What Is Transition?
Transition at Copper Canyon Academy is one of the most informative and useful tools for assessment. We believe that the safest way to test the strength of new behaviors in a student's life is to provide opportunities that more closely resemble the "real life" environment the student will encounter upon her return home.
By allowing your daughter supervised encounters with less structured situations, behaviors that no longer show up in the structured life of boarding school may come to the surface. This type of organized approach to observing and assessing behavior allows the treatment team to determine the level of internalization of desired behavior changes and provides the student with an opportunity to slowly ease her way back home.
When Does Transition Occur?
Transition provides assessment and support as students apply and internalize all that they have learned at our girls’ boarding school. Transition provides a bridge between the structure of boarding school and the structure of home.
When students have proven that they have identified changes that need to be made, have made the changes within the context of the setting, and then have practiced the changes over time, they become eligible to enter the transition part of the program.
What Happens During Transition?
Each student in transition has an opportunity to integrate with a small group of other students (usually about six), including students from other dorms, in an on-campus transition home overseen by a senior CCA staff member. In attempting to re-create an environment similar to family life at home, transition students form a living unit and are expected to take part in group activities (such as grocery shopping, eating out, movies, hikes, and excursions). Students continue to abide by the program rules as well as the rules set up by each household.
Students are given chores, homework, and other duties they need to accomplish in order to continue their transition process. They are expected to be organized and plan their daily responsibilities, including therapy, schoolwork, and their work hours if they obtain a job while in transition.
What Is the Role of the Transition Parent?
Transition parents follow up on the students’ responsibilities and ensure that they arrive on time to all activities and meetings sponsored by CCA. It is also the responsibility of the transition parent to inform the treatment team of all progress and any problematic behaviors that are encountered while the student is in their home.
Because the transition program is in a staff member's on-campus home and involves more excursions off-campus than usual, students will be transported in CCA vehicles both to and from school and on transition activities. Vehicles are inspected for safety and record of insurance. A safe driving record is required and only senior staff members are allowed to serve as transition parents. They are thoroughly screened and are in frequent contact with the student's therapist and the Program Director regarding the student's progress.
How Long Does Transition Last?
Transition lasts from four to six weeks, depending on the issues and the progress each student makes. During the transition period, weekly assessment sheets are completed by the transition parents and are then reported to the treatment team, therapists, and parents/guardians. The transition parents are also available for consultation as needed by parents/guardians should any concerns arise.
If serious problems arise while the student is living in transition, she can move back into the higher structure of the boarding school setting to work through the problem and plan for her return to transition. This approach provides significant benefit to the student and her family and gives the treatment team a valuable measure of the student's progress.