Academics

Our students come to Solstice for a variety of reasons that impact academic performance, including learning disabilities, trauma or emotional disorders that affect their learning, attention deficits, and often school refusal comes as a result of these and other challenges. Our goal is to create a traditional, challenging academic environment that maintains a strong college preparatory curriculum while supporting them in their emotional and learning needs. We work to help our students in their journey to become productive, successful, confident students.

As one of the leading therapy boarding schools, we have designed our academic approach to meet the students where they are, and to help them develop an individualized academic plan with specific, measurable goals in order to support their learning and therapeutic process.

Through our fully accredited school, students can experience incredible academic gains, as well as overall improvements in their self-esteem, self-efficacy, and become enthusiastic lifelong learners. All students can learn; some just need additional support to develop their unique intellectual talents.

Small classes and one-on-one attention

  • Class sizes are purposefully kept small, with no more than 12 students per class, in order to allow more individual attention and hands-on learning. Our average class size is around 6 students.
  • Our academic program operates year-round, offering five 10-week terms in which students can earn a full quarter credit in each class. Theses shorter terms and flexible scheduling can help students to catch up academically, and stay on track to successful complete high school. Students who complete high school at Solstice receive a diploma from the state of Utah. Other students may transfer credits to any future school due to Solstice’s accreditation status.
  • Solstice’s academic model integrates a direct instruction style taught by certified teachers, which is aimed at meeting multiple learning styles within the classroom. Each student takes a learning style quiz upon admission, and is then provided tools which will help foster successful, meaningful learning. Each teacher is trained to be aware and address the unique needs of our students, and seamlessly integrate both academic and therapeutic goals.

Integration of academics and therapy

At Solstice, we have put a great deal of effort into developing an academic program that is fully integrated with our clinical program. Our experience has shown us those teens that start to succeed academically experience a great boost in their motivation in other areas of their lives. Students begin to feel good about themselves again by experiencing an increase in self-confidence and self-efficacy, which, in turn, has a very positive impact on their clinical progress and family relationships.

For these reasons, academic progress and success is a major focus at Solstice. We use the following components of our program to assist in keeping academic and therapeutic progress fully integrated:

  1. A therapeutic phase program based on the archetypal “Hero’s Journey”.
  2. Weekly multi-disciplinary treatment team meetings which include the student’s therapists, residential staff, and academic team to integrate the discussion of therapeutic and academic progress.
  3. Master treatment plans including academic problems and goals.
  4. The presence of the academic director & teachers in group therapy sessions.
  5. Experiential learning opportunities, which include field trips, outings, camping trips, and other hands-on learning experiences that focus on a combination of education, recreation, community involvement and therapeutic process.

Individualized Academic Plan

  • Upon admission to Solstice, the Academic Director reviews all student records (transcripts, report cards, neuropsychiatric testing, educational testing, etc.) and ensures placement in the correct classes in order to facilitate successful learning, credit remediation or recovery, and to keep the student on track for high school graduation. Students take the IOWA Basics exam so that the academic team has accurate baseline data in order to understand the specific academic needs for each student. Executive Functioning concerns are also assessed, and an academic plan for each student is developed to address any and all academic concerns.
  • Teachers at Solstice work closely with the entire treatment team (parents, educational consultants, therapists, future school) in order to complete an academic plan that will make certain a transition plan to the next school or post-secondary institution.

Special Education Services

  • Solstice offers both Study Strategies and Executive Functioning classes led by a certified special education teacher. These classes are designed to meet the unique needs of these students as well as as well as assist students who either have an IEP or 504 plan in developing skills to address their learning style with the necessary accommodations and modifications.
  • The special education teacher meets with each student bi-monthly, and helps the student create specific, measurable goals to address their own educational needs. Monthly progress reports are provided to parents which provide valuable information toward meeting each student’s learning needs along with recommendations and accommodations that help students succeed.

Celebrating Long-term Success

“Solstice got me through one of the hardest times in my life. I had a support group that’s huge,
between the therapists and the mentors, the other girls–all helping each other”
Veronica, finding support for relationships and adoption issues.