Mary Jo Barnett, M.Ed | 919-270-3739 | Email Me

Schools that Inspire & Heal


Doing well in school is the most important work of childhood and adolescence. Just as an adult working at the wrong job is miserable and needs a change, so a child who is not being successful in school benefits when the adults in her/his life assist in making things better. At Pathways Education Planning we guide you toward solutions to help your student be happier and more successful.

Sometimes family stress, severe learning, behavior or health problems sabotage a student’s ability to succeed in school and in life. When that happens we have resources and suggestions to help.

Following are examples of some helpful options for students with different learning needs:

Summer Camps for Special Needs Students- These over-night camps are specially designed for students who have learning differences, autism, attention problems or physical health challenges that have prohibited them from enjoying a summer camp experience before. Students participate in all typical summer camp activities under extremely close and safe supervision. Parents are welcome to have frequent contact with camp administrators to monitor their child’s progress and fun.

Traditional Boarding Schools — These college prep schools are designed to meet the needs of healthy students who need a change of scene for personal reasons. They also may serve students with Learning Disabilities. Students may be experiencing personal family problems or they may excel in academic achievement, the arts, sports or another personal passion and are not being challenged in their local school.

Emotional Growth/Therapeutic Schools — These schools serve students needing a higher level of structure and supervision for student safety, social and family development. They grant diplomas and prepare students for college. Schools vary in their approach to the emotional and behavioral needs of the students with some focusing on behavioral change and others focusing on relationships development. Placements range from 12 months to 2 years depending on the therapeutic program.

Outdoor Behavioral Health/Wilderness Therapy— These programs are often a first step in helping very oppositional or school avoidant teens get back to work to help themselves. By spending time with skillful therapists, trained guides and other teens in a safe wilderness environment they overcome feelings of entitlement, negative peer influences, drug and alcohol use and the self-sabotaging behavior that has led to their bad choices, school failure and family conflict. This placement lasts 6-12 weeks depending on the needs of the student. It helps parents and therapists accurately determine a students needs and guides them toward a next placement that will strengthen and apply the skills learned in Wilderness Therapy.

Residential Treatment Centers — The focus of these programs is treating young people with serious psychological and behavioral issues. Safety and supervision for the needs of students emotional health is provided through individual and group therapy, academic instruction and recreational programs. Specialty treatment centers are available for personality disorders, drugs/alcohol and eating disorders. Treatment length varies according to the needs of the patient.

Young Adult Independent Living Programs — These programs are designed for young people over 18 needing a safe, supportive environment and life-skills training as they transition into adult life. Many offer substance abuse treatment and may have a psychiatric component. Links to job training, community colleges or universities are usually integrated into community life. Volunteering and employment arrangements are often components of the programs. Many operate on a small residential model and transition to a community based, independent living apartment model.