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Cedar Ridge Academy

Therapeutic Boarding School

Cedar Ridge Academy Program Information

Gender: Coeducational
Ages: 13 to 17
Grades: 8 to 12, College Prep
Estimated Enrollment: 70
Length of Stay:
Program was founded in: 1996
Accreditations: Affiliations:

Cedar Ridge Academy Contact Information

Rt. 1 Box 1477
Roosevelt, UT 84066
Phone: (435) 353-4498
Fax: (435) 353-4898
School Contact: Sean Haggerty
Alternative Contact: Wes Nielson
Therapy Provided?: Yes

Program Description:

Cedar Ridge is a coeducational therapeutic school that specializes in working with youth who have issues such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, childhood trauma, school problems, relationship problems, mild to moderate substance abuse, ADD/ADHD, and anger management problems. We do not admit students with physical aggression issues, conduct disorder, a history of self-harm or running away, or a felony record.

Our mission is to guide youth in a process of positive behavioral change by helping them acquire the skills and self-knowledge they need to form healthy relationships with others and utilize their individual inner strengths to become mature, well-balanced, productive persons. Cedar Ridge Academy is dedicated to the concept of using the least restrictive means necessary to induce change, helping students to utilize their internal resources to grow and mature given the right tools and environment.

Each student is assigned to a therapist for their entire stay. This creates a feeling of stability, and allows the therapist deeper insight into the student and their family. All students spend at least one hour per week in session with their therapist. These sessions include the parent(s) by phone every other week. Individual therapy is focused on addressing each student's unique and diverse issues. After an initial settling period of 10 to 14 days the therapist and student add family sessions by phone to the therapy routine. Face-to-face family therapy sessions are scheduled in conjunction with parent visits and workshops.

All students complete three main assignments through individual therapy.

Fears Chart: Created by the Program Director, Robert Nielson, MFT, and used exclusively at Cedar Ridge. This chart is an individual, detailed description of the underlying fears a student has and a complete analysis of the ways in which they use defense mechanisms to avoid dealing with these fears. This includes an analysis of how their irrational thoughts and beliefs perpetuate these fears.

Cycles Chart: An analysis of thoughts and moods that repeat and cause certain behaviors to occur in cycles. The Cycles Chart is a widely used therapeutic tool.

Plan for the Future: A written plan for avoiding negative behaviors that focuses on positive behaviors and a 'map' to help the youth accomplish future goals.

These assignments provide important elements of a comprehensive service plan that includes both short-term and long-term therapeutic and behavioral goals. The service plan also articulates educational goals and is developed jointly by the student's therapist and academic advisor.

Group Therapy and "Family Meetings" in a Positive Peer Culture

Students participate in group therapy/"family meeting" four days a week in their home of residence. Each student rates their day and receives feedback from other students and staff. Students also give feedback to staff and discuss requests and issues of general concern to the students.

The entire student body meets every week in a mini-workshop therapy session we call "Big Group". In addition, students participate weekly in topic-focused group therapy as needed (i.e. chemical dependency, relationship issues, adoption issues, dialectical behavioral therapy).

Once a week, students participate in a therapeutic experiential activity structured and processed by either a therapist or an experienced residential manager.

Traditional karate training promotes a relaxed mind and body and also teaches the important concept of being "centered." Directly referring to balance and posture, being centered also incorporates the idea of being physically, emotionally, and spiritually aligned. Traditional karate students forge their characters from self-discipline and develop personalities founded on humility and gentleness. Character development and non-violent behavior are values instilled in instructors and students alike.

The benefits that can be reasonably predicted from training include:

- Self-control
- Perseverance
- Self-confidence
- Increased maturity
- Increased understanding of self and increased tolerance for others

While many of these benefits are innate to self-discipline, most of these qualities are honed through deliberate intent by the Sensei (revered teacher) who possesses and models these qualities him/herself. Karate's goals for self-development are, essentially, the same goals as the program itself: to help the youth differentiate into an independent young adult.

Students advance through belt levels in the Cedar Ridge program similarly to traditional advancement through the belts in karate, with the ultimate possibility of receiving a black belt.

Individually Tailored Program for Each Student
Cedar Ridge Academy is the educational component of the program. The Academy is accredited as a special purpose school by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools, and the Utah State Office of Education. Credit earned through Cedar Ridge Academy will transfer to high schools throughout the nation. CRA graduates have been accepted at colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

Faculty members are certified in their respective areas of responsibility.

Academic advisors assess initial and ongoing needs and progress.

CRA graduation requirements are consistent with college preparatory programs nationwide.

Students take courses in a guided individual study format, or small classes of direct instruction.

Career assessment, aptitude testing, career guidance, and college counseling are available.

PSAT and ACT testing and test preparation are available.

Students who have not yet reached the ninth grade are required to complete appropriate course work in the core academic subjects of math, English, science, and social studies. Students may enter the ninth grade when they have the academic skills required to cope with ninth grade level course work.

Educational Philosophy
At Cedar Ridge Academy, we focus on teaching more than just the curriculum. We also focus on teaching our students how to be effective students. As a result of this additional focus, we avoid 'just getting them through' their high school credits. Cedar Ridge Academy students are required to demonstrate an acceptable level of competency in each area before moving ahead, regardless of their current grade level.

When a student arrives at Cedar Ridge, we test their academic skills in order to place them at the appropriate levels in their core classes. Some may be required to repeat a class due to insufficient skill. For some of them, the material serves as a review and they are able to move ahead quickly to catch up to their grade level in that subject area. Our individual approach allows us to meet the needs of student who have learning differences or who need accommodations.

Although the content comprehension is one way we gauge a student's academic placement, we also consider the student's ability to study, their desire to manage themselves in an academic manner (motivation), and their ability and desire to form a working relationship with the teachers. Almost all of the students at Cedar Ridge have struggles with school, sometime for academic reasons and sometimes for psychological reasons.

Our goal is to ensure that when they exit Cedar Ridge Academy, they are prepared for success in any academic setting they choose to enter.

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