September 25, 2015
My son was a residential student at Andrus, and I can honestly say this was the most awful 9 months for my son and our family. The school is completely terrible in all ways. The classroom setting was horrific with teachers unable to control the students and 2nd graders frequently having violent outbursts and hitting one another. My son was hit, stepped on and had tables/chairs thrown at him. If your child is gifted or bright in any way, he or she will suffer as the academics are taught to the lowest common denominator and the kids aren't properly challenged. The communication with the teachers/therapists is lacking, There is no music, art, or other exposure to creative arts in the curriculum. The only "special" my son had was horticulture. There is a pool, but my son was never in it in his 9 months there.
As bad as the day school was, the residential portion was even worse. My son was hit by one staff member and had another staff member trash his room. This staff member was not fired but administration instead used it as "point of learning". There are no behavior specialists in the residences, thus if your child has difficulty at night or on the weekend, rather than use therapy, they simply lock the kids in their room. The staff are completely unengaged. There are no formal activities. The children play video games and watch TV all night and all weekend. In 9 months and over 100 trips to the campus, I saw children outside playing exactly "1" time on a weekend. I do not know how the administration thinks this is acceptable. The residential director might be the single worst employee at Andrus given how poorly the cottages are run. The medical services are terrible. The nurses frequently missed doses and could not properly administer the medicines as the right time/dosages. The Psychiatrists on staff are absolutely horrible. They have no forward looking plans and refuse to try different mediations which may be helpful. They diagnosed my son with a mood disorder, yet wouldn't prescribe a mood stabilizer.
I could go on and on about how awful this place is. There is not one positive aspect about the school, the teachers, the administration, the doctors or the campus. My son lost 9 months and deteriorated. Fortunately, we withdrew him and found an alternate setting and he is now thriving. Please, Do NOT send your child here!!!
- submitted by a parent