A mentoring relationship between staff and students is an important part of the culture at Midwest Academy. Each staff member meets with a small group of 6-12 students on a daily basis to work on social and executive functioning skills, mindset and transition planning:

  • Team building
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Task management
  • Time management
  • Problem solving
  • Responsibility/accountability
  • Social awareness beyond self
  • Community service
  • Positive thinking
  • Grit & determination
  • Building on one’s strengths

Preparing for and managing transitions:

  • From middle school to high school
  • After high school


To help teach the concept of “respect for others,” which crosses elements of executive functioning, developing a growth mindset and successful transitions, we discuss and reinforce Effort, Cooperation, and Kindness – behaviors that demonstrate respect. We refer to these behaviors as “E.C.K.” By being more concrete in referring to specific behaviors and characteristics, we help students develop and foster a sense of respect for self, others, and the community in general.

Mentors help students set both short-term and long-term goals, as well as prepare for two student-led conferences per year. Each mentor group also works as a team performing community service throughout the year.

Through all of these experiences, mentors develop a strong relationship with their students and become the primary contact person if a student struggles – academically or socially. The mentor stays in contact with other staff members to monitor their students’ levels of progress and communicates with parents regularly. Feedback received from parents and students make it evident that the mentor becomes a vital part of educational and support processes for students during their Midwest experience.