New Perspectives
New Perspectives

Jan 30, 2008, 11:18

Dillwyn, Virginia
Chris Yates - Director

The Discovery School of Virginia for Girls is an outdoor residential school for students, ages 12-17 with learning difficulties, ADD/ADHD, negative behavioral issues, or those who may have difficulty in a traditional or non-traditional school. They may act out verbally or physically towards siblings and parents, have minor delinquent offenses, history of running away, low self-esteem or have an inability to make healthy personal and social decisions.

Each student is assigned to a group that includes ten students, two adult group leaders and a supervisor. Each group lives in a rustic campsite village comprised of 8-10 cabin-sized tents, which the students design, maintain and replace as needed.

The Discovery School for Girls offers middle and high school credit classes, as well as special education, remedial and GED preparatory classes. Girls initially engage in experiential learning to earn credits. Once they demonstrate "a willingness to deal with their emotional and behavioral problems in a responsible manner," they are able to join the other students in the formal school.

The goal of the group is to help members gain the self-esteem, maturity, self-control and problem-solving strategies they need to be successful in their family, school and community. Problems are dealt with in the group as they arise, and each day the group has a meeting to deal with unresolved group or personal issues.

Founders and co-owners, Chris Yates, Allan Jacobson and Don Williams, have worked with troubled youth and their families for over 25 years. The girls' program is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education, is a member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) and will establish accreditation after a year of operation.

[The information for this New Perspective came from the Discovery School website and brochure.]

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