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News & Views - July, 2001 Issue #83


Hill Country Place Joins King George School

The Brown Schools, as part of its effort to strengthen its academic and emotional growth services has provided an update regarding King George School and Hill Country Place. The King George School in Vermont is a unique emotional growth boarding school with an emphasis in the arts. The administrative team at KGS has been working diligently to create a sustainable education and development model and significant progress has been made. A strong administrative team to guide and develop the faculty now includes Rae Ann Knopf, Private Education Operations, Bob Kantar, Head of School, Tracey Sutton, Director of School Operations, Paul Chouinard, Dean of Academics, Heather Roeder, Director of Admissions, Michael Swiderski, Director of Support Services and Outdoor Recreation, and Joyce Dionne, Director of Human Resources and Business Management.

KGS has improved their admissions review process by initiating progressive individualized planning and plans to provide training for faculty in counseling and crisis intervention techniques to strengthen staff’s ability to adequately mentor and guide students through difficult situations. They will offer parent workshops and seminars to assist parents in understanding the school structure, further their parenting skills, and create a network of support. Their plans also include outdoor recreation activities and experiences combining academic study and physical challenge and internship course opportunities for eligible students and core academic curriculum and transcript exceeding most college preparatory requirements. Planned experimental learning opportunities will emphasize a wide variety of leadership opportunities and cultural enrichment experiences. KGS has also defined a progression of emotional growth workshops and mentoring process to compliment the academic work, adding a work-study, life- coaching phase for students nearing completion of emotional growth work. KGS art instructors with professional standing will foster learning and growth for students through various mediums, including drama, photography, studio art, dance and music. A 24-hour support and supervision for students will be provided, including awake night staff in both girl and boy dormitories. Learning differences specialists for fall term (Special Education certified) will assist students who require tutoring and additional instruction. Clinical and medical support through full time on-staff nursing, collaboration with local physicians, clinicians, and Brown Schools professionals will provide indicated screening, assessment and referrals, focused work for students, drug and alcohol education, and support groups

Hill Country Place in Texas, another Brown School program, has grown over the past three years to offer a sound academic and exceptional emotional growth curriculum under the leadership of Michael LeBlanc. Their major challenge has been the need to expand the physical plant in order to meet the requests to provide their curriculum to a larger number of students. Based on feedback from and discussions with our staff, former parents, and the consultant community, we have decided to relocate the Hill Country Place program to The King George School campus in Vermont.

Michael LeBlanc is enthusiastic about relocating with his students and several of his current staff and will assume a leadership role as Director of Student Development. Rae Ann, Bob, Michael and others have been working closely to facilitate a smooth transition. This move will provide a more expansive location along with an enhanced academic and arts curriculum for Hill Country students, and it will compliment the King George faculty with clinical expertise and knowledge related to issues commonly experienced by the children we serve.

The anticipated student and staff transfer to Vermont is planned for the week of August 6th, which will allow ample time for students to settled into their new community and prepare for the academic school year that begins on September 3rd. Parent visits and workshops in August and September will follow.

We invite you to tour The King George School and appreciate your continued support of The King George School and Hill Country Place. We hope you will call Rae Ann Knopf at 503.705.5730, Bob Kantar at 802.467.1200 or Michael LeBlanc at 512.288.7140 if you have any questions or suggestions as to how we can make this a smooth and positive transition. To inquire about making a referral or scheduling a tour for King George School or Hill Country referrals, please call Heather Roeder, Admissions Director at 802.467.1200 or Michael LeBlanc at 512.288.7140.

Sherry Thornton, Chief Operating Officer
Rae Ann Knopf, Vice President, Private Education
Bob Kantar, Head of King George School
Michael LeBlanc, Director of Hill Country Place

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