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Q - Can my child take the SAT / ACT 
while at DRA?
A -Students may take the SAT / ACT while at DRA. We regularly work with students and parents to schedule testing according to ACT / SAT guidelines. DRA is a certified ACT Testing Center.
Q - Will credits from our home high school transfer to DRA?
A -Diamond Ranch Academy will accept all equivalent credits earned with a passing grade from their previous high school. All documented and accepted credits earned with a passing grade or higher from a previous high school will appear on the Diamond Ranch Academy official transcript as "Transferred Credits". If there are incomplete credits or unfinished courses needed for graduation requirements, they may be completed through Diamond Ranch Academy.
Q - Will DRA help students with the college application process?
A -Students may take advantage of our Academic Services Center that offers assistance with college and career readiness. We actively assist students that want to explore college options and begin the application process. We have assisted students with application and acceptance to many great colleges and universities across the country. We ensure students have available resources to explore, plan and create a successful academic transition from DRA.
Q - Will students be less likely to get accepted to college if their diploma comes from DRA?
A -No. From an academic perspective DRA is fully accredited by the same accreditation association that accredits other high schools and colleges. With this accreditation student transcripts from DRA are viewed the same as if they came from any other public or private school. Our students are regularly accepted to prestigious colleges and universities throughout the United States and Internationally.
Q - If my child comes to DRA with a bad grade, can they retake the class to improve their grade and GPA?
A -Any class they retake at DRA will not replace the original grade but will show on their transcript twice. For example if they received a D in Algebra at home and then take Algebra again at DRA and receive an A, both grades will show on their transcript. This will improve their GPA and look better for college applications than had they not retaken the class.
Q - What is a normal day like at Diamond Ranch Academy?
Q - How does my child earn money on their DRA debit card?
A - On a weekly basis your child will receive payments for school, Character Curriculum work and any extraordinary service they do throughout the week. Payments are adjusted if the minimum requirements are not achieved in school or Character Curriculum work.
Q - What does my child spend his DRA money on?
A - Students use their DRA debit card to pay for fun activities, benefits and service projects throughout the week. They are also able to purchase items from the DRA snack bar and shakes from our ice cream machine.
Q - How do I get a copy of the program books my child is reading?
A - Please contact their Program Director to get a list of the books your child will be using.
Q - When does my child receive their first visit?
A - After about eight weeks Supervisor Level – Two day on ranch visit Manager Level – 48 hour hotel visit Director Level – 10 day home visit Graduate Level – 14 day home visit
Q - What items can my child bring to have in their dorm?
A - We encourage students to decorate their dorms. They may use appropriate posters of their favorite bands, sports teams and colleges. They can have their own blanket to remind them of home. We love to have pictures of home and family in the dorms. Your child can post their pictures on a two-foot square magnet board hung next to their bed.
Q - When do I get to talk to my child for the first time?
A - When your child finishes the first week orientation process and assignments. This call is usually facilitated by their Program Director. You may also start writing your child immediately. Letters should be emailed to parentmail@diamondranchacademy.comwith your child’s full name in the subject line. Letters will be distributed Monday through Friday. Your child will be able to write home after their first day at DRA.
Q - What is RFI?
A - The purpose of Re-Focus Initiative (RFI) is to provide students with a constructive, quiet class/environment to refocus their energy in a positive direction. RFI may be utilized when certain disruptive behaviors are displayed. Assigned therapeutic and academic assignments as well as work projects are completed while participating in RFI. The RFI classroom consists of generally eight to ten students.
Q - Is my child allowed to receive extra food during meal times?
A - Students may receive extra food during breakfast and dinner. Students also have the opportunity to buy items from the snack bar after lunch.
Q - What is an average Diamond Ranch Academy day?
A - Link to website "Life in the day of….”
Q - When will my child start therapy?
A - Therapy begins the moment your child is enrolled. Milieu therapy at DRA is a carefully planned treatment environment in which everyday events and interactions are therapeutically designed for the purpose of enhancing social skills and building confidence. Students also receive group therapy during the first week of Orientation and Assessment (O&A). Individual and family therapy is introduced as soon as your child completes this first week of O&A.
Q - What type of therapy will my child receive at Diamond Ranch Academy?
A - Therapy at DRA is divided into three main types; individual, family and group therapy. We use research-based therapy models in working with the students. We continually research cutting-edge practices in therapy to provide our students with the best therapy available. Some of the models of therapy we use include:
  • Cognitive Behavioral
  • Dialectical Behavior
  • Experiential
  • Narrative
  • Rational Emotive Behavior
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Crisis Management

  • Narcotics/Alcoholics Anonymous

  • Smart Recovery
Addiction/Substance Abuse Counseling

  • Structural Family Therapy

  • Solution Focused Therapy

  • Psycho-Educational Therapy

  • Trauma Based Approaches

  • Art Therapy
  • EAGALA Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Q - How is my student assigned a therapist?
A - The Clinical Director assesses students entering Diamond Ranch Academy in the first week of their arrival. Students are then assigned a primary therapist for the duration of their program based on personality fit, therapist specialty and therapist availability.
Q - How often will my child receive therapy?
A - We have three therapy tracks for parents to choose from based upon their child’s individual needs, Therapeutic, Clinical and Intensive. All students receive individual and family therapy. Family therapy is generally conducted over the phone via teleconference. All students are placed in topic specific groups based on their individual needs. Intensive Group therapy is conducted twice a week with each group led by one of our primary therapists. Psycho-educational groups are offered twice a week. Students may also attend Narcotics Anonymous group held weekly.
Q - What kind of therapeutic groups are offered?
A - Psycho-educational groups are held every other day. These groups are skill-based and help students develop an understanding of themselves and their relationships. Therapeutic groups are held once a week and differ in topic depending on student need. These may include: addictions, grief and loss, social skills, anger management, relationships, etc. Narcotics Anonymous is offered weekly. This group follows a 12-step model and is peer driven. Therapists may initiate other on-going groups as deemed necessary. Those students participating in Equine Therapy have additional groups available to them.We use research-based therapy models in working with the students. We continually research cutting-edge practices in therapy to provide our students with the best therapy available. Some of the models of therapy we use include:
  • Cognitive Behavioral
  • Dialectical Behavior
  • Experiential
  • Narrative
  • Rational Emotive Behavior
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Crisis Management

  • Narcotics/Alcoholics Anonymous

  • Smart Recovery
Addiction/Substance Abuse Counseling

  • Experiential Therapy

  • Structural Family Therapy

  • Solution Focused Therapy

  • Life Skill Training

  • Trauma Based Approaches

  • Art Therapy
Q - Do you offer NA groups as part of treatment?
A - NA groups are offered to students on a weekly basis. These groups are in addition to the weekly topic specific groups and the psycho-educational groups.
Q - May I have access to my child’s assignments?
A - Your child will complete many therapeutic assignments while at DRA. With their consent these may be made available to you.
Q - How does family therapy work?
A - Family therapy will begin when your child completes O&A. Your child’s therapist will contact you to discuss format, people involved and content of calls as it varies with each family dynamic. Your child and therapist will call you to discuss progress and work through issues as needed. Family therapy may also happen in person as part of a visit when your child becomes eligible.
Q - What about confidentiality?
A - We take every effort to ensure strict confidentiality of students and families we work with. Your information will never be released unless you have given written consent to do so. Likewise, your child’s therapist may not inform you about information that comes out during therapy. Unless this information is life threatening to the student or others the therapist will most likely encourage the student to share information with parents but will not disclose the information themselves. This allows the therapist and student to continue their trusting relationship upon which therapeutic change takes place?
Q - What is the best way to get a hold of my child’s therapist?
A - All therapists have a phone extension and access to email. Please connect with the assigned individual therapist to discuss ongoing communication about your child.
Q - How long is it before I can talk to my child?
A - Each student is allowed a five to ten minute phone call when they complete O&A. Your child’s primary therapist will be in touch with you shortly after to begin scheduling family therapy phone calls.
Q - When do I get to see my child?
A - After about eight weeks Supervisor Level – Two day on ranch visit Manager Level – 48 hour hotel visit Director Level – 10 day home visit Graduate Level – 14 day home visit
Q - Is my child working through problems or just going through the motions?
A - It can be difficult to tell at first. Your child’s therapist will cultivate a relationship making this process become easier to discern. As the length of time in their program increases it generally becomes easier to see where a student really is in terms of overall progress. As a general rule we want to be positive and encouraging of successes the student is achieving in their program. Please consult with your child’s therapist if you have questions in this area.
Q - Do you conduct assessments of the youth?
A - Each youth completes an intake assessment with our Clinical Administrative Assistant when they are in O&A. This assessment includes a bio-psycho-social history and various measurements including the Y-OQ-SR and Adolescent SASSI-A2. Additional psychological testing or assessments are optional and completed based on student needs. Our contracting psychologist completes psychological evaluations. Our contracting psychiatrist completes medical evaluations. Psychological and medication evaluations are optional and provided at an additional cost.
Q - What is the credentialing and education of the therapists at the ranch?
A - All of our therapists are master’s level or above and are licensed by the state of Utah in mental health counseling. Our therapists are hand selected based on their areas of specialty and their ability to connect with adolescents.
Q - Equine Therapy FAQ, What is EAP?
A - Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and a horse professional working with clients and horses to address treatment goals. Because of its intensity and effectiveness, it is considered a short-term, or "brief" approach.EAP is experiential in nature. This means participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with horses and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors and patterns. This approach has been compared to the ropes courses used by therapists, treatment facilities and human development courses around the world. But EAP has the added advantage of utilizing horses, dynamic and powerful living beings.Not all programs or individuals who use horses practice Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. For one, licensed clinical professionals need to be involved for it to be considered "psychotherapy". The focus of EAP is not riding or horsemanship. The focus of EAP involves setting up ground activities involving horses that will require the client or group to apply certain skills. Non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem solving, leadership, work, taking responsibility, teamwork, relationships, confidence and attitude are several examples of tools utilized and developed by EAP.EAP is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, youth, families and groups. EAP addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, abuse issues, depression, anxiety, relationship problems and communication needs.
Q - Why Horses?
A - Those who are familiar with horses recognize and understand the power of horses to influence people in incredibly powerful ways. Developing relationships, training, horsemanship instruction and caring for horses naturally affects the people involved in a positive manner.The benefits of work ethic, responsibility, assertiveness, communication and healthy relationships have long been recognized. Horses naturally provide these benefits. The use of horses is growing and gaining popularity with the rise of new approaches in working with horses, including the field of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.We are often asked, "Why horses? Why not other animals?"Horses are large and powerful which creates a natural opportunity for some to overcome fear and develop confidence. The size and power of the horse are naturally intimidating to many people. Accomplishing a task involving the horse, in spite of those fears, creates confidence and provides for wonderful metaphors when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life.Horses are very much like humans in that they are social animals. They have defined roles within their herds. They would rather be with their peers. They have distinct personalities, attitudes and moods. An approach that seems to work with one horse does not necessarily work with another. At times they seem stubborn and defiant. They like to have fun. In other words, horses provide vast opportunities for metaphorical learning. Using metaphors, in discussion or activity, is an effective technique when working with even the most challenging individuals or groups.Horses require work whether in caring for them or working with them. In an era when immediate gratification and the "easy way" are the norm, horses require people to be engaged in physical and mental work to be successful, a valuable characteristic in all aspects of life.Most importantly, horses have the ability to mirror exactly what human body language is telling them. Many people will complain, "The horse is stubborn. The horse doesn’t like me," etc. But the lesson to be learned is if they change themselves, the horses respond differently. Horses are honest, which makes them especially powerful messengers.
Q - What do students learn from EAP?
A -
  • Long-term life skills
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Improving self-esteem
  • Problem solving
  • Assertiveness
  • Creative thinking
  • Leadership
  • Joy of hard work
  • Taking responsibility
  • Confidence
  • Impulse control
  • Emotional regulation
  • Anger management
  • Teamwork
  • Improving relationships
  • Overcoming fears
  • Overcoming obstacles
Q - Are medical staff available 24/7?
A - Medical staff are on campus 7 days a week between the hours of 6:00 AM and 9:00 PM. On the weekend, medical staff are on campus from 7 AM and 9PM. Our night watch staff follow through with any instructions we leave regarding students who may need medical assistance or observation during the night. The Medical Department always has Dr. Worwood, Dennis Mitchell PA-C, Brooks Wiley, RN, MS, and our Nursing Staff on call 24/7 for support.
Q - Can we send lotions, shampoos, and other personal care products from home?
A - Students can purchase these items from the ranch commissary with their ledger dollars. If a student has a medical concern or issue that requires a specific product, he/she can make a request to the medical department. If a special need is identified, the product is ordered from the pharmacy. Restrictions may apply.
Q - Am I contacted if my child is sick?
A - If a student is admitted to our medical suite/medical observation room, parents will be notified as soon as the medical staff have evaluated the student and have enough information to provide an accurate report. If the physician or RN recommends urgent care, then parents are notified in order to approve the plan of care. In the event of an emergency, DRA reserves the right to take the student to the Emergency Department.
Q - How do we fill our child’s prescriptions?
A - Our practitioners (Medical Doctor, Physician Assistant, or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner) continue the prescription regimens that come with the students and follow up on their health care needs in our on-campus clinics. We use a local pharmacy, called Hurricane Family Pharmacy, to fill prescriptions. Their number is (435) 635-8200. The pharmacy will contact the parent directly to make necessary arrangements for billing. If you prefer a different route to refilling prescriptions, then we will accommodate your needs. Our policy prohibits the ordering of medications without parental consent.
Q - How do we take care of needed dental, orthodontic, ophthalmic, chiropractic or dermatological needs?
A - On a weekly basis, the medical department at DRA works with a network of licensed healthcare providers and specialist in the local community, which include providers in orthopedics, dentistry, orthodontics, psychiatric medicine, physical therapy, dermatology, and chiropractic. The Administrative Medical Assistant will schedule all medical appointments. He/she gathers the required paperwork from parents/guardian and coordinates a time with the provider’s office and our transport team.
Q - How are my child’s medical needs billed; what are we to expect when he/she first arrives at DRA?
A - The new student will have an intake physical exam with our medical doctor or physician assistant within a week or two of arrival. This assessment will include some routine labs, which include a complete blood count, basic metabolic panel, HIV, and syphilis. Other testing and screening can be performed upon parental/guardian request. In addition, all new students undergo a urine drug screen and pregnancy test. The costs of these services are deducted from the medical expense account. The cost of all additional visits that are performed at our on-campus clinic is substantially less and also deducted from the medical expense account.
Q - I am concerned about my child's weight; he seems to be losing weight.
A - All food is carefully prepared under the direction of a registered dietitian in order to provide the proper amount of calories based off the student’s age, sex, and state of health. Students are weighed upon admission and monthly thereafter. Students with weight concerns will be weighed on a weekly basis and will be closely monitored by our health care providers.
Q - Is our child allowed to take the supplements he/she was taking at home?
A - Unless ordered by the provider, the student is allowed two supplements of the parents’ choosing, which are ordered from the local pharmacy. In the event that these are not available at the local pharmacy, then the parent may send the supplement from home after being approved by the medical team.
Q - What other medical services are provided on campus?
A - In order to facilitate the need of mental health care, we have a psychiatric nurse practitioner, Jake Roberts that performs clinic on campus bi-monthly. In addition, we have a chiropractor, Dr. Nathan Neeley, who performs clinic once a week to provide musculoskeletal care. We also have a Master Aesthetician on staff that performs skin care and acne treatment under the direction of our medical doctor.In addition to providing medical services, the medical department is also responsible for teaching health promotion, first aid and CPR classes to students who are interested in learning more about health and safety.
Q - If my son/daughter is currently taking medications, are there systems in place to monitor the efficacy of their regimen?
A - Yes, we believe DRA provides an excellent setting for the evaluation of medication efficacy. This unique environment, which offers constant/around the clock supervision, sets the stage for more accurate diagnoses and treatment by creating a detailed picture of mental/behavioral health via the collection and analysis of observations. If your child is on a psychotropic medication, such as an antidepressant, then the effectiveness of that medication can be closely monitored through an array of different outlets; thus, over the course of a prescribed period of time, the medical department is able to gather insightful observation information/data from teachers, therapists, program directors, and general staff. These observations paint a "behavioral picture” that will be examined by an experienced physician. In the end, this information aids the provider in making an informed decision of whether or not the medication he prescribed is being effective in treating the perceived illness or disease.