academicphilosophyAcademics at Shortridge Academy challenge and support students to uncover natural strengths, recover intellectual curiosity and confidence, and discover personal interests and joy in learning.


Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Shortridge Academy offers an educational environment that is both demanding and nurturing. Shortridge teachers understand the necessity of building relationships with teenagers who need to change negative cognitive and behavioral patterns. Our goal in the classroom is to help students develop and strengthen metacognitive skills so that they understand who they are as learners, and can advocate for themselves based on that understanding. Once students own this identity, a natural next step is to develop the intrinsic motivation that will lead to success in college and the workplace. Our individualized curriculum emphasizes depth over breadth and choice in subject matter, and assignments focus on higher-order thinking skills to build sound intellectual habits: critical thinking, reading and writing, synthesis and analysis of information, problem solving, inferential thinking, innovation and creativity. In addition, students work on enhancing foundational skills in math, reading, written and oral communication, and research. Our average class size ranges from 6-10 students, which allows for one-on-one interaction with teachers as well as peer collaboration.


classroom1By design, all students receive a high level of academic support at Shortridge – classes are small, the community is tight knit, and students interact with their teachers in a variety of ways outside the classroom; teachers supervise clubs, PE blocks, study halls and off-campus trips.  Further, the academic and counseling programs are intertwined.  The classroom plays an essential role in the healing process as students work through the reasons they were not successful students prior to Shortridge while their therapeutic work helps to build a foundation for academic success through the development of self-confidence and optimism for the future.  Our team approach makes this collaboration explicit.  Upon enrollment, students are assigned to both a counselor and an academic advisor (who is also a teacher). Students meet with their academic advisor every morning; this time serves as a “check in”, where students receive on-going support in processing their academic and therapeutic goals, organizational help, and help with out-of-class work. Advisors work closely with counselors, meeting at least once/week to discuss their caseload; advisors also attend Team Group therapy once/week.  Both counselor and advisors communicate regularly with parents and teachers regarding the academic progress of their advisees.

Our academic schedule allows for six blocks, and generally, students take classes five out of the six; classes meet for 70 minutes three times/week.  Their sixth block is a “free block”, which is proctored by a teacher; students might meet with their counselors during that block, or do out-of-class work.  If a student is falling behind in their academic work, they might be assigned to one of our mandatory study halls, which happen twice/week during club time and are proctored by teachers.  Teachers are also available during lunch for additional help.  Students also have free time in the evenings to do schoolwork, and on the weekends. For students who need more intense tutoring, additional academic support by a certified special education teacher is available for an additional fee.


For a list of frequently asked questions about academics at Shortridge, please click here.


Shortridge Academy is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.