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Opinion & Essays - July, 2001 Issue #83 

Statement by Jim and Mary Johnson:
Parents of A Recent Graduate of Alldredge Academy

[Jim Johnson is a Neuroscientist serving on the faculty of a medical school in North Carolina. Mary Johnson is a homemaker and former special education teacher now serving as an elementary school teacher in a private school. They can be reached for further information at jejohn@wfubmc.edu.]

In Response To Woodbury Reports Inc. News & Views: July 4, 2001entitled, “Alldredge Approved To Continue Operations,” we wrote: “Our son chose to attend Alldredge Academy in March of 2001 based on the strong recommendation of a highly regarded and renowned educational consultant. At the time we were dealing with seemingly insurmountable problems related to the emotional growth of our son, his academic future and his long term well being. At the onset of the application process we were fully informed by the school of the recent tragic death of a student that had occurred only several weeks before. We were impressed from the beginning with the way in which the school demonstrated an early concern that we be fully informed in our decision to choose the best environment for our son. The Alldredge Academy administrators, faculty and staff have continued to be forthright, open, professional and responsive in all interactions that we have had with the school. Our application materials were carefully examined and further detailed information was requested to insure that our son would be a strong candidate to benefit from the specific goals of the “Semester Back Program”. He recently completed the Semester Back Program and since he was near the end of his high school experience, he chose to remain at the school to complete academic credits in the extended stay program. He recently graduated from high school at Alldredge Academy and he is currently headed for college to prepare for his chosen career in human services.

We made a total of five separate visits to Alldredge Academy during our son’s enrollment. These visits amounted to a total of 19 days spent among the administrators, faculty, and staff. Some of this time was spent in organized parent and family therapeutic programs where we became well acquainted with therapists, other students and their parents participating in the program. Other times were spent in individual meetings with administrators, faculty and therapists, direct informal candid observations of the program or visits alone with our son. We have the highest possible confidence in the safety, security, and professional care encountered by students enrolled in the “Semester Back Program” at Alldredge Academy. The quality of the therapeutic care was uniformly excellent without exception. The dedication of the caregivers is amazing. We were repeatedly challenged and impressed by the personal dedication demonstrated by administrators, therapist, faculty and staff towards our son and the other students. We could see marked emotional growth not only in our son but also in the other students in the program. We cannot overestimate how valuable this program has been for our son and our family. Our son has started a completely new path and we all will be forever grateful to all of those that blessed him through his experience at Alldredge Academy.

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