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Venture Academy Troubled Teens Program (ON)

Minesing, , Barrie Area, Ontario, L9X 1E8

Grades (Gender):
Gr. 7 to Gr. 12 (Boys)
Varies /day
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:

School Address
Minesing, , Barrie Area, Ontario, L9X 1E8
Delburne, Red Deer Area, Alberta, T0M 0V0

About this school:


Canada's leading treatment and education program for troubled teens and struggling students. We help turn your child’s life around. Students engage in a clinically comprehensive psychological assessment and testing process to start. Serving youth who may be struggling with ADHD, learning challenges, underachieving, behavioural issues, and a variety of clinical diagnoses. Individualized support and engaging interaction. Earn school credits. Select our 30 day program or a longer stay. Admissions 12 months a year. — Visit school website



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Our Take: Venture Academy Troubled Teens Program (ON)

our takeVenture Academy was founded in 2000 by Gordon Hay in order to provide support for students who, for a range of reasons, weren’t thriving within traditional academic settings. Hay had worked with teens in outpatient and resident treatment settings, as well as within corrections programs. He is the first to say that so many of the stories he has heard over the years are heartbreaking, and the impact of so many of those stories has been profound. That said, while he perhaps doesn’t use the term, he created Venture as an atmosphere of hope—a place of understanding, including the understanding that positive change can be made. It’s about working with the individual, but it’s also about working with families—communication is open, and support is provided. It’s an impressive model, evident in the success that Venture has had over the years. There are now locations in Kelowna, BC, Red Deer, Alberta, and Barrie, Ontario, though Venture extends well beyond the bricks and mortar, and operates today as an umbrella organization, bringing together expertise, parents, and teens. The goal isn’t to silo teens, but rather to provide the kind of care, support, and understanding needed to help overcome the challenges they face.  


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

What school says: Our day consists of academic learning and activities that focus on co-operation and structured socialization designed for emotional growth and academic success. We look for the “teachable moment,” during formal and informal instruction. When controversial issues emerge, our teachers address these situations and support students in problem solving and learning from the struggle. We do not believe our approach is alternative, but rather, an approach that is reflective of excellent teaching. Our teachers are part of a multidisciplinary team that includes onsite clinical staff. We believe in a collaborative environment that is supportive of the whole child. Beyond this, we believe in making learning fun and whenever possible look for opportunities to catch students doing well.Our teaching methodologies focus on individualized educational needs with low student teacher ratios.

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

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics
    • What school 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.

    • 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

    • What school says: This information is not currently available.

    Humanities and Social Sciences
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.

    Foreign Languages
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.

    • Languages Offered: This information is not currently available.

    Fine Arts
    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.

    Computers and Technology
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.

    Sex and Health Education Doesn’t follow Ontario curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What school 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 school 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 school says about flexible pacing: Individualized instruction and engaging interaction gets our students back on track and restores confidence. The primary focus is on core subjects with other courses integrated as applicable.

    Academic Culture

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    What school says: This information is not currently available.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced

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

    What school says: Venture Academy's purpose is to assist youth to make and sustain positive behavioural change. Everything we do at Venture Academy points back to helping troubled teens make and sustain those positive changes. It's more than a mission statement, to us it's our purpose. At Venture Academy, our approach is attachment-based, solution oriented and holistic in nature. Programs are designed to invite positive change, build skills and focus on solutions and redevelop family attachments. The approach not only moves away from pathology, but moves towards a health, wellness and strengths orientation.

    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 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: Acceleration and enrichment (There is an equal emphasis on acceleration and enrichment.)

    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 school 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.

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What school says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs offered: None

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    This information is not currently available.

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment Varies
    Average enrollment per gradeVaries
    Average class sizeVaries
    Gender (grades)Gr. 7 to Gr. 12 (Boys)
    Boarding offeredNo

    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:

    Homestay students:

    What Venture Academy Troubled Teens Program (ON) says: This information is not currently available.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Venture Academy Troubled Teens Program (ON) is looking for: This information is not currently available.

    Boarding Homestay

    Student Entry Points

    Student Type789101112
    Boarding Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    Homestay 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)

    Stories & Testimonials


    Emotional Growth / Positive Change

    At Venture Academy individualized counselling and skill building sessions help support our students in understanding their emotions, self-concepts, and behaviours. As they learn and participate in sessional work, students gain greater knowledge and understanding of their personal issues and develop strategies that will improve their everyday functioning at school and with family. Positive change for struggling teens.


    Individualized Education

    For many students, the academic arena presents challenges and obstacles, which seem nearly impossible to overcome. Sometimes, these youth do not thrive in a regular classroom setting designed for a large number of students. Due their need for individual attention and an alternative approach from the teachers, these students are often labeled as slow learners or can be seen as disruptive to the rest of the class. Students may become alienated from their teachers, schools and friends often resulting in under-achievement, academic failure, school suspensions, frustrated parents, and individuals who are seemingly outcast from the regular classroom setting and educational system. At Venture Academy individualized educational plans are developed with the students based on academic assessments and/or transcripts of schools previously attended. We work cooperatively with previous schools where it is the intent of parents to access Venture Academy as a short-term educational intervention or when required a longer-term placement with a transition back to the original school of choice.


    Educational Assessment

    Venture Academy implements psycho-educational assessments in order to determine each student's strengths and abilities as well as identifying reasons for possible academic underachieving. It is a student friendly process involving the assessment of academic skills and of the psychological aspects of learning. Our assessment provides you as parents the answers you are looking for as it relates to your child's academic performance. The results are key when it comes to understanding each student's unique learning style and are an important starting point for any educational planning.



    * Year-round Admission - from home or other schools * Psycho-educational Assessments - get answers, get to the root of the problem and measure academic functioning * Clinical Therapy & Treatment - expert help, critical for your child's well being and progress * Continued Education - no concern over falling further behind at school * Short or Long Term - 30 day assessment and/or longer-term treatment and education program * Success Rate - positive changes and improved academic success for struggling teens * Transition Plans - graduate and return home or to boarding school * Follow-up - Two year or unlimited follow-up as needed


    Letter from Melissa

    To most people, my life right now probably seems near perfect. After completing two years of an undergraduate psychology degree, I decided to transfer to the social work program. I live on my own in a nice area of Toronto and have many friends here, despite moving from BC. I will almost always been seen with a smile on my face and can say that I am truly in a great place in my life right now. Although this is my present situation, I was under much different circumstances during most of my adolescence. Growing up I faced many difficulties and being a free- spirited child, I dealt with most of my problems by delving into what I call "escapism." For many teens it may seem easier to blur the world around them than to face what is actually happening. I chose to deal with my issues by abusing drugs and living a life that now seems like a different world. Fortunately, in the midst of my path of self-destruction I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to change. I toiled with the idea of going to a rehabilitation centre, but after looking at many of the "institutionalized" places that seem to overwhelm drug treatment facilities, I became deterred. I heard about Venture Academy, but was too caught up in my haze that I still would not budge from the life I was living. Then one day, I think that I hit my threshold because I decided I had had enough and wanted something different. I knew that I needed to take myself out of the current situation in order to get a new perspective. When you paint a picture it is usually wise to take a break every once and a while and then come back to it with a fresh mind. Then, you can make alterations to it because you are able to see it more clearly; this is what Venture Academy did for me. It enabled me to look at my life outside of everything else that was happening with my family, friends and environment. I was given the ability to make changes and build my self-esteem, self- awareness, and overall personal empowerment to become the person I had always wanted to be. In September of 2005, just a few months out of graduating from high school, I embarked on a new life journey, one that would hopefully allow me to be me. I feel that the counselling I received was essential in leading the way to figuring out who I truly am. I was soon determined to change and Venture Academy gave me the tools to do this. It wasn't about figuring out what was "wrong" with me, but finding out how I fit into this world and what feels "right". When I was ready, allowing me the freedom to still be me and interacting with the community was a huge freedom that many treatment programs for teens do not allow. I was able to participate in volunteer activities, interact with the other youth in the program, and also work in a full-time position job, which taught me many essential life skills. I know that self-actualization is a key factor in empowering individuals in Western communities. Venture Academy allowed me to do all of this. After reflecting on my time spent in the program and learning about the many aspects of our societal values, I truly believe that Venture Academy connects adolescents with the community in a way that no other program does. It enables youth to build on their own strengths, allowing them to find their inner power and rise above whatever is happening in their life. I am not saying that any treatment program is an easy road, but Venture Academy provides many opportunities and allows the youth when they are ready to actually be integrated with the community. I know that if given the right resources, adolescents can feel empowered to take hold of their chances in life. Problems such as drug abuse are not just individual, but also environmental; therefore, dealing with both sides of the coin (the individual and the environment) are absolutely essential. Not only does Venture Academy do all of this, it does so much more. It gives youth the tools to strive in life, to see that the world can be different than the one they are living in. It can give them hopes and dreams. It gave me a way to connect to who I really was and wanted to be. I was standing at a crossroad and had a choice to make. I chose to leave my current situation and go to Venture Academy. I am on my way to becoming a social worker, something that I know is my path in life and I am so grateful I was given the chance to change.


    About Us

    Since our establishment in 2000, Venture Academy has become a leader in youth assessment, treatment and individualized education services. When crisis at school or at home present themselves, many families struggle with finding a Canadian option for assistance and suitable programming. Venture Academy provides that option. Our strength based philosophy and individualized approach to each student's needs are conducive to supporting youth in overcoming emerging or historical challenges and establishing positive, long-term behavioural change and improved academic functioning. Venture Academy can help with crisis admission, assessment, stabilization, education and subsequent treatment planning. Direct admissions via parent inquiries, or third party referrals from independent schools are accepted. Our experienced clinical team, educators and counselling support staff provide expert assessment, treatment, and educational services for students who have struggled at home or in their school environments. Our goal is to support our students in reestablishing healthy and positive functioning at home and at school. We support our students in reintegrating back into their school of origin whenever possible.


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