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Notes for Prospective Students
- A work ethic is stressed throughout the Elan program and each promotion results in new privileges and increased status. If students fail to perform with initiative, they participate in additional group and individual sessions. If this is not successful, they are demoted; this teaches them to function under adversity and to deal with failure, disappointment, and disagreement. They learn that occasional failure is part of life, that they can start again and succeed and that the development of resilience is fundamental to success. Peer pressure and support teaches and reinforces constructive behavior. Students learn that they must earn what they want and that they must give to receive.
- The peer-oriented social structure is vital to the Elan concept. Students learn to take direction, accept criticism without taking it personally, criticize constructively, give orders reasonably and care for and work with others. They also learn that self-esteem is not purely dependent on the acceptance of others. Students make significant improvements in interpersonal relations at Elan.
- Psychodynamic problems are dealt with at Elan, usually in group sessions. The exercises teach sensitivity to the needs and problems of others and foster getting in touch with feelings, understanding what touches off feelings and controlling the acts engendered by them. Elan brings acting-out behavior into dynamic group sessions, where the goals are getting along with peers and learning how to deal with inner stresses and strains.
- Elan is licensed by the Maine Department of Education as a special-purpose, private school. Elan is a member of National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Massachusetts Association of Approved Private Schools and it is approved by Immigration and Naturalization Services. Elan has received academic accreditation and therapeutic certification through NIPSA (National Independent Private School Association).
- Elan students planning to continue their education in postsecondary schools are challenged through upper-level courses, while those who need intensive remediation are helped to acquire skills necessary to cope in the working world, as well as open doors to postsecondary education and training. Elan follows State of Maine credit requirements for granting high school diplomas. Students follow a block schedule in which they take three courses per semester and earn 1 full credit in each subject. A student may earn up to 6 credits during the regular school year plus the required studies in life skills and physical education. Foreign languages are offered but are not required. Students are provided the opportunity to work in independent study programs under faculty supervision to augment their course of studies, if needed. Elan's curriculum reflects the needs of the student body and the expertise of its faculty members. School during evening hours allows students to work through behaviors that interfere with concentration and learning during the day; students thereby arrive in class better prepared to focus.
- Class size is kept small (maximum 12 students, optimum 10 students), and students are grouped by ability and course requirements. Supervised study halls and weekly grades help eliminate end-of-quarter "surprises." The passing grade is 65 and honors grades are recognized by the entire School. Each quarter, the student receives written comments from each teacher as well as numerical grades. Elan's program also includes an eight-week summer session featuring remedial work, enhancement courses and electives. Students earn a half credit in each of the two subjects taken during summer school. Eligible students can attend college courses on and off campus.
- Faculty members at Elan are certified in their subject specialty and/or special education. A full-time Special Education Coordinator and two Certified Wilson Tutors are also on staff. Elan is a closed SAT testing site and offers an SAT prep course. Seventy-five percent of high schol graduates continue their education. The remainder may enter the workforce or join the armed services, but several of these students have long-range goals that include furthering their education.
- Students perform all daily activities in a co-ed environment; however, they sleep in single sex dormitories. The house is self-contained and is set up to simulate a real home with a kitchen, dining room, and living room with a big screen television with surround sound. Meals are prepared in the main kitchen at Elan by two chefs and are served family style to the students. Dormitory rooms may have from 2 to 8 students. The School operates year-round and all students live on campus, even during major holidays. Academic classes are not held during standard public school vacation times.
- Elan has an on-site medical clinic where routine medical care is provided. Elan's Medical Director is a practicing emergency physician with more than twenty years' experience, He is routinely on-site, treating students one day a week, or more often when needed. He performs initial physical exams, which include a lab workup, for all new admissions. He reviews the previous week's activities and is always available for telephone consultation. Elan's medical assistant handles day-to-day health problems in consultation with the physician when necessary. If specialty care is required and cannot wait for a home visit, treatment is conducted at a local specialist's office.
- Elan currently has girls' and boys' cross-country, boys' and girls' basketball and boys' and girls' track teams all of which compete against other area private and public schools
- The School's location on Upper Range Pond affords a waterfront program of leisure swimming (supervised by a qualified lifeguard) and canoeing. In recreational activities, Elan stresses teamwork and sportsmanship. Healthy peer interaction, a cornerstone of the program, is a goal in athletics as well as in all other aspects of the program.
- Movies are shown every week. Concerts, festivals, local fairs, exhibits, sporting events and trips out to dinner, the movies, art museums, planetariums, aquariums and the theater are organized regularly for students who have earned the privilege. Most entertainment trips are to Portland, where professional hockey, basketball and baseball teams are among the attractions. Other trips may be to attend amusement parks or places of historical or cultural interest. Trips to various state parks are organized during the summer months. In addition to the regular recreational trips, house trips include canoeing, white-water rafting, snow tubing, roller skating, and bowling. Elan students participate in an annual campuswide talent show. Students showcase their creative side by playing musical instruments, performing comedy skits or variety acts, singing, reading poetry, or participating in other performing arts. Students also participate in an annual "End of Summer" field day. Students are awarded tickets that are redeemed for various events, such as lawn bowling, a sherpa walk (which is part of the ropes course), a beanbag toss, a dunk tank, and other fun-filled activities.
- Weekday schedules begin at 8 with showers, cleaning dorm rooms, and breakfast; from 10 to 4:30 is a rotation of job functioning, physical education, group and individual sessions, and other events necessary to maintain balanced structure. Lunch is at noon, dinner is at 4:30, and school is from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Students return to their dorm rooms around 11 p.m.; lights-out is half an hour after students return to their dorm rooms.
- Elan is a demanding place. Students are busy weekdays with group sessions, house functioning, and school. Elan recognizes the need for change of pace, so weekends and holidays are less structured. Students may sleep until 11 a.m. and have brunch at 1 p.m. The rest of the day is usually spent in recreational activities.