Greenbrier’s Acedemic Success Tsunami -A Story of Excellence.
Amazing things are happening at Greenbrier Academy for Girls, and it is garnering a lot of attention. While the school has always had a reputation for exceptional therapeutics, for some time now the Academic Department has been collecting accolades as well.
With the recent accreditation by the prestigious North Central Association of Schools and Colleges and a reputation for matriculating over ninety percent of seniors to colleges and universities, prospective parents and referring professionals want to know more.
Greenbrier AcademyHow is a small school of fifty-six girls able to achieve this type of success?
Assistant Academic Director Amanda Cook pointed out some key components. First and foremost, she points out, is hiring the right people. The teachers at Greenbrier are all licensed and certified but in addition, they are all passionate about creating opportunities for students to succeed. The instructors are incredibly skilled at what Ms. Cook calls “creative learning and planning”.
Creativity and flexibility allows the smooth integration of new students with diverse educational needs into a dynamic classroom. Teachers meet together four times a week to review students’ successes and struggles. They evaluate each girl, particularly the ones who are struggling. They focus on building the strengths of each girl – where were they successful with this particular student and what can be learned from that and applied elsewhere.
Teachers are also adept at Relational Contextual Learning, which essentially means integrating real world application with curriculum. When students are able to see how one thing relates to another in a useful everyday way, it becomes fun and easier to understand.
One example used by the physics class is ice blocking down a grassy hill on campus to illustrate the principle of friction. The teachers at Greenbrier Academy for Girls, through this type of teaching are able to make learning fun and reignite students’ natural curiosity about life.
“She Seems Motivated and Very Excited to Start College.” -Parent
The second component is the small class sizes.
Classes generally have no more than eight to ten students and sometimes as few as five. This allows the teachers to spend time one on one with students, addressing concerns, answering questions and encouraging. Surprisingly, Greenbrier is able to offer a wide variety of classes to meet student interests. The school takes full advantage of quality online education opportunities and students are able to integrate those into their regular curriculum.
A third component, Ms. Cook points out, is the academic training class, where students can learn to implement proper organization and study skills.
She gives an example of a student who would keep a journal by randomly opening a page and writing. “We just can’t take for granted what a student has or has not learned, “ she says. “It has been invaluable to have a class that not only teaches students what proper organization and study skills are, but also how to utilize and implement them.” Ms. Cook relates that once the student was taught and practiced good organization skills, she was able to be much more successful in her academic endeavors.
Greenbrier AcademyThe fourth component, and one of the distinguishing features of the success of Greenbrier Academy, is Mary Dennison.
Mrs. Dennison is a trained and certified education specialist. With years of training and experience working with a variety of different students and student needs, she is able to work with the teachers to tailor curriculum and create specialized learning plans. “We are fortunate to have her.” Ms. Cook says, “she is a big part of why we are so successful with our girls.”
The final component Ms. Cook shared with us is the objective grading method.
To earn an A, a girl’s work must be excellent. There is an objective standard that all girls can strive for, but it will never be easy to achieve the highest mark – just like life. When students achieve A’s and B’s, students feel they have actually accomplished something remarkable, something to be proud of.
But what if a student has been struggling with therapeutic, home or relationship issues and has performed poorly? Has their chance at success passed them by? Not at all. Because the Greenbrier curriculum is objective, students can redo assignments, projects etc. to meet the objective criteria. In a therapeutic high school this is essential. Many of the girls come to Greenbrier because they are struggling. A therapeutic school must make room for the growth and change that takes place in a young student’s life. Ms. Cook and her team do a remarkable job at that.
The evidence is clear; Greenbrier Academy for Girls in West Virginia is setting the benchmark for academic and therapeutic success. Students are graduating at an astonishing percentage and matriculating to colleges and universities. This success is attributed to an incredible group of dedicated educators, a consistent and thoroughly grounded model permeating all aspects of campus life, and a well thought-out, flexible academic system that supports these young women as they reawaken to the curiosity and wonder of life. For more information please contact Greenbrier Academy, we are sure you will be pleased with what you find.
Greenbrier Academy Announces New Clinical Directors
This has created a great opportunity for Greenbrier to further refine the administrative functions of the clinical department. In order to streamline and create efficiency in supervision and service, Ron will be working alongside Mike Beswick, who will serve as Clinical Director over Family Services, and Ginger Conley, Clinical Director over Programming.at the University of Denver in Colorado. He will begin classes in the fall. We are extremely proud of Ron and are excited about this educational prospect and the value it will bring to his life and to Greenbrier Academy. He will continue as a valued member of the school as the Clinical Director over Aftercare.Greenbrier Academy is happy to announce that Ron Schwenkler has been accepted to a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology
Ginger is eager to continue working with girls as a therapist as well as expanding her duties to include training, supervision and administrative tasks. Since arriving at Greenbrier, Ginger has been a rising star. She has been an incredibly effective therapist, and her work as the Assistant Clinical Director has been exceptional. We know she will continue to excel in her new position as she works with Ron and Mike.
As many of you know, Mike is one of the most skillful and helpful family and adolescent therapists in the field. He is a wonderful, dedicated member of the Greenbrier team and is beloved by both staff and students. He has a unique skill set for working with family dynamics and facilitation healing relationships. The staff members on campus as well as the families we work with will be able to benefit even more from his skills and experience through his new responsibilities.
These new changes will be implemented in June. We offer all three congratulations and our support and ask that you do the same. We know the entire Greenbrier community will benefit from these shifts.