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CEDU schools get new life

About 40 former employees of CEDU behavioral schools in North Idaho have been rehired in anticipation of three of the schools reopening.

State accreditation and licensing teams visited the schools last week, said Paul Johnson, executive director of Boulder Creek Academy. The two Bonners Ferry schools – Boulder Creek and Northwest Academy – expect to be accepting students by mid-November, he said. The Ascent Program, a short-term wilderness adventure program in Naples, could reopen by the end of this week.

“We won’t be hiring everyone back initially,” Johnson said. “The hiring will correspond to the number of students.”

CEDU schools employed nearly 300 people until its parent company, The Brown Schools, closed the schools abruptly in March and filed for bankruptcy. The announcement was a blow to Bonner and Boundary counties, where many of the school’s employees lived and worked.

Universal Health Services Inc., which operates more than 80 hospitals and treatment centers nationwide, bought the schools for $10 million in August.

Boulder Creek and Northwest Academy are boarding schools that cater to teens with behavioral or clinical issues that prevent them from being successful in a traditional classroom setting, Johnson said. The schools provide emotional growth and academic programs.

Universal Health Services is continuing to rehire past employees, though some will work part time until the student census grows, he said.

A fourth school, Rocky Mountain Academy in Naples, had closed before The Brown Schools’ bankruptcy. It will not reopen in the near future, Johnson said.

Universal Health Services is evaluating options for future programs at the school, he said.