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Moonridge Academy is intensely therapeutic and is, therefore, fundamentally different from traditional special needs or learning disability boarding schools. Many of our girls are very capable and intelligent “academic underachievers.” A good number have a diagnosable learning disorder in spite of their aptitude and talents. In the majority of cases, this underperformance can be directly attributed to the emotional baggage ensuing from “triggering events” such as a divorce between Mom and Dad, physical or sexual abuse, adoption, or an untimely death in the family. Our ability to successfully resolve their emotional issues and make headway on their depression can provide these girls with the ability to once again perform close to the level of their potential.

Moonridge Academy also believes that a challenging, stimulating educational program is an important key to restoring balance and health to our students. After all, the developmental task of adolescents is success at school so if students do not master that skill, it is easy to give up and quickly lowers their self-esteem.  Success in the classroom has far-reaching effects into other areas of life.  As a result, we provide high quality, fully accredited educational programs, including traditional academic studies, a rich fine-arts curriculum, foreign language classes, and computer-aided instruction. Special attention is paid to meeting the needs of each individual student. Our goal is to develop positive self-esteem in a climate that stimulates creativity and individuality. Our philosophy is based on the belief that each child has unique capabilities and talents and that a wide variety of experiences are needed to help children discover and enhance their talents. We help each child to experience success that can be applied to all aspects of the educational and clinical programs. Academic expectations are high, and with the guidance of a highly trained and caring staff, students learn and master the necessary skills to prepare them for the future while they become clinically stable. Students who enter our program academically behind are often able to catch up with their class work while receiving the therapeutic care that is required.

Moonridge Academy is child-focused within a curriculum-focused classroom.  Students are able to get challenged to their individual potential in classrooms of about 7 students.  Classroom learning is important because students will need to learn in this environment at their next educational placement.  Research shows that the most effective learning takes place in small classrooms as students get the self-esteem to know they can be successful in “normal” school, yet they can get the differentiation of instruction and individual help they need to be successful.  A large emphasis is placed in teaching students study and organizational skills needed to be successful learners.  These skills along with developing respectful relationships with teachers and learning how to appropriately advocate for their own learning, are taught by incorporating learning activities and behavior expectations into the therapeutic advancement criteria.

A broad enrichment program of music, art, science, and drama give our students opportunities for success that empower them to succeed elsewhere. Teachers are carefully selected based on their expertise and love for what they teach. Most importantly, the program is a place where students feel loved and respected, based on our belief that a child that feels loved will eagerly want to learn and will feel self-confident in doing so. Moonridge Academy programs are offered in a supportive and stimulating environment dedicated to:

Helping students develop high-level thinking skills so that the process of learning applies to all aspects of life outside school.

Establishing a well-balanced environment that nurtures positive self-esteem.

Providing a climate that stimulates creativity and is supportive of the unique qualities of each child.

Making teachers and students accountable for the mastery of basic academic skills.

Creating a democratic environment that promotes respect for others.

This child-focused, principle-centered approach to teaching children allows Moonridge Academy to rekindle a love of learning in students that frequently struggle in traditional academic settings.


"Thank you for believing in me when I didn't believe in myself. Thank you for not giving up on me ever. You have supported me through some very rough times. I expect to see you at my college graduation. And most of all thank you for helping me find the way to a happier life."
--K.B., New Jersey

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