Academic Program

Live To Learn. Learn To Live.


Our teachers are dedicated to providing each student with an excellent education. Educators structure learning for students based upon their specific learning needs and growth. Turning Winds provides a variety of teaching and learning opportunities. Frequent field trips, technology incorporation, and other educational activities and resources are integrated to support student learning. Education for students is individualized. Teachers provide support, tutoring and direct instruction.


  • All students have the capacity to learn.
  • Individual students have different learning modalities.
  • High expectations are necessary for the student to reach their greatest potential.
  • The products of lifelong learning, through goal setting and persistence, are satisfaction and success.

Further, it is our goal to equip each student with:

  • Personal values based on selflessness and commitment.
  • Skills in critical thinking and quality decision making.
  • The accumulation of academic skills for a variety of occupational choices.
  • Communication skills of the highest standards in reading, writing, and speaking.
  • Basic technology skills to succeed in academics.
  • An environment that instills leadership qualities through peer interactions.
  • Integrity while participating in all academic and social activities.
  • A strong sense of self-discipline which enables the student to act responsibly.

Academic Expectations

  • The Turning Winds graduate is able to:
  • Read non-fiction actively and critically for a variety of purposes.
  • Write using standard English for a variety of purposes and audiences.
  • Convey ideas and/or feelings through a chosen area of the fine and practical arts.
  • Use technology to find, organize and communicate information.
  • Utilize evidence to formulate, support, and present positions.
  • Understand and appreciate texts from many literary periods and cultures.
  • Use mathematical reasoning in problem-solving.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of, and be able to apply the basic principles of biological, earth and/or physical science.
  • Identify and design techniques for solving problems in science or technology.
  • Design and execute a major project that fulfills the student’s own stated purpose.


8:30am – 3:00pm
Students are engaged in classes and independent study
3:30pm – 4:30pm
Physical Education (P.E.)

School Components

Course requirements ensure that all students, regardless of their learning abilities, are provided opportunities to demonstrate academic growth. The curriculum plan and course requirements provide a variety of opportunities in which students may achieve success.


Turning Winds is licensed by the state of Montana as a therapeutic boarding school and accredited by AdvancED, and National Independent Private Schools Association (NIPSA). Turning Winds is a member of The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP),


The curriculum used by Turning Winds stretches the mind of the student and fosters growth in critical thinking skills and knowledge application. Students are given the opportunity to progress at their own pace in school while participating in activities that encourage them to excel and achieve their full potential.

Turning Winds provides students with a diverse array of enrichment activities including, service projects, field-trips, physical training, recreational sports, outdoor education courses and life-skills courses. These activities provide students with the opportunity to gain community-based knowledge.

We offer standardized, the grade-appropriate curriculum at the middle and high school levels, developed and taught by Montana certified teachers. Classes are taught through independent studies and by teacher direction in a regular classroom. We are specialized in the core subjects of math, reading, science, and social studies.


Montana Digital Academy is available to our students to take high school level courses not offered in our curricula such as AP courses and other specialized courses. In addition, foreign language and other classes that enrich the curriculum are offered through Brigham Young University Independent Study (BYU).

BYU’s distance education program offers over 500 courses to over 100,000 people throughout the world. BYU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). BYU also offers college credit courses. Courses taken through BYU are paper/online version. The student studies the materials, submits their lessons, takes a final exam and receives a course grade that can be transferred to the school of their choice. Turning Winds is a college testing center and students are able to take their midterms and finals at the school.

Other online sources are also used to enable students to take a variety of courses to meet their individual academic needs. Courses offered from BYU or other providers carry additional tuition and materials fees.

Students come to realize, through hard work and goal setting, that learning is enjoyable and important to their future success in life. Instruction is also given in life skills including proper nutrition, physical conditioning, food preparation, proper hygiene, and oral interpersonal communication.

The Turning Winds educational expectations and standards are based on Montana State and national standards and are regularly revised and updated.
Independent college courses can be taken for dual credit—for high school and college. Students who have graduated may also enroll in independent study college classes to get a start on their college education.


These are the minimum requirements established for graduation from Turning Winds. All students receiving a diploma of graduation from Turning Winds must complete all of the following credits while in grades nine to twelve, inclusive. Courses in the subjects specified are one year in duration unless otherwise specified. One credit equals one year’s worth of work. One semester = ½ credit


  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Science
  • Foreign Language
  • Health/Physical Conditioning
  • Career Studies/Life Skills
  • Various Electives
  • Total Credits


  • 4 credits
  • 3 credits (Algebra and Geometry)
    4 credits recommended
  • 3 credits (biological and physical sciences)
    4 credits recommended
  • 3 credits (History and Social Science)
    1 credit (U.S. History)
    ½ credit (U.S. Government/Economics)
  • 1 credit of a foreign language
  • 2 credits
  • 1 credit
  • 8 credits
  • 25 credits


Report cards are issued at the end of a student’s stay at Turning Winds. The following system is used to report grades shown on the report card. If there are any questions about grades, students and/or parents should contact the specific teacher or Academic Director as soon as possible.

  1. Excellent Progress – 90%-100%
  2. Above Average Progress – 80%-89%
  3. Average Progress – 70%-79%
  4. Below Average Progress – 60%-69%
  5. Unsatisfactory Progress – below 60%

The following factors may be considered in determining grades:

  • Tests and quizzes
  • Homework
  • Daily work habits
  • Assignments and preparation
  • Participation
  • Attendance


Progress Reports are sent home monthly. This reporting is done to keep parents informed of their teen’s academic progress.


In limited cases where GED is deemed necessary, a student may pursue a General Education Development (GED) or high school equivalency while attending Turning Winds (see General Education Development in the Tuition and Fees Section on page 37 for the cost of these tests).

The GED tests are a battery of five tests which, when passed, certify that the student has American or Canadian high school-level academic skills. Approximately 95% of colleges will accept GED graduates and many colleges offer scholarships and other forms of financial aid specifically for GED recipients in order to help them finance their education.


Turning Winds focuses on personalized instruction to reach all students and to meet students’ individual learning needs most effectively. Cooperative learning activities are used to engage students as active learners and promote deeper understanding and internalization of concepts. Our teachers’ main goal is to help students become self-directed learners. Students are responsible for their own learning while teachers act as academic coaches, allowing students to claim the success of their own progress.


At Turning Winds, students are taught to be technologically literate and life-long learners. Students and teachers use the most current technologies for improving the learning process. Students graduating from Turning Winds possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to succeed in an increasingly complex, global, information-based society.

The Turning Winds technology philosophy is that students must be computer literate to succeed in their future careers. In order to increase computer literacy, students are regularly required to exercise their current computer skills and develop new computer skills for making presentations of their understanding of concepts across the curriculum.

A state-of-the-art computer lab offers students to access tools they need for creating PowerPoint presentations, for typing essays, and for research projects. Internet use by students is filtered and supervised to guard against inappropriate use.


Teachers at Turning Winds are Montana State certified teachers from various backgrounds. They participate in ongoing training and professional development.



  1. [T/F] Education for students is individualized at Turning Winds.
  2. [T/F] We believe that high expectations are necessary for the student to reach their greatest potential.
  3. [T/F] Twenty-five credits are required for graduation from Turning Winds.

Multiple Choice

  1. Which of the following factors may be considered in determining grades?
    1. Tests and quizzes
    2. Homework
    3. Daily work habits
    4. All of the above
  2. Which of the following are used as Cooperative learning activities?
    1. Engage students as active learners
    2. Promote deeper understanding
    3. Push students to graduate early
    4. Both 1 and 2

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