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Alpine Academy

1280 Whispering Horse Drive, Erda, Utah, 84074, United States
1280 Whispering Horse Drive, Erda, Utah, 84074
Grades (Gender):
Gr. 7 to Gr. 12 (Girls)
US $120,000/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
Boarding: 70 (Gr. 7 - 12)

School Address
1280 Whispering Horse Drive, Erda, Utah, 84074 , United States



About this school:


Alpine Academy is a Residential Therapeutic School for girls ages 12-18 with emotional disturbances. Students live on a rural community campus in homes with Family Teachers who are trained and certified in the evidence-based Teaching-Family Model. Students attend a fully accredited school (also on campus) with highly-qualified teachers that are certified in their core subject and Special Education. Students also receive weekly individual, family, and group therapy from Master’s level clinicians.

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Our Take: Alpine Academy

our takeAlpine was founded in 2001, though is an expression of the work that Utah Youth Village has been doing since 1969. The setting, the sense of place, and the sense of purpose are all great strengths of the program. The school presents an opportunity for girls to start over, to reimagine who they are and what they might become. It follows the Teaching-Family Model, what the APA describes as “one of the few evidence-based residential treatment programs for troubled children” and recognizing its successes in application. In contrast to programs that see behavioural issues as analogous to illness or mental deficit, the T-F model understands those issues as stemming rather from a lack, for various reasons, of positive interpersonal relationships. What Alpine provides, from the moment that girls arrive, is precisely that: a place within an empathetic, supportive, safe community. For some, that alone is transformative. The typical student is one who displays symptoms associated with depression, mood disorders, trauma, attention deficits, and lowered self-esteem. They also all have skills, talents, and academic abilities, because of those symptoms, that have gone unrecognized and unexpressed. Alpine intends to change that, working with students in a close-knit, family styled environment. Their success is evidence in the feel of life on campus—this doesn’t feel like a treatment centre—and the successes of their graduates. The goal of all private schools is to provide a support to a specific segment of the student population, allowing them to reach their potentials in school and in life. Alpine has demonstrated an ability to meet that goal in every way.


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

What Alpine Academy says: The goal at Alpine Academy is to prepare each student for the next step in her academic career and life. Year-round school and a variety of course offerings allow students to get caught up and back on track for graduation. Our full-time guidance counselor works with the various schools to make sure credits will transfer.

  • Approach:
    Focus Special needs
    Academic Troubled Teens, Special needs

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Traditional Math

      Traditional Math typically teaches a method or algorithm FIRST, and THEN teaches the applications for the method. Traditional algorithms are emphasized and practiced regularly: repetition and drills are frequently used to ensure foundational mastery in the underlying mathematical procedures. The traditional approach to math views math education as akin to building a logical edifice: each brick depends on the support of the previously laid ones, which represent mastery over a particular procedure or method. Traditional Math begins by giving students a tool, and then challenges students to practice using that tool an applied way, with progressively challenging problems. In this sense Traditional Math aims to establish procedural understanding before conceptual and applied understanding.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What Alpine Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Science Equal Balance

      Science programs that balance expository and inquiry learning equally will likely have an equal blend of tests and experiments; direct, textbook-based instruction and student-centred projects.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Equal Balance

      These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What Alpine Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Pragmatism

      Pragmatism in the humanities and social sciences emphasizes making learning relevant to students’ present-day experience. Assignments tend to centre around projects and tasks rather than argumentative essays; these projects will often have a “real-world” application or relevance. There might be more of a social justice component to a pragmatic program, though that isn’t always the case. Subjects like history and philosophy are still covered/offered, but they play a less prominent role in the overall program than in the case of perennialism. The social sciences (contemporary geography, sociology, psychology, etc), meanwhile, might play a more prominent role in pragmatic programs. The key goals are to make learning progressive and relevant, while teaching students real-life skills and critical thinking.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What Alpine Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Foreign Languages Equal Balance

      These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What Alpine Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • Languages Offered: This information is not currently available.

    Fine Arts Equal Balance

      These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What Alpine Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Computers and Technology Medium integration

      Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What Alpine Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Alpine Academy says: All students participate in Physical Education or a similar elective, such as dance.

    Sex and Health Education
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What Alpine Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.

    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.


    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.


    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    What Alpine Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Alpine Academy says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    Academic Culture Supportive

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

    What Alpine Academy says: Our students have a variety of abilities and disabilities when it comes to academics. As such, we create and individually based supportive and rigorous program for each student.

    Developmental Priorities Emotional, Balanced

    Primary Developmental Priority: Emotional
    Emotionally intelligent and confident individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    What Alpine Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Special Needs Support Special needs school

    Special needs school

    Full-time programming is offered for all students which is exclusively focused on one or more special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Williams syndrome
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Clinical anxiety
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Multiple sclerosis
      Cerebral palsy
      Muscular dystrophy
      Spina Bifida
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Speech-language therapy

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    Alpine Academy does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Homework Policy

    In grade 12, Alpine Academy students perform an average of 45 mins of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Alpine Academy 45 mins45 mins45 mins45 mins45 mins45 mins
    Site Average53 mins57 mins69 mins80 mins95 mins108 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Academic achievement reporting7 to 12

    Class Sizes

    Average class size for each grade:
    Grade 7 8 9 10 11 12
    Size n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a


    What Alpine Academy says:
    • Horsemanship Club; Gardening/Botany; Zumba

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
      Racquet Ball
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Community Service
      Dance Club
      Drama Club
      Foreign Language Club
      Outdoor Club
      Outdoor Education
      Poetry/Literature club
      Student Council
      Ballet and Classical Ballet

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Boarding (International)US $120,000
    What Alpine Academy says: Tuition is based on a per day rate of $330 USD, billed monthly. Average duration of stay is 1 year. It is possible to receive reimbursement from insurance, depending on your plan. Financial support has also been received through school districts and state or county mental health departments and department of child and family services. These are location dependent.

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    Alumni Scholarship
    Amount: $12,000
    Deadline: Rolling
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 7 to 12—

    Scholarship fund is based on donations from Alumni. Application and approval required. Scholarship amount received varies.

    Application Details:

    Submit application and financial documentation to Scholarship Committee.

    For more details, visit: alpineacademy.org/tuition-information/


    Total enrollment 70
    Average enrollment per grade12
    Average class sizeVaries
    Gender (grades)Gr. 7 to Gr. 12 (Girls)
    Boarding offered Gr. 7 - 12
    % in boarding (total enrollment)100%

    If you want to learn more about boarding schools, check out our comprehensive guide.

    Student distribution:

    Boarding Enrollment



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Boarding students:

    What Alpine Academy says:

    Recent (within 1 year) psychologic or psychiatric evaluation, including DSM diagnoses and academic achievement scores.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Alpine Academy is looking for: Alpine Academy excels at changing the lives of teenage girls, ages 12-18 (7th through 12th grades) with intense therapeutic needs. Our girls are deeply hurting inwardly from causes and symptoms associated with: Depression (including mood disorders and bipolar disorders) Anxiety (including generalized anxiety, obsessive compulsive tendencies, eating disordered behavior, and social phobias) Traumas (including post-traumatic stress disorder from early childhood neglect or abuse, physical or sexual abuse, or related to significant grief and loss) Relationship problems with family or peers (including attachment disorders) Attention deficits (including ADD or ADHD) Traits of personality disorders (including borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic) Developmental delays (such as Aspergers Disorder and Non-verbal learning disability) Poor self-esteem Our girls have often manifested one or more of the following types of behaviors or unhealthy coping mechanisms: withdrawal and isolation from family and friends; trouble maintaining friendships; discontinuation of previously enjoyable activities; excessive anger or verbal aggression; defiance toward authority or unwillingness to follow directions; school avoidance or refusal; substance experimentation or abuse; risky sexual activity; self-harm; suicidal ideation or gestures; Internet obsession or addiction; leaving home without permission for significant periods of time; frequent dishonest communication; and declining academic performance. Alpine Academy does not admit students who have been chronically physically violent toward peers; are legally adjudicated or on probation; have a primary diagnosis of a substance abuse, dependence, or addiction disorder; are in need of intense or ongoing medical supervision due to a medical condition, severe eating disorder, withdrawal from an illegal substance, or recent suicide attempt or intent; have run away from home or other treatment settings frequently or for long periods of time; are pregnant; or are significantly cognitively challenged (full-scale IQ below 80).

    Student Entry Points

    Student Type789101112
    Boarding Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class size10
    *Canadian "Big 6" placementsN/A
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    Notable Alumni


    Alumni Highlights

    • In order to maintain confidentiality of our students, we do not advertise well-known individuals who have attended Alpine Academy. We do have an extensive alumni association and annual alumni reunions.

    Stories & Testimonials



    Please see testimonial videos on our website at http://alpineacademy.org/life-at-alpine/testimonials/



    • National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) Associations

    Social Feeds

    Other Highlights:

    • Students at Alpine Academy learn skills to stop merely surviving in life and to start fully living.

    Next Steps

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