Rocky Mountain Academy

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Rocky Mountain Academy (RMA) was a behavior modification facility official marketed as boarding school for at-risk teens near Bonner's Ferry, Idaho, from 1982 to 2005. Before 1982 the campus was known as the Academy of the Rockies.

There is some confusion about the exact location of RMA. Most description claims that it is located near Paradise Valley Road [1].

Contents

History

Pre CEDU

It was founded as the Academy of the Rockies in 1972. The founders were Kevin Cullinane and Dan Larson. It was sold to CEDU in 1982. [2]. One of the founder did later found Freedom Mountain Academy in Tennessee in year 2000.

CEDU Timeline

Rocky Mountain Academy was the second CEDU School founded by Mel Wasserman - an therapeutic program started in the 1960's based loosely on the book The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. Mel Wasserman and the CEDU Family of Services are credited with starting this genre of boarding school in the U.S. (called emotional growth or therapeutic boarding schools). Rocky Mountain specialized in "emotional growth" and education for high school aged boys and girls with behavioral and learning issues (as opposed to the more severe psychiatric issues dealt with at other schools).

In the late 1990's all CEDU schools (including RMA) were sold to the Brown Schools. The Brown Schools filed for bankruptcy in 2005 and abruptly closed all the schools. Other CEDU schools in North Idaho have reopened, but RMA remains closed as of 2007.

The original CEDU school, CEDU High School, was in Running Springs, California. Over the years, several other schools and programs opened in California and Idaho. This included CEDU Middle School (Running Springs, CA), RMA, Boulder Creek Academy (Bonners Ferry, ID), Northwest Academy (Bonners Ferry, ID), Ascent Wilderness Program (Bonners Ferry, ID) and Milestones transition program.

Program structure

The emotional growth program at RMA followed a similar design as CEDU High School. Students attended classes and progressed through a series of groups known as "raps" 2-3 times per week as well as workshops called "Propheets" every 3-6 months & outdoor experiences in the wilderness, designed to tackle various issues. The educational program at Rocky Mountain Academy took 30-32 months, and there was a graduation every 6 months. The grades were called Voyagers (first 3 months), Discovery (3 months), Quest (6 months), Challenge (6 months), New Horizons (6 Months) & Summit (6 Months). The students who enrolled near the same time were in a "peer group", and the peer groups were numbered such as "Peer Group 32" which began in August of 1989 and graduated in March of 1992. GH ;-)

Some of the buildings on campus were called Emerson, Walden, Camelot, The House, Denali, etc. Some of the favorite spots on campus were the farm, the pond, the sauna. Some of the least favorite places were when building rock paths, walls, etc. while on "bans" when doing a "Full Time."

Among the rules was limited visitation and contact by the students parents, former friends, and in some cases with other students (called "bans"). Mail to the students was generally screened for the first year. Weekly phone calls to students parents was also screened by more senior students. Talking about certain music groups was not allowed. Dating was strictly controlled and some were kicked out for having sexual relations.

Former 'Celebrity' students

Some of the former students in the CEDU programs were children of Barbara Walters, Joe Francis and Roseanne Barr [3] and Paris Hilton [4]. Most students were from prominent families from the United States.

News, articles

On July 15, 1994, a boy from Texas named Jon Avila committed suicide in one of the dormitories of lower Camelot, in a room overlooking a pond. The late Mr. Avila hung himself from the sprinkler pipe with a belt [5].

In 1997 there was a riot by the detainees of as sister school in North Idaho, Northwest Academy. Five persons were injured [6]

In 2002 the facility was forced to pay $300.000 in settlement in a lawsuit to former client due to abuse [7].

Closure

It closed in early 2005 due to financial problems [8] [9].

External Links

Info pages

Survivor groups

Message boards

References

  1. The location just south of Paradise Valley road
  2. Academy of the Rockies, facebook survivor group
  3. CEDU Sued for Abuse and Fraud, from International Survivors Action Committee
  4. Father endures 2-month search for missing son, from International Survivors Action Committee
  5. Spokesman-Review excerpt, From Teen Liberty
  6. Suits allege suits at two schools, from Community Alliance for the Fair and Ethical Treatment of Youth
  7. Rocky Mountain Academy to close; Inability to find leadership blamed (The Spokesman Review)
  8. CEDU EDUCATION ANNOUNCES CLOSURE OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN ACADEMY, Press Release brought on strugglingteens.com
  9. CEDU Closing: Reaction from Running Springs Area
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