Accredited Education

schools for troubled teens

Accredited Education

Because EVERY GIRL IS DIFFERENT, with her own constellation of learning styles, passions, aptitudes, abilities, and challenges, we know that schools for struggling teens must offer customized instruction that accounts for each girl’s needs.

Our curriculum standard for every girl is based on that of her home state so that she can progress without a hitch through the appropriate coursework toward graduation in her state. Our highly trained teachers are able to meet the needs of academic high achievers as well as students whose abilities are challenged by learning disabilities such as ADD, ADHD, NLD, dyslexia, and processing difficulties. Rather than focusing on labels, our expert teachers focus on the girl as an intellectual and emotional whole, working from a broader understanding that addresses weaknesses without fixating on them, and puts the emphasis on maximizing strengths.

We organize our curriculum for each student using texts, content standards, and book lists approved by her home state. The extra work this individualized approach makes for our teachers is well worth it in terms of academic outcomes. Almost 100% of our students go back to high school or directly on to college-even those who had not previously planned to do so. The individualized work is complemented by small-group classroom instruction that covers those subject-matter fundamentals common to all states. This gives students a normalized classroom experience in addition to their customized program. Our teacher-student ratio during instructional time ranges from 1:1 to 1:10, not including additional support staff.

Our focus for all students is on preparing them for the intellectual demands of college and real life. We know that this requires compassion for and understanding of their emotional process in treatment. Our teaching is informed by an intimate knowledge of each girl’s therapeutic and life skills process, as well as by an understanding of her clinical profile, medication regiment, and academic profile. At the same time, we balance our compassion with a commitment to challenge each girl to an appropriately high standard. Our girls appreciate the sense of normalcy and confidence it gives them to be challenged to a high standard, and the result is a desire to meet that standard.

schools for troubled teens focus on healthy communication


Academic success requires a team approach built on robust communication between all stakeholders-student, staff, parents, and home school. In addition to phone calls and emails as needed, we provide our parents with monthly progress reports that reflect academic progress. To facilitate internal communication among school staff, the Academic Director participates in the weekly Treatment Team Staffing, to stay on course with any modifications a student may need due to behavioral, emotional, or medical changes. We also communicate with the school of origin at the beginning and toward the end of a student’s stay at Sunrise to ensure that our classes and curriculum meet graduation requirements. It is critical to keep students themselves apprised of their progress in order to keep them motivated and on track; the individualized approach we take means that our girls have constant feedback. Finally, our close knit staff of teachers communicates constantly about learning goals, teaching strategies, and student progress.

Important features schools for troubled teens should have.


Accreditation: Our academic program is accredited through Cognia and the Utah State Board of Education.

Rigor: Our customized approach means that we can offer an appropriately rigorous course of study to even the most talented students.

Academic Accommodations: We offer accommodations for a number of learning disabilities including: ADD and ADHD NLD Dyslexia Processing difficulties Dysgraphia

Organizational difficulties Etc.

Small Classes: Our classes range in size from one student to ten, and include a teacher and student life staff to help offer personal attention.

Educational Assessments: School/Education Survey, Woodcock-Johnson R Test of Cognitive Ability, Test of Achievement and Career Interest, Ability Survey, SAT, and ACT are administered as needed.

Progress Reports: Issued monthly to parents and reviewed with the student

Access: Our girls have access to local libraries, colleges and universities for independent study and special electives, and locally administered vocational testing

Tutoring: Sunrise provides after school tutoring to students as needed

Balance: Small-group classroom instruction and independent study: English, Science, Math, Social Studies, and Vocational education, as well as Enrichment classes in art, crafts, sports, service projects, and foreign language.

Year Round Instruction: Our 12 month academic schedule allows us to help girls catch up and stay on track for graduation

College Preparatory: 100% credit transfer for college preparatory courses

Licensed and Certified: Our teachers and administrators are licensed and certified to teach college preparatory coursework and to make special education accommodations

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