Learning While at a Residential Treatment Center

While at Oxbow Academy, your teen will have access to year-round education. Teachers who are licensed by the State of Utah will help your teen learn.

This article describes the academic program at Oxbow Academy, including:

Prepare students to be healthy, engaged, productive learners and contributing members of their community

Defining Competency-Based Education

Oxbow Academy uses a model of education called competency-based learning. In competency-based learning, your son will move at an individualized pace. He will show he is competent in one subject before moving on to the next one.

Your teen's teacher will help determine the pace of each student. The pace will depend on your teen’s abilities. He will not be asked to move more quickly or slowly than he is able.

Competency-based education involves independent study. It also includes the support of a licensed teacher.

In a public school setting, teachers may teach classes of thirty or more students. Under these circumstances, there is little opportunity for individual instruction for each student.

At Oxbow Academy, each student receives direct, individualized instruction from his teacher. Students at Oxbow Academy may receive more direct, individualized instruction than traditional classrooms.

Because your teen must show he understands one subject before moving on to the next, he will not "get lost". The structure of the classes may help to identify "holes" in your teen's education. His teacher can work with your teen to repair the holes.

Academic Progress While In Treatment

Some parents worry treatment means they will have to sacrifice learning opportunities. For most troubled teens, progress in treatment correlates to academic progress.

Academic testing reveals this pattern of progress.

Your son will take the MAP testing at the beginning and end of treatment. The test provides an assessment of their academic progress. It provides part of the foundation for the student’s education plan (SEP).

Most students involved in the competency-based program improve their ability to learn. Learning skills your teen may make include:

  • Developing organizational skills.
  • Improving note-taking skills.
  • Increased reading comprehension and reading competency.
  • Improved reading speed and comprehension.
  • Increased vocabulary and spelling competency.
  • Increased interest in college and vocational schools after high school.
  • Increased self-confidence and self-esteem.

Academic Schedule

The academic schedule at Oxbow Academy gives your teen the best opportunity to learn. School is year-round and your student will receive credit by quarters.

Treatment and academics complement each other. They do not conflict. One way that this happens, is that they take place at different times. Your teen will never miss school to attend therapy.

The school day starts at 3:30 pm and ends at 8:45 pm. Starting school at a later time helps many teens concentrate.


Your son will be taught by licensed educators. The teachers are endorsed by the Utah State Office of Education.

Discovery Academy is the academic arm of Oxbow Academy. Oxbow Academy is accredited by Discovery Academy.

Oxbow Academy follows a full course curriculum. The curriculum is as outlined by Discovery Academy. It meets all Utah State Office of Education requirements.

Staying In Contact With The Parent Portal

With the Parent Portal, you will have daily access to your teen's academic progress. Teachers post grades and feedback on a password-protected server.

Teachers and therapists will talk about your son’s progress. You will be able to respond with comments of your own.