School History

Shortridge Academy was founded in 2002 by Adam Rainer whose vision for the school was inspired by his own adolescent experience attending an emotional growth boarding school. Some two decades later, Shortridge continues to provide a safe and welcoming therapeutic and academic school community where students can gain valuable personal insight, develop life skills, strengthen family bonds, and reignite a natural passion for learning.

In 2008, the Shortridge staff began a collaboration with researchers from Tufts University and the University of New Hampshire to further refine the school’s approach, thus aligning it with the philosophies of positive youth development and authoritative parenting. A formal program to measure outcomes of this strengths-based model was developed and launched.

Shortridge has always taken a progressive approach to educating and supporting youth who require a combination of more challenge, support, and boundaries than most public institutions can provide. To that end, academic and therapeutic work have always been closely and thoughtfully intertwined, and the school is structured to optimize that interrelationship. Rather than focusing on the reduction of deficits, our school operates within a strengths-based framework. In doing so, Shortridge emphasizes strengths development, includes our students in decision-making, and fosters leadership, integrity, and personal responsibility. 

Shortridge Academy was awarded accreditation from the prestigious New England Association of Schools and Colleges in 2009 and in 2019, successfully earned its ten-year re-accreditation. These achievements are the result of strong leadership from a management team of seasoned educators, clinicians, and administrators, under the governance of an exceptional board of directors.

Today, 20 years since its founding, Shortridge’s academic, clinical, and residential leadership have sharpened the school’s focus on the intersection of learning issues, therapeutic growth, and life skills development. Shortridge offers its students an integrated and broad range of accommodations, strategies, and scaffolding across all aspects of our boarding school. This careful integration demonstrates Shortridge Academy’s commitment to meeting the changing needs of adolescents as they work toward leading healthy, joyful, and productive adult lives.

We’re Part of a Larger Mission…

Shortridge Academy is proud to be a part of Altior Healthcare’s family of mental health treatment programs laser focused on the needs of adolescents and young adults ages 12-28. Altior is on a mission to elevate the mental health of youth across the United States and eliminate the stigma of mental health while saving lives. The family of services is comprised of three distinct mental health treatment brands and one therapeutic boarding school (Shortridge) offering clinical support. With 22 unique locations, Altior manages and supports 400 employees serving 225 residential clients daily located across five states; California, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, and Texas. Altior’s other treatment programs include: Paradigm Treatment (CA & TX), Ironwood Maine (ME), and Innercept (ID). Altior Healthcare strives to be the provider of choice for mental health treatment and support for teens and young adults. The company believes in legitimate outcomes and increasing accessibility to treatment by way of insurance options and in-network contracts. 

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