Irene Hunt or Phillips Acdmy for senior w social/emotional issues

Our 17 year-old daughter is returning from a residential treatment center and we are looking for a high school for her senior year. She is a very bright and outgoing teen, who suffered through some serious trauma that caused a lot of social emotional problems, as well as self-medication through illegal substances. She has made great progress during the last year and we think she will be able to go back to a smaller high school with a fair amount of individual support and attention. We are considering sending her to Orinda Academy. The school district is potentially offering to place her into Phillips Academy in Alameda or Irene M Hunt School in Marin. There is little information available about these last two schools. I would greatly appreciate if someone would share their experience with either of these schools, and if they are appropriate for a bright kid that is still sometimes struggling with the effects of PTSD, anxiety and depression. Of course, remote learning because of coronavirus makes all these decisions even more difficult.

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I'm sorry to hear that your daughter is struggling, and I'm glad that she's made a lot of progress. I toured Phillips Academy (at the suggestion of our school district) as a potential placement for my daughter who has similar issues to yours. I did not think that it was a good fit for my daughter. I'm happy to share why, privately. Contact me.

My daughter ended up at Tilden Prep, which was a lifesaver for her and could be a good transition for your daughter. 

My teen just graduated from Holden High School and I highly recommend it for your daughter given what you've described. It is very small (40 students total for grades 9-12) and extremely supportive. My child is also very bright and struggles with anxiety and depression. If it weren't for Holden, I'm not sure how they would have graduated from high school at all. Check them out at


Contact me if you'd like to discuss this privately.