|Schools for Troubled Teens
"Schools for Troubled Teens" Review--
Welcome to our school resource center where parents find the right school for their troubled teen. If you are
searching for a troubled teen school or program, we can help with your selection.
Types of schools and programs include:
1. Boarding Schools
2. Christian Schools
3. Military Schools
4. Wilderness Programs
5. Residential Treatment Centers
6. Boot Camps
1. Boarding Schools—
Boarding schools are independent, college preparatory schools that provide housing facilities for students and
faculty. Boarding schools are sometimes referred to as "intentional communities" because the faculty and staff at
boarding schools work very hard to create an environment for students that is safe, academically challenging,
active, and fun.
Boarding schools are well known for their academic excellence. With small class sizes, diverse curricula, and
individual attention from teachers and advisors, the boarding school experience gives students many distinct
advantages. Boarding school students acquire the abilities that help ensure success in college and in life.
During the academic year, boarding schools become extended families where teachers and students live and
learn together. The 24-hour community of a boarding school environment allows the faculty to seize every
teachable moment whether in the classroom, on the playing field, or in the dormitory. While boarding schools
differ among these broad types, they also differ in their philosophy and mission. Because no two boarding schools
are alike, matching a student with an appropriate boarding school is a big step toward ensuring future success.
We see boarding schools as a good option for troubled teens.
Top 10 Reasons to Go to Boarding School--
1. It's cool to be smart. This is probably the best reason to go to boarding school. In a public school the kids
who really want to learn frequently end up being social outcasts. Not so in boarding school. It's cool to be smart in
boarding school. It's also very cool to learn.
2. The classes are small. If you are in a public school with 30-40 students to a class, chances are that you will
just be a number, unless you are very smart or very bad! You will probably get lots of attention then. In a boarding
school, on the other hand, classes typically are 10-15 students. You cannot hide in a class that small. You have
to participate. You will get called upon for your response. You will never just be a number in a boarding school.
3. The libraries/media centers are well-stocked. The older, more established schools have traditional library
facilities which in many cases are better equipped than many colleges. Libraries have morphed over the years
into media centers. The typical boarding school library will have the latest technology available in addition to all
the usual print materials. And they will have them in abundance.
4. You will be stretched by the amount of work you have to do. In a public school you might read one
Shakespeare play in a year if you are lucky and it happens to be relevant to the test. In a private school you will
read three or four Shakespeare plays and study them in detail. Teaching to the test is virtually unheard of
because boarding schools only have to be concerned with getting you into a college. As a result the depth and
breadth of the academic courses in most schools is remarkable.
5. You will be surrounded by classmates who want to go to college. Your classmates are in boarding school
because they want to be there. The reason you go to private school is to learn. Most schools are selective about
who they admit. Being willing to work hard in class and play hard on the playing field is all part of the college prep
package these schools offer.
6. You will get great teachers who love to teach. Boarding schools traditionally hire teachers with degrees in
their subjects. A large number of these experienced teachers have advanced degrees in their field as well.
Typically all are passionate about their subject and love to teach it to young people. Because discipline is rarely a
problem in boarding school, these talented teachers get to teach without having to be traffic cops or paper
pushers like their public school counterparts.
7. You will get to live away from home. It's never easy to leave the nest. But, doesn't it make more sense to
make the move before college? Of course it does. You will learn how to cope with life and all its many high and low
points in a community of your peers who are going through the same things you are. All of this is happening
under the watchful eye of your teachers who are mentors, not baby-sitters.
8. You will have great arts programs and arts facilities. Theater, dance, music, fine arts, in short, anything
and everything artistic is part of the opportunity which awaits you at most boarding schools. Several schools have
magnificent arts centers. Gorgeous chapels with fine pipe organs and choirs are still common. Chamber music,
bands, orchestras and jazz ensembles will give you many opportunities to use your musical talents. The art
galleries and museums many schools have acquired offer another serious enhancement for the artistically
9. You will have great sports and sports facilities. Most boarding schools have amazing sports facilities. The
range of sports and teams is mind-boggling. You will find everything from squash to crew, hockey to basketball.
Natatoria are common. Fitness facilities make Gold's Gym look tame. The varsity teams travel regionally and
globally to compete.
10. You will learn to be responsible for yourself. Taking a lot of little steps towards maturity is one of the
intangibles of going to boarding school. You have to learn to get along with others because it is a community. You
learn to be responsible for your actions because you are bound by an honor or discipline code of some kind. The
lessons in life learned in boarding school will lay a solid foundation for adulthood. You will make friends for life.
Most boarding school graduates look back at their years in school as a time when lasting friendships were
established. Coupled with that is the building of a network of friends and acquaintances who know you and care
about you. Isn't that what life is really all about? Being surrounded by people who understand you and care about
you is affirming and encouraging. We all can do with a dose of encouragement now and then, can't we?
2. Christian Schools—
Christian Boarding Schools are designed for unmotivated, gifted troubled teens. Christian Boarding Schools can
accommodate teens that are:
• Academically unmotivated: thinking that academic pursuit is no longer a part of their vision
• Acts entitled
• Blames their poor choices on everyone but themselves
• Emotionally immature
• Experimenting with sex, alcohol, and drugs
• Looking for acceptance in the wrong places
• Lying, sneaking out, isolating from family
• Making poor personal choices
• Plays the victim
• Poor peer choices (new group of troubled friends)
• Rebelling against parental authority
• Rejecting their Christian heritage
Christian boarding schools for troubled teens are designed for teens that have good hearts, and the academic
potential to be great students. Yet, they are currently off track, lost, and wandering down a road that leads to
destruction. Most of the troubled teens that come to Christian Boarding Schools are selfish, ungrateful, and
motivated only by fun with troubled friends.
Christian Schools Can Have a Great Influence on a Teenager. At Christian boarding schools, your distressed
teen will be able to receive proper education and behavior modification. In addition to such training, religion will
also play a major role in your child's life. Your child won't miss out on anything.
Boarding schools have been known to work wonders. Boarding schools that focus on Christianity aren't any
different. Rest assured, at Christian boarding schools, you child will be in the best of hands.
A typical Christian School is not to be confused with a Sunday School, or with any other institution that exists to
give children instruction in the Bible. The Christian School is an institution, which has the function of instructing
children in the various departments of knowledge (e.g., reading, history, science, math, and the other subjects). It
does this seven hours a day, five days a week, throughout the school year. Christian schools are a good option.
3. Military Schools—
The public school system of today is not fully equipped to handle troubled teenagers. Often times, parents turn to
military schools as an option to discipline and educate their troubled teenagers. Military schools, which seemed
headed for extinction in the late 1960s and early '70s, have seen enrollments increase steadily in recent years.
Many military schools are jammed to capacity and sport long waiting lists, as anxious parents scramble for slots.
In the past decade, our country's military has become much more selective as to whom they will or will not accept.
This trend has become even more apparent in private military schools. In most cases, a troubled teen will have a
very difficult time making it into and staying in any military school.
A recent survey of 30 traditional military schools found that only one military school would take a student that was
not willing to be there. Most military schools will expel students that break rules. If the school has a non-refundable
tuition policy, that can be very expensive for you. Thus, we do not recommend Military Schools for troubled teens.
Military schools are simply not a good option for teens with emotional and behavioral problems.
4. Wilderness Programs—
Wilderness programs are usually short term. They seem to have a definite impact on the troubled teen. Typically
the teen, while in the program, sincerely feels the need to change and may even admit that he or she needs to
change their behaviors. In most cases, education consultants will recommend a wilderness program to prepare a
teen for a long-term placement. Usually the wilderness placement alone is not long enough to make lasting
changes in the teen’s life.
Short term is a great place to start but usually needs to be followed up by something longer in length. Some
programs include a wilderness component into their regular program. Some have more rustic type living for teens
that first come into a program, and then with appropriate choices they move into nicer living conditions.
Wilderness programs are usually not academically accredited, because of their short duration. There are usually
some credits available that would correspond to time in spent out in nature, but it is not a given that they will be
accepted. For this reason timing is an important factor involved with this type of placement. If you are taking a
troubled teen out of school and sending him to a Wilderness Program, he will fall further behind in school. In most
cases, the troubled teen is not making an effort in school anyway, so this is not a huge factor. But in the case
where the troubled teen is still doing well in school, this should be taken into consideration.
Troubled teens are often resistant to just about everything, including authority, rules, advice, structure, and
therapy, just to name a few. Because of their oppositionality and defiance, treatment programs like boot camps
that feed resistance right back to them are frequently ineffective. A better approach is the one taken by
Wilderness Programs -- programs for troubled teens ages 13 to 17, whose core philosophy emphasizes giving
adolescents the power of choice and the ability to experience the natural consequences of their decisions.
5. Residential Treatment Centers—
Some insurance companies will pay for placement in a Residential Treatment Centers. If they do, they usually
must be accredited with the Joint Hospital Accreditation Committee or J.H.A.C.O.
To be approved by J.H.A.C.O., there are more requirements that need to be met than just being licensed as a
Residential Treatment Center facility. Usually an insurance company will pay for around 30 or 60 days in this type
facility. This sometimes is more like a vacation for the teen. The other drawback is the fact that it is short term.
Short term is typically not adequate to help make lasting changes in a teen’s life. Also, Residential Treatment
Centers are typically more of a medical type placement rather than a boarding school placement.
There are long-term Residential Treatment Centers that will in some cases qualify for insurance coverage if the
insurance company will work with you. Residential Treatment Centers vary in price as well as typical length of
stay. Sometimes a program will have two different price structures. They will have one program price for insured
families and one program for non-insured families. The program is in essence giving a discount to the family for
bearing the total financial burden of their teens care. It is good to find out if -- and what -- your insurance plan will
cover before you begin the process of searching for a Residential Treatment Center.
6. Boot Camps—
Boot camps are military-style institutions for defiant and disrespectful teens who have a problem with authority.
They learn discipline and structure through military exercises, and rigorous physical training.
The theory of boot camp is that a swift "kick in the pants" will turn around a child who has probably been acting
out for years. But in a lot of cases, just a short-term boot camp will not be enough for a teen to turn his or her life
around. Boot camps work great if they are followed by a boarding school or other longer-term program.
Privately owned boot camps seem to have a greater affect on teenagers. Surprisingly, the recidivism rate of
juveniles who attend state-run boot camps has been said to be as high as 94%, while overall privately owned boot
camps have a much lower rate. Boot camps can also be long term (military based boarding schools) or short boot
camps (summer boot camps).
Overall, boot camps usually have a definite impact on a teen especially the defiant and disrespectful ones.
However, for a lasting change to take place, a boot camp usually needs to be followed by a longer-term program
such as a boarding school.