PRE-ENROLLMENT INFORMATION FOR NEW OAKLEY FAMILIES
We are excited to begin our new relationship with your family! This page is designed to help you understand what to expect on the day of your student’s enrollment and what to anticipate as you join our community. New beginnings can be exciting, but also anxiety provoking. Starting at a new school, far away from home, is certainly no exception. It is our hope to help you understand what to look forward to and what to prepare for as you begin to make arrangements to travel to Utah. The following outlines what to plan on and what to prepare for in anticipation of this next step.
Step One: Paperwork
Once your student has been accepted, please work with your admissions counselor to determine an enrollment day that works with our schedule, your schedule, and the schedule of the program your student is coming from. In order to reserve an enrollment day for your family, please make sure that the Enrollment Fee Agreement is returned to the Admissions Office.
In order to expedite the enrollment day, it is very important that you make sure the following documents are completed and returned to the admissions office. It is preferred that all documents are on file with us 2 days prior to your student’s enrollment at the very latest.
Please make sure that your student has received a copy of the student application and honor code and has had time to complete their portion of the application. If your student is attending a wilderness program or a treatment setting away from home, please forward this information to that program for them to work on.
Please gather and bring along with you on the day of enrollment:
A copy of a recent physical exam (within one year)
A copy of immunization records
A copy of your health insurance card
Please make sure that requests for your student’s official transcripts have been submitted. Please use the following form and submit it to ALL high schools that your student has attended. The official transcript does not have to be to us by the time of your student’s enrollment, but we ask that you have made the request ahead of time.
On enrollment day, please be prepared to settle tuition for a pro-rated first month and a full second month, as well as the tuition deposit and a few other incidentals. Please contact your admissions counselor for a personalized tuition spreadsheet specifically outlining what will be due.
Step Two: Travel Arrangements
Nearly all of our students join us following the successful completion of a primary care setting, be it a wilderness program or a residential setting. There is a lot of anxiety and stress built into a transition from a known and comfortable setting to a new setting. In an effort to reduce this anxiety, we ask that families schedule their enrollment appointment for their student directly following the graduation and discharge from their current setting. The longer a student has to anticipate what their next step might look or feel like, the longer they have to regress into old patterns.
Due to the nature of our program, we schedule enrollments Mondays through Fridays. Please communicate with your admissions counselor ahead of time to make sure that you have your enrollment appointment confirmed.
Our enrollment process begins at 9:30 am and wraps up around 3:00pm (please read information outlined in “Step Three” describing what to expect on the day of enrollment). We recommend that you travel to the Park City/Oakley, Utah area the night before enrollment, and plan to travel home the day after enrollment. This gives everyone the ability to focus on the enrollment process all day without having to watch the clock to catch a flight.
Step Three: The Interview/ Enrollment Day
We have put together a very complete interview and orientation experience for our new families. We provide an opportunity for you to interact with staff members from all departments of the school. It is essential that you are on time for your scheduled appointment (typically 9:30 am, but please confirm your appointment with an admissions counselor). Please be prepared for a very full but rewarding day!
The Oakley School is quite unique in the therapeutic continuum in that we require an interview and a voluntary enrollment from all of our students. We invite students and families out for an interview once we are convinced that we can appropriately meet the needs of the applicant. We determine this through thorough research and review of the student’s profile, and their recent progress and experience.
We are looking for the applicant to show insight and understanding around their past patterns, and a willingness to make a change in their lives. We don’t look to “interrogate” our applicants, but rather empower them in their commitment to join our community. We also meet with the families of our new students to gain an understanding of what their expectations are of us for the year. We place a strong emphasis on sharing our expectations with our new families regarding our need to work together as a team over the year to come. While most students would rather be home, an Oakley Student understands that they have a better chance of success if they enroll at Oakley.
Please read below a list of possible questions that we might ask as a part of the student interview.
- What is the last school you attended and why are you no longer there?
- What are some of the difficulties you experienced in the past?
- If you have participated in day, residential, or wilderness programming, what have you learned?
- How do you get along with your parents?
- What kind of an effect did your past behavior have on the family?
- Are you able to manipulate your parents? Why? What does this look like?
- What are your values and how will you uphold the Oakley code of ethics?
- Where and who do you want to be five years from now?
- What are you willing to do in order to get there?
- How committed are you to be an Oakley Student?
- Describe your relationship with your parents. If your relationship isn’t what you want, how would you change it at Oakley?
Our enrollment day not only focuses on the interview, but incorporates a multidisciplinary orientation to the community. As a part of the enrollment day, our families interact with the following Oakley School representatives:
- Clinical Director or Primary Therapist assigned to the new student
- School Nurse
- Academic Registrar- to set up course selections
- The peer mentor from the student’s new dorm
- A house coach representative from the student’s new dorm
- Orientation meeting with a panel of the directors from the different departments of the school
Step Four: Shopping/ Packing
As you can imagine, there are many things to “pull together” so that your student enters Oakley prepared for the year to come. Once your student has been accepted, and an enrollment date has been selected, you are welcome to pack and ship boxes of supplies with their name on it. We will hold these boxes in storage until your student enrolls. As much of this “pre-packing” as you can take care of ahead of time, the better, so that you are not having to focus too much of your time in transition on the dreaded task of shopping with a teenager!
The Oakley School works with Land’s End for our school uniform (which is worn Monday through Thursday during school hours). It is recommended that you order items from Land’s End for delivery at the school prior to your student’s arrival. Click here for further details on School Uniforms, or click here to view the approved items.
We will conclude the enrollment process typically around 3:00 pm. If your student has navigated the interview process successfully and they are in a good head space about entering into our community, it may be recommended that you take them into Park City for the afternoon and evening to complete some shopping and enjoy dinner together. In Park City, you will find the Tanger Outlet Mall (www.tangeroutlet.com/parkcity), as well as a Staples, a WalMart, a Bed Bath and Beyond and a variety of Outdoor Gear stores. Your admissions counselor can give you specific details on shopping options in Park City if you need advice.
Please download the packing lists below to make sure that your student has all that they will need!
Step Five: Avoiding Regression and Set Backs
Since our students are typically transitioning from a more restrictive level of care to the Oakley School, it is essential that the time they spend in transition remain short in duration, and focused in nature. As has been discussed on this site, the anxiety associated with starting somewhere new can often lead our students to revert back to behaviors from their past. Please help them in their next step by following these recommendations and keeping the focus on the future and moving forward.
The time you do share with your student in transition to the Oakley School should be focused on spending quality time together as a family, and on preparation for the next step. In keeping with these recommendations, we have a few tips that we would like to share with you:
- Please do not bring along your student's cell phone/ blackberry. They will not be allowed to have it here and it opens the door to communication with friends from the past.
- Encourage your student to reconnect with family, but do not allow them to spend time on the phone with friends and their peer group at home. These people will likely have little understanding of the incredible success your student has just had in wilderness or in their residential program.
- Do not spend an inordinate amount of money while shopping. Basic items will be best, and high end, name brand items are not essential to a student's comfort here at the school. Do not feel that they have "earned" high-end items like iPods and digital cameras through their work in their previous programs. You are spending a great deal of money already on their treatment, and these items are not necessary.
- Do not feel that you need to spend time "justifying" your decision for your student to attend the Oakley School. You have likely spent a lot of time already communicating this while your student was at their previous program. This is time to talk about the excitement of moving forward to the next step.
- Conversations about returning home for "one more chance" should not be entertained. If a student enters their Oakley interview with the idea that they might be able to return home, experience has shown us that the interview will likely not be successful. Returning home should be taken off the table as an option and conversation should be shifted to preparing for the future and for the next step.
- Do not provide time for your student to be outside of your supervision. If they were to regress into any negative behavior, or manage to find a way to abuse substances, their ability to enroll at the Oakley School would be in jeopardy.