All Kinds of News for April 09, 2019
Montana Academy is one of the few remaining co-ed therapeutic boarding schools. During a recent visit, educational consultants found themselves talking about the merits of co-ed boarding schools for teenaged girls; in recent years, this choice has been complicated for parents and educational consultants as the number of competent single-sex programs has expanded.
Almost two decades ago, Montana Academy set out to help struggling teenagers address the obstacles preventing them from achieving age-appropriate maturity and the solid sense of self that were the bases for durable healthy relationships and for meeting the academic and inter-personal challenges that our society sets for adolescents and young adults. Montana Academy knew graduates would need to be prepared to live in a co-ed (college, boarding-, or high-school) world. Montana Academy knew they needed to be capable of functioning in a rich co-ed environment: speaking up in co-ed classrooms, studying in co-ed libraries, participating in intermural athletics, joining in campus work. Montana Academy knew they needed to learn to speak confidently and frankly in co-ed groups, to participate in dorm and community meetings, and to try out new personal relationships. Montana Academy also knew they needed a structured, carefully-supervised, physically-safe place in which to gain this critical, sustained social and academic experience.
For most girls, a coeducational therapeutic milieu provides the best opportunity and setting to learn the necessary skills to facilitate the transfer back to the real world. Montana Academy is a blend of a single-sex and a co-ed program. Students are on single-sex teams comprised of up to ten students. The members of the team eat together, share the same space in the dorm and go on team trips and outings. The teams have two to three single-sex process groups each week and attend specialty groups focusing on single-sex issues. The girls' and boys' dorms are located on opposite ends of the campus and except for special occasions, there is no co-mingling of male and female students before school and after 8 pm in the evenings. While the academic and physical education classes are co-ed, students spend much of their time in single-sex activities and experiences. Nevertheless, they also have many co-educational experiences such as community meetings, co-ed nights, student council and opportunities to participate in social activities such as the spring prom, sports events, barbeques, and other social functions. Boys and girls are classmates, work buddies and participants in emotional relationships without physical enactment — precisely the varied heterosexual experiences needed for building healthy relationships.
About Montana Academy
Founded in 1997, Montana Academy is a coed, accredited, privately-owned therapeutic boarding school located in Northwest Montana. Unique in the nation, Montana Academy provides students a robust combination of clincal sophistication, an effective therapeutic program, and a challenging prep school all situated on a 500 acre Montana Ranch. Instead of limiting treatment to symptom relief, (pills or brief therapies), Montana Academy pursues a two-step diagnosis and dual treatment: (a) to identify and remove, in so far as possible, the obstacles to psychological development; and (b) to prod student to achieve new psychological milestones and so to restore the momentum of normal adolescent maturity.