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5600 Heritage School Dr, Provo, Utah, 84604, United States
5600 Heritage School Dr, Provo, Utah,
Grades (Gender):
Gr. 7 to Gr. 12 (Boys)
US $138,000/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
8 to 10
Boarding: Varies (Gr. 7 - 12)

School Address
5600 Heritage School Dr, Provo, Utah, 84604 , United States

About this school:


Heritage is a nationally recognized therapeutic boarding school & residential treatment center. As pioneers of the relationship therapeutic model, and with the longest tenured staff working in residential care, our therapists, teachers, and residential staff, provide clinical and educational services to at-risk adolescents struggling to overcome the challenges associated with mood disorders, anxiety, depression, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. — Visit school website



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Our Take: Heritage

our take“I remembered the defining moments in my life,” says Heritage founder Jerry Spanos, “I remembered what worked for me were relationships, simple and plain. … people cared about me, they were honest with me, they held me accountable, they asked for commitments, and I formed a trust with them. And as a result, it changed my life.” That approach is what has defined the Heritage program since it was begun in 1984. Certainly, it’s an approach that is shared with the most successful therapeutic academies in the nation: There are many supports in place, just as there should be, but program is guided by an unwavering sense of possibility, in finding students’ strengths and then building on them through close, caring mentorship. The environment is one of possibility, which, itself, can be transformative for the students that enroll. Spanos has said that, in creating the school, he wanted to pay forward the caring support that he had as a student. For more than three decades, Heritage has been doing precisely that. 

Principal's Message


Jason Wright, Principal

Our statement of conceptualization of teaching and learning

At the core of our teaching philosophy is the principle of critical inquiry and analytical thinking. Thus, our approach to teaching builds on inspiring and encouraging learners to be critical thinkers and reflective practitioners. Rooted in this approach is the principle of praxis where we work closely with our students to help them apply and practice what has been taught. We make every class informative, meaningful and productive by drawing from traditional and contemporary theories and practices coupled with personal experiences of my own and class members. By employing an appropriately balanced and individualized teaching approach, we structure lessons so that students can work independently and in groups to provide opportunity and experiences for autonomy and shared knowledge. This constructivist approach in turn supports those who are less confident and promotes a shared teaching experience leading to learning synergy. Despite ones best efforts, students sometimes need a little more help than others in mastering concepts. To help achieve this we continually reflect and refine our pedagogical practices and encourage the students to do the same.  


Curriculum Progressive

Primary Curriculum: Progressive

What Heritage says: At Heritage, every child matters. That is why we focus on developing in every student the attributes of excellence, respect and a desire to learn, through innovative education and a community that fosters support and constant learning. Excellence. We provide an environment where every student can reach his or her academic potential, where every student can unlock his or her hidden talents, and where every student can ultimately achieve excellence. Respect. Students are nurtured to respect themselves, accept diversity and work cooperatively with others. We take pride in our community that teaches students not only the value of respect, but the essence of teamwork. Learning. Students can earn a high school diploma or acceptable alternative during their time at Heritage. We champion an experiential form of learning that allows students and teens the opportunity to participate in everyday learning while finding their way back to a wholesome life.

  • Approach:
    Focus Language-based Special needs
    Academic Spanish immersion Troubled Teens, Special needs

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What Heritage says: Throughout our program we use a carefully balanced program employing critical pedagogical elements of math teaching with a constructivism slant. This allows our students to engage and understand the subject matter through critical dialogue in group settings.

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

    • Calculator policy: Calculators are used in line with IEP requirements and as need in the classroom.

    Science Expository

      Expository science is the more traditional method of teaching science: students learn scientific facts, theories, and the relationships between them through direct instruction by the teacher. These programs still incorporate hands-on experimentation and “live science”; however, relative to inquiry-based programs, expository science tilts towards content mastery and knowledge acquisition. Direct instruction ensures this acquisition process is efficient. Textbooks are emphasized (starting in earlier grades than inquiry-based programs), as are knowledge tests: students are asked to demonstrate they have thoroughly learned the content of the course, and can apply that knowledge to novel and challenging problems or questions.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: Science is employed via each grade through media, I.T. resources and other relevant mediums.

    • 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 Heritage says: Due to the diverse nature and needs of our students we use materials from diverse cultural and historical background.

    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 Heritage says: Our aim is to employ culturally relevant studies in line with our students backgrounds and needs. Where possible we allow the students to engage in real world or witness associated experiences.

    Foreign Languages Audio-Lingual

      The audio-lingual method of teaching foreign languages emphasizes the use of repetition and a system of immediate reinforcement and feedback. The method makes particular use of oral drills where students are expected to correctly imitate (or intentionally alter) an utterance made by the teacher in the target language. Quizzes and worksheets are also used extensively.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What Heritage says: Our language department employs an individualized approach to learning languages depending on their needs and strengths.

    • Studying a foreign language is required until:   10
    • Languages Offered: • Spanish

    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 Heritage says: Due to the diverse nature of our students arts is used to develop confidence, self-esteem and social skills in a non confrontational manner.

    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 Heritage says: We employ a rigorous program of learning , but in a safe and secure environment. This is where students they develop their skills to be prepared to be participants in real world mediums.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Heritage says: Physical education is diverse from weight training to team sports including basketball and soccer. Our sports program integrates a therapeutic approach to enhance self confidence and esteem.

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

    What Heritage 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 Heritage says: This information is not currently available.

    Curriculum Pace Student-paced

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.

    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 Heritage 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 Heritage says: Our academic culture focuses on re-engaging students that have previously been disaffection with learning environments. Special and individualized programs are used to differentiate and pace lessons in line with the learners needs. Students are expected to meet their highest potential throughout their academic program.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced, Emotional

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

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

    What Heritage says: Our aim is to develop students that reach their highest potential, leaving us with new skills and ready to be a productive member of society.

    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 Dedicated class; in-class adaptations

    Dedicated gifted programs:

    Program = offered
    Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
    Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)

    Curriculum delivery: This information is not currently available.

    In-class adaptations:
    Practice = offered
    Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
    Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
    Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
    Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
    Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)
    Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)
    Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)
    Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)
    Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)

    What Heritage says: This information is not currently available.

    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 11, Heritage students perform an average of 30 mins of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Heritage 30 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins
    Site Average53 mins57 mins70 mins80 mins96 mins

    This school frequently "flips the classroom": asks students to learn material at home and do the "homework" in-class (with teacher support).

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered grades7 to 12
    Prose (narrative)-based feedback7 to 12
    Academic achievement reporting7 to 12
    Habits and behaviour reporting7 to 12
    Parent-teacher meetings7 to 12

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Heritage says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
      Cross-country skiing
      Downhill skiing
      Ice Skating
      Mountain biking
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Community Service
      Dance Club
      Drama Club
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Outdoor Club
      Outdoor Education
      Poetry/Literature club
      School newspaper
      Science Club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Boarding US $138,000
    What Heritage says: Tuition is all-inclusive: Room & board, therapy and academics. Tuition rates are $10,900 (USD)/mo and the average length of stay is 12 months.

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 115
    Average enrollment per grade19
    Average class size8 to 10
    Gender (grades)Gr. 7 to Gr. 12 (Boys)
    Boarding offered Gr. 7 - 12
    % in boarding (total enrollment)N/A

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

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

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

    Application Deadlines:

    Boarding students:

    What Heritage says: This information is not currently available.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Heritage is looking for: Appropriate students for Heritage are bright and capable learners but those who's emotional needs are not being met. Our students need therapeutic assistance as their foundation before they can succeed academically. Many of our student struggle or have been diagnosed with the following: Depression, anxiety, oppositional defiance, ADHD, social defiencies, school refusal and others. Students NOT appropriate for Heritage are those with an IQ less than 75, are diagnosed with conduct disorder, are violent, acutely suicidal or are addicted to heavy drugs. Of the schools on OurKids.net Heritage works with those who have the greatest emotional and therapeutic needs.

    Student Entry Points

    Student Type789101112
    Boarding Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class sizeN/A
    *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

    • Sophie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlJLOXbopZE
    • James: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-VL39ShJHo
    • Elizabeth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi3_jW9wEF4
    • Jack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn9UvUQcICs
    • Andrea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEgh-h0HiYA
    • Kyle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In7q15FjjbQ
    • Katherine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpz1-0t0zZs

    Stories & Testimonials


    Testimonial of an Alumni

    I attended heritage from 2013-2014. I went not knowing that it was a residential and when I got there, I was welcomed immediately into open arms and a campus full of people that strive for what is best for the client. Over my stay I learned healthy ways to cope and live my life without needing a outside source to provide it for me. Heritage is an outstanding school for all sorts of kids but particularly those on the spectrum and those who suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.

    I would strongly urge any parents who's kids are struggling to contact Heritage, it is the best place by far to attend and it really shows how much they care when they do extra stuff to make clients feel more "normal". Heritage hosts banquets periodically, and they have a prom set up as well as other dances and other fun activities.

    The therapy program at Heritage was key in my success and the added benefit of family therapy really sealed the deal for me!

    Anyway I hope this review helped you!



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

    Social Feeds

    Other Highlights:

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