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New Perspectives - Jun, 1991 Issue 

Secret Harbor School
(206) 293-5151
Cypress Island, WA
By Sue Street, Admissions

Founded in 1949, Secret Harbor is a private not-for-profit year-round residential treatment school for up to 30 boys ages 10 to 18. Located on 340 acres on Cypress Island in Puget Sound, it uses it's location to symbolize a dramatic break with a boy's previous environment and lifestyle.

Academics are done through small classes on the island (seldom more than eight students in a class) accredited through the Anacortes School District. Individual tutoring is available when needed, and for part of the classes, the school uses tide pools for learning marine biology, local rock formations to study geology, and all the island's bird, plant, insect and animal life to enrich the study of natural sciences.

An integral part of each boy's healing is individual psychotherapy, group therapy, and milieu therapy under the direction of a child psychiatrist. Milieu therapy includes a strong emphasis on the work ethic (it not only improves self-esteem, but the only money a boy has is what he earns on campus), recreation and athletics (which includes baseball, soccer, fishing, crabbing, and clam digging), and positive relationships (16 full time emotionally mature child care staff help each boy learn how to make positive friendships).

This Spring the school started W.E.T., (Work Experience Training) in which students apply to learn woodworking. They sell their products at local retail outlets. It seems the school almost always has a waiting list.

Copyright 1991, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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