Hillcrest Educational Centers’ Housatonic Academy is a therapeutic day school where the belief that all children can learn and do well. The Housatonic Academy program is a 12-month program, which includes a 7-week summer program. We operate on a rolling admission basis, so students are admitted throughout the school year and summer. Hillcrest Educational Centers’ specialized diagnostic and clinical services are also available. The school provides individualized educational and therapeutic services that identify and build on the strengths of children and their families in a safe environment, allowing each student to reach their highest potential.
The Housatonic Academy is licensed to serve students ages 6 through 22. Our students come to us from Berkshire County and the surrounding areas (New York, Southern Vermont). While all of our students have unique needs, the commonality is that all of our students have social-emotional or behavioral difficulties that cannot be met within the public school setting. At the Housatonic Academy, there are classrooms that are specifically devoted to educating children on the Autism Spectrum. These classrooms utilize an Applied Behavior Analysis approach to education and behavior management. The remaining classrooms are psycho-educational classrooms that focus on the Hillcrest Educational Centers “Skills for Life” therapeutic/educational approach which is a Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) approach to learning.
In each of our classrooms, under the leadership of a special education teacher, there is an emphasis on skill development and an individualized approach to special education. The Housatonic Academy’s trained staff identifies the social, behavioral and academic skill deficits that inhibit the student’s success in public school. A comprehensive plan to address these skill deficits is developed, targeting goals for the student’s successful transition to a less restrictive educational setting in their local public school.
Housatonic Academy also emphasizes connecting our students with their communities. By developing the students’ community bonds, the local support and resource network for each student is strengthened. It is our belief that working closely with DCF, DYS, The Key Program, UCP, the Brien Center, the courts and probation systems and other community agencies strengthens our students’ support networks and will help transition our student’s to less restrictive, mainstream educational environments.
Housatonic Academy provides a safe, therapeutic environment where students can learn to their highest potential. Our special needs students receive the individualized education, counseling and support services they need to learn and be successful.
We foster this success in the classroom through a student-centered approach to learning. Our students build on their achievements by working together in a non-competitive academic environment designed to meet each student’s needs.
We believe that hands-on, experiential learning is important for our special needs students. We provide many opportunities for community-based experiences where students can utilize their skills in real life environments. For those students aged 14 and older, our pre-vocational program provides opportunities, both on campus and off-campus, for students to develop job-readiness skills in a variety of employment fields.
Additionally, we seek to foster the “hooks” that support kids within a community, including extracurricular activities like athletics, employment, youth groups or whatever interests individual students may have.
Developing the academic and asocial skills that inhibit our special needs students from succeeding in their public schools is a cornerstone to our approach to therapy. Throughout the academic day, our students are learning new skills to transition and succeed in less restrictive mainstream environments.