New Perspectives
New Perspectives

Oct 21, 2004, 19:46

Bend, Oregon
Craig A. Christiansen, Admissions/Founder

New Leaf Academy is an 18-21 month therapeutic boarding school for girls ages 10-14. Their goal is to help girls discover who they are and "intervene before the risky behaviors associated with adolescence" begin. New Leaf provides "an exclusive alternative educational option" that combines academics and therapeutic support.

The academic program is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, and is personalized for each student. New Leaf emphasizes the development of new skills that relate to future personal and educational goals. They also offer opportunities for both individual and cooperative learning, and require participation in physical education and athletics.

The therapeutic program consists of three stages of progress, or 'clans', that take approximately six months each. In the Sun Clan, girls learn to accept boundaries and rules. Counselors assess each of the girls' strengths, weaknesses, interpersonal relationships and behavior patterns. The girls must individually submit a petition to advance to the next clan.

During the Moon Clan, girls build friendship skills, examine their relationships with their parents and assume responsibility for personal growth. They also begin to develop the ability to express thoughts and feelings in healthy ways.

The Star Clan is the leadership clan. The girls take on more responsibility and demonstrate they have reached a certain level of growth. They still attend group sessions each week, but now they begin teaching others what they have learned over the past year, and play an active role in planning for the future and the upcoming graduation.

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