Welcome to Lava Heights Academy

happy teens after seeing the Lava Heights Academy campus The Lava Heights campus is inspired by the spirit of Tuscan Artistry. Students enjoy a spacious, safe, contained environment that nurtures the soul.

Each space on the campus has been carefully created to promote an atmosphere that enhances artistic expression while prioritizing safety and health.  The campus includes comfortable and secure dormitories, classrooms, rehearsal rooms, and performance spaces – including a black-box theater.


Lava Heights Academy is nestled among the black lava rock bluffs at the gateway to Zion National Park.  Each year people from all over the world come to Southern Utah to see the scenic wonders we enjoy daily.

Situated at the base of black lava rock bluffs, our campus has beautiful views of the red, white, and blue rock formations of the Pine Valley Mountain to the west, and the red dunes and sandstone ledges of Sand Hollow to the south.

The mild climate of Southern Utah provides us with many opportunities to be outdoors – on campus as well as visiting the surrounding areas on field trips, hikes, and other activities that really engage our youth.

Our buildings are designed to be comfortable as well as functional – designed from the ground up as a therapeutic environment for healing through the arts.


The courtyard is a place of activity all day long.  The green grass and the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and bluffs attract students, groups, and classes for activities of all kinds.  You’ll find the students preparing for parts in the upcoming play, photographers waiting for the perfect lighting of their subject, or the science class spread out on the grass creating a scale model of the solar system.

In the center courtyard of our campus, you’ll find an interesting pattern of grass and stone that is our labyrinth.  A labyrinth is a symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world.

The labyrinth is a place to process feelings, emotions, and other issues. As students walk through the path toward the center, they can leave their problems, issues, fears, or concerns to address further with their therapist.


Education is an important part of being an emotionally healthy person. At Lava Heights Academy, we work hard to help each student on his or her individual level, and help them to overcome academic struggles that made learning appear to be difficult and unrewarding.

Our classrooms are designed to allow teachers to instruct students as a group as well as allow individual study and instruction. Each classroom is equipped with modern technology, computers, and educational tools.

As students progress through their therapeutic goals, you can be assured they won’t fall behind in their academic pursuits or grade level.

When students leave Lava Heights Academy, they are generally further ahead and better equipped with their new-found skills as they return to their schools or go on to college.

We help each student learn to love learning again.


Good meals are an important part of health and well-being, and our chefs are always busy preparing the numerous meals and snacks of the day.

Our expert chefs know how to make delicious meals that makes students feel at home and comfortable. Nutritious meals, as well as special diets for health or religious requirements, are prepared with care and skill.

Just like at home, the dining room is the central gathering place for hungry kids after a long day of activities, school work, practice, and fun.


On campus, we have several performance spaces including the courtyard, the gymnasium, and the music room.  Our most unique space on campus is our Black Box Theater.

The Black Box Theater is a relatively recent innovation in theatre that utilizes a large black room that can be fashioned into sets of any kind – only limited to the imagination of our students.

Sets are constructed for each production and often utilize not only the traditional frontal stage, but also spaces around and among the audience.  The blackness of the walls and absence of color allows the set to flow wherever the characters and lighting crew takes it.

Students may be actors, writers, directors, lighting or sound technicians, photographers, videographers, set designers, or scene artists – each student working on therapeutic goals in their craft.

The result is not only wonderful performances and beautiful sets, but the students together as a group grow in courage, confidence, and self-esteem as they see the fruits of their labors.


The gymnasium is a multi-purpose area designed for athletics, group activities, dance, and performances.

It has a full-sized basketball court, beautiful wooden floors, and mirrored walls designed for dance and dance instruction.

Athletic events range from basketball, to volleyball, indoor soccer, and the most popular of all – dodge ball!


The dormitories are located at the rear of the campus.

With the creek flowing just yards from the campus, the night air is filled with sounds of frogs, crickets, and birds throughout most of the year.

The sunsets in the west are absolutely beautiful as the clouds glow pink, orange, and red over the Pine Valley Mountains as the students walk to their dorms in the evening.

The dorms are clean and comfortable.  Each student has their own bed with space to keep their belongings.  Adjacent to each dorm room are the bathrooms and private showers.

We provide 24-hour awake supervision, so in the areas just outside of the dorm rooms, the staff are awake throughout the night working where they can supervise students without disturbing their sleep.


Health and safety are our first priority that guides all of our policies, procedures, and daily activities.  We provide 24-hour awake supervision by caring staff that are trained regularly in first aid, CPR, safe crisis management, and healthy relationships.

We provide licensed medical staff around the clock to ensure the health and safety of each student. They are not only medically trained and licensed, they are additionally experienced with the unique needs of youth and their families.

Our registered nursing staff monitor the individual medical requirements of each student prescribed by their psychiatric nurse practitioner and our attending Psychiatrist.


Our campus provides many private and quiet spaces for therapy, family conference calls, group therapy, and individual therapy sessions.

Though you’ll often find students and therapists sitting in the shade or walking by the creek, sometimes a comfortable couch is just the right place to talk. Therapists use the environment as well as office spaces which allow them to reach out to our youth in various ways.

Group therapy often takes place in the conference room, the music room, the patio, and even sometimes around the fireplace in the entry – an especially inviting area during the fall and winter.