A struggling adolescent puts pressure on himself and his family alike. The stress of dealing with his issues, the effect on your family, and how you will all make it through this difficult time wear down everyone in the family. If this describes your child, it might be time to put him in a school for troubled teens. In addition to addressing behavioral issues, your child will be in a structured setting that will help him academically. But you might wonder how you know which boarding schools are the best. The following list will give you several guidelines.
- Passionate and caring teachers – A school for troubled teens is only as good as its educators. They not only have great credentials and a love for teaching, but they genuinely care about the students. Look at a school website in order to check out a teacher’s background. Information about how long they have been teaching, which indicates a solid commitment to their career, help you determine the types of teachers who work at your school of choice. In addition, you can check to see how many of them hold advanced degrees. Many teachers at boarding schools participate with students after hours, either teaching an extracurricular activity or coaching. They know your child and are involved with them in several ways.
- Well-rounded academic program – The school should have an extensive academic program with a well-spelled out philosophy. Look at several different education approaches, talk to professionals, and decide which one is right for your child. Administrators follow their education philosophy and know that it works because of the years of dedication they have poured into the program. In addition, the school should offer Advanced Placement courses, including specialized languages and STEM classes. Admissions staff can provide you with additional details about the academics.
- School oversight – The school for troubled teens should have an established board of trustees with a long-term plan in place for the future. They will likely be accredited through one or more associations.
- Updated facilities – The facilities should be in excellent shape and include laboratories, libraries, upgraded buildings and dorms, and athletic facilities.
- Community as a priority – While beautiful facilities in a scenic backdrop add to the atmosphere, you also want those intangibles that are difficult to see from the outside. However, you cannot put a price tag on a tightly knit community that welcomes new attendees. The staff has created a culture that values respect, kindness, stewardship, character, ethics and morals. Your child will not be able to disappear into the crowd because adults and even older students are watching out for him. In addition to focusing on excellent grades, the staff at a school for troubled teens cares for the whole person.
- Appropriate services for the students – Your struggling adolescent not only needs a strong academic program but needs a myriad of services to help him succeed. Substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, group sessions and more will help your child deal with the challenges that he faces.
Results and success rate – You want to know the outcomes and the bottom line. The school should describe what success looks like, both academically and behaviorally.
Review these qualities and decide which are most important for you and your teen. Consider the listed characteristics as you are doing your research. Once you have narrowed down your choices, visit your top choices so that you can see which school is right for your child.