Treatment and School Together: Merging Priorities – Maintaining Balance
Sometimes when families are looking for extra support it’s hard to know what to look for. Initially, many parents try to address issues through a school rather than looking at residential treatment for troubled teens, which is often viewed as a last resort. For some families, a supportive school is the right choice. There may be times however that a more clinically comprehensive setting may be required and should be accessed if necessary.
Families often wait until they see deterioration in school performance before seeking help. Parents sometimes worry that choosing out of home treatment options may somehow interfere with school progress. Although a treatment program, Venture Academy prioritizes education so that teens can stay current with their academic work while receiving treatment. This is a unique characteristic of Venture Academy as not all treatment programs ensure a normalized school experience and schools are not well equipped to provide assessment and therapeutic services.
Venture Academy provides academic support and at the same time, addresses the underlying issues contributing to school and other challenges.
Addressing academic and learning challenges in a treatment setting can significantly reduce or even eliminate problematic behaviours outside the classroom.
The Importance of Continued Education
It is important that teens stay connected to one of their primary responsibilities they have, which is their education. Too many of our youth are underachieving academically, have begun cutting classes or dropping out of school completely. As part of the treatment process, it is important that we help teens realign with (or stay in) the routine of attending school each day, and addressing issues related to doing their best work at school. The opportunity to not only stay current with academic work but also makeup missed work is a significant advantage of attending Venture Academy.
By maintaining a typical school day schedule at Venture, we help our participants get into the routine that is expected when they transition home. We also address all the issues that have interrupted that school schedule. For some, that is related to social anxiety, while others have had negative experiences such as being bullied or have given up due to repeated failures. Others have been lured away by peers who have concluded that school is a waste of time.
Our goal is to create a new narrative and experience with school – so that students are able to feel safe, supported and successful with school and school work. Reigniting interest in school, and helping students realize their talents and strengths helps propel them forward in important ways.
It is easy to see how a student’s mental health functioning, attitude, and behavior interferes with their academic performance. Thus, these must be addressed hand in hand.
Finally, a school-like setting provides an important social environment for students. Many teens have found the negative peers and followed that social group, but at Venture, our teachers are skilled at facilitating positive and engaging social interactions among students which is supportive not only of the learning process but of the overall atmosphere (culture) at Venture Academy.