Ironwood is a residential treatment center committed to helping families in crisis with troubled teens.
We trust the teens and families we treat to share our commitment to generating successful, rewarding outcomes.
Our aim is to assess and treat the causes of unruly behavior, while providing self-esteem building activities and life enriching experiences along with academic studies.
We strive to reunite youth and their families through clinical therapy, animal therapy, discipline, hard work, and shared experiences in a safe, secure, and therapeutic learning environment.
- School Type: Special Education School
- Grades: 8-12
- Students: 38 students
- Application Deadline: None / Rolling
School Membership(s)School Assoc.
Offers Post-Graduate Year
Learning Difference Programs
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 13%
Students by Grade
Academics and Faculty
Total Classroom Teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
Tuition and Acceptance Rate
None / Rolling
Profile last updated: 07/28/2021
This school is a horror. Ironwood Maine is an institution that takes and breaks kids-spitting them back out into the world traumatized, abused, and fearful of authority. It is a cult-like brainwashing environment where children are subject to attack therapy and experimental behavioral control practices by unlicensed staff that is not even required to have a degree or experience with children. The troubled teen industry in general is destructive and will change your child for the worse. Many kids who finally get out of these problems experience PTSD, CPTSD, social anxiety, and the need for intensive therapy. A lot of alumni are no longer here to tell the tale because they have killed themselves after taking a turn for the worse due to their time at Ironwood Maine LLC. Many could not even get into college because Ironwood is not actually a school at all. It`s a labor camp. If you are looking for more information, please listen to the Code Adam Podcast on any major streaming platform to hear firsthand testimonials and recollections of time spent at Ironwood by prior students and staff that can attest to the abuse. Keep your kid alive. Keep your kid at home instead of shipping them off to any school or program associated with WWASP.
My husband and I made a life changing decision to send our son to Ironwood. The decision was one of the most, if not the most, challenging of our lives. We offer this review to help others who are struggling with uncertainty and fear of sending their child to Ironwood. Ironwood is everything you hope it will be, and nothing you fear it might be. My son is more than mid-way through the 9-12 month program, and recently shared that when he leaves Ironwood, he will feel homesick, because he feels safe, away from challenges at home and school, and because he will miss the staff, who are always there for him. The growth we see in our son, and in our family, are immeasurable. We are eternally grateful, and we're only half way through!Ironwood Parents
The work that is done at Ironwood is life changing. We came to know so many wonderful people at Ironwood and they showed us what kind of positive change is possible with intensive therapeutic supports and guidance, structure and compassion. The reset our son received was nothing short of a miracle. Before Ironwood our son was engaged in many unhealthy behaviors. He had not been following rules for quite some time, was lying on a daily basis, and his oppositional behavior was escalating to a point that was becoming scary. He was spending countless hours every day video gaming, and attempts to reign him in were not working. We had tried outpatient therapy and he would not engage. His school seemed only interested in pushing him through with passing academics. Years of asking for school services tailored to his emotional and social cognition needs went unanswered. His social skills were almost zero, and the only friends he had were just reinforcing his unhealthy habits. It was a true miracle he had not been hurt or hurt someone else, or got in trouble with the law. He had almost no self-esteem and little hope for his future. We didn`t know where to turn. Our son's 13 months at Ironwood were incredible. Everyone worked so hard with him. He talks about staff with fondness, and I know so many have had a profound impact on him. During family weekends I observed many lighthearted moments with staff interacting with our son and I could see true connection. We came to know more of the staff ourselves, and our own connection with Ironwood grew. Each visit I could see and feel the progress he was making. It was never easy to go home from those weekends without without our son, but I always left knowing he was well cared for both physically and emotionally. Our son is so solid right now. His thinking is clear. He has developed abstract social skills and a much more advanced ability to perspective take. He can roll with the punches in a way I have never seen before. He is self-confident and optimistic about his future! He can see that he has the ability to be successful in many different areas. He is open to our suggestions and we have lighthearted, mature discussions. It all feels SO GOOD!!! I have no doubt he will make mistakes, but the difference now is that he accepts redirection quickly and without animosity. He has the ability now to learn from his mistakes and grow. He is willing to accept the boundaries and rules we have in place, and knows that as he moves forward and demonstrates his personal responsibility there will be more and more freedom. It is hard to explain his program to those who don`t have an understanding of a therapeutic school. The depth of what he (and our family) received is incredible. Ironwood was such a stretch for us financially, but it truly is a case of "you get what you pay for". In our minds, it was worth every penny. The quality of your therapists, educators and staff is exceptional. The grounds and access to animals both large and small is amazing and that impact cannot be underestimated. His psychiatric care was phenomenal. After years of struggling with medical management of our son's ADHD, we finally found a treatment that is helping him. I could go on and on. If you are looking at a program like this for your own son/daughter, you are in the midst of a crisis. This may feel like an extreme step to take. I encourage you to take it. The IW program is exceptional. I am a mother, but I am also a public school counselor. I would recommend this to any family who is not finding progress using outpatient services for their struggling teen.
What a journey. We sent our son away with little hope and our whole family changed during his 10 1/2 month Ironwood program. The staff knew our son and what he needed and his therapist provided clear communication to us as he dealt with his issues. We also had to do a lot of work and look at our role in the problems taking place in our family. A good decision, but not an easy one for us. If you need this kind of help, try to visit the campus to understand and support the process for the benefit of your son or daughter. There's also a network of current and graduate parents that you can communicate with for help and support.
My family member is a 2016 graduate of Ironwood and also received her high school diploma while at Ironwood. She will be attending college next month and that was not at all in the plans before Ironwood. Ironwood is a high expectation program (for parents and their child), but also fair and our family dynamics greatly improved while she was there. She caught back up with her class and GPA improved. We are closer than we have been in several years and this decision was a very good one for us. We also looked closely at options last year (2015) and visited this place before making the decision, talked to staff and students who were real about their experience. Well maintained campus each time we visited, good school, excellent equine therapy program. Also, the family weekend programs were well planned and effective at getting us involved in the healing process (siblings too). No regrets.
Our son Trevor was at Ironwood in 2013 for almost a year. It was the hardest decision we ever had to make...but it was the best one we ever made. It was not only difficult emotionally but financially...but our son was talking about taking his own life on a regular basis. How could we NOT do everything in our power to help him? Before we made the decision, we spoke to other parents that had their children at IW previously. All were very honest about how difficult it was, but were very positive about their experiences. These real life accounts made a big difference in our decision making. IW was not easy for Trevor, but that was why he flourished. He had low self esteem and significant anxiety and depression. IW saved his life. He went in hating us but ended up thanking us and saying "I feel like my life started when I got to Ironwood". He learned life skills he would never have experienced without his IW journey. He excelled there for the first time in his life. Graduating early from H.S. and "RED". He learned to believe in himself. He learned to respect himself and others. He still misses it. The bonds he made with staff and other residents were stronger than any he's ever had in his life. As parents, we saw changes in him we'd only dreamed of seeing. He went from a kid that couldn't even look at a waiter to order a hamburger (he'd tell us what he wanted with the server standing right there!) to a kid that has a strong hand shake, will look you in the eye when speaking to you in an audible, confident voice. He is now almost 21, he has been living on his own, in his own apartment almost 2 years without our financial assistance. We had ups and downs after he returned home and was transitioning back to "normal" life. He's still a work in progress...but he is doing amazingly well. He is now a licensed professional fisherman, his lifelong dream. He has been working full time and just recently branched out on his own starting his own tile business. We have a great relationship with our son. We are so proud of him. IW is a special place. We have recommended and will continue to recommend IW to anyone that may have a teen with emotional or behavioral issues. We will forever be grateful for Ironwood.
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