After 35 Years, Dewey Starts a New Chapter Under New Ownership

As you may know, on March 16, 2020, we made the difficult decision to close our campus temporarily due to COVID 19. Students left the school on March 17th and 18th, and staff shutdown on-site operations on March 20th. We immediately moved to a remote learning and clinical program to meet student needs during the changing times. This has been a new and different experience for all of us; the staff and students have done an amazing job of being flexible, creative and proactive. We are in awe of everyone’s dedication and efforts to keep the community strong as we weather this storm. It is clear that through the darkest of times and the most agonizing struggles, we often arrive at the greatest opportunities for growth.

John Dewey Academy was founded in 1985 with the dream of offering a different path to struggling teens. In 2012, after the founder passed away, the school carried on and remained committed to continuing the Dewey legacy, despite significant challenges. Last month, in the face of the global pandemic, the Board of Directors made the difficult decision to close permanently at the end of the semester. David (Baum) decided to take the opportunity to acquire the school and continue its mission. Working closely with our Primary Clinician and Clinical Director Megan Czaja, the longtime owners, and other advisors, we were able to find a solution.

Megan and David
Megan and David keeping a safe distance at the castle.

We are certain that we can continue providing quality academic and therapeutic services safely. We believe whole-heartedly in pursuing purpose, resiliency and perseverance through the pandemic and beyond. We remain committed to the health and well-being of current and future students. Our world needs moral leaders today more than ever, and Dewey will continue to provide the high-caliber academics and value-driven therapeutic services needed to help young people uncover their highest potential, identify their purpose and lead them to achieve success — in times of adversity and beyond.

Dewey’s roots will continue to grow deep and strong; they will hold steady even as we evolve and shift to accommodate our new world. Together with the help of medical professionals, we have created a plan to keep staff and students safe during COVID 19. We are following CDC best practices and consulting with local healthcare providers on all protocols. Current students will be returning to school on May 13th and we will begin welcoming new students at the end of the month.

Our focus will remain on delivering the optimal combination of academics, therapeutics, and pragmatics. We will also take this opportunity to reflect, plan and rebuild based upon the evolving needs of our students as well as the new and continually changing norms of our society.

David E Baum, PhD
Head of School

Megan Czaja, LICSW
Primary Clinician & Clinical Director