Learning Assistance Center (LAC) | Merit Day Treatment


Merit Academy is a unique high school campus of Grossmont Union High School District. It is designed for students with special learning needs and behavioral concerns. Learning Assistance Center (LAC) clinicians and behavioral specialists provide a comprehensive range of integrated mental health services on campus that supports student academic and behavioral success. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) team, including the student and family, develops a customized intervention plan for each student, according to their needs.

Merit Academy Day Treatment Services

Learning Assistance Center Services are provided on campus and include:

      • Individual, group, and family therapy
      • Psychiatric medication management (as appropriate)
      • Team consultation with school district staff to find positive, effective solutions through a seamless integrated team effort
      • Mental health rehabilitation staff teach students positive behavioral strategies within educational groups and in the classroom setting to successfully achieve their social / emotional and academic goals
      • Parent Engagement Specialists mentor family participation and education
      • Referral linkage and case management support assists families in accessing supportive resources for basic needs
    Professional Staff

    LAC’s therapists, behavioral rehabilitation staff provide comprehensive outpatient treatment. We work in a seamless and integrated manner with teachers, school counselors and administrators. Clinical staff address school related issues and help students succeed with academics, social interactions and improve their behavior as well as family relationships.

    Average student GPA increased from 1.6 to 2.0 within 6 months.

    For More Information or Referral

    The LAC program office phone number is 619-956-0615.
    Offices are open 8:30 AM – 5 PM, Monday through Friday.


    Who is Eligible?

    Behavioral Health services at Merit Academy are funded either through the County of San Diego or Grossmont Union High School District. Services are provided at no cost to the student / family. Students are placed at MERIT Academy through their Individual Education Plan (IEP) team and with the approval of the Grossmont Union High School District.

    Outcomes in 2015

    • Merit Academy provided services to 128 students in 2015 (52-day treatment and 76 in the Intensive Outpatient Program).
    • Average student school attendance increased from 61% prior to intake to 78% within 6 months.
    • Average student Grade Point Average (GPA) increased from 1.6 to 2.0 within 6 months.
    • 75% of students showed measurable improvement in social / emotional functioning.
    • 92% of students were able to successfully maintain their academic setting by not requiring a higher level of care.