Auldern Academy is located in Siler City, NC. It is a private school that serves 48 students in grades 9-12. Auldern Academy is all-female and is nonsectarian in orientation. The school belongs to the National Independent Private Schools Association.
Our daughter has been at Auldern for the past thirteen months. She went there as an angry, confused and depressed teenager, and over the course of time she has been at Auldern she has blossomed. The therapists and teachers are very caring and professional, taking an active interest in each of the girls. The setting is tranquil and calming, and the staff have been wonderful to work with. We have had no complaints, other than it is very expensive. This school has helped our daughter tremendously, and she is looking forward to graduation and college.
Auldern Academy was a huge mistake on my part. As a parent I was misinformed about many things. The student-life staff are by far the worst part of the program. When my daughter attended the school the head of the student-life program was Sarah Belcher. While my daughter was there she would tell me about the mental and verbal abuse which she had to endure from Sarah and her staff. To my surprise Sarah was recently fired from Auldern due to her unprofessionalism. (cursing the girls out in the middle of the night) The worst part about all of this was the fact that the therapists and student life staff don't allow your child to contact the parents, even if something is very wrong. The school nurse was nice, but completely incompetent. The academic staff were always very nice, but the academic work was far from challenging. Jane Samuels may come off as a nice and caring woman, but deep down inside she is just a business woman trying to claim her next customer. If you truly want to help your child, do them a favor and don't send them to Auldern Academy.
Auldern Academy was the worst decision we have ever made. Our daughter relapsed instantly after 2 years there. Apparently most of her friends have relapsed too. They do not have a strong substance abuse program. Our daughter went to meetings once a week and said they were sub par. The school made us doubt our daughters word and convinced us that she was manipulating us, when simply she was explaining the harsh treatment the girls get there. I have stayed in touch with other girls parents whom agree Auldern was a huge mistake. If you want to help your daughter look at the Oakly School. That is the one therapeutic school that I have heard only good things about. My husband and I regret our decision and feel as though any place would have been better. Auldern worsened our daughters problem. She has since picked herself up and gone forward but not because of Auldern.
i would highly advise against it in all honesty. for the year i was there, it was extremely disorganized in terms of structure and i would say that some methods of "treatment" are questionable, relying heavily on shaming and embarrassment in a group setting. methods of "punishment", for example, can involve being pulled out of classes for weeks at a time and doing manual labor projects while not being allowed to communicate with any peers for any period of time as determined by a therapist.
the education was sub-par as well, they cut a lot of corners in whatever bare minimum of a curriculum they claim to follow (although the teachers are perhaps the most competent members of the staff, they have no competent leadership). i found many things to be dishonest about the way the program was run, much of it being misinformation i feel was given to my parents.
finally, when my mother began looking into removing me from the program before the mandatory 1-year contract was over, she was manipulated by the staff both emotionally and financially, as she was informed that she could not remove me from the program without losing thousands of dollars. i was stuck there long after i should have been home.
it was a really, really miserable time in my life that i would not wish on anyone. my mother has since apologized to me, saying "i did what i thought was the right thing, but i was wrong."
by a Former Student
on Apr 11, 2012
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