Neil Hellman School

2022-2023 school calendar

Student-Parent Handbook

Neil Hellman School provides students in grades 1–12 with integrated educational services 46 weeks per year and clinical services 52 weeks per year. The school is a New York State Education Department–certified 853 special education facility.

The school serves residential and day students with serious emotional, behavioral, and learning challenges. Staff members provide therapeutic, educational, and vocational services to empower students to reach their maximum potential using hands-on, alternative, and experiential teaching methods in conjunction with traditional instruction to ensure student success.

To learn more about the Neil Hellman School or to schedule a tour, please contact:
Jennifer Guernsey, Principal
60 Academy Road
Albany, NY 12208
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Neil Hellman School - overview [Print]

Day Treatment Program

The Day Treatment program at the Neil Hellman School is a New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH)–licensed integrated year-round clinical and educational treatment program for students in grades 1–12 that helps students and families address social, emotional, psychological, psychiatric, and education needs. Services are available to students living within a 50-mile radius of our Albany campus. 

Who We Are

We are a team of more than 100 special education and subject-matter teachers, teacher assistants, social workers, licensed clinical staff, and support staff trained in the assessment and treatment of youth who have experienced educational challenges in school. Our team works together with every youth, home school district, and family to set and achieve educational, social, emotional, behavioral, and developmental goals.

Services are provided at the Neil Hellman School, a 160-student coeducational New York State Education Department–certified 853 special education school.

What We Do 

Our services and supports are integrated into every classroom, including therapeutic services, crisis management, socialization, educational services, psychiatric services, medication management, comprehensive assessments, and more. Each family also receives comprehensive discharge planning, case management, and referral services, connections with other community resources, and 24-hour on-call support.

We offer a rich cultural experience including art and music education, sports, experiential learning opportunities, prom and graduation, field trips, student council, community integration, and volunteer opportunities.


Our staff provide integrated and coordinated care working in partnership with caregivers and youth, as well as linkages with community services organizations, which are essential and central to “wrapping” services around youths with complex needs. The care provided is individualized, trauma-informed, and strength-based.

  • Assessments (psychiatric, psychosocial, educational, health)
  • Comprehensive treatment and discharge planning
  • Therapeutic services such as verbal therapies (individual, family, group) andmedication therapies
  • Therapeutic recreational program in the afternoon
  • Symptom management
  • Crisis management
  • Case management and referral services
  • Socialization and task, skill, and social training
  • Educational services such as individualized educational planning and specialeducation instruction or prevocational services
  • Integrated care within community (e.g., mental health, child welfare, education)
  • Assistance to families when program is not in operation

Our Goal

We work to find the best way to help youth return to their community school system, or possibly a vocational setting to ease their re-entry to their home school, or even graduate and continue their education by pursuing a college degree. We have the same academic expectations as any public school—and those students who remain in care have an 85 percent graduation rate. Our trauma-informed, culturally competent, client-centered approach helps students reach their education goals.


  • Improvement in youth’s emotional functioning through assessment, diagnosis, and individualized treatment
  • Improvement in youth’s family functioning, especially with regard to managing youth’s mental illness or emotional handicap
  • Greater capacity for youth to function within a family, school, and community setting
  • Success in the youth’s transition from a residential facility to community living when youth continues to require integrated service delivery to succeed educationally
  • Year-round programming: 12 months, 48 weeks

Getting Started

Students identified by their school district’s Committee on Special Education (CSE) as emotionally handicapped and deemed to be in need of coordinated special education and counseling services not available within the home school district may be referred to the program.

Assessed by Northern Rivers’ clinical team as capable of benefiting from the Day Treatment program’s level of care, which is designed for youth with a mental health diagnosis or behavioral acting out that impacts his or her daily functioning in school, home, and/or community. Examples of functioning impairment include:

  • the inability to form or maintain interpersonal relationships
  • the inability to participate in appropriate educational activities
  • rigid thinking patterns
  • impairment of the individual’s ability to recognize or avoid danger

The program serves youth ages 5–21 who live within an approximate 50-mile radius of Northern Rivers’ Albany campus, and the Neil Hellman School, at 60 Academy Road, and operates year-round, 12 months a year, 5 days per week (Monday through Friday), with office hours 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Emergency after-hour services are available through Northern Rivers’ on-call system, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Referrals are received from local School Districts’ Committees on Special Education and counties’ Departments of Social Services. For more information on registering for services, contact:Michelle Miller, Manager, Intake Services 518.372.9423, ext. 7393 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Neil Hellman Day Treatment Program - overview [Print]

Bella Greenhouse & Educational Center - Bella Greenhouse is an integrated program of our Neil Hellman School. Bella Greenhouse offers horticultural lessons and workshops to classes, providing real-world, hands-on connections to classroom concepts, as well as vocational training for interested youth focused on developing job skills.