty five years assisting families to navigate the rough waters of addiction, mental illness and the various struggles produced by wayward teens, Steve has a unique perspective and compassionate demeanor. He joined the RedCliff Ascent family in 2002. His clinical insights and customer service emphasis help him give parents a better understanding of the unique services provided by RedCliff Ascent and its sister programs.

Here’s an excerpt from a friend’s blog we thought you all may enjoy…

Monday, May 13, 2013

I was recently in Tucson Arizona meeting with the family of a student who graduated from Oxbow Academy. www.oxbowacademy.net I was traveling with the clinical director of Oxbow, Todd Spaulding LCSW.  We also had the opportunity to meet with allied health professionals in the area who work with troubled teens and their families.

As we met with folks in Tucson, I just wanted to make a brief introduction to Oxbow Academy. I shared with them that Oxbow works with families that are struggling with a son who is burdened with sexual behavioral concerns. Often this is excessive use of pornography, inappropriately touching a sibling, friend or neighbor or other compulsive sexual behaviors. About half of our students come to us with some type of Learning Disability (LD) and 60% are adopted…80 and above IQ, but socially awkward…..
For more on struggling families, Steve, Oxbow Academy or any of the other Redcliff Ascent programs, check out Steve’s blog or check out Redcliff Ascent’s list of programs.

Program Tour: Day 3-4 Oxbow Academy and Discovery Ranch

Here is the second of two part series of my visit to Redcliff Ascent and their sister programs in January 2013.

Day 3 – Oxbow Academy and Discovery Ranch

From Redcliff we went North East. Next was a long, weaving drive through mountain valleys towards  Oxbow Academy which specializes in working with adolescent boys with sexually-inappropriate behaviors. Their two campuses provide the ability to support kids with unique needs rather than having just one big facility. It’s a deeply clinical program with the feel of a safe home-away-from-home. Erin Nester, Admission Director, drove me between the programs so we could talk clinical details about the program. Basically, these folks know what they’re doing and clearly help families that feel hopeless.

After meeting with some extraordinary young men from around the world with the backdrop of snow-crusted mountains behind them, Steve and I slid out the icy driveway and continued our trek North towards Mapleton, UT where, on the sprawling campus of Discovery Ranch, I presented to all the Redcliff sister programs on working with affluent individuals and families. From the moment I went through the front gate to the final good-byes with staff – I felt I had experienced a truly thoroughly-designed and supported residential program. Every detail had been thought of to fully engage adolescents in realigning themselves.

Day 4 – Discovery Academy

I was not prepared for the detail the owners took to preserve the church they refurbished into a cutting-edge therapeutic boarding school. The staff at Discovery Academy maintain important history for the surrounding town while providing cutting-edge therapeutic academic support. The academic professionals, the clinicians, the administrators – all of them, they all show a level of personal commitment to the kids and program at large. The kids that go here are clearly good kids that need a bit of structure, a bit of nurturing, and a whole lot of encouragement to transcend unhealthy patterns.

Summary

I can not recommend any dining options anywhere near Redcliff programs for those of you that appreciate a good meal. Options between some of the programs often pitted us between awkward Chinese food restaurants and the snack aisle in the strangely empty WalMart. And please, do not ask for Starbucks or good coffee. If you can’t bring your own, start adapting to Earl Grey for your morning fix since you’ll either be drinking the brown hotel swill or hot black tar at one of the prolific truck stops. But let’s be real, you’re not looking at a Redcliff program because of the food or drink choices. You’re here because you’ve got a child or adolescent that’s been acting out and needs help. If you’re considering a Redcliff program, you’ll do a bit of traveling … but the investment of time, money and energy will be well worth it. Redcliff and all their programs are full of passionate, thoughtful staff with a full array of behavioral and academic services for teens and their families. They are not perfect and struggle with similar issues effecting other programs. The big difference is their curiosity and sincere interest in being a truly learning organization.

Here is the full list of Redcliff programs: Redcliff Ascent, Discovery Ranch, Discovery Academy, Medicine Wheel, Oxbow Academy, Discovery Connections