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Schools & Program Visits - Oct, 1999 Issue #62 

Island View
Syracuse, Utah
Kari Jacobsen, Admission Director

Visit Report by Jodi Tuttle
June 25, 1999
(435) 656-1251

Where is there an island in the middle of Utah?” is the question that always pops when an educational consultant tour heads for Island View. Can there really be an island out here when all we see is the suburban area of Syracuse? Yes, it’s true. Island view is located close to the shores of the Great Salt Lake with a view of Antelope Island and the magnificent Wasatch Mountain Range. 

Island View is a residential treatment center with a private school, which provides comprehensive clinical programming for youth, ages 12 – 18, who exhibited such problems as Clinical Depression, Oppositional and Defiant Behavior, Post Traumatic Stress, Bi-Polar, Attention Deficit, Substance Abuse, and Mixed Developmental Disorders. Residents are taught and encouraged to disregard maladaptive behavior and are challenged to acquire and practice pro-social behaviors. Island View’s program goes beyond reducing or eradicating problem behavior; they are in the business of building and reshaping young lives. 

Consultants on this tour were impressed by the senior staff’s extensive combined experience; for the group, it totals well over one hundred years. The founder/operators of the center researched the market thoroughly before developing the program that would become the answer to their dreams. They gleaned what they considered the most effective components of successful programs throughout the United States and integrated them into their own unique program. 

One of the most important features of the program, according to students, is the interaction with other peers. They explained that the positive peer environment goes beyond merely teaching how to verbalize acceptance, it also assures that each person actually deserves that acceptance. Not only do the students learn how to receive help, they also learn how to give help. They learn this in a variety of ways: through group therapy and feedback, during recreational activities, even in their chores, which involve cleaning the community living areas. 

Master’s-level professionals provide individual and family psychotherapy, and supervise group therapy. Individual therapy, scheduled at least once per week, focuses on improving the overall level of adaptive functioning in the areas of reality testing, behavior, emotional expression, and interpersonal relationships. There is also a chemical dependency track and a survivor’s track for those with specific needs. 

The expansive facilities at Island View, and the nearby Wasatch Mountain Range, allow for recreational therapy at its finest. Leisure education, sports and games, camping, hiking, river running, skiing, rock climbing, the R.O.P.E.s initiative course, and outings in the community are just a few of the many activities available. Recreational activities are designed to help students build trust in themselves and others, improve positive self- expression, self-esteem and self-confidence, increase the willingness to take personal risks, develop healthy personal interests, and teach cooperative interaction. 

Students were excited about the Houseparents who lived with them, describing how they cared for and provided a family atmosphere for the students, helping them to not feel so homesick when they first arrived on campus. Island View has houseparents on staff, who offer consistent, positive role modeling for the residents while helping them to develop relationships with the primary care providers who are available on a continual basis. The houseparents give the residents an opportunity to develop significant relationships with adults, based on trust and integrity. 

The Island View School’s academic instruction is individualized to meet each resident’s unique needs, providing skills, knowledge and credit towards graduation. The school operates on a year-round- basis, six periods each day, 5 days per week. Professional educators conduct academic testing to help each resident develop effective learning strategies. Since Island View is a private accredited school, credits earned towards graduation can be transferred to the resident’s home district, or the resident can receive a diploma from Island View. 

Teens who benefit from Island View are those who require a structured, 24 hour-a-day program with therapeutic impact provided by individual, family, and/or group therapy, as well as a therapeutic community operated around the clock. Students come here to develop self-worth, significance, dignity, and responsibility as they become committed to the positive values of helping and caring for others. One leaves Island View feeling assured that residents are certainly cared for by professionals who know what they are doing, and who are “on hand” daily, to assure programmatic continuity, integrity, and success for the students. 

Copyright © 1999, 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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