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Top 5 Best Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens

Do you have a child who has a lot of behavioural issues? Are you concerned that he’s on the verge of making a decision that will have long-term consequences? Has your adolescent’s bad behaviour hindered their capacity to succeed in a traditional school, as well as a job and at home?

If you answered yes, then this article is for you! In this article, we show you all you need to know about boarding schools for troubled teens and how to pick one that is right for your teen.

So continue reading!

The first step in turning a new leaf is to remove troubled teens from their existing environment of negativity, fear, anger, and harmful habits while minimizing distractions. This is why boarding schools are suggested for difficult teenagers, particularly therapeutic boarding schools.

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boarding schools for troubled teens

What is a boarding school for troubled teens?

These are residential schools that provide a combination of Individualized counselling, social activities, and academics for troubled adolescents so that they can live in a regulated environment apart from their existing harmful behaviours, peers, and influences. They also tend to provide a variety of support services not typically provided in traditional schools.

These therapeutic boarding institutions are usually classified by gender, ensuring that both troubled males and troubled females receive the attention they require. Professional support is provided in these troubled teen boarding schools for teens to heal from trauma, learn how to deal with and overcome obstacles, and discover more about themselves.

 Academics and therapies are prioritized in these schools, while also providing a safe and controlled environment for troubled teenagers. Sports, leisure activities, clubs, and other extracurricular activities, on the other hand, are highly promoted. The combination of a new location, academic support, therapeutic sessions, group living, and recreational activities assists troubled and suffering adolescents in overcoming their obstacles, regaining control of their lives, and preparing for a bright future.

Within boarding schools, the usage of computers, video games, and the internet is strictly limited, forcing pupils with mental or behavioural issues to find alternative ways to spend their spare time. Many of the teens participate in sports, read books, play music, and engage in other outdoor activities.

These schools make a huge difference in the lives of countless teenagers. A troubled teen boarding school can assist your teen in regaining stability, confidence, and self-esteem. It may also rekindle their enthusiasm for life and education.

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When should you send your troubled teenager to a boarding school?

Today’s teenagers confront a variety of obstacles from a variety of sources. Emotional, behavioural, and mental health concerns can cause teens to act out, affecting their ability to succeed in school, keep a job, and stay out of trouble. As a result, therapeutic boarding schools may be the best place to obtain expert care for troubled kids if any of these concerns are interfering with their healthy progression through their teenage years.

Depression, anxiety, bipolar, ADD/ADHD, ODD, substance addiction, abuse trauma, threatening behaviour, adoption and abandonment concerns, obsessive thinking, and other issues are all widespread among teenagers and are usually dealt with in these schools.

Interestingly, many of these boarding schools also cater to teenagers with additional requirements, such as behavioural, developmental, learning, or physical problems. For instance, autism and dyslexia, to name a few.

 Hence, if you notice any of these signs in your teen, then you should consider sending your teen to a boarding school for troubled teens. This is because schools for struggling teens are the most equipped places to seek complete counselling and support. After all, they care for all aspects of a teen’s life.

What are the types of troubled teen  boarding schools

  1. Regular boarding schools

For troubled adolescents or at-risk teenagers, boarding schools or residential programs may be precisely what the doctor recommended. They are also known as “therapeutic boarding schools” and can provide vital help and advice to people who are in desperate need.

In 2010, the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs did research on troubled programs in schools. The majority of teens who attend one of these institutions, according to the report, exhibit significant improvements in specific areas. A decrease in behavioural and emotional difficulties was particularly notable. The majority of adolescents also showed an improved ability to adopt a better view of life and sustain it long after they had graduated from high school.


  1. Military Schools 

Military school is another form of boarding school for troubled teenagers. While military school isn’t for everyone, it can be an excellent fit for children who require a great deal of order and direction in their lives. Military schools can help troublesome teenagers and young adults improve their discipline, confidence, and self-esteem.


  1. Teen ranches

A teen ranch is another residential alternative for troubled teenagers. Throughout North America, there are various teen ranches and outdoor programs for troublesome teenagers. These programs provide a therapeutic, rural setting for teenagers who are dealing with a range of challenges. They can be a particularly good fit for those who enjoy being outside and have a strong bond with nature.

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How do you choose the right boarding school for your troubled teen? 

It’s not easy to decide where your child will learn. If you determine that boarding school is ideal for your troubled teen, you’ll need to figure out which boarding school is the best fit for them. This will necessitate taking into account the following crucial elements:

  1. Price

Any family’s budget is usually concerned about costs. Tuition will vary, so the first step will be to figure out how much you can afford. The cost of boarding school tuition varies from $30,000 to $60,000 per year. There are hardly any free boarding schools for troubled teens. However, there may be “affordable” boarding schools available, as well as scholarships and financial aid.

In situations where a teenager has received medical treatment for certain disorders and behaviours, many insurance companies will cover some of the cost of a boarding school for struggling teens. Hence, any school to which you apply will be able to run your insurance to see what proportion of your policy is covered.


  1. Programs and Curriculum 

While most boarding schools include behaviour modification therapy strategies in their programs, a closer examination may be necessary to genuinely assist your teen in gaining the skills they require for success. Rather than just teaching clients how to manage their symptoms, many of these facilities urge them to uncover the root of their problems and recover from the inside out through relationship-based programs.

A therapeutic boarding school provides the counselling, consistency, and care that troubled teenagers require, and it is a place where they can thrive.


  1. Certification

Depending on the focus of their program, boarding schools for troubled teens are classified as either private schools or residential treatment centres. Each state has its own set of rules for these institutions, but they must all follow a set of guidelines. 

Any boarding school, for example, must have enough staff to maintain a good balance between students and teachers. The school’s physical condition must be kept in good repair and be secure. A sufficient supply of food, water, shelter, and medical care must be provided.


  1. Geographical Location (Out-of-State Boarding School for Troubled Teens)

The operation of therapeutic boarding schools is regulated differently in each state. It is allowed in some locations for an adolescent to sign himself out of a residential treatment institution, including a school, and leave the campus without informing his or her parents. As a result, you must carefully assess which institution is appropriate for your teen and his circumstances.

As a result of these rules and your child’s unique demands, it may be better to allow your teen to attend a school out of state and limit visitation options. Video chats and regular communication are scheduled in such instances to allow you to speak with your teen.

Other factors to examine include the school’s religious affiliation, the dress code, the number of kids enrolled, the acceptance rate, and whether the school offers specific sports or extracurricular activities. You should make a list of any other issues that are significant to you.

Below are some reputable boarding schools for troubled teens;

1. Ozark Trails Academy

Ozark Trails is a year-round program that welcomes new students (both domestic and international) into the academy. Acceptance is based on a combination of a study of the student’s present and history of behaviour, and consultation with the student’s parents. Ozark Trails Academy’s program and tuition prices start at $6,000 a month. However, your medical insurance may be able to assist you in covering the expense of therapy.

Children also receive an approved education as well as the necessary support services to complete high school and receive a diploma. The amazing environment at the institution allows troubled teenagers to entirely disconnect from the outer world’s vices.

Address: Route 1 Box 169, Willow Springs, MO 65793, United States


Gender: Co-ed

Age: 12-17

2. Re-creation Retreat

Re-Creation Retreat is a private therapeutic boarding school and residential treatment centre for troubled girls. It is well-known for its dedication to providing specialized care to troubled young women and their worried families.

Re-Creation Retreat’s academic program is meant to help disturbed girls who need help with their grades and credit. They combine a therapeutic approach with an excellent academic program to assist young women in reclaiming their lives, both emotionally and academically.

Re-Creation Retreat gives a chance and ongoing training platform for participants to connect emotionally maturely and consistently with each other and their families back home. The principles learned at Re-Creation Retreat lead to a new degree of accountability and responsibility, as well as a sense of self-worth and value.

Some of the issues treated at this centre include sleeping and eating disorders, cutting or self-harm, substance abuse, etc. 

Address: 465 Main St, Fredonia, AZ 86022, United States


Gender: Female 

Age: 13-17

3. Gateway Boys Academy 

Gateway Boys Academy is a program that assists adolescent boys who have gotten off track in life and requires discipline and a renewed respect for authority. Gateway has a military-style curriculum without the pointless marching drills or yelling drill sergeants.

Gateway includes all of the elements of a military school that have the greatest long-term impact on boys in the shortest amount of time, all of which are delivered by caring mentors and leaders who encourage them to succeed.

The academy offers an accredited school, working ranch and farm, counselling and mentoring, a spiritual emphasis, community outreach, and missions trips to third-world countries, all with military-like discipline and decorum. It all comes together to help young guys become everything they may be and more.

Athletic participation is greatly encouraged at Gateway. Sports develop teamwork and camaraderie in their participants. Therefore, their military school emphasizes the importance of learning how to collaborate with others.

Address: 1213 Hope Ln, Bonifay, FL 32425, United States


Gender: Male

Age: 12-17

4. Kansas City Girls Academy 

The Kansas City Girls Academy is a program for girls who are having academic or emotional difficulties. It is intended to assist females in recognizing bad habits and developing the inner strength to tackle life’s problems. Positive coping strategies and effective communication skills are learned in this school. 

This residential school offers a faith-based therapy program for troubled adolescent girls aged 12 to 17. They provide counselling and therapy to troubled girls to help them reclaim their spiritual, behavioural, and academic lives.

Students are assisted in uncovering their faulty assumptions and replacing them with new notions. This is achieved through the use of the discipleship curriculum and ongoing pastoral counselling related to the curriculum topic.

Address: 5506 Cambridge Ave, Kansas City, MO 64129, United States


Gender: Female 

Age: 12-17

5. Treasure Coast Boys Academy 

Treasure Coast Boys Academy is a residential boarding school with a therapy program for boys who are troubled or at-risk. It has a lot of activity and excitement, as well as a certified private school on-site. It’s a refuge for males aged 14 to 17 who have out-of-control habits.

Boys who are battling with behavioural and motivational challenges such as decreasing grades, school suspension, rage, defiance, depression, attention deficit disorder, or attachment disorders can benefit from the non-profit program. They’re also effective at treating drug and alcohol abuse and addictions, which are frequently linked to behavioural difficulties.

The Treasure Coast Boys Academy faculty works with each teenager with their family’s collaboration and participation, bringing a wealth of experience to the table. The therapeutic team assists each boy in repairing the important triggers in his life that have led to poor decisions and self-destructive attitudes and behaviours.

Address: 801 154th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32966, United States


Gender: Male

Age: 14-17

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Conclusively, if you have a difficult teen, enrolling them in a boarding school for troubled teens is certainly not a wrong move. Thus, we hope we have assisted you in selecting the right boarding school for your troubled teen. 



I am a student with passion and hunger to help individuals and students get more useful, legit, accurate, and up-to-date information by providing them with valuable resources and information.

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