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New Perspectives - Nov, 1999 Issue #63 

 Robert Land Academy
Ontario, Canada
G.Scott Bowman, BA, DC, KH, UE, Major

Robert Land Academy prides itself in being “the school parent’s turn to when others say ‘no’.” A non-profit boarding school founded in 1978, based on a traditional British Military foundation, it: “has a record of making bad boys good. It is the school that will take the boys nobody else wants. Virtually every cadet at Robert Land Academy has been in trouble with school authorities or the law; has a drug or alcohol problem; or is uncontrollable at home.”

It describes itself as a disciplined and motivational learning and living environment for boys and young men in grades 7 through OAC, who are often are underachieving, with low self-esteem. The Academy offers “a value-bound military theme, core curriculum, with a 1:12 teacher to pupil ratio and tutorials. In this environment, with attention to proper study, organizational skills, and clear and consistent expectations from a dedicated faculty, the students are able to catch up academically, and graduate to the post secondary school of their choice. Accountability for one’s actions, good manners, care for others and the internalization of a code of self discipline serve all of the Academy’s students, enabling them to mature into confident decision makers in leadership roles.”

“Robert Land Academy is not home! We do not pretend to take the place of parents. The Academy is that authentic experience that catalyzes a young man’s many talents with a responsible attitude. Our young men come to appreciate their parents, their siblings and their home in a new light. Authentic rules and roles are provided for each student, with every day providing new challenges. Full participation is mandatory in the enriched academic curriculum as well as extracurricular programs (in at least two of the academy’s clubs and activities). A full day’s schedule of classes, clubs, sports and duties replaces television, malls, and “hanging out” as the main focus of the Robert Land student’s existence.” 

“RLA has a written code of conduct. The boys are DAVE R. GAERIN Western Youth FOCUS Group Del Mar, California 619-794-0896 [New Perspective] 

Dave Gaerin has been an educational consultant for ten years. The resources available to him in that capacity enable him to assess a child in order to identify specific needs. He then uses this information to recommend appropriate treatment, such as outpatient therapy, or the utilization of advocates who work with funding sources or provide parent coaching. Though in the past he was intensively involved in transporting adolescents to programs, he has not done this in recent years. 

Perhaps the most unique part of his practice comes as a result of his 25 years’ experience in law enforcement; the last nine years as juvenile investigator. This experience enables him to help parents avoid the usual pitfalls that can occur when a child is in trouble with the law or in the middle of a custody dispute. 

“I have on many occasions assisted parents and professionals with recommendations for treatment approaches, and helped to establish postponements of imposition of sentence or further proceedings until after treatment. On many occasions I have appeared in court at the request of the defendant’s attorney, the probation officer and/or the District Attorney’s office. Probation departments appreciate that I can offer them other alternatives. I have provided this service both locally, out of county and out of state. I have frequently been effective in obtaining the probation department’s cooperation in releasing my client from custody for treatment. I most often visit my clients when in custody to assess them for admission and prepare them for transport.”

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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