Our daughter attended Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy from September, 2008 to June, 2009. She found herself at MSPA three months short of 18 after three months in a wilderness program and five months at a therapeutic boarding school. We were cautioned that she might choose to leave when she turned 18. Thanks to the program and staff at MSPA, when that moment came, she decided to stay not only an additional two weeks to get her high school diploma, but to stay for an entire additional semester in order to complete the MSPA MAPP program and do outside community service in Cedar City. Today our daughter has graduated college with honors with a B.A. in Psychology, with plans to continue on for a Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology. She told us that the MSPA program gave her an opportunity to be independent and make her own decisions, allowing her to slowly integrate into a life beyond a tightly controlled school setting. Whatever it was, it certainly worked for her. Even though it has been five years since she was at MSPA, the school's philosophy remains unchanged and all the same critical staff members are still there, working with the same energy and dedication.
The staff and teachers are very caring and get to know each student in order to motivate them to work on what they individually need. The classrooms and houses are clean and organized. Students are accepted unconditionally and feel they belong. Our daughter attended and had a positive, growing experience where she learned to deal with life's ups and downs in healthy ways.
Mountain Springs is an excellent school designed to help get its students back on track with real world experiences to learn from. Before MSPA I went to a wilderness program, and even though I was under the initial impression that 8 weeks in the middle of nowhere was enough, I would have slipped back into my old self if I went home. Mountain Springs gave me a place I could challenge myself. When I slipped I had people there who genuinely cared and who would help me back to my feet, and when I succeeded, I had people who believed in me. This is still the real world and if I did not want to change it did not matter where my parents would have sent me, I would have failed. I learned I wanted to change because the old me wouldn't have even half the life I have now. The people who work at Mountain Springs are some of the best people I have ever met in my life and I am thankful for them for every day I have where I am not the old me.
Mountain Springs Academy was a very positive experience for my son. While initially adopting the same attitude he had at previous programs .. this doesn t work . I hate it here .. nobody here knows what they re doing and they don t care about me ..he eventually realized the staff and environment at Mountain Springs were exactly what he needed. He made friends, invested in himself and the program, became more respectful, and thrived academically. The change we saw in him from the time he got there to the time he left was one of the most dramatic in his life. As a parent, I also found the staff to be wonderful. They are available and caring and that attitude has lasted even after my son s time there. I still contact Ariel for advice years after my son s time at Mountain Springs! I highly recommend it to other parents.
Mountain Springs provides an important and unique opportunity in the vast array of boarding school options. We are specifically designed as a practice, step-down, environment for students who have completed a residential treatment placement or wilderness therapy program. Having worked here in many different positions since 2006, and now being the Assistant Head of School, I know that we provide a meaningful service to this select population of high school students and their families. I have seen students truly apply what they have learned in practice and not just in theory. I have seen families heal and students become ignited with a passion for living a life worth living. I love going to work every day and helping these teenagers grow stronger internally day by day. This school is consistently open to student and parent feedback and improvement. We have a student government and ways for students and parents to advocate for changes to policies and practice. In this way, we are continuously open to improvement.
Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy has been, and continues to be, a great school and program. I have seen so many students thrive in this school. I love seeing students graduate with a high school diploma who tell me that they had given up hope of ever seeing that day come. The individual attention that each student receives from the small classes and caring teachers makes it impossible for them to slide by unnoticed, and nearly impossible for them to fail. The variety of educational opportunities is amazing. Besides the course offerings available in the Mountain Springs classes, students often take concurrent enrollment classes at Southern Utah University and/or classes at Southwest Applied Technology College. These students then leave with a high school diploma, as well as university credits and skills certifications that open up valuable career options. The transformation I ve seen in so many students over the years has been marvelous.