Creating an Environment for Academic Success

    When the student transitions from wilderness expedition to base camp, they will engage in several Academic programs that will allow them to practice their newly learned skills in a new environment and with different team members.

    Unlike other wilderness programs where academics are only “in the field”, we believe in the value of a more traditional environment back at base camp. Academics is often where students struggle and where progress can be made. It is also part of the “real world” so at Trails we believe it is important to see gains here as well. This focus sets us apart from other wilderness therapy schools for children with behavior problems.

    Accredited Academics

    Trails has an AdvancEd (SACS) accredited academic curriculum enabling students to transfer credits back home. Plus, there is proven benefits to bringing students into a more traditional classroom setting while in the therapeutic environment. Adding a personalized classroom environment helps our students achieve success and practice their new skills in a school setting.

    Our Academic curriculum are separate and integrated, where we provide each student with a chance to see learning with “new eyes” and to practice new therapeutic tools in a real world context. Many of our students have struggled with school refusal, school failure, or other disciplinary issues. Sometimes this is a reflection of other behavioral issues, poor effort, or other learning style issues. We work with each child to help create an environment of academic success.

    Working with Certified Teacher

    At Trails, your child will work with Brian Johnson, our Director of Education and certified teacher. Brian has been an educator for several years, spanning outdoor experiential education to a conventional high school classroom. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a degree in secondary education, and is a licensed 6-12 teacher for pre-adolescents and adolescents. Brian’s goal is to provide an experiential classroom environment that rejuvenates students’ appreciation for education, renews students’ confidence in their ability to learn, and prepares them to reenter their ‘real world’ school classroom as functional and critical learners.

    Integrated Academics

    A typical day in the Trails classroom begins with some kind of physical activity (soccer, stretching, yoga, etc.). Daily lessons are focused on topics in personal wellness (nutrition, stress, sleep, etc.), earth science (weather, water, soil, etc.), and language arts. Literature selections correlate with broad themes at Trails Carolina (rites of passage and heroes’ quest/journey), and students are encouraged to make personal connections and critical reviews of diverse reading materials.

    Earning School Credits

    While enrolled at one of the best schools for children with behavior problems, all students complete an academic curriculum that is designed to enhance students’ overall understanding of their time at Trails and to keep their minds conditioned to return to school after completion of the program. For all students that are coming from high school and are enrolled at Trails for a minimum of 50 days, s/he will receive a transcript issued by Trails Carolina that recognizes work completed in the following subjects:

    • Adventure Education (P.E.)     = 1.0 credits
    • Health & Wellness         = 0.5 credits
    • World Literature             = 0.5 credits
    • Appalachian History         = 0.5 credits
    • Environmental Studies        = 0.5 credits
    • TOTAL                     3.0 credits

    Trails Carolina is accredited by AdvancEd (SACS) and is a registered non-public high school with the State of North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction.

    Working with Schools to Facilitate Course Work

    At Trails, we have work with student’s previous school to facilitate course work that will help the student stay current on his/her academic curriculum. This has included home-bound coursework, capturing credit for class work completed at their school, finishing and receiving credit for uncompleted classes, and tying up loose ends in order to graduate high school. The best course of action is to start communication between Trails and the school as early as possible. Our certified teacher will work with you and the school to determine achievable academic goals and facilitate the process.

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    “If your child is in need and you feel you don’t have the skills alone to help them, Trails can! And they will!”
    AJ S., Father

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