Elevations Residential Treatment Center has promoted Jon Kortman, M.Ed, to the position of Academic Director. In that role, he will continue teaching students while supporting and guiding other teachers. Kortman has been a math teacher at Elevations RTC since 2018.

Kortman grew up in Michigan but moved to Utah in 2009. He teaches Algebra I and II and Geometry. He is popular with students who say he makes math exciting and accessible. When he isn’t working, he and his wife, children, and dog enjoy spending time in the mountains.

As Academic Director, Kortman will lead a tightly-knit collaborative academic team of 11. His priority will be to examine and expand upon what works well in the department while identifying what needs improvement.


“My role as academic director is to facilitate communication, problem-solving, and interventions when we see that there is something that needs to be addressed,” says Kortman. “Teachers are integrated into the treatment team, and as a result, students are getting a plethora of therapy and group time. Then when they come from the dorms to the school, they get to practice many of these skills and the things they are working on. In many ways, I think of our teachers as mental health workers utilizing curriculum and instruction to help students develop and progress toward their goals.”

The academic programming at Elevations RTC provides college-preparatory level courses in a personalized environment with about eight to twelve students per class. The curriculum also includes options for art with a professional artist and daily physical education. It is accredited by the Utah Department of Education, the California Department of Education, the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools, and Cognia, a nonprofit organization supporting primary and secondary schools.

Elevations evaluates each student entering the program to determine their preferred learning style, strengths, and educational challenges to formulate an individual program. The academic program also teaches skills applicable to all areas of life, including self-confidence and study, critical thinking, and time management skills. Students attend a daily study hall, including weekends. They also can receive one-on-one SAT and college entrance essay tutoring.

The academic team works with the clinical and psychiatric teams to develop the best-integrated treatment plan for each student and their family. All the groups form a community that constantly works to improve the student’s experience. 

About Elevations RTC

The residential treatment center is an all-gender residential treatment facility that provides youths 13 through 18 with personalized interdisciplinary care. In addition to academics, the center offers psychiatric care, intensive specialized groups, and experiential therapy. Students have histories of anxiety, mood disorders, depression, trauma, suicidality, and self-harm. The program also offers extensive resources to parents, including seminars, resources, and parent groups modeled on those of the teens. The parent groups study and discuss ways to help parents support their teens in changing their behaviors.

Elevations RTC belongs to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, a U.S. government program. It is also a National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs member and has earned the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission.