Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy
5.00 (11 reviews)
- Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy is a transitional boarding school which helps students graduating from either a residential treatment level of care or wilderness program to prepare for their next step in life.
- MSPA is not a therapeutic boarding school but therapy is available from trained professionals in the community who work with MSPA and understand our unique mission and philosophy.
- MSPA is focused on helping students acclimate back into society.
- We utilize a solution-focused model that allows students the opportunity to make choices and assess how much the students have internalized the skills they have learned in their prior treatment.
- Rather than using behavioral consequences with the students, our mentors utilize supportive relationships as the agent for encouraging change.
- Education at Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy combines the best of traditional education with a unique emphasis on building self-esteem and addressing core issues.
|School Membership(s)School Assoc.||Other school association(s)|
|Grades Offered||Grades 9-12|
|Learning Difference Programs||Yes|
|Total Students||36 students|
|Student Body Type||Co-ed|
|% Students of Color|
State avg.: 22%
|Students by Grade|
Academics and Faculty
|Total Classroom Teachers||5 teachers|
|Student : Teacher Ratio||7:1|
National avg.: 13:1
|Average Class Size||6 students|
Finances and Admission
|Admission Deadline||None / Rolling|
Nearby Private Schools
- School Location Miles Grades Students
- Cedar CityGrades: 8-11 | 5 students
Po Box 1067
Cedar City, UT 84721
- VirginGrades: 6-12 | 22 students
Po Box 790099
Virgin, UT 84779
- HurricaneGrades: 7-12 | 48 students
325 West 600 North
Hurricane, UT 84737
- HurricaneGrades: 7-12 | 145 students
1500 E 2700 S
Hurricane, UT 84737
- HurricaneGrades: 7-12 | 46 students
65 N 1150 W
Hurricane, UT 84737
Our daughter attended and embraced Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy`s (MSPA) program from 08/2015 through high school graduation 05/2017. It was an excellent transition program from intensive residential treatment to real life. I always describe MSPA as a place most beneficial in getting kids back on track with academics and life when only a lightly-therapeutic approach is needed. Our daughter`s academic advisor and the whole MSPA team customized her program and challenged her. She embraced the live classroom academics, concurrent enrollment with Southern Utah University, Cedar High School and Southwest Applied Technology College, the challenges and learning associated with a co-ed environment, working part-time as a volunteer veterinary technician, staying physically active with mixed martial arts, skiing, water polo, and scuba training, and preparing for college with ACT, SAT, AP coursework, college applications. She also trained as an emergency medical technician and has her advanced emergency medical technician certification. Our daughter embraced independent living in the Independent Living House at age 18 and transitioned to her own apartment for the final 8 months prior to graduation. Our daughter is mentally and physically healthy AND she is going to college! It has been a long road. MSPA truly has been a blessing to her and to her us!
- Posted by Parent - Sharon C.
Our son first went to a wilderness program followed by a residential treatment center and concurrently at MSPA. MSPA has plenty of structure with excellent coaching. It is a very goal oriented environment so kids can experience success and failure, rewards and consequences. They also let kids off site, for therapy which is independent of the program, and other activities. The kids get to learn how to be independent as they progress through the program. We are happy that our son landed at MSPA - he will finish high school and start college nearby under the guidance of their staff.
- Posted by Parent - Joe from CO
Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy has been, and continues to be, a great school and program. I have seen so many students thrive in this school. I love seeing students graduate with a high school diploma who tell me that they had given up hope of ever seeing that day come. The individual attention that each student receives from the small classes and caring teachers makes it impossible for them to slide by unnoticed, and nearly impossible for them to fail. The variety of educational opportunities is amazing. Besides the course offerings available in the Mountain Springs classes, students often take concurrent enrollment classes at Southern Utah University and/or classes at Southwest Applied Technology College. These students then leave with a high school diploma, as well as university credits and skills certifications that open up valuable career options. The transformation I have seen in so many students over the years has been marvelous.
- Posted by Administrator - stans
Mountain Springs Academy was a very positive experience for my son. While initially adopting the same attitude he had at previous programs ..this doesn't work.I hate it here ..nobody here knows what they're doing and they don't care about me ..he eventually realized the staff and environment at Mountain Springs were exactly what he needed. He made friends, invested in himself and the program, became more respectful, and thrived academically. The change we saw in him from the time he got there to the time he left was one of the most dramatic in his life. As a parent, I also found the staff to be wonderful. They are available and caring and that attitude has lasted even after my son's time there. I still contact Ariel for advice years after my son's time at Mountain Springs! I highly recommend it to other parents.
- Posted by Parent - mnroy
Mountain Springs provides an important and unique opportunity in the vast array of boarding school options. We are specifically designed as a practice, step-down, environment for students who have completed a residential treatment placement or wilderness therapy program. Having worked here in many different positions since 2006, and now being the Assistant Head of School, I know that we provide a meaningful service to this select population of high school students and their families. I have seen students truly apply what they have learned in practice and not just in theory. I have seen families heal and students become ignited with a passion for living a life worth living. I love going to work every day and helping these teenagers grow stronger internally day by day. This school is consistently open to student and parent feedback and improvement. We have a student government and ways for students and parents to advocate for changes to policies and practice. In this way, we are continuously open to improvement.
- Posted by Administrator - arhoa
MSPA provided very good classroom instruction and a positive environment for our son Sean. He responded well to the personalized instruction and aced his college-prep courses. This was a dramatic turn-around from Sean's academic performance a year earlier when he received all Fs. Sean attended MSPA after completing the program at Island View in Salt Lake. Island View helped a lot in Sean's turn-around. MSPA provide the right environment for Sean to continue his progress. Sean wanted to attend college after graduation, but didn't start looking at schools until late January. We were impressed by the individual counseling and encouragement that Ariel provided. Sean was able to get into an excellent college and enrolled the following September.
- Posted by Parent - tomrf
I am an alumni of Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy. I can honestly say, MSPA helped me personally and academically. I got to graduate a year early from high school. During my time at MSPA, I made a variety of friends and some of these friends have become fairly important to me. MSPA doesn't judge based on anything. They accept and help everyone who is admitted to the school, if the students'' are dedicated to receive help and such.
- Posted by Student/Alumni - jingx
Mountain Springs is an excellent school designed to help get its students back on track with real world experiences to learn from. Before MSPA I went to a wilderness program, and even though I was under the initial impression that 8 weeks in the middle of nowhere was enough, I would have slipped back into my old self if I went home. Mountain Springs gave me a place I could challenge myself. When I slipped I had people there who genuinely cared and who would help me back to my feet, and when I succeeded, I had people who believed in me. This is still the real world and if I did not want to change it did not matter where my parents would have sent me, I would have failed. I learned I wanted to change because the old me wouldn't have even half the life I have now. The people who work at Mountain Springs are some of the best people I have ever met in my life and I am thankful for them for every day I have where I am not the old me.
- Posted by Student/Alumni - walke
The staff and teachers are very caring and get to know each student in order to motivate them to work on what they individually need. The classrooms and houses are clean and organized. Students are accepted unconditionally and feel they belong. Our daughter attended and had a positive, growing experience where she learned to deal with life's ups and downs in healthy ways.
- Posted by Parent - dbrow
MSPA was a transforming juncture in our daughter's journey. The milieu of staff, students, school, peer socializing, activities, responsibilities, accountability created a real life setting for growth in a safe environment. The staff's dynamic engagement with our daughter was a surrogate for our love at a time when we did not have the skills or energy to reach her with our love. We were locked out of her world. MSPA is unique. There are many schools on the web that have glossy websites and promises. My sense is that MSPA is in a class of their own. The school is a gold standard for staff that cared for our daughter 24/7 in a deeply meaningful way. Their words and actions reflected an unwavering belief in her and love for her. MSPA stands out in the application of a matrix system that offers students and parents a concrete chart of the baseline and the progress of growth. The program facilitates the integration of meaningful behavior change. This is vastly different from the behavior of compliance-only-to-graduate from other programs which results in superficial change and the return to old behavior patterns once students graduate. This is not a nuance. It is the difference between an investment of time and money and a waste of time and money. Our daughter graduated four years ago. She has integrity and is growing into her values. There are opportunities within her grasp that without MSPA would not have been an option.
- Posted by Parent - philj
In 2012, I began my sixteen month long journey at Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy. I came to MSPA as a scared and lonely sixteen year old girl with a sassy and resistant attitude. After all, this was my fifth treatment center, it was understandable I was a bit frustrated! I won't say Mountain Springs is a walk in the park. I learned very quickly that in order to change, one must want to change, and at first I was very resistant to this thought. That being said, once I made the decision that I could not continue living life the way I was living it, the students and staff alike were there ready to support me. I became a straight A student, got involved with triathlons and horseback riding outside of school, was voted to be Vice President of student council by my peers, helped put on MSPA's first prom and truly learned to love my life. I am now an Honor's student at University of Portland and am working for my school newspaper (one of my three jobs). None of this would have been possible without Mountain Springs. I continue to stay in touch with two of my mentors, Greg Allred and Scott Jakubowski. I would absolutely recommend this school to anyone who needs a little extra support. With a little hard work and dedication, Mountain Springs has changed my life for the better and has made me realize, I can conquer the world! Thank you MSPA!
- Posted by Student/Alumni - malik
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