Frequently Asked Questions

What are admission criteria for Valley View students?

Our students arrive at Valley View School with a variety of strengths, but also some significant challenges. We admit boys between the ages of 10 and 15 who have issues such as ADHD, oppositional behavior, anxiety and depressive disorders, executive functioning problems, school refusal, learning differences, low self-esteem, grief and loss, and reactions to parental divorce and adoption. We do not accept applicants whose problems include drug addiction, psychotic disorders, or a history of violence, sexual deviance, or significant conduct disorder. For more information, please click here to visit our Admissions page.

What is the yearly schedule at Valley View?

We follow a traditional boarding school schedule with the addition of a 6-week summer program. Our academic year starts immediately after Labor Day. We have four two-week breaks in the course of the ensuing 12-month period. Breaks are over the December holidays, mid-March, late June, and late August. These breaks serve the important purpose of supporting and in some cases restoring family connections. In those rare instances where a situation requires it, we have the capability of sustaining boys on campus over a break.

When are new students admitted to Valley View?

We use a rolling admission process; students are admitted throughout the year.

What is the student / teacher ratio?

On average, our ratio is 4:1. At this level of staffing, we are able to provide highly individualized instruction to our students.

My son has learning differences and / or is on an IEP. How will Valley View meet his educational needs?

We have a seasoned, extremely well qualified teaching staff that is able to work individually with our students to meet their needs and make accommodations required by most IEPs. In addition, we have a learning specialist on staff who consults with our teachers, evaluates students’ needs, and can provide in-classroom specialized instruction and after school tutoring for boys who require these services. She is certified in both Orton-Gillingham and Wilson reading systems. For more information, please click here to visit our Academic section.

What therapeutic services are offered at Valley View?

The foundation of our therapeutic approach is our milieu. Over the decades that our school has been working with struggling boys, we have constructed a structured, beneficial environment within which our students can settle in, find space to recognize and face their challenges, address emotional and social developmental needs, and begin the construction of a positive sense of identity. We accomplish all of this within a strong relational context. Our staff strives to connect with each of our students in positive ways and our staff mantra is "connection before correction". The salutary relationships among our students and staff are an essential ingredient in our successful outcomes. In addition, we employ a broad, targeted array of formal therapeutic engagements. Our doctoral-level psychologists provide individual and family therapy services. A board certified child psychiatrist provides expert psychiatric services and consults on clinical matters as they arise. We contract with a parent consulting practice, which works with our families to provide parenting coaching and support. We have constructed a series of group therapy experiences that target areas in which our students struggle, such as social skills and self-regulation, anger management/emotional education groups, a mindfulness / meditation group, and our unique executive functioning training program. Expressive arts groups enable boys who struggle with verbal expression of feelings to explore emotions using art, sculpture, music and drumming. Valley View students also can access on-site speech therapy and dietitian services. For more information, please click here to visit our Therapy section.

What activities are available at Valley View School?

It would be hard to think of an activity that we have not offered at one point or another at Valley View. We offer a wide range of athletics. We have school teams in soccer, basketball, cross-country, tennis, ultimate frisbee and golf. Our students compete against other schools in our area and offer boys the excitement of being on their school athletic team. In addition, our boys have access to many other sports more informally, such as skiing, hockey, baseball, football, disc golf, weight training, and so forth. We offer a vibrant theater program, presenting two major play productions per year. Our music program has grown recently, and many of our students are taking music lessons. Outdoor activities are central and involve hiking, gardening, camping, canoeing, fishing, biking, and skateboarding. Community service work is a significant part of our program, with the majority of our students donating many hours of work to the local community. In reality, our small size and advantageous location enables us to stimulate and nurture a wide range of interests for our students

How long does a boy stay at Valley View School?

We conceptualize our program as a two-year plus process, and, in fact, our average length of stay is 18 months to two years. By the time a boy arrives at Valley View School, the quick fix options usually have been exhausted. Our model is developmental and thus time is an important variable in our approach. Nonetheless, we do not hold a rigid focus on length of stay; some boys might be ready to graduate before two years, and some have found it beneficial to remain at the school for three years or more. We strive to look at the specific needs of our students and work collaboratively with parents in the determination of the best interests of their son.

How is technology handled at Valley View School?

Our students are not allowed to have personal digital devices such as cell phones, laptops, or tablets. We want our students to be “fully present" and engaged in the milieu. However, we offer a range of technology under supervised circumstances, such as a computer lab and 3D printing. Furthermore, our classrooms are equipped with smart boards, computers, and other forms of academic technology. As students approach graduation, we engage them in a seminar designed to foster responsible use of technology. This seminar helps prepare our graduates for the dizzying array of digital choices they will confront. In the two months before graduation, our prospective graduates move into a separate dorm and are allowed monitored re-integration into the digital world with intensive education and counseling on achieving moderation and healthy usage.

What is our Wellness Policy?

Valley View School (VVS) is committed to the optimal development of every student. VVS believes that for students to have the opportunity to achieve personal, academic, developmental and social success, we need to create positive, safe and health-promoting learning environments at every level, in every setting, throughout the school year.

Research shows that two components, good nutrition and physical activity before, during and after the school day, are strongly correlated with positive student outcomes.

This policy outlines Valley View School’s approach to ensuring environments and opportunities for all students to practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors throughout the school day while minimizing commercial distractions. Specifically, this policy establishes goals and procedures to ensure that:

  • Students attending the school have access to healthy foods throughout the school day ‒ both through reimbursable school meals and other foods available throughout the school campus‒in accordance with Federal and state nutrition standards.
  • Students receive quality nutrition education that helps them develop lifelong healthy eating behaviors; Valley View School has a registered nutritionist available for students with specific dietary needs.
  • Students have opportunities to be physically active before, during and after school; Valley View School offers organized sports, hikes, bike riding, skate boarding, basketball, tennis, cross country skiing, downhill skiing and more.
  • Schools engage in nutrition and physical activity promotion and other activities that promote student wellness.
  • School staff are encouraged and supported to practice healthy nutrition and physical activity behaviors in and out of school.
  • VVS establishes and maintains an infrastructure for management, oversight, implementation, communication about and monitoring of the policy and its established goals and objectives.

This policy applies to all students and staff. Specific measureable goals and outcomes are identified within each section below.

Valley View is situated on 215
acres of forests and rolling hills in
the heart of New England just 75
miles outside of Boston.
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