Schools & Program
Visits - Jun, 1999 Issue #58
Hill Country Place
The Brown Schools
Contact: Sue Forsburg, Admission Coordinator
Visit by: Jodi Tuttle, Roving Correspondent
It seemed as if I could be visiting the home of any of my friends as I drove
into the entrance of Hill Country Place. Woods surround this Texas Hill Country suburban home and swimming pool. The location provides
itself easy access to the social, cultural, and educational opportunities available in metropolitan Austin.
Hill Country Place is a residential program for adolescents who are experiencing
difficulties with their behavior and who may have learning disabilities or depression. The program provides a structured therapeutic
educational program that includes an intense academic curriculum with enrichment opportunities. Students considered for enrollment
are between the ages of 14-17 years old and exhibit one or more of the following behaviors: under-achievement or poor attendance in
school; depression; anger; running away; poor judgment in respect to peers; low self-esteem; suicidal thoughts or behaviors; use of
drugs and/or alcohol; destructive physical behavior; or the need for medication management.
Hill Country works well with adolescents who have the potential to learn
but are resistant to traditional instruction. Through an integrated curriculum approach, educators adjust the curriculum to meet the
needs of each student. Hill Country partnered with the University Charter School, a continuing education program of the University
of Texas at Austin. The University provides the curriculum, educational testing and diagnostic oversight for the academic program.
Many of the students have problems with education as a result of emotional difficulties or learning styles that differ from the teaching
styles of the traditional educational process.
The educators at Hill Country teach students through experiential instruction
tailored to the specific learning styles of each student. Efforts are also made to develop the curriculum and include innovative teaching
techniques to address individual learning styles. The experientially based program focuses on “real world” issues and activities based
in the community that give students a “hands on” approach to learning. Thematic units are designed to allow the students to experience
and comprehend the relationship between different disciplines within the curriculum. The thematic units incorporate literature, history,
science, math, and fine arts.
The students with whom I visited shared that they were very happy with the
new skills they had acquired. They described how they learned to accept responsibility for their actions, solve their own problems,
and take leadership in the group process. They expressed feeling more capable of relating to their families and understanding their
place within the family.
Copyright © 1999, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without
prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)