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Welcome To

John Dewey Academy

We provide an individualized, comprehensive and co-ed college preparatory education in a therapeutic setting. Our students are bright adolescents with a history of self-defeating or self-destructive choices. Our peer-based approach leads students to high levels of achievement and inspires them to develop in ways that promote self-respect, maturity and respect for others.


4-Year Top-Tier Colleges

6 : 1

To Student Ratio

3 : 1

To Student Ratio


Hold Advanced Degrees

15 - 21

Represents Age Range

3 - 4

Per Class On Average

15 %

Receive Financial Aid


Enrolled On Average

100% College Placement

NOTE: JDA is not affiliated with, nor sponsored by, any of the colleges whose logos appear above. The logos above represent colleges that our graduates have attended.

Developing Leaders

Our Mission

The mission of The John Dewey Academy is to empower bright but underachieving adolescents to overcome social, emotional, and academic challenges in order to attend quality colleges and lead healthy, productive and successful lives.

Meet Our

Head of School

David Baum, PhD
Head of School


Head of School

Before coming to Dewey in 2015, David spent most of his career in college teaching with a focus on courses in history, politics and film. He traces his love of history to his grandfather, who would ease the passage of time while they worked together on weekends at the family business by telling stories of the “old days” – World War I, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression and the home front during World War II. Through these reminiscences, he learned that the past truly was “another country,” exotic, exciting and as his grandfather had hoped, illuminating. His love of teaching developed later. While a graduate student at Yale, he found a calling as a TA and altered his career path from the foreign service to the classroom. After 30 years and over 6,000 students, he claims no regrets. There has been some adventure along the way: in his early years he survived his research stints in Italy during the infamous “Days of Lead” and in 2010-11 he had the opportunity to spend a year in Iraq helping to set up the social sciences program at the newly inaugurated American University. For excitement these days, David skis the local slopes and fully throws caution to the wind by walking alone after dark in his newly adopted home town of Pittsfield.

Transforming Lives


Our Parents

The road to John Dewey is typically long and painful.  It was for us.  But from the first time we visited the castle, I experienced it as a place of hope and optimism…

It was not the kind of optimism based on bright promises of an easy fix, but rather, one grounded in a reality that actually seemed to offer a way out of a dead end – – do this work and you can have your life back.

It did not disappoint.  JDA not only helped my son but also our entire family.  I will always be grateful for what JDA taught us and helped us do.

Parent of 2017 graduate

We found JDA after our 18-year-old child threatened suicide, was found cutting, lied about a kidnapping incident, had run away and was planning to run away again. Doctors just kept prescribing more and more drugs that covered the problem, but failed to deal with it…

She went to wilderness, then Dewey. After getting past her apathy, defiance and confusion, she finally dug in and began to do the hard work of confronting her anger, self-esteem, challenges and flaws. And her JDA peers stood strong supporting her, but also demanding honesty and progress.

She is now a happy, successful student at American University looking forward to a demanding career and successful social and family life. JDA, you literally saved her life and figuratively saved our family…

Parent of a 2016 graduate

Our child had a good first semester at college and I wanted to let you know he attributes his facility to balance his school work, ROTC obligations and part-time tutoring to John Dewey Academy. He says the school well-prepared him for college, especially essay-writing and analysis.

When our child arrived at Dewey, he was an underachieving student who could barely craft a sentence… Now he is a young academic on the Dean’s List at one of the top schools in the country and managing his coursework with ease… JDA, you literally saved her life and figuratively saved our family…

So, thank you for everything and not just the work you did with my kid – but with all the students at JDA!!

Parent of 2017 graduate

From school refusal and anxiety TO acceptance at a leading college, and most importantly TO a balanced and healthy young man, John Dewey Academy’s amazing staff, community model and strong academics played an essential role in our son’s recovery…


Frankly…our family was in disarray and the school was with us every step of the way, until we got our son back again…

Parents of a student graduating 2018

Get In Touch

Contact Us


    389 Main Street
    Great Barrington MA 01230


    Admissions: (413) 528-0084
    General: (413) 528-9800
    Fax: (413) 528-5662

    Email: Info@jda.org