In an effort to make Auldern feel more like home, every girl is assigned to a “family” the moment she steps on campus. This “family” is led by her therapist, includes the other “sisters” in her therapist’s caseload, and also includes staff members from all of the different departments across campus. Families can celebrate special days or achievements that happen to their members, have their own picnics, activities and outings. And each family has two months during the school year when they are responsible for planning community activities, events, outings and the community service project. This is just one more way, Auldern girls practice patience, negotiation, empathy and FUN!
On and Off Campus Community Service
Every Saturday morning everyone on campus participates in either on or off-campus community service. On-campus service might find our students planting flowers or cleaning the school vans, helping with the deep cleaning of various campus buildings or windows, and other chores. Off-campus service privilege means you may volunteer at the Goat House, Care Animal Shelter, Habitat for Humanity, Tiger Rescue, local 5 or 10K runs, the Crop Walk and Special Olympics. Our community service component allows students to develop self-esteem, self-worth, generosity, and industriousness while cultivating empathy and a spirit of altruism. Along the way, some of our girls discover true passions that they continue through college and beyond.
Our Phase System
Auldern girls can move through four phases on their journey here, helping them and their families track and celebrate their overall progress therapeutically. We don’t really have a standard checklist to mark; girls apply for a higher phase through our treatment team. They advocate for themselves, with support from their therapist, teachers, and student life staff. Each girl’s “case,” therefore is unique to her and she articulates what she has accomplished that makes her a good candidate for her next privilege or phase. The phases are:
- Apprentice – Initial phase upon entering Auldern. Trust-building phase.
- Humanitarian – Second phase, demonstrating more trust and responsibility.
- Ambassador – Third phase, where one’s trustworthiness is easily apparent and a degree
of independence has been earned. (Girls usually move upstairs in our dorm.)
- Leader – Fourth phase. Not all girls are leaders – and that is fine by us, but we want
to recognize those who do have these qualities.
Auldern’s student body takes their student government – and the election of their representatives – VERY seriously. (We have a lot of fun with campaign posters, speeches, etc.) The student government panel contains a representative from each of Auldern’s “families,” a vice governess and a governess. These representative are voted in by their families, with an election held each semester. The student government hears proposals and votes on weekend activites, hears cases that might be honor code violations, and acts whenever needed to help make Auldern’s positive peer culture work. Auldern girls “own” Auldern’s culture and community and are truly empowered to have a voice..
Girls are expected to follow the honor code, as well as hold their peers accountable. The Honor Council is held with student government, academics, head of school, a student life staff representative, and the student’s therapist to address any issues breaking any policies.
Big Sis/Little Sis Program
Upon arrival, each new Auldern student is paired with a current student in our Big Sis Program. This relationship helps support her transition into the community and often becomes the first “sisterhood” a new Auldern girl experiences. A new student’s Big Sis helps her navigate her new environment and understand the critical pieces of the Auldern student life experience.
Girls may regularly attend worship that is appropriate for their faith, whatever that may be. Because we are both a national and international program, we have experience with students from diverse faiths and make every effort to accommodate their needs.