New Dominion School, located on approximately 500 wooded acres has three year-round outdoor therapeutic programs, two serving boys (VA and MD) and one serving girls (VA). The programs are designed to help adolescents who are experiencing learning, emotional, and/or behavioral difficulties.
The outdoor setting provides students a tranquil environment in which to learn more about themselves by removing them from the distractions of their home community. The outdoor setting also provides a challenging envirionment where students can overcome struggles and experience success throughout each day. Services provided at the school are a positive perr culture, family conferences, case management services, recreation services, adventure-based activities, licensed/accredited school program with certified teachers, on-site nursing services, specialty groups such as Recovery Dynamics, Sexual Awareness Group, Transition Group, and Aftercare Group, educational assessment, post program planning and room and board.
The typical student at New Dominion School is between the ages of 11 and 17, is physically able to participate in our outdoor living program, and has at least an average IQ. Usually the student will exhibit some or all of the following behaviors: anger, impulsivity, oppositional behavior, abuse of drugs and alcohol, poor communication, resistance to parental control, lying, manipulation, and running away. Prior to enrollment, many of the students have been administered medications to help them manage their behavior. Due to the highly structured and supportive nature of the group setting and the dynamic challenges of outdoor living, these students are able to function well and make significant personal gains without prescribed medications.
The length of stay at New Dominion School is 12 to 18 months. Progress in the program is closely monitored by a treatment team to ensure that each youth works toward specific treatment objectives.
The direct care, front line counselors hold a minimum of a bachelors degree in various fields. They also undergo mandatory orientation and training specific to the program before they are assigned to a group. Once they are assigned to a group, ongoing training takes place weekly. Counselors are supervised each day by more experienced staff who have excelled in the direct care position. Administrative staff that have had from 5 to 20 years experience are also regularly involved in working with the counselors.