Boarding Schools for Disciplinary Problems

By Elizabeth Reuter
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Therapeutic boarding schools are set up around the US for children with disciplinary problems who need more help than their parents can give. With a variety of resources and approaches to treating children with various difficulties, there is likely to be a program to match the needs of many struggling families.

Georgia Bethesda

In Savannah, Georgia, Bethesda Home for Boys accepts at-risk boys in the ninth grade or younger; the option of boarding on-campus with other students is available. According to its homepage, the school boasts a 90 percent graduation rate. While boys are enrolled, they are encouraged to take part in extracurricular activities and get on-campus jobs to boost their social and work skills. Bethesda welcomes volunteers, donations and family participation.

Graham School

Graham School in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York has both day and boarding students. Part of Graham-Windham, a New York child welfare organization, the Graham School prides itself on its family counseling program as well as its academics. Behavioral skills are highly emphasized and no one religion is focused upon.

Glenwood School

Glenwood School in St. Charles, Illinois, is devoted to assisting single-parent families with low incomes. Though not dedicated specifically to children with disciplinary problems, they do have a one-year residential program that includes children with various issues, including behavioral issues. The children live on-campus for a year, going home only on weekends, so that troubled families can seek help repairing their relationships as the children catch up on any neglected school subjects.

Casa Pacifica

Camarillo, California's Casa Pacifica focuses on short-term care for traumatized children. However, they also have a therapeutic residential program for up to 28 children ages 11 to 17. Included in the residential program is education at the on-campus special education school which has small class sizes to individualize care for each child. Children from the community also attend. Casa Pacifica also offers a preschool program.

Miracle Farm

Brenham, Texas' Miracle Farm is a ranch where boys, ages 13 to 17, with behavioral problems work with horses on top of educational, religious (Baptist), and psychological schooling. Miracle Farms assigns each boy a horse so the boy can create an emotional bond with it, grow self-esteem as he learns to ride, and cultivate responsibility seeing to his horse's needs. Weekdays are focused on education and work with the horses, while family counseling takes place on weekends.

About the Author

Elizabeth Reuter was first published in her high school's creative writing magazine in 1999. She then moved on to professional articles for venues such as Guadalajara's "Lost Ojos del Lagos" and the Post-Feminist Playground website. Reuter earned her Bachelor of Arts in international studies from St. Mary's College.