Neil Hellman School
Admission & Referrals 518.426.2800
The Neil Hellman School provides 160 students in grades 1 through 12 with integrated educational and clinical services 48 weeks per year.
The school is certified as a special education facility by the NYS Education Department and is accredited through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The school serves residential and day students with serious emotional, behavioral, and learning disabilities. The staff provides therapeutic, educational, and vocational services to empower students to reach their maximum potential. Staff members use hands-on, alternative, and experiential teaching methods in conjunction with traditional instruction to ensure student success.
Special programming provided to students includes:
Music and art therapy
Speech and occupational therapy
Prevocational training/school-to-work placements
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
Mediation/conflict resolution strategies
The Neil Hellman School operates its programs guided by a psychoeducational approach. The model is referred to as the Community Team Program. This program is a partnership between clinical and educational staff, whereby teachers and clinicians work cooperatively to meet individual and group developmental needs. The purpose is to develop a sense of community among students and to promote therapeutic learning throughout the school day.
Once a student is referred to the Neil Hellman School by a local educational agency, a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation is completed utilizing academic testing and social/behavioral assessments. The team provides a treatment plan for the youth within 30 days from the date of admission.
Students referred to the Neil Hellman School have all been labeled emotionally handicapped by their home district. Many have various secondary handicapping conditions such as ADD, ADHD, and learning disabilities. Students have displayed significant behavior/emotional problems in previous educational placements and some have been recently discharged from inpatient hospitalization for psychiatric disorders and require a transitional placement before returning to their home school.
Enriched staff-to-student ratios allow for a supportive environment in which instruction is highly individualized. Staff meet or exceed certification requirements outlined by the NYS Education Department. Upon admission to the Neil Hellman School, students are scoring significantly below their peers in standardized achievement tests, as well as those tests required by the Education Department for yearly school report cards. The school's state-of-the-art approach enables students to show substantial gains. Close partnerships with parents and local Committees on Special Education allow students to meet their goals to return to less-restrictive, community educational settings. On average, this occurs in eighteen months.