Valley View School
Valley View School is a small, private therapeutic preparatory school providing a year round therapeutic environment for boys between the ages of eleven and sixteen who are having difficulty coping with their family, the world around them, and themselves.
While these boys are generally bright, healthy youngsters from a wide variety of family and geographic backgrounds, they all share a common experience performing below their academic and social potential and behaving in a self-defeating manner.
- School Type: Alternative School
- Grades: 6-12
- Students: 31 students
- Yearly Tuition: $97,000
- Average class size: 6 students
- Application Deadline: None / Rolling
School Membership(s)School Assoc.
Learning Difference Programs
Summer School Offered
Summer Program Cost Notes
The summer program is included in yearly tuition and is considered a mandatory part of the program. We do not take students just for the summer.
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 28%
Students by Grade
Academics and Faculty
Total Classroom Teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
Average Class Size
Classroom Dress Code
(long pants, collared shirt)
(long pants, collared shirt)
Tuition and Acceptance Rate
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
$97,000 for the 12-month program.
Dr. Thomas Nowak
Total Sports Offered
- Valley View School is a small, private therapeutic preparatory school providing a year round therapeutic environment for boys between the ages of eleven and sixteen who are having difficulty coping with their family, the world around them, and themselves.
- While these boys are generally bright, healthy youngsters from a wide variety of family and geographic backgrounds, they all share a common experience performing below their academic and social potential and behaving in a self-defeating manner.
Profile last updated:
Our son attended Valley View School from April 2019 through June of 2021. It has been a very positive experience for him and us. Valley View School has been an incredibly supportive environment and our son matured greatly in his two years there. Tom Nowak and the team care deeply about the boys and do a great job working with them.
Am the mother of a current student at the school. We have had quite the journey to find a school that is not abusive and productive for his needs. My son had attended 5 other therapeutic boarding schools prior to his start at Valley View. Many, if not all, had an element of emotional or physical abuse. The industry is corrupt in so many ways, from the educational consultants who get financial kickbacks to the money-hungry owners of the for-profit schools, it really is difficult for a desperate parent to weed through the BS and find a school that actually cares about your child. VVS sets itself apart by being a not-for-profit school, thus not driven by financial gain. They have proved to our family that there schools available that are truly child-centered. From the start; the school believed in my son. He wasn't just another "bad kid". Upon his arrival, he was in fact probably one of the most challenging kids at the school, but they trusted the process and supported him through it.Throughout his 1.5 years there, he has grown into the young man that I could always see. The school started with getting his medicine correct. Because they have a full-time nurse, they were able to monitor his behavior and report it back to the psychiatrist. They would make small adjustments to the dosage and time administered to give him the best opportunity to succeed. This then allowed his brain the opportunity to use the tools they were teaching him at VVS.I think one of the biggest differences between VVS and other therapeutic schools would be that they allow the boys to still be kids. The environment is less clinical and more supportive. It functions much like a regular boarding school with the support that kids like my son need. They have clubs, outings, and social opportunities to allow him to mature in a more natural type of environment. The staff has been so supportive of my son, so much so that his advisor takes him and other students fishing at a lake by his home and to have dinner with his family after. They interact with him much like a family member would, making him feel included all while being away from us.My son has gone from being kicked out of over 7 schools to being elected onto student council, on the honor roll, and even the school librarian; a position they created for him, seeing what his strengths are. That is just what you get at VVS, they look for the good in your child and create opportunities for them to excel in that area.I can not thank them enough for the transformation they have allowed my son to make.I want to speak a bit about the negative reviews that can be found for Valley View. From what I have seen in our many years of therapeutic settings, you are dealing with students and sometimes parents with mental health needs. Often times disgruntled students that did not succeed in the program can interpret their experience as abusive. Other times they are angry that their parents "sent them away" and feel they need to seek revenge on the school. From our experience, when my son has had an issue with the staff, he will let me know over the phone or face time call. Often times when he and I talk through it we discover that he was interpreting their actions or words out of context...which is part of the reason many of the boys are there in the first place. There have been a few times that I did feel the need to bring it up with his advisor. Every time I addressed it with the lead staff, the issue has been addressed and resolved. My son has learned a lot from that process, actually. He learned how to address things that make you uncomfortable, be heard, and the issue resolved.My last point I want to touch on is the price. This is a self-pay school, for most, insurance will not cover any part of it. This was the case for us. It is a huge financial investment. We have chosen to prioritize our son's future and are so happy we did. We went from being concerned that he'd ever been able to live on his own, to looking for top universities after graduation. Valley View School has given my son a chance at the life he deserves and for that, we will be forever grateful!
Valley View School changed our 13 year old son's life and the life of our entire family. The staff's dedication to his emotional development allowed him to achieve change that we never could have dreamed of.
Our son suffers from heavy ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety, executive functioning skills. This lead to depression. Before Valley View he was barely functional, refusing therapy and battling medication. At the age of 11, he manifested suicidal ideations. After working with an educational placement specialist, we sent him to an outdoor immersion program (SUWS in North Carolina) where he did very well. Knowing that he needed to be in a 24/7 therapeutic environment, we made the very difficult decision to send him to a therapeutic boarding school - Valley View. As parents, this was the best decision we ever made. We are absolutely thrilled with the staff at Valley View. They are able to balance on the fine line between being supportive and disciplinarian when needed. The boys are held accountable for their actions - which helps them learn appropriate behavior. This is NEVER done in a physical or fearful way. It is done through talk therapy - breaking down difficult situations as a learning opportunity. I AM THRILLED TO REPORT THAT MY SON HAS MADE A COMPLETE TURN-AROUND! Not only is he happy at Valley View, he is a very positive and thoughtful person when at home. On his last trip home he even brought out the garbage when it was full - without being asked to! Academically, he is now working to his potential. And, most importantly, as a human being, he is able to have a loving, respectful relationship with his family. I cannot fathom any of the negative reviews of Valley View. This is simply not the school that I know or credit with saving my son.
Valley View School for Boys is a blessing, for our son and our family. We did not know if our son could fit their program. They have shown him how and he is becoming a happy and able young man.
As a parent I found Valley View's physical setting, theraputic program and staff all to be exceptional. My son is living a normal life as a result of the time he spent at Valley View.
Our son has been at Valley View for a year. We tried everything to deal with his oppositional and defiant behavior, including wilderness therapy, before making the very difficult decision to send him to a therapeutic boarding school. His behaviors affected his relationships at school, at home, on sports teams and with peers and no one seemed to be capable of helping him. The staff at Valley View has developed a structured system that helps the boys to recognize the consequences of their self-destructive behaviors. I have been to the school multiple times and have spoken with staff every week. I have witnessed their composure and compassion. Their mission is to truly change the direction of a young man's life and they take that role very seriously. If you are considering sending your son to a therapeutic boarding school, Valley View is also a place where he will not fall behind academically. (Our daughter attends an elite private school in Washington DC and our standards for teachers are very high.) We had parent-teacher conferences with all of our son's teachers at Valley View and we were impressed. They care deeply about the success of each student and challenge each according to his academic level. We have seen great progress in our son and we now believe he will leave Valley View with the skills he needs to have a happy and successful life.
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