Aspire Day School


The Aspire Day School integrates education and intensive mental health treatment for elementary and middle school students with behavioral/psychological disorders and their families, to reduce barriers to learning and education.

The Aspire school provides the foundation for students to learn and manage their symptoms and behaviors, focus and concentrate, and demonstrate the acquisition of new information. Students will increase their attendance, reading, and math skills, as well as participation while attending Aspire. The program is equipped to deal with crises by providing 24-hour crisis services and in-home counseling to support the students and reduce further academic barriers. Students can receive transition services as they return to their home school district so that they maintain their newly acquired skills.

The summer program bridges learning and therapeutic gains from one academic year to the next with recreation, outdoor adventures, and continued therapies. Students attend a six-hour program day with instruction provided in group and individualized formats. Individual, group, and family therapy are also provided throughout the school day.

The therapeutically supportive program focuses on both behavioral and academic goals, building upon the students' existing strengths. To reduce barriers to academic learning, students learn to manage symptoms and increase their level of functioning and stability so that they may return to their home school district. Transition planning with home schools is key to future success.



More than one-third of youth between the age of six and sixteen meet criteria for a psychiatric disorder (Costello, Mustillo, Erkanli, Keeler, & Angold, 2003), and the majority of these youth do not receive the treatment they need (Ringel & Sturm, 2001; Satcher, 2001; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [U.S. DHHS], 1999).


Recovery Center of Kentucky, LLC Aspire Day School, proposes to provide Day treatment services to the youth of Elizabethtown Independent Schools and Jefferson County Schools who are diagnosed with serious and emotional behavioral disorders, have had crisis involvement within the last 90 days, and/or at risk for out of home placement. ASPIRE™ is a clinical treatment program for youth who are exhibiting ongoing difficulties in the home, community, or school that put them at risk for requiring more intensive, out-of-school placements. The program is adapted from AIMikids and incorporates eight integrated components: education, challenge experiences, cognitive-behavioral therapy, strengths-based case management, behavior modification, family partnership, problem-solving and social skills development, and community service. The goal is to cultivate a healthy and functional environment for youth with emotional and behavioral problems, utilizing a holistic, person-centered approach.

ASPIRE™ is unique because it has been pivotal in helping to maintain youth and adolescents in their homes, schools, and communities. The primary goals of ASPIRE™ is to reduce youth mental health symptoms, enhance youth strengths and competencies, promote better family functioning, and prevent restrictive clinical placements, such as inpatient hospitalization and residential services.

ASPIRE™ youth receive treatment from our clinical staff for their behavioral and emotional challenges to help them develop the skills needed to succeed. Each youth's individualized plan of care is developed as a collaborative, person-centered effort with the youth, guardian, counselor, and school to address maladaptive problems related to their clinical diagnoses.


ASPIRE™ offers a highly structured curriculum using multiple evidenced based treatment modalities including behavioral modification for behavioral problems. ASPIRE™ youth participate in therapeutic groups, individual psycho-social rehabilitation, individual and family counseling that is designed to teach healthy social skills, anger management, conflict resolution, appropriate class room behavior, improved focusing skills, appropriate verbalization, and impulse control as appropriate to the assessed diagnosis and treatment plan. ASPIRE™ also employs a Family Integration Specialist, whose primary role is to engage families, extended family and community members in comprehensive skills training and are coached to be active in the treatment process.

Each youth sets an achievable daily goal and a home-based goal that is related to problematic behavior. Goals are reviewed with their parents or caregivers daily, who provide daily feedback.

Most participants of ASPIRE™ Day Treatment program identify with anger problems so a huge part of our treatment model is Aggression Replacement Training/Anger Management (ART). ART treatment is a research-based approach for working with challenging youth utilizing three components: social skills training, anger control, and moral reasoning.

ASPIRE™ frequently uses process groups for our older youth to develop the skills necessary to deal with their individual problems/issues by using the group process to provide peer interaction and feedback in developing problem-solving strategies and to assist one another in resolving behavioral and emotional problems. Process groups are based on the premise that much of human behavior and feeling involves the individual's adaptation and response to other people and that the group can assist individuals in making necessary changes by means of support, feedback and guidance.
ASPIRE™ also uses some non-traditional therapies that utilizes self-expression (art, recreation, dance, music, etc.) as the therapeutic intervention. Youth do not need to have any level of skill in the area of self- expression, but rather be able to utilize the modality to develop or enhance skills directed towards their goals.

ASPIRE™ also provides counseling by licensed professionals and it assists youth in achieving a better psychosocial adaptation, to acquire greater human realization of psychosocial potential and adaptation, to modify internal and external conditions that affect individuals, groups, or communities in respect to behavior, emotions, and thinking, in respect to their intrapersonal and interpersonal processes. Psychotherapy does not include physiological interventions, including medication intervention.

ASPIRE™ PSR groups build skills in managing social interactions at home, school and in the community. Topics include: problem solving, conflict resolution, interpersonal skills, and communication skills. Therapeutic activities include gross motor activities, cinema therapy, therapeutic board games, and creative art projects to teach and strengthen daily living skills, developing body coordination, physical health, and self-esteem. Our PRS groups help youth to identify barriers/obstacles related to their psychiatric and psychological experiences and, through the course of group interaction, become better able to identify skills that address symptoms and behaviors and to increase adaptive behaviors.


  • Reduction in recidivism;
  • Improvement in pro-social outcomes by addressing youths' risks, needs, and behavioral challenges;
  • Establishment of a holistic approach to serving at-risk youth, encompassing the individual, the family, and the community;
  • Improve the academic performance of youth whose behavioral problems impede their true abilities


  • Must have KY Medicaid and are between the ages of 6 to 15
  • Is not functioning at a level that would be expected of typically developing individuals their age;
  • Is deemed to be at risk of psychiatric hospitalization or out-of-home placement;
  • In the last 90 days exhibited behavior that resulted in at least one intervention by crisis response, social services, or law enforcement;
  • Experiences impaired cognitive ability to recognize personal or environmental dangers or significantly inappropriate social behavior;
  • The family/caregiver/guardian agrees to be an active participant, which involves participating in interventions to better understand and care for the beneficiary for the purpose of maintaining progress during and after treatment;
  • The score on the age-appropriate assessment tool indicates need for service