Alpine Academy Reviews: Unbiased Survey of the Erda Utah Academy

alpine academy reviewsWhat is Alpine Academy and Alpine Academy reviews? How are they consistently leading the industry as one of the best private schools in America?

We had the opportunity to visit and review Utah’s Alpine Academy, a well-known therapeutic school for teenage girls, to learn what they do different in the industry to achieve the level of positive change they are able to help girls achieve.

Their friendly staff answered all our questions openly and surprisingly were even able to hand us an 82 page collection of unbiased feedback collected from recent students and parents who have experienced this remarkable boarding school. We were intrigued at the sheer volume of feedback they collect each year and also surprised at their high level of operational transparency.

When asked about the open feedback Alpine’s Director, Michele Boguslofski, said that they “strive for an environment of safe, warm and open communication [because] that’s where personal growth can take place and progress is made”.

Michele went on to say that their program “is the most transparent residential treatment center in America” and that “only certified Teaching Family Model (TFA) agencies like Alpine Academy reviews maintain this level of open transparency and acountability directly to the children and their parents.”

The TFA, we found out, is an empirically proven model for helping cultivate within developing youth a strong sense of resourcefulness. Apparently it also works in boarding schools for girls.

The concepts of the Teaching Family Model trumpeted by Alpine Academy as their approach to helping girls succeed is quite fascinating and worth looking into. A helpful video on the TFA for those interested can be found here: https://youtu.be/xPThHXT8GDQ

Alpine Academy’s staff were friendly and knowledgeable. Each were able to answer our questions to our satisfaction. They expressed a strong desire to make sure that they meet the individual needs of each of their students and their families.  Due to their accreditation with the Teaching-Family Association, each employee in their residential department undergo extensive and thorough evaluation and review by outside third-party evaporators after 6 and 12 months of employment and then each year after.

We don’t know any other boarding school that is an all girls school that does this.

Jason Stout, an Alpine Academy spokesperson, said they “welcome the rigorous and regular outside assessment from the TFA because of the high level of confidence they have in it’s proven effectiveness for positive change” and they “work to maintain fidelity of the implementation of that model [they] use”.

As part of this evaluation process, the students and their parents are given a consumer survey that remains anonymous about that specific employee.

The survey Alpine sends out consists of a series of questions on which the consumer rates each individual staff member on a scale of 1-4

1=unacceptable, 2=needs improvement, 3=satisfactory, 4=exceptional.

Each girl and each parent are additionally given the opportunity to comment on each question. We have been given permission to share their most recent results.

Typically, these surveys are done on a computer to further protect confidentiality of the consumer. Alpine reports they have found this survey system to be one of the invaluable components in obtaining positive feedback on what we are doing right, as well as giving those whom they serve an open opportunity to voice concerns and complaints and the chance for operational betterment and progress.

This website is created with the hope that this effective practice of open and available feedback regarding individual staff members will become more common-place in the industry.

Below are several of the responses from parents and youth regarding the academy’s residential team members (They call them “Family Teachers” and “Associate Family Teachers”).  In order to make it easier to read, all the responses for several staff members were each placed under each question.  So there will be many responses from many people about many different staff members. In an effort to maintain confidentiality, the names of the staff members involved have been removed and replaced with (staff) or (staff members).

Girl’s Questionnaire:

Do (staff members) say nice and encouraging things about you?

“Yes – they tell me I’m really smart.” (4)

 “Yes.” (3)(3) – 2 responses

“Yes – but sometimes I feel like they can get on my back a lot.” (3)

“Yes.  They give me advice and tell me that I have come a long way.” (4)

“Yes.  They respect that I don’t like physical contact and so they always ask before they touch me, they let me cry and yell but always tell me how much better I can do.” (4)

“Yes.  (Staff) especially helps me get past my upsets by telling me how I’m strong.” (4)

“Yes.  They give me strength to carry on after a hard day.” (4)

 “Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)(3)(3)

“Yes, they say I believe in you.” (4)

“Yes.  You’re doing really well, keep up the good work!!!” (4)

“Yes, they say that I am a very happy person and I am very sweet.” (4)

“Yes, when doing role plays they make sure to point out the positive things we do.” (4)

“Yes, they believe I can succeed.” (4)

“Yes, for example when I am sad or think that I can’t do something they will say that I can.” (4)

“Yes, she’s progressing well.” (4)

“Yes.  (Staff) tells me I can persevere through anything.  I just have to put my mind to it.” (4)

“Yes.  They are super sweet and the best I have ever met.  They are so willing and have helped me a lot.  I am going to miss them lots.” (4)

“Yes.  They tell me how intelligent and how much progress I’ve made all the time.  They complement me a lot.” (4)

“Yes.  They tell me when I am doing a good job.” (4)

“Yes, motivating statements.” (4)

“Yes.  I have been given complements and praises for when I do something correct or really well.” (4)

“Yes for the most part.  They give me compliments but also some of the things they say are hurtful and come off unpleasant.” (3)

“Yes.” (3)(3)

Do (staff members) encourage you to share your opinions?

“Yes – when I try not to express my emotions, they ask me how I’m feeling.” (4)

“Yes – they want me to express my genuine emotions.” (4)

 “Yes.” (3)(3) – 2 responses

“Yes.  Required participation in family meetings.” (4)

“Yes.  They ask me about my thoughts.” (4)

“Yes.  When my opinions are appropriate and won’t make anyone cry.” (4)

“Yes.  If I mumble an announcement (staff) will make me say it again louder because what I have to say matters.” (4)

“Yes.  Family meeting.” (4)

 “Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)(3)

“Yes, we do family meetings.” (4)

“Yes, during family meeting they give us consequences for not sharing our pros and cons.” (4)

“Yes, during family meetings and one-on-one.” (4)

“Yes, asking for my opinion.” (4)

“Yes, when I have something to say and I don’t want to or know how to they will ask if I need to say it.” (4)

“Yes, they reassure me I am doing well.” (4)

“Yes.  I don’t have an example!” (3)

“Yes.  For my treatment team reviews they always ask me what I have improved on and what I still need to improve on.” (4)

“Yes.  Family meetings or if I’m upset or think something is wrong they encourage me to come talk to them and share my thoughts so that I can fully understand everything they teach to me.” (4)

“Yes, especially in family meeting.” (4)

“Yes, usually in family meeting.” (4)

“Yes.  When I feel down or am just quiet, they try to get me to open and talk about my issues.” (4)

“Yes.  They expect me to always express my thoughts and feelings so they can get a better understanding of where I’m coming from, but I sometimes don’t feel encouraged because I feel like (staff) shuts me down a lot when I offer my opinion.” (3)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)

“They encourage it but they’re not as receptive towards it.” (3)

“(Staff) thinks I come off as controlling so I usually have to stay quiet.” (2)

“Often it feels like our opinions don’t matter.” (1)

Are (Staff members) fair?

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3) – 3 responses

“No – sometimes I feel like they play favorites in the house.” (1)

“Yes.  They have the same expectations for everyone.” (4)

“Yes.  I feel that mostly they are but that it’s something they could be more open to talking about.” (4)

“Yes.  They just are.” (4)

“Yes.  They play fairly in sports.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)(3)

“No.  They each seem to pick favorites in the house and things tend to be more biased.” (1)

“Yes, they are about every situation.” (4)

“Yes, they compromise when doing family activities and privilege activities.” (4)

“Yes, they make sure we all get our portion sizes checked off.” (4)

“Yes, they don’t issue consequences for stupid things.” (4)

“Yes, when I am working on my homework and we have to do something for the girls with privileges we can.” (4)

“Yes, sometimes I feel like they give me consequences I don’t earn and say I can ask for it to be voided so they don’t usually matter.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)

“Yes.  If I earn a consequence and let’s say I wasn’t listening, they make sure they take my iPod because it correlates to listening.” (4)

“Yes.  They try to look at things from our perspective and I really appreciate that.” (4)

“Yes, they treat us equally.” (4)

“Yes, they always try their hardest to be equivocal and treat each girl with fairness based upon what’s best for them.” (4)

“Yes.  They mostly hold the girls accountable for their mistakes and follow through with the consequences.” (3)

 “Yes, but I think they can work on it better.” (3)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)

“Sometimes if (Staff) is in a bad mood he’ll be super unfair.” (2)

“Sometimes I can’t share my opinions.” (2)

“Depends what kind of mood they are in.” (2)

Do (Staff Members) spend individual time with you?

“Yes – I can always talk to them.” (4)

“Yes – if I ever need to talk, they’re there for me.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)

“No – we don’t get any time one-on-one.” (1)

“Yes.  Each Family Teacher tries to sit down and talk with me when they feel necessary or when I need their support.” (4)

“Yes.  I just wish they could spend more time with me and the other girls individually, but alas there are only two of them and ten of us.  Maybe we should clone them.” (4)

“Yes.  (Staff) took me on a walk a couple months ago to calm down.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)

“Yes.  (Staff) does, (Staff) doesn’t as much.” (3)

“No, not really, but I like it that way.” (2)

“No.  They spend individual time if I’m upset or angry.” (1)

“Yes, they have one-on-one talks with me and play games with me.” (4)

“Yes.  When I need to talk about how I felt about something or even during free time and stuff they are there to talk to you.” (4)

“Yes, when I need to talk to them, they are always willing to talk to me.” (4)

“Yes, when we are struggling and want to talk.” (4)

“Yes, almost every day.” (4)

“Yes, on a sometime occasion because they are really busy and have to get to everyone.” (3)

“No, not unless they have to.” (1)

“Yes.  They both take time out of their day to ask me how I’m doing or we will joke around or play games.” (4)

“Yes, especially (Staff).  (4)

“Yes.  I talk to (Staff members) individually all the time.” (4)

“Yes they do, especially (Staff).” (4)

“Yes, working on homework.” (4)

“Yes.  I spend a lot of individual time with (Staff) just talking to him.  One time we even went paint balling and out to dinner with the rest of the houses and it felt very personal.  (Staff) does her very best with spending individual time but it’s hard for her because of her kids and other responsibilities, so I understand that.” (4)

“Yes.  (Staff) and I have been able to talk about my problems in a less crowded area.” (4)

 “Yes.” (3)(3)

Do you feel like you can talk to (Staff Members)?

“Yes – more (Staff), but I do because they listen to me, not just telling me what to do.” (4)

“Yes – they’re really comforting people.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3) – 2 responses

“Yes.  I feel that I can talk to (Staff) because he and I have a similar pasts.” (4)

“Yes.  Sometimes I get anxious when I begin to open up because I fear what they may think but I know that they will listen to me and tell me what they believe even if it is something I don’t want to hear.” (4)

“Yes.  They’re good problem solvers.” (4)

“Yes.  I can always pull (Staff) aside to ask her questions.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)

“Yes.  Not really (Staff), but I can have really beneficial conversations with (Staff).” (3)

“No.  I often feel like they are very busy and we usually only talk if we are having a hard time.” (1)

“Yes, all the time.” (4)

“Yes, they encourage us to talk and are very caring.” (4)

“Yes, I ask to talk to them when I feel like self-harming or depressed.” (4)

“Yes, when I need to talk about something important I can.” (4)

“Yes, most times.” (3)

“Yes.  I don’t have an example.” (3)

“Yes, same as the last example.” (3)

“Yes, because even if they are busy or if I made a mistake they are very open.” (4)

“Yes.  I express my feelings truthfully all the time to them knowing they will help and not judge.” (4)

“Yes, (Staff) especially because he actually listens to what I have to say.” (4)

“Yes, talking about my family life.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)

“No.  I feel like I can talk to (Staff) but at the same time I feel like I can’t because I feel like I’ll be judged, so it makes me not want to talk to him because I feel like the minute I say something I’ll just be judged, whereas with (Staff), I feel like she’s just not there very much so there isn’t much of an opportunity.” (1)

“No.  I only really feel like I can talk to (Staff) about my problems, and even then I usually don’t.” (1)

“Yes, although there are times when I would like to be able to privately talk with them more when I need to.” (3)

“They are always busy.” (2)

Do (Staff members) make you feel like you are an important part of this family?

“Yes – they encourage me to be a leader.” (4)

 “Yes.” (3)(3) – 2 responses

“Yes – at times, I feel I am important.  Other times, not so much.  Times I feel apart are going on family trips and such.” (3)

“Yes.  They tell me that I am important.” (4)

“Yes.  They let me speak my opinion if it’s an appropriate time.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)(3)

“Yes.  I feel I am an important part of the HOME.  I don’t consider it a family though.” (3)

“No.” (2)

“No.  I feel as though I am the screw you child in the home.” (1)

“Yes, they make everybody feel important.” (4)

“Yes.  Even when you are really upset and don’t want to try they are there for you and no matter what, they don’t give up on you.” (4)

“Yes, they never exclude me or anyone else.” (4)

“Yes, they make sure everyone is cared for.” (4)

“Yes, when I am helping out with lots of things in the house that no one does, I do it.” (4)

“No, I feel like another freak most times.” (1)

“No, I don’t feel like I belong in the home or at Alpine.” (1)

“Yes, because I don’t feel higher or lower than my peers around me or even a favorite because they taught me that we are all an equal.” (4)

“Yes.  They tell me I am a lot.” (4)

“Yes, they make me feel important.” (4)

“Yes, I get included in decisions.” (4)

“Yes.  They make me feel very involved and included.  I really feel like I matter to them.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)

“No.  I have an issue with feeling wanted and not bothersome, but I am getting better at it.” (2)

“It’s hard with their religion.  I’m not comfortable talking to them about a lot of things so I talk to my therapist.” (2)

Do you enjoy spending time with (Staff members)?

“Yes – (Staff) is funny and (Staff) is nurturing.” (4)

“Yes – the soldier show and star party.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)

“Yes – I enjoy spending time with (Staff), but not (Staff).” (3)

“Yes.  They are really funny and they give good advice and they let down their walls and interact with each of us.” (4)

“Yes.  They love me and are very fun and enjoyable because they aren’t like military leaders.  They know how to joke around.” (4)

“Yes.  Each outing or activity I enjoy being with them because of the fun and meaningful interactions that occur.” (4)

“Yes.  Again the cloning thing.” (4)

“Yes.  I love going on family activities with the family.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)(3)

“Yes, all the time.” (4)

“Yes, doing family activities.” (4)

“Yes, they are always pleasant to be around.” (4)

“Yes, they are funny and kind.” (4)

“Yes, they’re fun.” (4)

“Yes, we do things that are fun and laugh when we are having free time in the house.” (4)

“Yes, they’re fun and they make me laugh.” (4)

“Yes, because we have built a relationship where we can joke around and just have fun.” (4)

“Yes.  They both have a great sense of humor and fun personalities and they’re fun to be around and talk to.” (4)

“Yes, especially when we go on private activities.” (4)

“Yes, especially on weekends.” (4)

“Yes.  I like going off campus with them and just hanging out and doing fun things because I can tell they’re genuinely engaged and enjoying spending time with me/everyone.” (4)

“Yes.  It all depends on who and what we’re doing.  Like, I really enjoy watching movies with (Staff).” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)

 “No comment.” (4)(3)(3)(3)(3)(3)(3)(3)

“I feel left out most of the time by (Staff).” (2)

Do you know how (Staff members) expect you to behave?

“Yes – if I don’t know how I am supposed to, they get disappointed.” (4)

“Yes – they expect good things out of us and they help shape us into better people.  We all mess up, but they know in the end, we’ll all be happy and they love us no matter what.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)

“Yes – they set very high expectations which they are not teaching to us.” (3)

“Yes.  They go over expectations frequently in family meeting.” (4)

“Yes.  They remind me a lot.” (4)

“Yes.  They very promptly tell me goals they have for me.” (4)

“Yes.  Most of the time, but some expectations are a surprise.” (3)

 “Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)(3)(3)

“Yes, every single day.” (4)

“Yes, they are very clear when they want us to do something.” (4)

“Yes, they set expectations and consequences for us when we don’t follow them.” (4)

“Yes, like a Weekly.” (4)

“Yes they want me and others to be respectful to everyone, even if I don’t like them.” (4)

“Yes, they’re honest.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)

“Yes.  They make it very clear that since I am on Transition that I need to be a role model and hold my peers accountable.” (4)

“Yes.  They always have the same high expectations that everyone in the house is always aware of.” (4)

“Yes, especially in school, we are really working hard on that.” (4)

“Yes, their guidelines and expectations are very clear and they make it very obvious.” (4)

“Yes.  I am expected to be kind and well behaved.  I have grown up in this sort of environment so it’s nothing that new.” (4)

“Yes, most of the time but they could be a little clearer.” (3)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)

“They tend to spoil fun.” (2)

Are (Staff members) good role models?

“Yes – the way they live, their marriage, they went through hard times and survived.” (4)

“Yes – I would love to have the patience and passion and love that they have when I’m older.” (4)

“Yes – I think they are very stable adults.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)

“Yes.  They are steady and they know what they want in life.” (4)

“Yes.  They show me how to compose myself.” (4)

“Yes.  Their sobriety, strength, honesty, selflessness, and support of others even when things are hard for them.” (4)

“Yes.  X and X almost never fight in front of us to set up a good example for the other girls.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)(3)(3)

“Yes, they are super caring.” (4)

“Yes, they are nice and wise.” (4)

“Yes, they always follow the expectations.” (4)

“Yes, when we are loud they talk quietly so that we can hear them speak.” (4)

“Yes, they help me get through tough times and show me what patience looks like.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)

“Yes, because the way they act or teach their own children they use the Model.  They don’t talk down on themselves and they always persevere through daily challenges.” (4)

“Yes.  They follow expectations, don’t go too over budget, etc. and talk to us about how things here correlate to how in the future we will also have responsibilities to manage.” (4)

“Yes.  They are very jokey, but serious at the same time.” (4)

“Yes.  They model good behavior.” (4)

“Yes.  They never do anything they wouldn’t want us to do, they always model the behaviors they want to see from us.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)

“No.  Sometimes I feel like they don’t always hold themselves the same standards that they hold us to.” (1)

“Oh yeah.” (3)

“I’m in the middle between completely disagree and disagree.  Expectations change all of the time and it becomes confusing.” (2)

“Sometimes the line of expectation is not clear.” (2)

Do (Staff members) encourage you to help out others in your home?

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3) – 3 responses

“No – they say it’s like the blind leading the blind.” (1)

“Yes.  They tell me as well as others to treat everyone with respect.” (4)

“Yes.  When I am in the space they offer and coach me to do so.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)(3)(3)(3)(3)

“Yes, all the time so we can have better relationships in the house and home.” (4)

“Yes, they always encourage me to be nice to others.” (4)

“Yes, we are encouraged to help others with chores when they need help.” (4)

“Yes, earning positives for encouraging peers to do the right thing.” (4)

“Yes, when someone needs help with a chore (Staff) will ask us to help them with their chore.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)

“Yes, because they always say it builds relationships and what if one day you need help, but you never help anyone else.  Others aren’t going to want to help you.” (4)

“Yes.  That was something they even told me in my Achievement meeting, to do my responsibilities but after to help others when there’s more to be done and not just sit around.” (4)

“Yes.  I am able to help with role plays and advice.” (4)

“Yes during homework hour if a peer needs help I am allowed to help them if I know how to do the work and if I don’t have a whole lot of my own work.” (4)

“Yes.  One of their main expectations is that we help out at any available opportunity.  (Staff) makes this a priority and encourages me and everyone to play an equal role in helping in the home.” (4)

“Yes.  When someone is struggling on a chore or something of that sort, I am sometimes promoted to help them out.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)

Do you get to talk with important people in your life (ex: parents, caseworkers, siblings)?

“Yes – they’ll let me have extra time with my parents on the phone because I struggle with my relationships.” (4)

“Yes – On all my call outs, I get to talk to my sisters and parents, sometimes even my other family members.” (4)

“Yes – I have phone calls with my parents.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)

“Yes.  They will sometimes let us call on their phones.” (4)

“Yes.  Parents, yes.  Siblings, sometimes.  Caseworkers, what caseworkers?” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)(3)(3)(3)

“No.  There are some instances where they won’t let me call on my call out day.  They say I made a call (with my mom but it lasted 7 minutes and then I had to go and so did she but she wanted me to call back and I could not do that) and I couldn’t talk to my dad and sister.” (1)

“Yes, every Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.” (4)

“Yes, on call days.” (4)

“Yes, when I have my academics and no missing assignments I am able to call on my regular call days.” (4)

“Yes, weekly calls with parents.” (4)

“Yes, 2 call days a week.” (4)

“Yes, on my phone call I can talk to my parents.” (4)

“Yes, not as much as I want to.” (2)

“Yes.  I get 15 minutes or more depending if it is an important conversation.” (4)

“Yes.  I always get the opportunity to call them.” (4)

“Yes.  I am allowed to talk to my parents pretty frequently.” (4)

“Yes.  My dad’s recovering from surgery and I’m talking to him every day.” (4)

“Yes, I finally was allowed phone calls with my sister.” (4)

“Yes.  I feel like I can open up to my close family and very close friends, but only to a certain extent.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)

Do you get the opportunity to help make decisions during family meetings?

“Yes.” (3)(3) – 2 responses

“Yes – if I raise my hand and get called on, I can make a decision.” (3)

“Yes – we can bring up topics and vote whether it’s a rule we want to change and then they make the final call.” (3)

  “Yes.  They expect everyone to participate.” (4)

“Yes.  We can only participate one time.” (4)

“Yes.  We all get to say what we think and then we have the chance to vote.” (4)

“Yes.  You must participate in the meeting.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)(3)(3)

“Yes, voting.” (4)

“Yes, listing pros and cons.” (4)

“Yes, we all put our input in.” (4)

“Yes, voting and giving ideas.” (4)

“Yes, when I have an idea about what to do.” (4)

“Yes, I try.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)

“Yes.  They always say, ‘This is your family meeting and your time to make a change in the home, so here is your opportunity.’” (4)

“Yes, as long as you raise your hand quietly and respectfully.” (4)

“Yes, I give suggestions and that is very cool.” (4)

“Yes, we get to give our input.” (4)

“Yes.  I’m encouraged to speak up and give my opinion during family meetings and when I say something good, they make sure I’m acknowledged by reinforcing my behavior which makes me feel important in decision making.” (4)

“Yes.  I feel like I have a voice, but I am sometimes too self-conscious to do so.” (4)

 “Yes.” (3)(3)(3)

Are you included in decisions regarding your Treatment Plan?

“Yes.” (3)

“Yes – I could make myself more involved.” (3)

“Yes – sometimes I wish to be a part of it way more.” (3)

“No – I’ve never really been asked about what I want to do.” (1)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)(3)(3)

“No.” (2)

“No.  I often get told and informed what the plan is, and if there are any changes.” (2)

“No.  Don’t really know anything but me signing my treatment review and advocating for an advancement in a level.” (1)

“No.  I feel I should be more involved when important meetings are going on about my treatment in general.” (1)

“Yes, they let me read it.” (4)

“Yes, they ask us if there is anything we want to change before treatment meeting.” (4)

“Yes, giving my opinions about things.” (4)

“Yes, when I have new goals.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)

“No, my parents decide most of it.” (1)

“No, they have never once come to me and talked to me about it.” (1)

“Yes.  They always ask me what I think I am doing well and what I can improve on.” (4)

“Yes on what I need to do in order to graduate.” (4)

“Yes.  X will sit down with us and write our treatment reviews with us and talk to us about it.” (4)

“Yes I am, but not all the time.  I would like to be involved more.” (3)

“Yes.” (3)(3)(3)(3)

“No.  I never really hear much about my Treatment Plan and it’s never mentioned to me.  It feels like something totally out of my control because nobody ever really includes me, but (Staff) started letting us oversee his treatment reviews and give our opinions on his write-ups, but that was only once so I can’t really say I feel totally included.” (2)

“I get to talk to my family, and my friends.” (4)

“I appreciate how flexible they are with letting me talk to my parents.” (3)

“They say, ‘everyone’s opinions matter’.” (4)

“I’ve given feedback, but I’m not sure if any of it has been used so far.” (2)

“Sometimes I don’t feel like I get knowledge of what is going on with mine and they don’t go into detail about academics when going over my Treatment Plan.” (2)

“Not always.” (2)

Are you and all other youth required to wear seatbelts correctly every time you are driving in a vehicle?

“Yes – we earn a negative if we don’t wear seatbelts.” (4)

“Yes – one time I didn’t, man, I got a negative.” (4)

“Yes – you get a VERY large consequence if you don’t.” (4)

“Yes.” (4)(4)(4)(4)(4)(4)

“Yes.  Before driving they always ask if we are buckled.” (4)

“Yes.  Knuckles for buckles.” (4)

“Yes.  We get negative consequences if we don’t.” (4)

“Yes.  CHECK!” (4)

“Yes, in the car.” (4)

“Yes, every time we are in the car, they always call for a seatbelt check.” (4)

“Yes, we do seatbelt check before we leave.” (4)

“Yes, seatbelt checks.” (4)

“Yes, so that way we do not get hurt.  We do seatbelt checks before we drive.” (4)

“Yes, a girl got a big negative for not.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)

“Yes.  They will ask if everyone is buckled in and even do it a second time just to make sure and if we are not then they won’t move the car.” (4)

“Yes we always all call out ‘check’, signaling that our seatbelts are on before they ever start driving.” (4)

“Yes.  This is every time we get into the car.” (4)

“Yes.  We always do a seatbelt check before we leave to go somewhere.” (4)

“Yes always.  We always do seatbelt checks.” (4)

“Yes.” (4)(4)(4)(4)

Do (Staff), or any other staff, use a mobile device while they are driving?

“Yes – I have seen them use their cell phones before while driving.  It is dangerous, even if it’s for a quick reason.” (1)

“Yes – you will see them use their phone while driving.  It doesn’t happen every time, but it happens.” (1)

“Yes – sometimes they take a quick glance at their phones while driving.” (1)

“No.” (4)(4)(4)(4)(4)(4)

“No.  They always put it in a cup holder.” (4)

“No.  It is against the law.” (4)

“No.  They just don’t.” (4)

“Yes.  Only occasionally they’ll answer their phones, but not on a normal basis.” (2)

“Yes.  They know the rules, and if it is an important call, they have a trusted Weekly or Achievement answer and tell the driver what they need to know about it.” (4)

“Yes.  They hand the phone to the person in the passenger seat and have them put the phone on speaker when it’s an important call.” (4)

“Yes, if getting a call have person in passenger seat answer or click off their phone till they get home.” (4)

“Yes, when a parent is calling they let it go to voice mail sometimes.” (4)

“Yes.” (3)(3)

“No, they try not to but they sometimes do occasionally.” (2)

“NOOOOOOOOOOO!  They will either pull over or stop/park the car.” (4)

“No.  They don’t answer while they are driving or they have the other staff in the passenger seat answer it if there is a staff in the passenger seat.” (4)

“No they do not.” (4)

“No.  They usually will pull over if it’s an important enough call.” (4)

“No.  They never use the phone while driving and if they do they pull over.” (4)

“No.” (4)(4)(4)(4)

Are there any changes or improvements you think X should make?

“Make more orange rolls.”

“They should ask us more even when we seem fine to talk to them about our struggles, asking us more of what we need in our treatment, more help with my schoolwork, help me get more bonds so I can get to Achievement because I have had 20 for almost a year.”

“They should get to know each girl individually and not play favorites.”

“Being a little more patient with others.”

“To talk to more girls one-on-one, not when they’re in trouble.”

“Empathy statements with hard instructions.”

“They could be more understanding with me and why I behave the way I do, and they could make changes in the area of us not being able to do our makeup after breakfast and simple crap like that.”

“Nope…well yes, but I can’t think of any right now.”

“Make sure that they are being mindful about what they say about a girls’ treatment around the girl that they are talking about.”

“There should be more time to do more things and have fun.”

“No and yes.  Nobody’s perfect.”

“Well no, they are leaving in 14 days.  I think they are doing fine.”

“Naw, they are great!!!!!”

“No, I think their teaching styles are very effective and pleasant, I’ve enjoyed every moment I’ve had the opportunity to be with them.”

“No.  I am pretty happy with what I get.”

“Yes.  Be even more clear about your expectations and don’t always go on a case by case basis with everything because it’s extremely confusing when youth get in trouble for not understanding what the expectations are.”

“Not really and besides, even if there were it’s not like they have very much time to try and implement it since they’re literally leaving in 12 days.”

“I think that they should try to be a little more sensitive when talking to girls about personal/semi-personal issues.”

“Be more respectful towards us.”

“Keep things consistent.  Communicate better with everyone in treatment team.  Try to keep judgment down because of their religion.  Example being their beliefs in gay marriage.  Better positive to negative ratios.  Don’t tell people that they’re close to being on a level if they’re not.  Less punishing feedback.  (Staff) seems to punish another girl in my house a lot.  Spend less house money on their own personal stuff.”

“I think that maybe points on our skill cards because sometimes we don’t get recognized for them.”

“I think that they could be more supportive of everyone, and to try to make an effort with everyone, even if one person is having a hard time.  I feel like they give too much attention to the people that are having a hard time, and not enough to the girls that they think are doing okay.  When some things are going okay, they tend to give them less attention.”

“A slight improvement they could make is spending more time with the girls.”

“They should try not assuming of how I feel.”

“They could be more firm and blunt and not let peers walk all over them.”

“I feel like sometimes their opinions/feedback about how you’re doing can be incongruent.  One day they will say you’re doing amazing and on top of the ball, and the next say you’re not working as hard.  I just feel like they could be more congruent with their feedback.”


What do (Staff) do best?


“(Staff) make sure that we are not babied and care a lot about our progress at Alpine.”

“Unconditional love.”

“They treat me like I’m one of their kids, not just another girl here.”

“Have meaningful conversations with individual girls.”


“They do good at being a role model and providing girls clear expectations.”

“They are really good at talking to us and helping us get through tough situations.”

“Keeping the house smooth.”

“They know how to love a child.  They are strong and love each other.  They know when I need Patrick the horse and they take me there so I can be at one with myself.”

“Makes me laugh.”

“Listen and ensure that we have a safe home where we can have fun but still grow in our treatment.”

“They know things about us that we don’t know or want to accept about ourselves and help us come to terms with whatever that may be.”

“They pull people who are having a hard time with the day aside to speak with them.”

“They give lots of hugs.”

“Help you in hard times.”

“They are very good at being strict and nice at the same time, and that is what I like about them the most.”

“Point out what we need to work on so we can improve, help the house get along, and offer a good environment.”

“Be good role models for the girls and try their best even when overly annoyed.”

“They are respectful and polite to us.”


“They always make you feel like you are a part of something big and you are that one change in your life and in others too.”

“Literally everything.  Maybe they could be a wee bit better at finding good associates. LOL.“

“They’re very loving.”

“They build deep, meaningful relationships with us and really do care about us and I really appreciate that and have been very happy with having them as my family teachers while I’ve been here, they’re like family to me by now.”

“They know when I need to talk to them.  They are always there for me and they help me with my school which they know is really important to me.”

“Model that family is important.”

“(Staff): being fair and making me feel heard and listened to.  (Staff): being reliable and dependable, always following through with things people ask of her and putting all of her effort into it.”


“I have seen them trying their best to be fair.”

“Encourage us.”

“I personally believe that they’re the best, or at least second best Family Teachers on campus.  There may be things I don’t agree with, but I know that they have their best interest at heart for all of us.  I’m very glad I’m in this home, and when I level up I feel like it’s completely earned and it feels really rewarding.  I think that they’ve implemented some feedback.  I appreciate how they changed our point economy, because it brought a lot of hope to me and the other Weekly’s in my house.  They’re really amazing, but stuff could be improved.”

“(Staff) is caring and says positive encouragements about us and (Staff) also does the same thing.”

“I think that they are attentive to people that need help.”

“Something they do best is praising me and my peers when it is deserved.”

“Stay calm.”

“They recognize when you are doing well and care about your well being.”

“They do really well with motivational speaking.  If you’re feeling down or need encouragement, they’re great at helping you feel worth the time and effort.”


Parent Questionnaire:

As far as being able to answer this questionnaire is concerned, how familiar are you with (Staff)?

“They have worked with my daughter for the past 6 months.” (4)

“I have met them, and have had many conversations with them.” (3)


“My daughter has only been at Alpine for a month.” (2)

“I have talked to (Staff) on the phone and met them in October while I was attending Parent’s Workshop.  So I would say I am somewhere between familiar and somewhat familiar with them.” (3)

“Worked with less than 6 months.” (3)

How satisfied are you with the amount of cooperation and assistance you have received from (Staff) in working with your child?

“The information I receive in their reports is detailed, objective, and compassionate.” (4)

“They go the extra mile.  (Staff) personally provided our daughter extra support in preparing for the hike and then supported her to ensure she completed it.  It was a life event for her and is helping her regain her self-esteem.” (4)

“They are full partners with us.  We recognize that they are essentially serving as our daughter’s parents while she is at Alpine.  We receive advice from them on a regular basis, regarding our interactions with our daughter.  We watch them closely as living examples of how to parent.  They are teachers for us as much as for our daughter.” (4)

“They are great.  They go above and beyond to work as a team and provide any assistance we need.” (4)


“Always take as much time as I need to answer questions, offer feedback, etc.” (4)

“I would like a little more communication.  I will admit that it is difficult to reach us by phone, but emails or texts would be nice.” (2)

“The stability and foundation practices have been astounding.  Yet, there hasn’t been enough time to see any significant changes in our daughter.” (3)

“Communicative, friendly, open to feedback.” (3)

“Communication is inconsistent.  Commitments are not consistently met.” (2)

How satisfied are you that (Staff) are doing an effective job in helping your child?

“Our daughter’s academic performance has been the best of her life.  The teachers challenge, then support her.” (4)

“Our daughter is in a much better place after a year with them, along with all the other supports provided by Alpine.  She is still the same person, with the same personality quirks, but she is so much more reasonable and healthy now than she was before.  We ascribe this change in large part to the behavioral program delivered by (Staff), which is one part carrot and stick, one part love and mercy.” (4)

“They are both compassionate yet firm in their style which is very much needed with our daughter.” (4)

“Sometimes 5 minutes just doesn’t feel like enough time to talk and connect. But I know that is a procedure not due to (Staff)”

“Have been the stability needed and support to continue when things got challenging for child.” (4)

“Structured and a firm and a kind and compassionate environment.” (4)

“Sometimes their religious views are inserted into the mix.  Apparently a lot of the girls there are dealing with their sexual identity and I could see how these views would be very confusing and not helpful for the girls.” (2)

“Seem to not have the ability to manage the overall needs of the home.  Perhaps this is due to the high turnover of staff and the inability to have full staffing in this home.” (2)

How satisfied are you with the level of communication you have with (Staff) concerning your child?

“We do not have consistent communication FROM them on a regular basis.  They are available when we initiate the contact.” (2)

“I still think this is an area that needs improvement.” (2)

“The level of communication has been great and nothing changes unless it is discussed and agreed upon first.” (4)

“They were with us on the phone every day for the first months.  Now that our daughter is on ‘Achievement’, our contact has lessened, which is appropriate.  Bottom line: they are available whenever we need them.” (4)

“Both are both great communicators…verbally and written (via text and email).” (4)

“Our communications has been on visits and the communication was thorough.” (3)

“I wish our phone calls were more frequent.  I wish they were once a week.” (3)

“In the beginning it was excellent.  Sometimes now we do not hear from them for over a week.  But they always call if there is something specific to discuss.” (3)

“(Staff) provides more detail and greater depth of understanding.  Communication from (Staff) has been more perfunctory.” (2)


“See above.” (2)

“They have been terrific at communicating with me about my daughter.  And, when I visit they are able to spend time with me and update me on her progress.” (4)

“Appropriate amount of calls and check-in’s.” (3)

“Do not get regular communication, and what I do get is inconsistent.” (2)

How satisfied are you that (Staff) are meeting their responsibilities in providing your child with an attractive, clean, safe, and pleasant living environment?

“They are great.  They are always responsive to questions pertaining to our daughter.” (4)

“We are still fairly new and that is why I’ve answered the way I did!” (4)

“Overall, they do an admirable job of working with and caring for our daughter.  Their commitment to her well being is apparent and very important.” (4)

“They do good work.” (4)

“The environment of the home is completely conducive to therapeutic healing.  The house feels calm, pretty, soothing.” (4)

“We love the home!  It is always, clean and ‘homey’.” (4)

“From the first day, they have been outstanding.  Their professionalism, skill, enthusiasm, and empathy are extraordinary, and much appreciated by us.  On visits, we have observed them with our daughter and they are clearly very knowledgeable — but they are also kind and both have great attitudes and a sense of humor and perspective.  They are always willing to take time to teach and talk with us, by phone and when we visit.  Although our daughter continues to struggle, we have great hope that she will end up with the best possible outcome because of their caring, love and, efforts.  THEY ARE AWESOME!!!  Give them a big bonus and a pay increase!!” (4)

“Well run household.  Clean, organized.” (4)

“I think all of Alpine Academy can use some updating on their nutritional information.  Coming from California, it’s surprising to see the amount of processed food, and the small amount of fresh fruits and vegetables.  As far as clean, safe, pleasant goes = A+.” (2)

Any additional comments or suggestions?

“Probably our fault, but we’ve felt a little under-educated about when and how often communication occurs for the average family.”

“Continuous improvement in communication among home, school, and clinical staff is challenging, I’m sure, but important.  Progress has been made there.  Please continue to improve.”

“Thank you.”

“Our daughter has progressed light years since attending Alpine.”

“They are fantastic.  They take care of our daughter better than we probably would.”

“They are excellent Family Teachers and have helped our daughter a great deal.  We could not be more pleased with them.”

“Thank you, (Staff), for the great skill and care you bring to your work.  Our daughter benefits and so do we.”

“Keep up the excellent work.  We cannot express our gratitude for caring for our daughter like she was their own.

“They are always willing to discuss our concerns and come up with ideas and solutions.  They work well with us as a team to address the needs of our daughter.”

“I think they are doing a great job with our daughter.  I get the impression sometimes that (Staff) doesn’t get to spend as much time with the girls and I think it would be great if she could spend as much time with them as (Staff) does.  I think they balance each other very nicely.”

“I feel they’re calm, kind, and compassionate demeanor is perfect for this job.  They are loving but hold to boundaries and rules.”

“Communication from one on one counseling for my daughter and sharing information with me or how I can help my daughter is very poor.”

“It seems to be taking me a while to figure the program out, but they have been patient and have answered all my questions kindly.”

“I wish they would figure out a way to get the gym more.  I know they are extremely busy with a full house, but it would be helpful for all girls.”

“They are absolutely dedicated.  And it is very obvious.  We are grateful to them.  It is not easy being (Staff).”

“Meals need better planning — too many carbs and starches, and not enough vegetables.  More access to fruit and vegetables, please.  When they take the girls out to eat, I would like them to not mainly choose burger joints.”

“Both (Staff) have been extraordinary parent teachers.  They are thorough, professional, insightful, and completely committed to each girl’s success.  We could not be more pleased with the communication and level of support they have provided to our whole family.”

Any feedback, comments, or suggestions regarding the Alpine Academy program?

“A life-saving place!”

“It is not apparent that there is sufficient communication between the home counselors, the individual therapist, and the academic staff.  There have been multiple instances when the individual therapist and academic staff have been unaware of ongoing challenges for our daughter.  In addition, there has been little communication or feedback from the administration and no indication that the care our daughter is receiving is being tracked and coordinated.  Assuming that such coordination is happening is insufficient.  We need contact and feedback.”

“It has crossed my mind to have the young ladies grow fresh fruit and vegetables and would aid their education as well as their diet.”

“The Associate teachers could perhaps use more training from (Staff) as they are fine, but there is a real difference in the house when they are away.  Associates are great when (Staff) are there supervising; when no Family Teacher the house feels a little less in control.”

“Two simple words: It’s working.  Two more simple words: Thank you.”

“We are so grateful that we found Alpine Academy.  Every single person we have had contact goes above and beyond. THANK YOU!”

“I think (Staff) is doing an excellent job of working with my daughter.”

“We have been very happy with the program at Alpine.  The staff is always attentive and invested in the well being of our daughter.  The Family Model is just what our daughter needs.  Thank you!”

“Very happy with Alpine thus far.”

“They are great!!”

“I think Alpine is wonderful overall.  I am so grateful that my daughter is there and getting the highest quality of help available.”

For a full copy of this survey please feel free to contact Alpine Academy.

It’s here.