Therapeutic Boarding Schools in Vermont

Choosing the right therapeutic boarding school in Vermont for troubled kids can be a challenging decision for parents.

In this article, we’ve narrowed down the options to highlight the best therapeutic boarding schools in Vermont tailored for teenagers aged 13 to 18.

These programs offer a unique and comprehensive experience for youngsters struggling to navigate challenges.

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They excel in achieving academic success, program excellence, and therapeutic effectiveness by fostering structure and strong connection dynamics.

The positive transformations achieved by both adolescents and their families make these programs stand out.

These boarding schools specialize in supporting parents of troubled teenagers who seek behavior modification, emotional stability, and academic success.

Moreover, they provide individualized therapeutic interventions and specialized academics, catering to teenagers dealing with issues such as eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

There are different therapeutic boarding schools in Alabama, therapeutic boarding schools in Alaska, therapeutic boarding schools in Idaho, therapeutic boarding schools in Mississippi, and therapeutic boarding schools in Minnesota.

Who is the most likely to benefit from therapeutic boarding schools?

Therapeutic boarding schools are particularly beneficial for several groups of children and teenagers dealing with various challenges. These include:

1. Children with ADD/ADHD

2. Children facing Learning Disabilities/Disorders

3. Defiant teenagers

4. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome

5. Autistic children

6. Children experiencing anxiety and depression

7. Those dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

8. Children struggling with anger management

9. Adolescents addicted to drugs or alcohol

These schools provide specialized support to address the unique needs of each group, aiming to foster personal growth and positive outcomes for the individuals involved.

What Makes Therapeutic Boarding Schools in Vermont So Successful?

Parents in Vermont seeking effective solutions for their troubled teens often wonder about the success of therapeutic boarding schools.

The key lies in these schools combining traditional boarding education with intensive psychotherapy, offering students a comprehensive approach.

Placed in a highly structured environment, adolescents benefit from the expertise of qualified staff experienced in working with troublesome teens.

Situated in picturesque rural areas, these schools provide a backdrop for healthy activities like hiking, skiing, and camping.

A good balance of academic and recreational activities, along with a well-structured timetable, is maintained.

Effective therapeutic schools actively involve parents, collaborating with families while supporting the learning process. The ultimate aim is to reintegrate these young individuals into their home environment while ensuring their mental well-being until they are ready for independence.

To achieve this, these schools implement aftercare programs supporting former students as they reintegrate into their homes and conventional schools.

This comprehensive approach contributes to the success of therapeutic boarding schools in assisting troubled teens and their families.

Why Choose a Therapeutic Boarding School in Vermont

Teenagers in need of intensive therapy can greatly benefit from therapeutic boarding schools.

In these secure and nurturing environments, teens have the opportunity to thrive, building their self-esteem and gaining a stronger sense of self before transitioning beyond the school and family settings.

The best therapeutic boarding schools in Vermont adopt a scientifically based, multidisciplinary, and individualized therapy approach.

A licensed professional clinical team evaluates each student, collaborates with them and their families to identify areas of concern, and establishes personalized goals for guiding the process of change and personal growth.

Weekly individualized therapy sessions with a licensed professional counselor, focused on a child’s emotional growth and achieving clinical goals, enhance the therapeutic process.

Additionally, for those seeking extra support, these institutions integrate Psycho-educational Activities, Group Therapy, and Addiction Recovery Groups.

These schools address a range of issues, aiming to inspire and empower teens dealing with challenges such as low self-worth, lack of motivation, mild to moderate behavioral issues, poor academic performance, and various adolescent disorders like ADD/ADHD, depression, substance abuse, spectrum disorders, and attachment disorders.

Explore our list below as we can assist you in finding the ideal therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens.

Therapeutic Boarding Schools in Vermont

Here is a comprehensive list of therapeutic boarding schools in Vermont.

Arlington School

Address: 125 School Street St. Johnsbury, VT 05819

Phone: 802.748.4424

Fax: 802.748.0069

The Arlington School is an independent school in Vermont approved for students in grades 8-12 who need a different learning environment and may benefit from therapeutic support.

The school values individual talents, fosters a respectful community, and encourages responsible decision-making to enhance students’ growing independence.

The curriculum focuses on processes, projects, and hands-on experiences tailored to meet each student’s unique learning needs.

Baird School


Phone: 802-488-6000
Fax: 802-488-6901

Baird School offers special education and therapeutic support to children aged 5 to 14, ranging from kindergarten to 8th grade, dealing with emotional and behavioral challenges.

Each class is led by a licensed teacher working with a behavior interventionist, a special educator, and a school clinician, maintaining small class sizes of 8-10 students for personalized attention.

The primary goal is to help students develop emotional regulation skills for success in school, at home, and in the community, with clinicians aiding their transition back to public school or other educational settings.

Core classes focus on academic skills development, with the Readers and Writers Workshop encouraging 90 minutes of daily reading.

The math program aligns with Common Core Standards, emphasizing group interaction and technology. Thematic studies cover fundamental competencies in science and social subjects.

In addition to standard academic programming, Baird School provides movement activities, curriculum-integrated art and music, outdoor obstacle courses, community-based learning with theme units and field trips, and specialized educational programming for students requiring intensive services.

The combined curriculum and clinical strategies aim to enhance student performance while addressing behavioral challenges.

Brattleboro Retreat in Brattleboro

Address: 1 Anna Marsh Ln, Brattleboro, VT 05301

Phone: (802) 258-3700

Brattleboro Retreat is dedicated to providing compassionate mental health and addiction care based on scientific evidence, emphasizing holistic well-being. Located in Vermont, their secure and restorative campus is designed to support young individuals seeking a safe environment for completing drug recovery.

Counseling Service of Addison County

Address: 89 Main St., Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: (802) 388-6751

Fax: (802) 388-3108

The Counselling Service of Addison County (CSAC) is a community mental health center located in Middlebury, Vermont, serving the community since 1959.

CSAC offers a range of mental health and developmental services tailored to individual needs, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach with trained staff in various areas, including substance misuse treatment, psychiatry, psychology, mental health counseling, social work, family therapy, and child therapy.

Their mission is to help individuals live better, more productive lives within their communities.

Cornerstone School

Address: 510 Portland Street St. Johnsbury, VT 05819

Phone: 802.748.6282

Fax: 802.748.5212

Cornerstone School is a Vermont-approved independent day facility catering to up to 35 male and female students in grades K-8. These students receive educational, therapeutic, and reintegration services.

The school focuses on those who face challenges in typical school settings due to intellectual and emotional hurdles.

They work with students dealing with emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, specialized learning disabilities, various health impairments, and developmental disabilities.

Cornerstone provides a range of services, including clinical assessments, psychiatry, educational testing, academic instruction, vocational assistance, and consultancy to local schools.

The school’s goal is to foster a safe, trusting, and responsible community where children are encouraged to take risks, overcome academic and social-emotional challenges, meet community expectations, and support one another.

East Meadow School

Address: 28 James Road, Box 1 Morrisville, VT 05661

Phone: 802.888.4151

Fax: 802.888.4036

East Meadow School (EMS) in Morrisville, Vermont, is a day treatment school with a therapeutic approach, focusing on trauma-informed practices.

EMS creates a safe and structured learning environment, incorporating elements from evidence-based frameworks such as Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), Applied Behavior Analysis, NeuroSequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC), and Normative Culture.

Students collaborate with staff to build a community that fosters a sense of belonging, mutual expectations, and personal development in managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

This model aims to instill a sense of ownership and community involvement, crucial for successful integration into schools and society.

EMS serves children in grades K-12 across three classrooms. The dedicated team includes an office manager, on-site director, program coordinator, qualified instructors, a licensed special educator, and a licensed professional mental health counselor.

Regular assistance, oversight, training, and direction are provided by regional and clinical directors.

In some cases, mental health providers from partner agency Lamoille County Mental Health offer additional support, leveraging the school’s small staff-to-student ratio for personalized therapeutic and educational assistance.

East Valley Academy

Address: P.O. Box G, 11 North Main Street Randolph, VT 05060

Phone: (802) 728-4466

Email [email protected]

East Valley Academy (EVA) is a licensed independent school catering to students in grades 3-12 facing severe emotional and behavioral challenges.

These students are referred and tutored by their home school, with the Clara Martin Centre overseeing both the therapeutic and academic aspects of EVA.

The curriculum and program at EVA have received approval from the Vermont Agency of Education as an independent school.

Importantly, any academic credit earned at EVA is fully transferable, providing students with the opportunity to seamlessly continue their education.

Fay Honey Knopp School of the Park Street Program


Phone: 802-488-6000
Fax: 802-488-6901

Fay Honey Knopp is an alternative education program for students in grades 7 through 12. It’s associated with the Park Street Program, which is an intensive residential treatment program for teenage males aged 12 to 17 who display sexually harmful behaviors.

The school offers support and services to help children with emotional, behavioral, mental health, and special learning needs.

Their mission is to create a safe educational and therapeutic environment where students can achieve success in school, in the community, and at home.

Jean Garvin School


Phone: 802-488-6000
Fax: 802-488-6901

The Jean Garvin School is a therapeutic education program designed for teenagers aged 12 to 18 in grades 7-12.

It offers unique learning experiences to promote personal growth and well-being. The program aims to create a safe educational and therapeutic environment where adolescents can succeed in school, in the community, and at home.

The clinical staff is dedicated to teaching students tools to overcome challenges and achieve personal success. Each day, students learn strategies for better mental health and well-being.

Clinicians also provide family support services and coordinate with the home and school to foster growth, improve relationships, and enhance overall quality of life.

Kindle Farm School

Address: 708 VT Route 30, Newfane, VT 05345

PO Box 393
Newfane, VT 05345

Phone: (802) 365-7909
Fax: (802) 365-6102
Email: [email protected]

Kindle Farm School is an Independent School in Vermont approved to serve students dealing with emotional, behavioral, neurological, and learning challenges.

They cater to various special education areas such as disabilities of the mind, specific learning disabilities, developmental delays, autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), other health issues, emotional upheaval, and disabilities on multiple levels.

Kids at Kindle Farm School experience a learning environment with hands-on activities, an appreciation for different intelligences, a student-to-staff ratio of 3:1 or higher, and the understanding that each student wakes up with a determination to succeed.

Laraway youth and family services

Address: 275 VT-15 Johnson, VT 05656

Call: (802) 635-2805

Laraway Youth and Family Services is committed to helping children and families learn, heal, and grow.

They happily support children, youth, and families from all over Vermont, helping them make positive changes in their lives.

The dedicated and caring staff, with their high skills, provide direct services, information, and support to those under their care, as well as to parents, families, and caregivers.

Soar Learning Center

Address: 107 Fisher Pond Road St. Albans, VT 05478

Soar Learning Centre, an independent school approved by Vermont’s Agency of Education and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), operates as part of Northwestern Counselling and Support Services (NCSS) Children, Youth, and Family Division.

They are located in the former J.P. Callaghan School in St. Albans, Vermont, the center provides comprehensive academic, special education, behavioral, and clinical support to children and adolescents in grades K-12.

Spruce Mountain Inn

Address: 155 Towne Avenue Box 153 Plainfield, VT 05667

Phone: (802) 454-8353

Fax: (802) 454-1008

Email: [email protected]

Spruce Mountain Inn, situated in Central Vermont, has been offering tailored residential therapy and counseling for young individuals grappling with life’s challenges since 1982.

Using a holistic approach, they blend intensive mental health therapy with a Career and Education Development Program and independent living skill training to support individuals in reclaiming their well-being, confidence, and a meaningful future.

With a modest facility accommodating a maximum of 22 individuals at a time, their dedicated clinical and support staff provides compassionate care.

For almost 40 years, Spruce Mountain Inn has been a renowned residential treatment facility, aiding young people dealing with issues like anxiety, depression, substance abuse, OCD, PTSD, and more.

Specializing in transitional living programs, they collaborate with over 80 local job placement partners and maintain memberships in key associations like the American Residential Treatment Association, the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, the Young Adult Transition Association, and the Northern New England Consortium.

Catering to young adults aged 18 to 28, Spruce Mountain Inn supports those facing mental health challenges affecting mood and relationships. Individuals struggling with daily tasks such as education, employment, or other aspects of adult life find assistance.

The facility also helps those dealing with co-occurring substance abuse and addictive obsessive behaviors, addressing social skills and self-esteem concerns.

True North Wilderness Program

Address: 5354 Main Street Waitsfield, VT 05673

Phone: 802.583.1144
Email: [email protected]

Since its establishment in 2005, True North has remained committed to fundamental values as an owner-operated program. The owners and administrative team continue to prioritize the following core principles:

1. Selecting students who align well with the program and group dynamics.

2. Establishing an environment that is both challenging and supportive, without resorting to punitive measures.

3. Keeping group sizes small, with no more than 7 people, to ensure personalized attention.

4. Maintaining an average duration of stay between 10-12 weeks, allowing for substantial and lasting transformations.

Turning Points School

Address: 158 Meade Hill Morgan, VT 05853

Phone: 802.895.2541
Fax: 802.895.2776

The Turning Points School Programme, situated on Meade Hill Road in Morgan, Vermont, is a regional private school established in 1998 to meet the needs of local adolescents facing emotional and behavioral challenges, as requested by educators.

This trauma-informed day treatment school employs a therapeutic model drawing from various evidence-based frameworks.

Each day, Turning Points students engage in language arts, science, social studies, math, physical education, vocational training, and therapeutic activities. The educational approach is process-oriented, tailored to the developmental and emotional needs of each individual.

A licensed special educator collaborates with the student and their family to set educational and behavioral goals aligned with the objectives outlined in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Clinical case management and individual clinical treatments are provided in collaboration with the local community mental health center, Northeast Kingdom Mental Health. Family involvement is a crucial aspect of the Turning Points experience.

Washington County Mental Health Services

Address: 260 Beckley Hill Barre, Vermont

Phone: 802.476.1480

WCMHS is dedicated to fostering inclusion in our communities and strongly advocates for Self-Determination and Recovery.

We assist individuals and families facing challenges related to developmental and intellectual impairments, mental health, and substance use by providing trauma-informed programs.

Our goal is to help them achieve their full potential and live fulfilling lives.

Therapeutic Boarding Schools in Vermont
Therapeutic Boarding Schools in Vermont

Concluding remark on the Therapeutic boarding schools in Vermont

Therapeutic boarding schools in Vermont play a crucial role in supporting the state’s most vulnerable children and teens.

These youngsters, often facing severe emotional and behavioral challenges due to repeated exposure to traumatic experiences, may find it difficult to engage in regular public education.

The schools, situated within community mental health centers offer comprehensive support.

They aim to create a safe and secure environment by providing various trauma-informed, therapeutic, and educational services, working closely with different service providers.


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