New Perspectives - Apr,
1999 Issue #57
Sonja C. Fullwood, MAEd., M.C, Ex. Dir.
The Blue Hills Academy is a fairly new, highly structured, residential high
school that serves a small community of fifteen to twenty young men. The program is designed to address six areas: emotional growth,
academic success, physical well being, spiritual awareness, social skills and cultural enrichment; in order to promote success and
Boys who will benefit from participation in this program are 14 - 17 years
of age, who have experienced difficulty in their family relationships, have missed time or failed at school, have experimented with
alcohol or drugs, and might have had some minor difficulties with the legal system. Boys who are experiencing depression, and or low
self-esteem will do well at Blue Hills Academy. Although there is a consulting psychiatrist on retainer, children who are in need
of intensive or extensive psychiatric care are not appropriate for this program. Because of the high expectations of the program,
children with a below average IQ are not likely to experience the feelings of success which are available to higher functioning youth.
The program is outcome based, with students progressing at their own pace.
Some portions of the program may take more time than others, depending upon the needs of the student. Young men can expect to stay
twelve to twenty-four months, with the average length of stay between 14 and 16 months.
The individualized academic program is fully accredited by the North Central
Association of Colleges and Schools. The full range of course work needed for transfer to another school or for a degree is available
to students at Blue Hills. Each student is tested for placement at the appropriate level of learning. “While the expectations of academic
achievement are high, the support and encouragement each student receives will awaken a love for learning that leads to success.”
Classroom work is supplemented by regular field trips to explore the riches of the surrounding area.
The emotional growth component of the program includes individual and group
counseling, available weekly, on an “as needed” basis, as determined by the counselor. These sessions, along with monitored and structured
family phone calls and monthly workshops help the young men to attain a high degree of self-respect, confidence, and self-awareness.
The school’s experience has been that relationships with family members and peers improve as the students develop enhanced communication
skills and increased self- esteem.
Blue Hills Academy has formed partnerships with nearby private girls’ schools
to provide structured and chaperoned opportunities for learning to interact with one another in healthful, fulfilling ways.
Also part of the program is a regular routine of physical exercise, outdoor
activities, simple healthful foods and lessons in menu planning, shopping and cooking.
“On the ridge of a hill in the high chaparral, at the foothills of the Bradshaw
Mountains, Blue Hills Academy is housed in a comfortable, spacious log home. With a breathtaking view of the little village of Humboldt,
Blue Hills has a peaceful, rural atmosphere, located only minutes from Prescott, a medium sized town, and an hour and a half away
from Phoenix, one of the fastest growing cities in the country.”
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.)