Monarch School, Montana

Monarch School was a year round, co-ed[2] therapeutic boarding school located in Heron, Montana. It closed in September 2017, with its owners citing unsustainable student enrollment as the primary reason.

Monarch School, Montana
16 Aspen Lane


United States
Coordinates48°03′43″N 116°00′22″W / 48.062°N 116.006°W / 48.062; -116.006
Mottoeducation for life
FounderPatrick McKenna
CEEB code270464[1]
Age range15 to 17



Monarch School, INC was incorporated in Idaho[3] by founder Patrick McKenna[4] in September 2000. According to the mission statement, "The Monarch School exists to provide young adults with the foundation of knowledge and self-awareness to achieve their dreams as healthy human beings".[5]

As the school did not have an official campus when it opened, McKenna ran the school out of his Sandpoint home.[6][7] In late 2001, students moved from the Mckenna residence onto the Monarch campus in Heron, Montana. The campus comprised several small dormitories in separate houses, classroom buildings, and arts center, a theater building, administrative and dining facility, horse barn and riding hall, chicken coop, greenhouse, and extensive grounds. The curriculum was divided into periods of academic studies, practical skills development (cooking, forestry, gardening, animal care, etc.), chores, and recreation. Personal electronics were not allowed, although students used computers for some of their academic work. Face to face interaction, reading, and physical activity were encouraged instead.[citation needed]

In 2014, a student tried to commit suicide.[8] The Monarch School has been accused of abuse and neglect by former students, including Paris Hilton, and is considered to be reflective of the troubled teen industry.[9][10] A TrueAnon series on the history of Synanon recounted Brace Belden's experiences at the Monarch School and described Patrick McKenna as a disciple of Synanon, with the school mimicking CEDU's practices. After its closure,the school also settled lawsuits from parents that claimed malpractice, fraud, and breach of contract.[11]



Monarch School offered year-round enrollment, and cost of tuition was a "flat monthly tuition rate of $7000." Partial financial aid was granted in many cases.[2]

See also



  1. ^ "Ceeb Lookup Master List" (PDF). Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Monarch School, Education for life". 2001-07-22. Archived from the original on July 22, 2001. Retrieved 2016-03-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ "Articles Of Incorporation of Monarch School, INC". Idaho Secretary of State. Idaho Secretary of State. September 12, 2000. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  4. ^ McKenna, Patrick. "Message From Founder - Monarch School". Monarch School. Archived from the original on 2016-03-19. Retrieved 2021-06-16. Like many of our students here at Monarch School, I struggled adjusting to life as a teenager
  5. ^ "Welcome to The Monarch School in Sagle, Idaho". 2001-07-28. Archived from the original on July 28, 2001. Retrieved 2016-03-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ "Monarch School, Education for life". 2001-08-13. Archived from the original on August 13, 2001. Retrieved 2016-03-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ KINNAIRD, KEITH (2017-09-23). "Monarch School suddenly closes". Bonner County Daily Bee. Retrieved 2024-02-16.
  8. ^, LUCY TOMPKINS (2019-01-21). "'Fox guards henhouse' in Montana programs for troubled teens". The Missoulian. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  9. ^ Schneider, Kate (November 13, 2022). "'I was screaming': Paris Hilton reveals horrifying teenage terror". NZ Herald. Retrieved 2024-02-16.
  10. ^ Shea, Matt (2013-05-22). "American Teens Are Being Trapped in Abusive 'Drug Rehab Centres'". Vice (in Danish). Retrieved 2024-02-16.
  11. ^ "Owners of defunct Montana boarding school settle lawsuit". Great Falls Tribune. September 20, 2018. Retrieved 2024-02-16.