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The Villa Santa Maria was originally founded in 1955 as an orphanage by the Reverend Monsignor Bernard M. Burns who established it as a private, non-profit, charitable organization with no religious affiliation. Over the years, the Villa’s commitment to quality, modern care has aided thousands of children and their families with ever growing services. In 1998 the Villa revolutionized their approach when the management chose to base their clinical practice on Attachment Theory, specifically in regards to early childhood emotional development and affect regulation.
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Behavioral health facilities such as alternative and therapeutic boarding schools are licensed by the New Mexico Department of Health. Both state-run and private facilities are regulated and held to state standards of operation.
As is typical in many states, private schools in New Mexico are not required to be licensed or accredited. If a school chooses to become accredited, the Public Education Department of New Mexico evaluates and assesses the school and monitors the accreditation. Teachers at New Mexico private schools are not required to be certified and the curriculum for private schools is not supervised or managed by the Public Education Department. Schools are required to track attendance of students and also supply a record of immunization status for each student. While there is no state policy on testing, private school students are entitled to free use of instruction material under New Mexico’s Instructional Material Law, which requires student materials to come from a list adopted by the Public Education Department.