Selecting the Best Therapeutic Boarding School for Your Child After Completion of a Wilderness Therapy Program
What should you do after your child completes a wilderness therapy program? Your student has developed a new sense of drive, discipline, and accomplishment, among a host of several additional skills, and is ready to embrace the next step in his or her development into an adult. Your child is now ready for enrollment in a program that is more long-term, but that also offers tremendous academic, social, and emotional support, such as a therapeutic boarding school.
There are several evaluative measures and requirements you should analyze when considering a therapeutic boarding school. Two of the most important factors are the history and reputation of the school and the curriculum of the program. Then you should consider factors such as the schools’ locations, tuition costs, sizes, backgrounds of the faculty and staff, backgrounds of the students, and student to faculty ratios. Good resources for this information are offered online or through a representative of the school.
Additionally, here are some tips for conducting a school search:
- Start a list of the schools you are considering. As you come across additional schools during your research, add these to the list.
- Visit the schools’ websites and pay close attention to deciding factors such as location, size of school, tuition, facilities, and factors that are important to you and your child (sports teams, options for study abroad, extracurricular clubs, etc.).
- Look closely at the students and faculty in the photos and try to picture your child with these people. If you don’t feel that there is a good match, then your gut is probably right.
- Most of the schools’ websites have links to Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc., so you should review these social media sites as well.
- Also search the Internet for any public complaints or lawsuits issued against the schools. You may also visit Yelp for reviews posted by students, parents, and faculty.
- Once you have researched the schools online, divide the school list into quarters: 1). The first group of schools should be those that you feel very strongly would be a good fit for your child based on your online research; 2). The second group of schools should be those that you feel would be a good fit for your student, but they are your second-choice schools for whatever reasons; 3). The third group of schools should be those that you aren’t 100% sure of, but that you would send your student to, if these are the only options; and 4). The last group should be those schools that you don’t feel are a good fit and that you would not send your student to, regardless.
- Now that you have narrowed down your school list and divided it into quarters, revisit the websites of those schools that are your first- and second-tier choices and sign-up for their admissions packets to be mailed to you; also sign up for their newsletters and any other school communications. This will not only keep you updated on the schools’ happenings, but it also demonstrates your interest to the school administrators.