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Posted: Dec 28, 2003, 15:16

New Perspectives


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Reedley, California
Barbara Casey, Executive Director
Clinton Dorny, Admissions Director

Academy of the Sierras opened its doors on December 4, 2003. This specialized boarding junior/senior co-educational high school serves “adolescents who struggle with the demands of traditional educational systems.” It will accept students 14-18 years of age who may have learning challenges, substance abuse, social development issues or emotional problems and will offer many multi-sensory learning experiences.

The students, their parents, the Academy’s staff and other team members together will develop a Personal Achievement Plan that includes specific individualized objectives in academics, goal-setting, personal development, organizational skills and coping strategies…This unique approach is based on a progressive level of responsibilities and privileges,” said the school’s Executive Director Barbara Casey. “Over the weeks and months, it becomes the blueprint for success and allows us to jointly measure the students’ progress.” The curriculum will include language, math, science and history, as well as hands-on experiences in photography, horticulture, auto shop and recreational sports. In addition, students take part in diverse community service programs as well as social and inspirational activities.

Their campus is near three national parks, orchards and vineyards in central California, a “peaceful setting” that “immerses students in a simpler lifestyle, free from urban distractions. The campus and its facilities are designed for comfort, and to provide an environment that feels like home…Academy of the Sierras is the only boarding school in California to fully integrate academic achievement with specialized services to involve every aspect of a student's daily life. This approach ensures that significant progress can be made in scholastic tasks as well as developmental issues. It's an innovative learning approach that addresses each student's individual needs.”

“Parents are welcome at Academy of the Sierras, including at Family Week, educational seminars, and other special events held throughout the school year. We encourage families to attend as many as possible. Their presence matters to their child.”

Executive Director Barbara Casey, M.A., has over 17 years experience in working with adolescents. Miles Diller, Ph.D., their Clinical Director, is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and School Psychologist with many years of experience with students. Academic Director Evelyn Clancy, M.A., has many years experience with a variety of academic interventions, holds a Master’s degree in Special Education and is completing her Master's in Administration.


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