School for Troubled Teens: If it Doesn’t Work, Don’t Replicate It
Parents looking for therapeutic help for their troubled teen are often apprehensive about Discovery Ranch’s unusual academic program. It’ just so different, they say, searching for words that won’t insult but will describe their observations of our learning environment.
To that we say simply, Thanks! We work hard to make sure our learning and teaching program looks nothing like systems used by other public or private schools. The reason is simple: Those programs don’t work. Your child is probably proof.
Here’s why Discovery Ranch is the best place for troubled teens to learn:
- Massive textbooks issued by other schools at the beginning of a school year can be overwhelming to a student who is already grappling with too much on her emotional plate. At Discovery Ranch, students work on one chapter, or concept, at a time. We literally take textbooks apart and break them into bite sized learning concepts.
- Students work on only one or two subjects each day. This further breaks coursework down to manageable pieces and improves students’ focus as they zero in on the one chapter at hand.
- Rather than increasing a student’s anxiety by placing him/her in large classes with pressure to keep up or compete, Discovery Ranch students learn in small classes of no more than 12 students. Each student moves at their own pace.
- Test anxiety disappears because students know they can re-group and re-test as many times as necessary to learn the material with an 80% competency. Teachers are ready to help students identify their mistakes and master the material.
- Besides certified teachers, students also receive help from teaching assistants. These assistants further decrease the student/teacher ratio and build supportive, nurturing relationships with students.
- School begins at 3 p.m., after students have had a chance to participate in sessions with their therapists or experiential activities. Students are ready to learn, not struggling to stay awake.
- Teachers understand academic progress goes hand in hand with therapeutic progress. They work closely with each student’s therapist and meet routinely to discuss changes in the student’s treatment or academic plans.
Discovery Ranch is definitely different. It may be the first time in a long time your student says, I can do this! And they’re right.