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Wellspring Academy

Specialized Boarding School

Wellspring Academy Program Information

Gender: Coeducational
Ages: 13 to 18
Grades: 8 to 12
Estimated Enrollment: 70
Length of Stay:
Program was founded in: 2004
Accreditations: Affiliations:

Wellspring Academy Contact Information

42675 Rd 44
Reedley, CA 93654
Phone: (866) 364-0808
Fax: (559) 638-2685
School Contact: Ryan Craig
Alternative Contact: David Melear, M.Ed.
Therapy Provided?: Yes

Program Description:

Wellspring Academy is the first comprehensive solution for teens struggling with their weight.

Many families with overweight children and teens have sent their children to summer weight loss camps. Wellspring Academy is a year-round weight loss program that is also a college preparatory school for grades 8-12. So you don’t need to wait until next summer to start your child down the path to a healthier and better life.

A minimum of 3 months enrollment is required, but a semester (four months) is recommended.

Wellspring Academies are the world’s most effective programs for weight loss. Designed for children, teens, and young adults ages 11-24, students at our Academies demonstrate the best documented outcomes of any non-surgical weight loss intervention for any age group.

Wellspring Academies (formerly Academy of the Sierras) employ a scientifically based, clinically proven approach to weight loss. Wellspring promotes a healthy lifestyle through a low-fat diet program, activity management, and comprehensive cognitive-behavioral therapy. At our campuses in California and the Carolinas, Wellspring Academies have helped hundreds of students combat childhood obesity by transforming their bodies and lives.

Wellspring Academies are residential treatment schools for overweight teens and young adults. Students reside on campus and change their lifestyle, while continuing their middle school, high school, or college education. While Wellspring is a clinically-proven program, it is important to understand what Wellspring Academies (formerly Academy of the Sierras) do not promote:

Wellspring Academies are not fat camps. Studies show that fat camps, or weight loss camps, lead to short-term weight loss, but in the long run, the vast majority of students regain weight or gain even more weight than before attending the weight loss camp. Wellspring trains students to transform their bodies through teen diet, activity, and behavioral change, so they become long-term weight controllers.

Wellspring is not obesity surgery or bariatric surgery. For many, the idea of their child undergoing an expensive, intensive, and elective surgical intervention is frightening. Wellspring Academies provide more than children and teen weight loss results; cognitive-behavioral therapy and the immersion environment help change the way students think about diet and activity. At Wellspring, students receive comprehensive training and learn vital frustration tolerance and stress management skills that help improve their self-esteem and confidence, too.
The rapid weight losses observed at Wellspring Academies (formerly Academy of the Sierras) naturally raise questions about the parameters of the diet and the degree to which students found the diet tolerable. Wellspring’s Diet Management program includes controlled foods (entrees; sides; snacks) and uncontrolled low-density foods (salads, fruit, soups). The controlled foods are designed to be very appealing, totaling 1,200 calories per day. Students have access to an unlimited amount of uncontrolled foods (low calorie-density foods), which ensure students are always full and satisfied. Students at Wellspring typically consume less than 20 grams of fat, 70 grams of protein, and more than 30 grams of fiber per day.

At Wellspring, we study students’ tolerance of the diet to ensure satisfaction. As part of the study, students complete written assessments of the nutritional aspects of their diets based on posted nutritional information and the Doctor’s Calorie, Fat, and Carbohydrate Counter (Borushek, 2004). For a recent study, complete diet records over two days from 18 students were obtained. Eight student volunteers were also monitored by staff members who assessed total consumption and analyzed it with standard nutritional software.

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