Education and Our Schools

Northern Rivers Family of Services provides a spectrum of early enrichment, child development, and primary and secondary special educational services to help youth reach their academic potential. Our education programs, located in Albany and Schenectady, serve youth from throughout the region through a nurturing, therapeutic environment, individualized attention, and a vibrant, encouraging atmosphere:

  • Early Head Start (Schenectady) is a school- and home-based federally funded program serves impoverished families who are pregnant or have children from birth to age 3. Our staff helps parents with the changes and needs of their family that come with having a small child, and parents learn ways to help their children meet all milestones, including helping the family ensure the child is healthy, developmentally on target, and ready for the world.

  • Neil Hellman Preschool (Schenectady) is a multiservice early childhood center serves children ages 3–5 through preschool special education, early intervention services, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, social work services, preventative childcare with and without social work, psychological services, subsidized day care, and universal prekindergarten. (Click here for 2022-2023 daycare calendar) (Click here for 2022-2023 special education calendar) (Click here for 2022-2023 universal pre-K calendar)

  • Neil Hellman School (Albany) is a New York State Education Department–certified 853 special education school providing students with serious emotional, behavioral, and learning challenges in kindergarten through grade 12 with integrated educational services 46 weeks per year and clinical services 52 weeks per year. Staff members provide therapeutic, educational, and vocational services to empower students to achieve their goals. The Bella Greenhouse and Educational Center, an integrated program of the Neil Hellman School, 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.(Click here for current school calendar) (Click here for 2022-23 school calendar) (Click here for student-parent handbook)

  • Neil Hellman Day Treatment Program (Albany) provides integrated year-round clinical and educational program for students in grades 1 through 12 who live within 50 miles of our Albany campus, helping students and families address social, emotional, psychological, psychiatric, and educational needs. (Click here for current school calendar) (Click here for 2022-23 school calendar

  • School at Northeast (Schenectady) is a New York State Education Department–certified 853 special education school serving students in grades 6 through 12 who cope with multiple issues including educational disabilities, family instability, emotional trauma, delinquency, mental illness, truancy, and substance abuse. The school offers a full curriculum in structured and supportive learning environment, providing students with a variety of academic, recreational, and vocational opportunities. (Click here for current school calendar) (Click here for 2022-23 school calendar) (Click here for student-parent handbook)

  • School at Northeast Day Education (Schenectady) helps helps students in grades 6 through 12 who live within 50 miles of our Schenectady campus overcome academic, behavioral, and social challenges through an integrated of intensive clinical and educational supports. (Click here for current school calendar) (Click here for 2022-2023 school calendar)

Education Services - overview [Print]

Student Data Privacy Rights

Under state and federal law, parents and students have specific rights regarding their education data. These rights include parent and student access to student records, data protection against unauthorized access, and the right of students and parents to amend their education data if incorrect. State and federal law also provides student and parents an opportunity to file a complaint, without fear of retaliation or intimidation, if they think student data has been inappropriately managed by an education agency.

Please click below to read more on student data and privacy and security.


Smart Schools Bond Act
Neil Hellman School and the School at Northeast
October 2019

The Smart Schools Bond Act, passed by New York voters in November 2014, awarded $2 billion to all public schools based on enrollment and state aid formula. Both of Northern Rivers 853 special education schools received an allocation. Learn more about the Smart Schools Bond Act.

Northern Rivers Chief Education Officer and Chief Information Officer worked with various stakeholders, including the Education Technology Committee, which created a plan for the Neil Hellman School in Albany and the School at Northeast in Schenectady.

The Northern Rivers Board of Directors approved the Smart Schools Investment Plans (SSIP) for both schools at their meeting on October 1, 2019.

The New York State Department of Education’s Review approved the SSIPs for both the Neil Hellman School and the School at Northeast on Wednesday, February 26, 2020.