Our Program Philosophy


The Grove School program is a co-educational, therapeutic boarding school for adolescents who, because of social/emotional difficulties, have been unable to make satisfactory adjustments in their home, in their school, and/or in their social relationships. The general philosophy of Grove School is based upon our core values of courage, integrity, commitment, accountability, consideration, learning and open mindedness.

The creation of a seamless interface between academic, clinical, residential, and administrative components is necessary for the development and implementation of a coordinated and integrated treatment plan unique for each student.

Within our setting, we are able to treat each child with a 360 degree approach that encompasses all areas of their lives. Each of the components of our program—Clinical, Academic, Residential and Activities—carry equal importance and weight in a student’s life. Student’s who may have been able to compartmentalize aspects of their lives, come to learn that each facet of their being informs the other.

With this approach, we are able to address simultaneously each student’s unique individual needs as well as their social and interpersonal responsibilities and obligations. Self-respect, accountability for one’s decisions and actions, the capacity to develop trusting relationships, and the successful navigation of academic demands are the goals of our treatment program.

An Emphasis On Relationships

_rs_7122_250.jpgRelationships are the cornerstone of the Grove treatment process. The relationships that the students develop with significant adults, as well as their peers, become one of the primary vehicles for change in their lives. It is through these relationships that the students can begin to explore new options, and gain insight into their behavior.

Within our milieu, significant relationships become a consistent, honest reflection of behavior that has been previously symptomatic or dysfunctional. Many students have difficulty in their ability to relate to others. They may struggle in relation to authority figures, including parents, teachers and other family members. They also may have difficulty relating to their peers in a socially appropriate manner, as well as difficulty sustaining long-term relationships. We take time, care, and effort to establish a safe, predictable, and consistent atmosphere where students can feel secure.

Therapeutic Milieu

The concept of treatment for students at the Grove School is embedded in the concept of a therapeutic milieu; all interactions and all relationships have the potential for being therapeutic or emotionally corrective. Since all human interaction is, in fact, a form of communication, and occurs whether it is intentional or not (whether it be verbal or behavioral), understanding what is being communicated is one of the primary goals of Grove School's therapeutic community.

Grove provides an environment which is safe, and which encourages the individual to tolerate their anxiety as they confront their various fears (e.g., rejection, abandonment, anxiety, etc.). It is not the goal of our milieu to remove a student's anxiety or fearfulness. While that may in fact occur, it is the purpose of this milieu to foster growth, to insist upon the honesty that is required for self-confrontation (which, in turn, forms the basis of self-validation), and to be respectful of the courage that this process requires.

Least Restrictive Therapeutic Setting

_MG_7640.jpgGrove School offers a normalizing, non-restrictive, treatment program. It is within this setting that students have the opportunity to begin the treatment process in an atmosphere that provides them with a reasonable and appropriate level of structure to meet their individual needs.

Most significantly, students are given the opportunity to make choices which are part of the process of personal growth and change. It is through this process that our students are empowered to rely more upon their own internal controls, rather than just the external controls of adults and systems.

The "Educateur" Approach To Teaching

Our Educateur teaching model is unique to Grove School, and differs considerably from other traditional teaching or treatment approaches. Our teacher/counselors spend a considerable amount of time with our students. They are the staff who wake the students up, teach them during the school day, share meals and activities with them, and help them get to bed on time.

With other therapeutic teaching approaches, the student's treatment may be focused primarily on an hourly session with a therapist or social worker. At Grove School, each and every moment of the student's day is considered important, and each activity or interaction is viewed as a potential learning situation. In our "Educateur Teaching Model", interventions can happen immediately after a situation develops, and the intervention is conducted by someone who is part of the student's natural environment.

Our Educateur model also more closely represents the typical family structure. Just as parents are not typically absent from their children during the evening or weekends, nor are our teachers. This allows us to create more of a family-style atmosphere, and also helps our students to develop the necessary skills to function as part of a healthy family.