Free Schools for Troubled Teens in Kentucky

By Amy Sutton
An alternative school may be the answer to your teen's problems.

Navigating the teen years isn't always a picnic.Your teen may appear to be ready to handle more pressure and stress, but her brain is still not completely developed, notes the American Academy of Pediatrics' website, HealthyChildren.org. Some teens become troubled and begin to skip school, experiment with drugs or alcohol and have conflicts with authority. In Kentucky, you can enroll your troubled teen in a free program to help get her life back on track. Public schools in Kentucky are governed by the Kentucky Department of Education.

The Providence School

The Providence School, in Wilmore, is a non-traditional middle school and high school. It's part of the Jessamine County School District and teens must be referred to the school by their home school. Programs include a day school, night school, off-campus suspension and day treatment program for students with emotional, psychological or behavioral problems. Students participate in the Discovery program, which includes a sequential skills curriculum to work on problem solving, anger management, conflict resolution, social skills and communication skills.

Sunrise Children's Services

Sunrise Children's Services is a Christian organization in Mount Washington that provides services for troubled children. Several therapeutic residential treatment centers across Kentucky are available for adolescents aged 12 to 18. Teens receive counseling, life skills training and education through one of the local school districts or on campus. Boys attend either the Spring Meadow Center, Cumberland Adventure Program, Crossroads Treatment Center or Oak Meadow Center. The Morehead Center, Dixon Center, Glen Dale Center and Genesis Center are available for girls. Sunrise Children's Services works in partnership with the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Kentucky Baptist Convention. It is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and The Joint Commission.

Mary Jo and William MacDonald Maryhurst Academy

Maryhurst Academy is located in Louisville. The school offers an on-campus school, residential treatment and transitional living for girls, ages 12 to 18. It is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for residential treatment services, foster care, adoption services and group living services. Staffed with certified Jefferson County public school teachers, Maryhurst provides a comprehensive curriculum, which includes social studies, math, science, English and related arts. Class sizes are kept small, averaging about eight to ten students. Girls generally stay six to 12 months, whether they participate in the traditional school year, which coincides with that of Jefferson County public schools, or the summer school program.

Boys and Girls Haven

Boys and Girls Haven, located in Louisville, is a residential treatment center for kids 11 to 18 years of age who have behavioral problems, emotional problems or trouble with social adjustment. The school is taught by certified teachers from the Jefferson County public school system. Students also attend therapy to work on their behavior and to learn how to make positive choices. Boys and Girls Haven is accredited by the Council on Accreditation and is a member of the Children's Alliance of Kentucky, the Foster Family Treatment Association and the Alliance for Children and Families.