Cold Spring Academy is a year-round school for young men and women ages 13-20. The average student at Cold Spring is often intelligent and creative, but suffers from depression, anger, oppositional behavior, has low self-esteem, poor academic performance and is actively addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Cold Spring Academy is not a 12-Step program, however, students are encouraged to attend 12-Step group meetings both on and off campus. Weekly group therapy sessions give students the opportunity to discuss problems, learn how to handle conflict, and to explore new and better ways to process their feelings. Once these tools are acquired and internalized, the class-room, the dormitory, the dining room, and the gymnasium become living laboratories for practicing these skills.
The academic year consists of two semesters from September to June, with a term in January for make-up work and special courses. The school follows the State of Florida’s guidelines for a college preparatory program, with "an aggressive college placement program." Cold Spring offers "creative intensives," which emphasize experiential learning wilderness adventures, travel, theater, and culinary arts classes. Classes are small and each student progresses at their own pace.