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Posted: May 10, 2011 08:57

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King George School
Sutton, VT

King George School To Close

Gerard Jones
CEO/Head of School
800-218-5122 ext. 101

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May 9, 2011

In a letter from Gerard Jones, Head of School at King George he states:

It is with deep regret that I am writing to inform you that the King George School will close at the end of the current semester and graduation on June 4, 2011.

During the past several years the King George School has served more than 250 students and their families. We have endeavored to deliver the highest level of academic and therapeutic services to our students in a safe and nurturing community. We see every day how the King George School has made a significant difference in the growth and well being of our current students and so many other talented adolescents over the years.

There are a variety of factors that have contributed to the decision to close the school. Key among them is that we have been unsuccessful during recent years in consistently sustaining the student enrollment levels necessary to maintain the financial viability of King George, while at the same time not compromising the quality education, therapeutic services and vibrant community life that enables our students to grow and reach their full potential.

We remain committed to our students and their families during this period of transition. During the remaining 4 weeks of this semester there will be no change in any aspect of our program. Our students will continue to receive the same level of individualized treatment and support. All academic, therapeutic and community life activities will continue as planned. Incentives for all of our staff are in place to insure that services will go uninterrupted. All students will receive credit for the completion of their academic studies this semester. Students scheduled to graduate will receive their diplomas on June 4th. Our clinical, academic and community life staff will collaborate to create comprehensive individual transition plans and treatment recommendations for each of our students.

On behalf of myself and the entire King George School staff, present and past, I wish to express our gratitude for the support and confidence you have placed in our program over the years. You have entrusted the care, growth and education of your children to us during such an important stage of their lives. I also want to express my sincerest appreciation to the King George staff for always maintaining the highest degree of professionalism and commitment to the well being of our students. Through their dedication King George has made a significant difference in the growth and lives of hundreds of adolescents and their families.

King George School is a therapeutic boarding school that emphasizes visual and performing arts, for students in 9th -12th grade who are struggling with succeeding in a traditional high school environment. King George is in the network owned by Universal Health Services. Other programs and schools within this network include: Northwest Academy and Boulder Creek in Idaho and Provo Canyon and Center for Change in Utah.


June 02, 2011

Our daughter attended KGS following 4 months at Wilderness program in Utah. She graduated in April '07 then went on to Drew University whereby she lasted only one semester then home again.

That period of time, starting in her junior year of high school was, to say the least , very stressful and very expensive for questionable returns.

Without question we think the wilderness period of 109 days in the desert was well worth it as it gave her challenges she never thought she could overcome. On the other hand, King George offered too many opportunities to "cheat" the system and provided much more "drama" than we would have liked in a confined environment.

Now she is 22 and still exhibits risky behavior [having just lost her drivers license from a DUI arrest] and seems not to be able to focus.

That said, I realize each child reacts differently and some have evolved into productive interesting people.

I have very mixed emotions about KGS closing as I felt connected to the staff and the place during the 9 months our daughter spent there. We met many great parents and indeed most of the teachers and admin at the school were dedicated to the development and well being of our children which is what we all wanted.

When Karen Fitzhugh helped bring KG out of financial collapse the first time and negotiated the sale to Universal I could sense that a for profit investor did not bode well for the long term prospects of KGS and that was proved out by the very high rate of staff turnover during the past four years including Karen herself.

I wanted to go up there for this final graduation and say goodbye to a brief but significant period in our recent family history.

Unfortunately we found out too late and there is no time to plan.

God bless those who worked so hard to keep it going and all my heartfelt wishes for reemployment for those who will find themselves out of a job.

Nick Newman

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