Just a quick note and a reprint of the Colorado paper. I'm behind on homework.
The economic downturn has some silver linings.
Posted: Oct 16, 2008 07:37 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2008 08:04 AM
By Marshall Zelinger email@example.com
CANON CITY - 33 more people in Colorado are out of work. The Royal Gorge Academy in Canon City abruptly shut down Thursday. The school's parent company in Utah, Octwell, notified employees on Tuesday. 45 students were enrolled at the school for at-risk teens. About one-third of the students were sent by van to another private school in Louisiana. The rest are most likely going back home.
"We're surprised and very disappointed, but we understand the business decision," says Royal Gorge Academy Director Jeff Kwallek. "We've had declining enrollment over the past several months we think largely due to the economic situation across over the country."
Tuition at Royal Gorge Academy was just less than $3,000 a month. There were also deposits and non-refundable fees. Many parents needed to borrow money to pay for tuition.
"They simply were unable to get the loans that they wanted to send their students here," says Kwallek.
The school's capacity was 180 students. In April 2008, 90 students enrolled. When it closed its doors Thursday, there were just 45 students.
"We anticipated a back fill of those students with new students and that just didn't happen this summer," says Kwallek.
Octwell owns Red River Academy in Lecompte, Louisiana. Some of the 45 students were sent there by van Wednesday and Thursday. Many of the students were from out of state and are returning home to California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Florida.
"It's sad to see them go before they've had a chance to attain some of the goals that we help them set," says Kwallek.
According to the secretary of state's office, Royal Gorge Academy missed a June deadline to re-register as a business in Colorado.
Last year, Royal Gorge Academy's director Randall Hinton was convicted of assault and false imprisonment. It stemmed from an incident involving discipline of some of the students.
Previous Posts on WWASPS and WWASPS-related issues:
- Challenge Day & WWASPS --March 30 2005
- Thinking of Sending Your Troubled Teen to a Boot Camp? -- March 31, 2005
- Boonville Says No to WWASPS--April 10 2005
- The Enduring Lure of "Gunny Therapy" -- April 15, 2005
- Riot at Ivy Ridge--June 8 2005
- The Road to Whatever -- July 2005
- Academy at Ivy Ridge--August 23, 2005
- Why "Therapeutic Schools" are Booming January 2 2006
- Advice for Parents Looking for A Therapeutic School -- January 21, 2005
- Maia Szalavitz On Debunking "Tough Love" Schools -- April 11 2006
- WWASPS Suit--September 6 2006
- Exploitation of Youth and Families December 6 2006
- Ivy Ridge "Not A School" -- December 7 2006
- On Accreditation -- December 11 2006
- Northwest Association of Accredited Schools -- December 11 2006
- Randall Hinton, WWASPS Heavy, Arrested for Abuse -- January 12, 2007
- What Alternatives Are There for Parents of Troubled Teens?-- January 13, 2007
- Randall Hinton's Qualifications and Biography--January 13, 2007
- Patty Pacheco, Whistle-blower at Royal Gorge Academy -- January 29, 2007
- Royal Gorge Academy in the News--March 20, 2007
- Four Students Flee Ivy Ridge--March 20, 2007
- Robert Lichfield, One of Mitt Romney's Money Men, Has Legal Troubles -- June 22, 2007