Excel Academy

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Information
Current status Closed
Detainees.gif Capacity 90
Checked November 17,2014
Open.gif Opened 1997
Close.gif Closed 2008

Excel Academy was a behavior modification facility placed on 12244 Serenity Rose Drive, Conroe, Texas 77304 [1].

The average time of being detained there was 18 months according to NATSAP [2], but they were working on reducing the length of the stay to 12 months.

It opened in 1997 and had room for 90 detainees.

At the time of its closure it was owned by Aspen Education Group.

Program structure

Until 2007 the facility was a behavior modification facility which took all kind of clients.

After the sheriff election made it impossible to continue working with all kind of targetgroups, a new management were inserted so the facility could be relauced as a pure drug treatment facility with clients entering the facility on voluntary basis.

The description of the program structure is of the old system because the owners decided to shut down the operations when the new quality based treatment approach were too costly.

Treatment goal

It was to destroy damaging and negative issues at the teenager like independence [3].

Throughout their stay at Excel, students begin to see their parents in a new light. They become grateful that they have loving parents and want to repair and improve their relationships.

Level system

When the teenager arrived at the facility, they were put on the Reflective Phase. They were given a list of faults (Impact letter) from their parents, which the parents wanted to have fixed by the teenager before they would allow the teenager back into his or her own family.

When the teenager was broken, he or she entered the Willingness Phase, where the work on fixing items stated based on the contents in the impact letter.

At a point the work on rebuilding relationship with the family was begun. This phase was called the Building Phase. They used a marathon workshop called Family Workbook I as a tool.

Once this work pays off the teenager entered the Externalization Phase.

The final phase was called Internalization Phase.

Communication

There were a letter only policy during the first 6 weeks.

The family could come on on-campus visits only during the Reflection and Willingness phases.

As the detained teenagers raised in the levels they could come off-campus (Building), have an overnight stay (Externalization) and finally a homevisit (Internalization).

Education

After year 2000 seemed to have overcome their programs about being accredited. Where they in the past had teachers teaching without certificate from the state of Texas, they are now listed as accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools [4] [5]

Consequences

They used the concept of "shirting". Those of the detained teenagers, who were not working the program according to the judgement of the staff were put in a red T-shirt. They used the phrase "being shirted".

Other consequences ranged from doing work around the campus and missing out on some of the fun activities, to thoroughly aerating the enclosed garden with a shovel for a detained teenager consistently pushing all the boundaries.

Until february 2008 the teenagers considered of being of a flight risk was put in orange jumpsuit with the text "Runner call 911" on their back. They also were given a tour in the local jail where inmates treated the youth with Vaseline. This method were stopped by a new sheriff forcing the facility to adjust the program heavily [6] [7]

An article from a marketingfirm states:

A common activity all the students do early after their enrollment is a tour of the local jail, where they have the opportunity to see a possible consequence of getting caught by authorities if they leave Excel and go back to some of their more acting-out behaviors.

Misc.

A survivor tells her story about a typical stay as it was before the arrest of the police officer [8]

In the news

January 2008 a police officer working on the campus is facing criminal charges because it is claimed that he disciplined a teenage boy unlawfully [9].

October 2008 it was announced that the program will close November 21 2008[10]

April 2009 the policeman charged with the jail-incident was jailed for 30 days and one year of deferred adjudication [11]

External links

Info pages

Community groups

Message boards

References

  1. The facility on Google Maps
  2. Datasheet about the facility, NATSAP
  3. Rebuilding Family Relationships, program homepage
  4. Excel academy on International Survivor Action Committee mentioning the problems with the certificates.
  5. SACS CASI Accredited Schools, from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools website
  6. Schools & Program Visits - Feb, 2000 Issue #66: Excel Academy, by Lon Woodbury, Woodbury Reports - industry marketing firm
  7. The New EXCEL Academy of Texas, press release by Don Vardell, published in Woodbury Reports, Inc., february 6 2008
  8. Becka Sims, blog
    Shackled in High school in front of classmates (Excel Academy), being transported blog
  9. Deputy Charged Over Alleged Discipline, By Carl Willis, KPRC 2, January 25 - 2008
  10. Letter Regarding Excel Academy of Texas' Consolidation of Services, published on strugglingteens.com - industry marketing firm, October 9 2008
  11. Ex-officer sentenced for official oppression, By Lucretia Cardenas, Conroe Courier News, April 27 2009
    Morast Get Deferred Adjudication, a thread on Fornits webforum