Highlands Girls Academy
Highlands Academy is a year-round Christian boarding school for girls ages 13-17. It is an affordable program for girls with life-controlling issues that features a first-class education with spiritual support and emotional counseling designed to repair behavioral issues brought on by trauma, adoption, family discord, peer pressure, or substance abuse.
Highlands Girls Academy is a program for troubled girls. It is designed to help students identify problem behaviors and build inner strength to overcome challenges. Effective communication skills are developed and positive coping strategies learned. Highlands Girls Academy uses a multi-therapeutic model. Discipleship curriculum and ongoing pastoral counseling relative to the curriculum content are utilized to assist the students in discovering their incorrect assumptions and replacing them with new concepts of understanding.
Students who enter Highlands Girls Academy program exhibit issues and behaviors such as:
- Low self-esteem
- Depression/Suicidal thoughts
- Deceitfulness/Cheating/Theft Manipulation
- Promiscuity/Gender confusion
- Drug experimentation Alcohol or prescription drug abuse
Many times, prior to choosing a boarding school, parents have sought help from psychiatry and the use of medication.Highlands Girls Academy works to gradually wean girls off of psychotropic drugs, with the help of a physician. Some students who come to the program have been previously diagnosed with behavioral or psychological disorders such as:
- Oppositional Defiance Disorder(ODD)
- Reactive Attachment Disorder(RAD)
Highlands Girls Academy is lower in cost, but a highly effective and well-developed program on a beautiful campus. Highlands Girls Academy surrounds its students all day long with an environment to help facilitate life change through the witness and guidance of staff and counselors.
The program entails counseling; both individually and in group meetings. Students in Highlands Girls Academy boarding school are challenged daily in their relationships and respect for others as they interact with school and counseling staff and their peers. It is an environment that balances discipline with personal responsibility to create a positive peer culture. “Our goal is to help students make positive decisions, not based on mandatory compliance, but rather the result of a genuine change of heart. Community service, special projects, outings and mission trips also help our boarding school students change their focus from self to serving others.”
Therapy involves an interpretation or identification of why the inappropriate behaviors are occurring, and then a contextualization of these reasons as a function of what erroneous assumptions are in place regarding meeting basic needs. Through discipleship curriculum and ongoing pastoral counseling relative to the curriculum content, the students are able to discover their incorrect assumptions and replace them with a relationship with God.
The program is intentionally designed to allow the girls to progress through a level system to help prepare them for a healthy reintroduction into their family. This system includes such practices as positive peer pressure, reward and discipline consequences for actions, increased responsibilities as their progress warrants, and ongoing daily staff interaction.
Specific treatment models include:
Group Therapy – This consists of a multiple small group sessions weekly, led by our counselors and staff. These groups include substance abuse, problem solving, positive peer culture, emotional management, safe dates, and specialty groups designed for specific treatment needs. All group processes foster emotional growth in a safe and confidential setting.
Individual Therapy – is provided to each student with a minimum of one session every other week. Sessions help students gain insights into their individual behaviors and establishes a trusting relationship with their counselor. In this setting, students process issues too sensitive for them to share with a group.
Substance Abuse and Addiction Therapy – is specifically designed to address the intra-personal and family issues that fuel adolescent addiction. Recovery is facilitated through a biblically based approach to freedom from all types of life controlling issues.
Family Therapy – is provided via weekly teleconference. Parents contribute to treatment as an integral part of the program. Highlands Girl Academy encourages families to visit during planned family weekends. Family and students meet with their primary counselor for therapy. Parents and children also participate in parent support groups, parent-teacher conferences, workshops, and graduation ceremonies.
Equine (Horse) Therapy – In partnership with Returning Glory we offer to each girl horse therapy. During activities with horses, youth will learn alternative ways of responding to difficult situation rather that reacting. They begin to find hope for their challenging life issues as they ‘experience’ relational changes with their horse and begin to explore their God-created uniqueness and destiny. Horses are powerful and effective in helping people, whether child, youth, or adult. They have much to teach us about our patterns of behavior, communication and relationships. Horses are excellent “teachers”, coupled with trained facilitators certified in personal and social development, interaction with horses can often provide invaluable assistance in addressing challenging life issues in a fun, action-oriented, non-threatening learning environment.
Listed below are some of the activities that your child will do while they are at Highlands.
5 days a week your child will participate in Physical Education. This will include going The Roc Fitness & Recreation 2 days a week, water aerobics (in season), aerobics classes, jogging, and various recreational sports (volleyball, softball, basketball, and soccer).
Outdoor Adventure Leadership Training
This is a 5-10 day wilderness adventure trip where your child are placed in to leadership roles within the group, exercising biblical leadership principles and team building skills to navigate through a vast expanse of wild terrain. This will help develop them as leaders using outdoor adventure.
On a weekly basis your child will go to church with the other Girls in the program and Staff. We go to church at Evangel Church in Kansas City, Mo. It is located about 10 minutes from the Highlands center.
3 days a week they will participate in Chapel Services. During these chapel services, your child will be engaged in worship and hearing a message from a member of the staff or a special guest speaker.
Your child will participate in Fine Arts activities such as choir, drama, and art classes.
Our center has an extensive library that your child will be able to chose from for reading, board games, Nintendo Wii, foosball, ping pong, watch approved movies, work on level advancement material, and work on school work.
These trips vary from year to year. Here are some of the trips that we have taken in the recent past. Trips to the Kansas City Zoo, Design for Life Conference in Springfield, MO, Fine Arts Festival in Wichita, KS, the Kansas City Museum, Statewide Youth Convention in Wichita, KS, Kansas City Royals games, and travel to area churches for ministry opportunities.
We have a swimming pool located on our property that during the summer your child will have weekly time to swim.