Have questions about our school and our community? See what current students have to say as they answer your top questions!
Brandon is a school and treatment center for boys who may need some extra support to be successful in many different areas. Brandon is a safe, respectful, nurturing and positive place where people, relationships, routines and structure help you:
- To have healthier relationships with family members, adults and peers
- To make safer choices about dealing with anger, sadness and anxiety and other emotions
- To make a habit of healthy choices and behaviors
- To have more success in school
- To talk about and begin to fix things and thoughts that bother you
There are 7 separate houses at Brandon and between 9 and 13 boys stay in each one. Total, there are about 75 boys at Brandon, who are between the ages of 7 and 17.
From the time you enter Brandon, there is a plan in place to help you get the tools you need to control your feelings and behaviors in order to be successful in public school, the community and your home. Some programs at Brandon last a few days, most last between 1 and 6 months and some longer. The amount of time you stay depends on the goals you need to meet and the work that needs to happen before you can move on from Brandon.
Brandon has a large, 35-acre campus with 4 houses on it and also 3 off-campus houses in nearby neighborhoods. We try to find the house that is the best match for you.
The chances are that you will share a large room with 1 or 2 other boys.
Brandon has a school on campus that most students attend. The building divided into a lower school, middle school and high school. Students are grouped by age, grade and/or ability.
Some kids go to school off campus at public school or other private school programs.
At Brandon, you will have a case manager that is in charge of knowing everything that is happening in school and at the house. They are the point person for you, your family members, guardians, visiting resources and outside social workers. You will have an individual therapist and a family therapist who you meet with one or more times a week. Therapists are available on campus every day. You will have nurses, teachers, teacher’s assistants, residential counselors and supervisors who are all here to support you and your family.
Brandon is a very structured place where there is a plan for nearly every part of the day.
To view a typical day at Brandon, click here.
We ask that you receive phone calls from people on your “call list” between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays and 9am – 9pm on weekends.
Bed times depend on the age of the student as well as the level he is on. Bedtime can be as early as 7:30pm and as late as 10:45pm. Group Home kids often have earned privileges to stay up later than kids in other programs.
Your Case Manager here helps arrange visits with family members, visiting resources, social workers and other important people. Visits can happen during the week and on weekends. Once approved, visits can happen on grounds, off grounds, overnight, over weekends and over school vacations.
Kids eat very well at Brandon. Every morning starts with breakfast at the house. A hot, healthy lunch is provided at school and dinner and snacks are served at the houses in the evening. Weekends kids can sleep in, so there is a hot brunch at 11am on Saturdays and Sundays.
You can bring these items to Brandon, but they can only be used during designated times and when students are on the appropriate level.
No, but there are televisions here.
Please feel encouraged to bring appropriate posters, pictures, personal items to decorate your room.
No. Smoking and the use of other substances is strictly prohibited.
Days at Brandon are very active. Brandon has a huge gymnasium with a full-sized basketball court where students participate in gym class once a day, in addition to outdoor and indoor activities in the afternoons/weekends.
Brandon has Varsity and/or Junior Varsity Basketball, Flag Football and Soccer teams that play other schools on and off campus.
Brandon offers an onsite vocational program that encourages youth to gain valuable skills through participation in various organized tasks such culinary arts, campus clean-up crew, and more. Youth are paid a set rate for participating in these activities.
For any youth wanting to work outside of Brandon, they must complete a privilege request form and have it approved by their Treatment team and guardian. Youth are encouraged to search for jobs independently if they are able, but Brandon staff members are primarily responsible for assisting youth with job seeking. Staff members are responsible for developing relationships with local businesses; this consistent networking on staff’s behalf is crucial in obtaining youth jobs in the community that fit their needs and skill set. As part of Preparing Adolescence for Young Adulthood, staff teach youth how to go into a business and ask if they are hiring, obtain an application, read want ads, create a resume, go on an interview, how to dress for an interview, good work habits, respecting authority, etc.
Any youth that is employed or has money for varying reasons is required to save a portion of his income and deposit it into his bank account regularly. Staff will assist youth in opening a bank account by ensuring they have appropriate identification/documents to open an account, bringing them to the bank, and in conjunction with the bank, guide the youth on an appropriate account.
Organized Sports Teams
Brandon offers several successful sporting programs each school year. The Brandon Blackhawks take the field for soccer and flag football in the fall, basketball during the winter and softball during the spring semester. The coaching staff focuses on basic skill development, teamwork, and sportsmanship.
Varsity and Jr. Varsity team members must be up to date with their schoolwork, in good standing in school, and have no privilege restrictions to attend games and practices. All class work missed during games must be made up the following day if students wish to continue to participate on the team.
In addition to these organized sports, coaching staff organize 8-10 week basketball and football camps after school throughout the school year and during our summer educational session.
Clubs and Classes
We survey youth throughout the year to determine what extra-curricular activities they might enjoy. We then proceed with planning those activities. This has included hip hop dance classes, art classes, yoga classes, walking/running groups, and more that occur throughout the school year and summer months. To benefit our high school students, high school staff organize a college tours program where students visit prospective college campuses throughout the commonwealth to learn more about their programs and to get a taste of college life.
Brandon’s school and residences offer a variety of recreational activities throughout the year that ALL youth are encouraged to participate in. On-grounds activities can include movies, video games, sports activities, arts and crafts, board games, roller blades, skateboards, etc. Off-grounds activities can include movies, arcade, shopping, roller skating, sled riding, special events in the city including the circus, sports events, etc. Special recreational programs are also run throughout the year, to include a springtime intramurals program.
In the residences on and off-grounds activities are offered during the week and weekend. The house staff and the youth work together to plan activities for each week and weekend. At school, youth can participate in an off-grounds activity every Friday. Designated day school staff members plan these weekly activities. Any special school or house activities are approved by the respective Department Heads.
Brandon provides basic materials for all activities (i.e. sports/safety equipment, markers, crayons, etc.) and provides transportation for off-grounds activities. Through the Brandon Parent Advisory Group family activities are also planned throughout the year.
Youth can be involved in Brandon life by engaging in the daily activities and events. An exciting opportunity for many youth is joining our Student Advisory Group (SAG).
The SAG meets once a month to help plan student activities, bring concerns to staff, serve as a liaison between students and staff, receive leadership strategies and meet with local community leaders.
There is also a Youth Leadership Group that meets monthly during Residential hours allowing youth who attend schools outside of Brandon to experience activity planning, leadership development, and more.