Helping Turning Winds Students Excel Academically

Turning Winds offers a high-quality academic experience for each of our teenage clients. Students enrolled at Turning Winds experience an individualized academic experience. Our data show that our students earn an average GPA of 3.5 while here, and in a 12-month time period our average student completes about 1.5-2 years of school while experiencing an increase in GPA of almost a full letter grade over their GPA before coming to our residential treatment program. 

This is primarily the result of a concerted team effort explains science teacher Cathy Miller. “We work as a team and we’re actually a really excellent team. We meet every day, and we talk about the issues of each student, and we talk about our personal challenges as teachers. The concept of Turning Winds is teamwork.”

Miller has more than twenty years of teaching experience and adds excellence to the academic portion of the Turning Winds program. “Most of our students come in with gaps in their education, simply because they haven’t been consistent in their school attendance,” she explains. “We identify those gaps and immediately start filling in the holes. Just because they have issues in their life that require some serious therapeutic care is no reason to stop their academic progress.”

“Academics is a really important part of our program,” confirms Turning Winds CEO Owen Baisden. “We have small classrooms with 8–12 students and there is lots of one-on-one instruction.”

“We aim to meet the needs of each student where they’re at,” says Miller. “Identifying the students who can be pushed harder and the students that need a lot of hand-holding is a key to success here because we do have students who need to catch up. We also have students who are very capable and need to be pushed. And so there’s a lot of on-the-spot analysis of how they’re doing, reading their moods, reading their temptation to just take advantage and be lazy as opposed to pushing down on them and saying, hey, it’s time for you to think and work.”

All of our teachers are fully credentialed and bring extensive training and experience to their roles. Many Turning Winds students have special requirements outlined in individualized education programs or IEPs or have been diagnosed with mental health conditions such as attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—all of which have to be taken into consideration in the classroom.  

“There is specialized training for working with young people who have ADD or ADHD. That’s where the IEPs come in and that’s where we bring in special educators and they help the regular teachers,” explains Miller. “I’m a regular teacher. I’m not a special educator. I have tools that I’ve learned through the years of teaching, but I haven’t specifically been trained with the different learning disabilities that some students have. So our special educators come alongside us and they help us to understand perhaps what we could do to make our instruction more effective.”

It’s not always easy for students but the team provides a lot of accommodations and anything they can to help our clients be successful. Turning Winds also makes sure that parents continue to be involved in the education process. 

“We have regular parent-teacher conferences,” says Miller. “Parents send me an email, saying, I want to talk to you.” So she gets on the phone for a chat about the progress the child is making or what’s happening. “I see Turning Winds as an opportunity for a young person to do over their life. They made some pretty poor decisions, not because their parents didn’t do a good job, but they made poor decisions and they got stuck in a trap. Then they come here and they get a chance to be separated from everything that influenced them in the wrong direction and start over again.”

At Turning Winds, the goal is to make sure that each and every student gets the education and support they need for success. We work closely with the counseling departments in every student’s previous school to fill in any gaps in their current educational path.

Over the course of more than twenty years, we’ve built a team of some of the world’s finest academic and therapeutic professionals, all of whom share the same goal: to help teens re-engage meaningfully with their lives, families, and their futures. 

Contact us online for more information, or call us at 800-845-1380. If your call isn’t answered personally, one of us will get back to you as soon as possible.


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John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden Jr is the father of seven inspiring children, and he is married to Kara, the love of his life. Together they have created a family-centered legacy by leading the way with early childhood educational advancement. John loves to write and is an author of a children’s book, An Unlikely Journey and plans to publish additional books. Show More

John is a visionary in his work and applies “outside-the-box” approaches to business practice and people development. He is the Founder of Turning Winds, along with several other organizations. He has extensive experience launching and developing organizations. His skills include strategic planning, promoting meaningful leader-member movement, organizational change, effective communication, project management, financial oversight and analysis, digital marketing and content creation, and implementing innovative ideas through influential leadership. As a leader, John seeks to empower others and brand success through collaborative work. His vision is to lead with courage, grit, truth, justice, humility, and integrity while emphasizing relational influence rather than focusing on the sheens of titles, positions, or things.

Finally, John is passionate about life and promoting equity among those who are often overlooked because of differences that frequently clash with the “norm.” He lives in Southern Idaho and loves the outdoors and the life lessons that can be learned in such an informal environment.

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