Madison, Conn. (December 19, 2011) – Grove School in Madison, CT, a co-ed, therapeutic boarding school for adolescents, recently added a new off-campus home to its transition program for young adults, increasing the program’s capacity to 20. In addition to increasing its capacity for residential students, Grove School has expanded the program to provide day support services for students in the local area.
Grove School’s transition program, which was established in 2007, provides a stepping stone for students who have recently graduated from high school and need support balancing their new commitments, at college or in the workforce. Richard Chorney, President and CEO, originally designed the program to meet the growing need for an alternative to college for students graduating from Grove School. The intial pilot program provided ongoing clinical and educational services to students who had completed high school graduation requirements but needed more time for emotional growth and development before transitioning to college. The program began on the Grove School campus with 4 students and has expanded to four off campus homes in the town of Madison.
In 2008, Assistant Director Janel Lynch added the Transition Program Director to her responsiblities and she oversees the day to day operation of the program.
As students work through the transition after high school, Grove’s staff assists them in developing the life skills necessary to live and work in the larger community. Skills students learn in the transition program include: money management, time management, developing an appropriate work/school/life balance and cultivating the skills necessary to maintain a home, from lawn maintenance to cooking. Those students furthering their education while enrolled in the transition program meet with an academic advisor twice a week.
“The transition program was created with the idea that many students, not just from Grove, were graduating high school and needed an in-between step,” Lynch said. “We feel it is extremely important to provide a program that bridges the gap and teaches students to be more successful in life.”
Students in Grove’s transition program are involved in creating their own personal program tailored to their individual interests, capabilities, and goals. This includes opportunities to gain further education at local colleges, adult educational programs, trade and technical schools, as well as employment, and volunteering experiences. Students can also develop work skills through their efforts on the Grove work crew. The work crew is responsible for the campus’ lawn maintenance and also learns trade skills such as carpentry, painting and electrical work. All of the skills learned through work crew will help students maintain a home later in life.
In addition, Grove’s transition program focuses heavily on helping students to develop their emotional intelligence. Students work to improve distress tolerance, coping skills, concentration, self-discipline, and motivation throughout the program. Members of the transition program benefit from an integrated clinical treatment program, which includes individual therapy sessions twice a week and family therapy monthly.
To help students prepare for life after the transition program, staff take students to neighboring college events and encourage them to establish an off-campus network of friends and colleagues. Many students go on to four-year colleges, continue vocational careers and thrive in the workforce following their time in the transition program.