Academics

Can you describe the setting of your school?

Whetstone Academy & Therapeutic Boarding School exists to provide a Liberal Arts-based education in a uniquely integrated setting designed to strengthen the mind, open the heart and equip both the body and spirit.  We do so by empowering our students with skills to be life-long learners who recognize the benefits of intellectual curiosity and academic rigor.  It is our goal that they, along with their families, can find success where there was failure, hope where there was fear, and life where there was loss.   Yeah.  That about sums it up.

What if my son doesn’t care about school?

The Whetstone curriculum diagnoses gaps in student learning before moving to material that the student is not ready to tackle.  These gaps in learning are often the cause of student failure and eventual misbehavior in the classroom and at home.  When students don’t understand, they tend to act out instead of admitting they need help.  We have found that once a student experiences real success that is based upon their own efforts, they begin to see the connection between behaviors and grades.

Do you have licensed teachers?

Whetstone Academy is directed by Axel Liimatta, an 18 year veteran of both large public and small private schools.  Mr. Liimatta is a National Board Certified Teacher of English with a Masters in Secondary Education.  In addition to English, he is certified to teach Social Studies, Gifted and Talented, Speech, Debate and Drama, in grades 6-12.  He has taught everything from Advanced Placement English in a Liberal Arts Magnet Program to Basic Reading in Summer School drop-out prevention.  Mr. Liimatta has nearly two decades of documented success in teaching thousands of students with a wide range of academic, emotional and physical challenges.  As a co-founder of Whetstone Boys Ranch, he has worked alongside parents, students and schools to establish an appropriate program of studies to meet the current and future needs of every boy enrolled in our Boarding School.

He is assisted in the schoolroom by other experienced and trained educators, so that every student gets the level of attention that he needs, whether that involves redirection, encouragement or one-on-one tutoring.

Will my son’s credits transfer back to his current school?

Without knowing more about your situation, it is impossible to say for sure.  However, we can say with confidence that every boy who has spent any time with us has been able to find a suitable academic placement which included little to no loss of any credit.  This includes boys who return to public schools, private schools, home schools and those headed to college shortly after graduation.  Moreover, boys able to reach graduation have in every case demonstrated tremendous intellectual growth and discipline.  Our therapeutic boarding school has a very strong track record of success with a wide variety of students.  We feel certain that graduates leave us with the skills to be successful in secondary education and beyond.

Why do you think you can be successful where others haven’t?

That’s a hard one. (Thanks for putting us on the spot!) Well for starters, our low boy-to-staff ratio gives us a huge advantage over most educational settings. One teacher for every 3 boys, with multiple opportunities during the course of the day for one-on-one tutoring assistance.  It’s hard to beat that.

I’m not saying we baby-sit, or hand-hold or spoon-feed.  On the contrary.  However, when the situation demands, and when a boy is willing, we are able to tutor at a moment’s notice.  (Plus, as you can tell by the picture, we have no shame when it comes to getting our point across!)

Can I read a copy of your student manual?

Sure thing.  Your wish is our command.  Just CLICK HERE.

It’s not exactly a “page turner,” but it will give you detailed answers to questions about daily schedule, curriculum, accreditation, routines, procedures, behavioral expectations, and merit-based incentives.