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New & Views - Apr, 1992 Issue 

John Dewey Academy Enrollment Philosophy
(413) 528-9800
Statement released April 1, 1992

Dr. Thomas Bratter, President of John Dewey Academy in Western Massachusetts, explains the reason he decided to start the school was to "Prove to credentialed mental health professionals and educators that the most effective way to work with alienated, acting-out, and angry adolescents, was to provide a confrontative, safe, secure, supportive environment which has high expectations for immediate, improved behavior."

To this end, the school offers generous scholarships to those who can convince the staff they have exceptional intellectual and intuitive potential and can demonstrate financial need. Dr. Henry T Radda, Ph.D., Dean of Students, asserts, "Since we view our mission to prove to the Psychiatric-Psychological and Educational Bureaucracies that when placed in an uncompromising and unrelenting environment with high expectations, adolescents can achieve the greatness of which they are capable, we will make financial concessions to get the 'brightest and the best.'" "When the decision is between a student who could pay the full tuition and a student who needs a full scholarship" Radda continued, "The decision is to admit the one who has the most potential." "Even though an individual decision like this can cost the school $38,000, this integrity is the key to our success because we can admit those few whom we believe we can help to help themselves achieve greatness," Radda concluded.

Bratter added that "50% of our graduates have made the Dean's List and have distinguished themselves by becoming campus leaders. Since 33% of our students had been referred by psychiatric inpatient programs and 40% arrived on psychotropic medicine, any objective criteria of the changes the students have made must conclude their achievement at college is a miracle." Kenneth Steiner, Ph.D., M.S.W., Dean of studies, says "We want to work with students whose potential places them in the top 10%. We want the symbolic diamond in the rough."

Copyright 1992, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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