In helping each individual student, the O-School’s clinical interventions take an ecological approach, looking to provide support at all levels of the student’s life by fostering growth in the student and family. In doing so, the school does not attempt to “fix” the child, adolescent or young adult but instead builds a world in which they can thrive.
The O-School has a primary mission to provide carefully planned, intensive milieu therapy for students with special social-emotional needs. Milieu therapy is a method in which a safe, structured social environment – in this case, the entire O-School community – is designed to help students learn healthier ways of thinking, interacting and behaving. Milieu therapy emphasizes shared responsibility, mutual respect, healthy coping strategies and positive peer influence. This kind of social environment is fostered by all O-School staff members working in coordination with one another and is the scaffolding for the students’ educational, therapeutic and extracurricular activities.