Located in southern Saratoga County, the Charlton School sits on 275 acres of countryside

Our mission statement

The Charlton School collaborates with families to create a therapeutic learning community where a foundation, based on relationships, drives creativity and self-discovery through intensive individualized approaches.

Our approach

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Individual and group therapy sessions are held weekly

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Students regularly participate in meetings with the school psychologist and psychiatric nurse practitioner

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Each student has a Positive Behavior Support Plan

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Biweekly family sessions are held on campus or virtually via Google Meet or telephone

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Our campus has places for families to stay when they visit

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We facilitate home visits in conjunction with family therapy

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We offer a 6-month program designed to support the student and her family after successful  graduation from Charlton

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This includes weekly  support to families

All hearts are welcome

At Charlton, we are committed to equality regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, immigration status, nationality, or any other factor. Racism, bigotry, and discrimination are mental health issues because they cause trauma, and past trauma is prominently mentioned as the reason that our students experience serious mental health conditions today.

Our programs and offerings

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Day program and residential students attend our on-campus school, Ketchum Grande Memorial School

The school was established in 1980 and is approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) as an Article 89 school. Instruction is based on NYSED learning standards, assessments, and curriculums that guide our intensive special education program. This program is designed to prepare students to pass Regents examinations through grade level courses and earn credits toward high school graduation.

Students who have struggled with school in the past usually achieve success through small classes and high levels of academic and counseling support. A Child Study Team monitors student progress to ensure high-quality, individualized programming. Through this process, previously unrecognized learning difficulties may be assessed.

Remediation is regularly provided through Academic Intervention Services, a consulting special education teacher, and instruction by experienced faculty.
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Equine Therapy
The Equine Therapy Program is a major part of every student's individualized treatment plan and experience at The Charlton School. For over a decade, our Equine Therapy Program has grown to include more than 9 horses, including one mini horse, and the construction of our Equine Learning Center, an indoor riding arena that is utilized year round with individual builtin stalls for the majority of the animals. All of our students participate in this program on a regular basis and many of their families as well. Nonverbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem-solving, leadership, accountability, teamwork, improving interpersonal relationships and confidence building are some of the skills that are explored throughout this process. Since its inception, hundreds of students have been positively impacted by this program's intensive approach.
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Expressive Arts
When words fall short, art is there to break down barriers and provide an outlet to effectively gain insight into emotions, thoughts, and ideas. The Expressive Arts program at Charlton places an emphasis on self-expression empowerment, and identity formation through the creative process. Through a combination of Music Education, Theatre, Art Education and Therapeutic Art group sessions at Charlton, students display an increase in self awareness, emotional regulation, self-esteem, and the opportunity to strengthen their sense of identity. Topics and issues that are too hard to confront directly can be expressed through art. As our students work on their art, they are really working on themselves. The studio becomes a training ground for real life as students learn about commitment, dedication, responsibility, risk taking, handling failure, and success. The ultimate goal for the Expressive Arts program is to increase availability and accessibility of diverse experiences of art making through all different types of methods and materials to promote a person-centered approach.
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Campus life
Students at Charlton have the opportunity to learn and practice a wide variety of social, academic, emotional, and career development skills through active participation in structured, therapeutic, recreational, and occupational programs. Weekend activities with peers and adults also strengthen confidence in developing healthy relationships. Campus programs provide a safe, nurturing, consistent, and predictable environment where conflictual relationships are rebuilt and new skills are learned and practiced. Students learn to make new choices that help them become productive members of their families and home communities.

After-school hours are spent engaged in structured therapeutic and recreational programs designed to help students learn and practice skills in self-regulation, frustration tolerance, cooperation with peers and adults, and exercise for the mind and body. Afternoon and evening programs are facilitated by Social Work or Residential Counselor staff, and they change as the needs of the group change. Changing seasons bring new opportunities and ideas, many suggested by our students. Programs include the Equine Therapy Program, Expressive Arts, ArtTherapy, Living Skills groups, reading, cooking, and a variety of physical activities including walking, volleyball, kickball, and others. When appropriate, students work with residential staff and parents to experience individualized programming in the community such as dance and music lessons.

Weekends and school vacations spent on campus are more relaxed and often include community outings to the movies, local fairs, beaches, walking trails, roller rinks, and bowling alleys. Regular home visits are encouraged on weekends, holidays, and during school vacations. These visits are a key part of our treatment and are tied closely to the Family Therapy Program. Students are encouraged to practice life skills in the wider community by volunteering with peers at local venues such as nursing homes, animal shelters, and city mission thrift stores. Students who demonstrate the appropriate social and emotional skills are given the opportunity to work in individual volunteer jobs or seek paid part-time employment with the help of the residential life staff.

Students earn increased levels of independence and responsibilities when they show good progress in the residential program. When a student exhibits positive relationships with peers and adults, success in daily living routines (including hygiene), care of personal and community spaces, regular school attendance, and active participation in after-school and evening programs, they are given increased levels of responsibility with peers on campus and in the community.

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