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Heritage has passionately changed lives since 1984. Founded as the industry’s first relationship based program, we became a non-profit organization in 1997 so that people, not profit, will always come first. In our ongoing efforts to serve students and families in need, we diversified into specialized treatment academies in 2015 so we could treat the unique needs of our students with unparalleled intensity and precision.

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Elevate Academy Logo

Powerful building of attunement, regulation, then competency for clinically complex teens.

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An innovative skills-based, trauma-informed treatment model for neurodiverse teens.


A quiet country setting emphasizing resilience for neurodiverse high school girls.

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The Heritage founder, Jerry Spanos, was once a troubled youth with learning differences who had given up on ever being successful. “I thought I was just stupid,” he says. When Jerry had a few key people come into his life who showed care and understanding, everything changed. “Quality relationships change lives,” says Jerry - and he pursued that passion all the way through education as a licensed clinical social worker and then to the founding of Heritage Schools, Inc. During a time where treatment centers focused on behavior modification, Jerry created Heritage as the first to emphasize a relationship-based treatment model, pioneering change in the industry. Heritage has championed a relationship-based model for 40 years and counting.



The Heritage Community location & resources are a testament to our philosophy that movement is an important part of lasting mental wellness. The Heritage campus hosts a gym, rock wall, weight room, adventure shop with bikes and skateboards, a yoga room, an indoor year-round pool, in addition to 17 horses (and 7 cats) in the barn. Situated on a sprawling 19 acres, we are just moments away from an array of biking paths, hiking trails, picturesque waterfalls, and majestic mountains waiting to be explored. Our students regularly engage in these activities, spending quality time in motion. Additionally, the Sundance ski resort is just 15 minutes away, and Heritage season passes allow students to ski/snowboard in the winter and ride trails in the summer.


Equine-assisted therapy is one of our unique offerings designed to support students in their treatment journey by providing distinct and impactful experiences. Through equine therapy, students engage in symbolic and parallel learning that fosters the development of self-confidence, enhances communication skills, and offers insight into their own behavioral patterns, enabling them to make positive adjustments. Our Equine Services program combines both groundwork and horseback riding techniques to teach students how to cultivate healthy relationships, often finding that these magnificent animals are a great place to start and practice new skills. Additionally, equine therapy has proven effective for addressing mood disorders, attachment issues, and supporting individuals on the autism spectrum, among other challenges.


Welcome to the Heritage Performing Arts Center, home to one of Utah's largest auditoriums, where every Spring and Fall it comes alive with the vibrant performances of our talented students in major theatrical productions. Drama and theater arts, known for their transformative qualities, serve as a powerful means of healing. They help our students rediscover their passions and offer the therapeutic benefit of exploring new roles and conquering fears. Our Performing Arts Center also houses a stunning recording studio available for student use. Upstairs, you'll find a serene yoga studio and ample space for various gatherings, including our quarterly Family Workshops.



The Heritage Nurse Practitioners provide quality care in a model where medication is designed to be a support, not the solution. Jamis, Clint, and Disa hold psychiatric specialties alongside their advanced training and provide quality personalized prescribing for our students. As important members of the treatment team, they are seen on campus with students and caregivers every day. Parents have the option to attend monthly psychiatric checkups virtually and meet personally with their child’s prescriber. The rest of Nursing Services is staffed with a quality team to ensure daily health and coordinate with off-campus providers for more serious needs.


Heritage hosts a spiritual wellness center, where our non-denominational chaplain leads the way in creating a supportive sanctuary for individuals of all backgrounds and beliefs. We recognize the significant role that spirituality plays in the journey to healing, and our chaplain stands ready to offer guidance, comfort, and companionship to students seeking it. For those interested, we offer optional non-denominational services on Sundays, and leaders from various faiths also visit at other times to provide support for students following their family's faith traditions. We firmly believe that healing encompasses the entirety of one's being—mind, body, and spirit—and our spiritual wellness center extends its reach by offering service projects and fostering community connections, all designed to bolster the healing process.

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At Heritage, we firmly believe that a healthy mind is intricately linked to a nourished body. The Nutrition Team in the Rocky Mountain Café, working alongside the Heritage Dietitian, offers a diverse array of meal options, including enticing choices like salads, sandwiches, and delicious smoothies, designed to encourage students toward balanced eating. Fresh, seasonal fruits grace our tables at every meal, also available as a wholesome snack throughout the day. We understand and accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies, going the extra mile to cater to individual needs, even offering kosher meals from our dedicated kosher kitchen. Our overarching goal is to introduce students to a wide spectrum of foods and flavors, fostering an appreciation for how a well-nourished body plays a vital role in daily mental wellness.


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