FAQ’S

  1. Are there payment options available?
  2. What is the length of the program?
  3. What if a child does not want to go to RVCA?
  4. What do you do if a teen runs away?
  5. What if the child is on antidepressants or some other medication?
  6. What if the family or the child is not Christian?
  7. Do the students wear uniforms?
  8. What is a typical day like at RVCA?
  9. What is the diet like at RVCA?
  10. Are dietary preferences accommodated?
  11. How is school conducted?
  12. What do the students do for fun?
  13. How long does it take for the teens to begin to feel comfortable?
  14. What if a child gets sick or hurt?
  15. What if my teen has braces?
  16. Who can be involved in writing and visiting the student?
  17. How can the parents support their children in the program?
  18. Do the teens get to go home for holidays?
  19. What are the living arrangements like?
  20. Are the boys and girls programs together or separate?
  21. What types of discipline does RVCA use?
  22. What happens if a student is acting out or refusing to comply?
  23. What happens when a student “crosses the line”?
  24. What is the policy on crimes against other students?
  25. What is our policy on religious beliefs, race, sexual preference?
  26. What is the policy on student relationships?
  27. What types of disciplines are not used or even considered?
  28. What are the chores that are implemented for each student?

  1. Are there payment options available?

    RVCA offers zero-interest loans lasting the through your child’s graduation to qualifying parents. If necessary, RVCA parents can also work with loan companies. Parents will be provided with a list of companies, and they are required to file all the paperwork themselves. Assistance is available for parents who establish legitimate hardship or demonstrate they are in a difficult financial situation at no fault of their own. All financial applications are reviewed by the RVCA committee and granted on a case-by-case basis. The decision is at the sole discretion of the committee and based on availability of funds.

  2. What is the length of the program?

    The program usually lasts 15 to 18 months, depending on the overall progress of the student. It is possible for a student to finish early, but this usually does not occur due to the fact that a significant amount of time is needed to change behavioral patterns. The decision on when to graduate a student is not based on how long they are in the program but how long they do well in the program. A strong foundation of consistently positive behavior is critical to their ability to maintain this change in their lifestyle upon returning home.

  3. What if a child does not want to go to RVCA?

    We highly recommend using a transportation service. We have found that using a transportation service tends to have a calming effect on the student, making for an easier transition into the school. We have a number of services we trust that we can recommend to you.

  4. What do you do if a teen runs away?

    If a student runs from campus, we will follow them and make every attempt to ensure they are safe. Due to the fact that RVCA is located in the mountains in a rural area, students can sometimes evade the staff members. If this occurs, RVCA will let the sheriff department know; they are very supportive of the program and will help RVCA locate the student. Most teens return within thirty minutes because there is really nowhere to go. However, sometimes a student may make it back home, in which case it is very important that the parents bring the student back or have the student brought back to the campus. This shows the student that the parents are in control of the situation and that they are committed to helping their child change. This wears the student out as it is almost always very exhausting for the student (as well as for the parent). This helps the student to realize he or she needs to submit to the parents’ authority. Should this occur, the RVCA staff will coach the parent throughout the process.

  5. What if the child is on antidepressants or some other medication?

    The parents must make note of this in the phone profile and on the RVCA application. The information is then evaluated through a local psychologist. The psychologist then makes a decision about whether or not RVCA can help the student based on the type and severity of the problem that the medication is treating. If the student needs to see a psychologist then accommodations and arrangement for RVCA to take the student can be made.

  6. What if the family or the child is not Christian?

    Although all the staff members and administrators at RVCA are Christians, RVCA wants to help families and children regardless of their religion. It is not necessary for the child to be or become a Christian. A decision to become a Christian or not will in no way impact a student’s standing in the program. However, the child will be exposed to Christian beliefs. Many of the Christian events are optional for the students.

  7. Do the students wear uniforms?

    Yes, they do. The uniforms are for easier management of a dress code.

  8. What is a typical day like at RVCA?

    The students start their day at 8:00 am and have devotions or read a book until breakfast at 8:30 am. At 9:15 am the students start class, which goes until lunchtime at 12:30 pm. After lunch they have class until 2:15 pm, at which time they work on doing their chores and having PE afterwards. After PE the students have an hour and a half in the dorms. They can spend this time showering, playing games, reading, or doing homework. At 6:00 pm they have dinner, followed by an evening activity at 7:30 pm. At 8:30 pm the students return to their dorms, at 9:15 pm quiet time starts, and the lights go out at 9:30 pm. This schedule can vary slightly, due to the fact that RVCA has events where guest speakers or past students share with the current students.

  9. What is the diet like at RVCA?

    All the residents take turns helping the staff prepare the food for the meals. Everyone eats three square meals a day of healthy and well-balanced foods. Fruits or vegetables are eaten at every meal, and juice or milk is provided each day.

  10. Are dietary preferences accommodated?

    RVCA accommodates food allergies that are confirmed by a physician. However, we generally do not accommodate vegetarianism. Many teens in the program have poor eating habits and need a balanced diet, which usually includes some meat while they are at RVCA. Beginning a healthy eating routine is a necessary component to beginning an overall healthier lifestyle. The only exception to this occurs when a teen has been a vegetarian for over two years. In this case, RVCA will work with the family to determine the best course of action. We do not accommodate veganism under any circumstances due to the fact that RVCA does not consider veganism to be a healthy dietary practice.

  11. How is school conducted?

    School is in session Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:15 am and 12:30 pm and resumes after lunch from 1:30 pm to 2:15 pm. School is also conducted year-round, allowing the teens to do schoolwork no matter what time of the year they are in the program. This year-round schedule gives the teens a much better chance of succeeding academically by providing them the most amount of time possible to do their schoolwork. RVCA is partnered with Liberty University Online Academy. Each student is evaluated upon arrival to assess where they are placed within the curriculum. Every student has their own computer station where they work on their individualized school program. The computers are used only for school work, no internet access outside of schoolwork is allowed. In addition to their schoolwork, the teens have PE for 45 minutes most every weekday.

  12. What do the students do for fun?

    The RVCA staff members do many activities with the students including swimming, hiking, playing sports, playing games, and going on special outings, to name a few. The staff members and students celebrate holidays together, sometimes with an outside barbecue and sometimes with a joint celebration.

  13. How long does it take for the teens to begin to feel comfortable?

    This varies from student to student, but almost all the teens start settling in and enjoy playing the games after a few days.

  14. What if a child gets sick or hurt?

    RVCA has an evacuation plan for fires and earthquakes and several response levels for different sicknesses or injuries. If a student is sick with something minor or requires routine medical treatment, this situation would call for a level 3 response. In this situation, the student can contact the staff and they can provide him or her with what is appropriate for the student’s current needs. A level 2 response would be if a student needs treatment from a physician. A staff member is always available to take a student to the hospital or the doctor’s office, depending on the situation. RVCA also has life flight and paramedics available, which would fall under a level 1 response, used for the most urgent situations.

  15. What if my student has braces?

    If a student has braces, RVCA asks the parents to switch to the orthodontist that RVCA uses in the area. A staff member will drive the student to his or her appointments.

  16. Who can be involved in writing and visiting the student?

    Only the parents/legal guardians on contract are allowed to write to the students. Also, the parents/legal guardians on contract are the only ones allowed to visit the students on the RVCA campus. Initially, parents are permitted one visit on campus every month. After the third visit, parents are allowed to bring the student’s siblings if they are younger than ten years old. As the student progresses further into the program, both the number and length of parent visits increase. Once a certain level is reached in the program, students receive off-campus visits and, eventually, home visits. RVCA encourages the parents to spend those visits alone with the child to work on their relationship with him or her. Students have related that having too many visitors during these times away from RVCA tends to overwhelm them. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, or siblings will have increased involvement as the student moves forward in the program.

  17. How can the parents support their children in the program?

    Parents are strongly encouraged to visit their student and write to them on a regular basis. Parents can also help their student by attending the parent meetings and the parent seminars. Doing this gives the parents information about parenting and also helps their student because he or she will receive points for the parents’ attendance. Also, if the student sees the parent is invested in RVCA, this encourages the student’s participation as well. If parents are not able to attend the meetings, they should call other parents who attended to get the information that they missed. The student will receive points in this situation as well. RVCA also encourages parents to call each other when they are struggling with their child so as to provide support for one another during this difficult time.

  18. Do the teens get to go home for holidays?

    Yes, when they have reached level J in the program.

  19. What are the living arrangements like?

    There are twenty-five students per dorm. The boys and girls dorms are completely separate on different sides of the campus. RVCA uses an up-buddy system comprised of a new student and a student who has been there longer. The two buddies will stay together most of the time. The teens change buddies and dorms every two weeks. Boys and girls are kept in separate areas of the campus.

  20. Are the boys and girls programs together or separate?

    The boys and girls programs are each separate. The campus is large which provides the ability to keep the boys program on one side and the girls program on the other. They have no social interaction whatsoever.

  21. What types of discipline does RVCA use?

    River View Christian Academy (RVCA) only utilizes approved disciplinary measures which are moral and appropriate for the care of the children that attend our school. All disciplinary methods are in full compliance with California state law.

    Disciplinary actions include removal of privileges, dropping a “level” in the RVCA program, writing sentences, removal of optional dietary choices, separation from other students when appropriate, (i.e. in cases such as physical violence or verbal threats, fighting, romantic pursuits).

  22. What happens if a student is acting out or refusing to comply?

    Quiet “time outs” are offered to help de-escalate an agitated student. Students are sometimes allowed to negotiate in favor of physical exercise programs in lieu of other disciplinary action. This works to reduce the student’s adrenaline, which can escalate their frustration and anger. It is against the policy of RVCA to physically remove or move a student. In an escalating situation, the rest of the students are asked to move on to the next activity, allowing the student acting out his/her space and ensuring that less attention is paid to the oppositional behavior.

  23. What happens when a student “crosses the line”?

    If a student has reached a major level of disruptive behavior, suspension, expulsion or alerting the authorities may result. The disciplinary action is determined on a case by case basis and is best suited towards the protection of other students and or staff.

  24. What is the policy on crimes against other students?

    Upon the committing of a crime, RVCA will act according to all California Mandatory Reporting laws as required of any public school. We will immediately report to the proper authorities any accusations of sexual misconduct or physical or sexual abuse, whether or not we believe the act has occurred.

  25. What is our policy on religious beliefs, race, sexual preference?

    We do not discriminate against any faith, race or sexual preference. We are a Christian faith-based program and will talk about our faith. We do not force or coerce anyone to believe what we believe. However, as a faith-based program, there will be Christian-related topics for discussion and faith-based activities. Participation in such activities is optional for the students. We trust that the families admitting their child fully understand this prior to admission.

  26. What is the policy on student relationships?

    Families choose our program in order to redirect their child from their oppositional behavior. As such, we will restrict any sexual or romantic contact that becomes a distraction to the child’s progress. Note: It is illegal under the California Penal Code of Unlawful Intercourse for a minor to engage in any sexual act, consensual or not, if under the age of 18. Due to the potential of some students turning 18 years of age while attending the program, adult students are admonished that it is a felony for them to participate in any sexual activity with a minor under the age of 18 years old (Section 261.5 of the California Penal Code. Statutory rape.)
    These boundaries are strictly enforced.

  27. What types of disciplines are not used or even considered?

    • Any form of corporal punishment is not acceptable and strictly prohibited.
    • We do not use conversion therapy nor do we endorse or approve of such methods.
    • The withholding of food, medical aid or loving care for the students is strictly prohibited.
    • Although we may restrict the amount of food options which we deem a privilege, (i.e. desserts) and/or portions due to excessive overeating, each student’s food intake is determined on a case-by-case basis. All students are provided proper nutrition at each meal.
    • Restriction of bathroom breaks or water intake is strictly prohibited.
    • We do not use a quiet isolation room, however, a quiet “time out” space may be provided in order to remove the student from the issue and/or negative situation.
    • We do not use labor-intensive chores as a means of discipline. The student may elect for light chores as an alternative to disciplines which would normally apply. This might included raking leaves, cleaning windows, mopping floors.

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  29. What are the chores that are implemented for each student?

    The normal chores a student would typically have while living at home.