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The Academy at SOAR is an accredited, adventure-based, certified private boarding school in Western North Carolina educating youth with ADHD and Learning Difficulties in grades 7 through 12.


Average Classroom size


Adventure Trips


Classroom to Field Experience

Why the Academy at SOAR?

Many of the Academy at SOAR students have been unsuccessful in traditional educational settings, stemming from a variety of factors including but not limited to ADHD, anxiety, ASD, bullying, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Executive Functioning challenges, and poor impulse control resulting in negative feedback from peers and/or teachers, the inability to self-advocate, and poor academic performance.

Many of our students are kinesthetic or experiential learners and benefit from a hands-on approach to learning.

Campus in Western North Carolina

The Academy is located in the the Historic Folkmoot Center in Waynesville, NC, just down the road from the Blue Ridge Mountains.

  • dorm rooms

  • classrooms

  • multi-purpose room

  • cafeteria

  • offices

  • showers

  • bathrooms

  • laundry facility

  • access to nearby activity fields

Academic Year

The Academy at SOAR runs from August to May. The 2024-2025 school year starts on August 24, 2024 and ends May 10, 2025.


Fall Break: November 16, 2024 to November 24, 2024

Winter Break: December 14, 2024 to January 4, 2025

Spring Break: March 2, 2025 to March 9, 2025

The Classroom & Adventure Are ONE

With each new expedition students take an active role in their education leading to a world of self discovery, uncovering abilities in themselves they may not have realized.

Students participate in exciting adventure activities, like rock climbing, canoeing, backpacking, SCUBA diving, whitewater rafting and more.


Unlike traditional school environments, an outdoor adventure school setting is rich in opportunities to push past perceived limits, to utilize teamwork and communication skills, and to practice problem-solving abilities with real-world applications.

Student-centered model

Our student-centered model promotes active learning through instruction in Academics, Adventure, Self-Advocacy, Independent Living Skills, Experiential Learning, Field Studies, Community, and Empowerment. We operate on a 4-week cycle: two weeks on campus and two weeks on expedition. This unique combination provides an alternative learning environment that helps to engage students in the learning experience.

In addition to academic learning, our students gain essential social and emotional life skills to help them become more successful individuals in and out of the classroom. As a result, students step into their future with an empowered sense of self-awareness, a new love for learning, and the ability to be successful unknown before.

Focusing on strengths while building life skills

We understand the social and emotional challenges that many of our students face due to a lack of executive functioning. We work with them during all aspects of the program to better understand these challenges and how to overcome them.

From learning to prepare healthy meals, to budgeting, to keeping personal spaces clean and organized, to learning to develop positive relationships, students are able to learn and grow through these interactions and real-life experiences.

Throughout the entire program, students are surrounded with support academically, socially, and emotionally by the Academy community.

The Academy Quick Facts

How To Apply

Prior to attending the Academy at SOAR, we will carefully examine your child’s academic progress with you and their educators to determine the appropriate course load for each student based on their academic needs.

Please fill out this inquiry form to receive more information about our school. Our admissions team is excited to speak with you!

Ready to apply? Click the button below!

SOAR at the Academy

SOAR at the Academy

SOAR at the Academy

SOAR at the Academy

SOAR at the Academy

For ages 8-25

Explore Camps

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For Ages 18-24

Explore Gap Year

See Gap Programs