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River View Christian Academy, known as RVCA, is a Christian residential boarding school for troubled teenagers. The school is located near Austin, Texas. Each student will be a part of a group no larger than 30 students. This provides the benefits of a larger school, but maintains the benefits of being in a smaller group with a higher staff to student ratio. We try to keep a staff/student ratio of 1 to 3.
Each staff member works a schedule of four days on and three days off. The staff position of Resident Advisor at RVCA has many responsibilities. Students are in the classroom for about five hours each day, working in an independent study curriculum. Staff is responsible for providing support and supervision as tutors in the classroom. Staff also work in the dorms and help in the kitchen with meal preparation.
Since RVCA is a Christian-based program, a primary responsibility of staff is to model their lives as an example of Christ-likeness to the students. Your example to the students is an extremely important aspect of the program. The staff receives training to help the students through the difficult adjustments and struggles they experience at RVCA. The staff members must be effective listeners and provide the students with love and care. At the same time, staff members must be able to be firm and aware of potential manipulation. These skills come with training and experience. The students require constant monitoring and supervision during all their activities, which is accomplished through staff teamwork. Our main priorities at RVCA are to maintain the security and safety of our students. Efforts are made to keep tension at a minimum and provide a low-key environment in which healing and restoration can take place. Interactions with the students and other staff are to be with love and respect.
First and foremost, staff must have a heart for working with troubled teens. These students come from many different homes, and have often experienced a very dysfunctional family life. Working as staff at RVCA is not like working at a summer camp where the students enjoy their stay. Many of the students will tell you that deep down they know that being there is the right thing for them. You must love to work with these types of teens, in spite of the behaviors they may display at times.
The program at RVCA has been carefully put together over the years. Many of the policies and procedures were developed by our director, Phil Ludwig, based on the experiences of other successful teen programs. Other policies have been developed through our own experiences. We are always open to new ideas from our staff and are always willing to discuss new options. However, we ask all staff to be very careful in following the established procedures. Working together, supporting each other, doing your share and going beyond what is required make for greater harmony among the staff. Staff teamwork is very important in the process. Great communication skills are critical and staff must be able to work with each other as part of the team. Staff responsibilities are taught and learned over a period of time. It can take up to six months to reach the point of feeling comfortable with all of the procedures and policies. Knowing this, staff must realize that much patience is required in the learning process.
RVCA is a Christian-based program. We want our staff to be positive role models for the students, demonstrating with their lifestyle and choices that they believe in and follow Christ. Our desire is for each staff member to be involved in a Small Group for their continuing spiritual growth during employment with RVCA.
The staff enjoy many benefits. Optional, low cost Room & Board is available for employees who would like to live on campus and is deducted in accordance with Texas laws. A generous time-off policy provides opportunities for personal renewal. Laundry facilities are free of charge. During the year the staff also enjoy outings and other activities together. Many of our staff have stated that this job has been a great life experience with training in the areas of parenting, relationship building and conflict resolution. You will also receive the benefit of having an intense, positive impact upon a child’s life and the life of their family.
Teen Rescue is an at-will employer. When staff members are hired there is a probationary period of 3 months. We ask staff members to commit to at least one year of employment. However, this is not a requirement. The employee or the employer may terminate the employment for any reason at any time during the employment.