Right here. Right now. Things will start to get better. The Charlton School is a therapeutic learning community for girls located in Burnt Hills, NY, that is focused on delivering the right treatment in the right environment in ways that fit our students. Our unique program includes committed professionals and a carefully selected set of peers who can help your daughter feel safe, connected, and empowered. Learn more about the referral process

Who does well at The Charlton School?

Students who are:

  • struggling with anxiety or school refusal
  • fragile, guarded, or withdrawn
  • lacking self-esteem, motivation, or social skills
  • depressed, bipolar, or on the high end of the autistic spectrum
  • struggling with relationship or identity issues

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Our approach varies for every student.

At The Charlton School, our tactfully-engaged team approach enables each student to feel safe, connected to others, and empowered to take charge of herself and her future. Discover More

The Charlton School/Ketchum Grande provides high school curriculum for residents and day students. Learn More

Activities are designed to build confidence and self-respect.

Equine Therapy

The Equine Program at the Charlton School is a major part of every student’s individualized treatment plan. Our Equine Program is both comprehensive and innovative and is comprised of 3 major therapeutic components: Horsemanship Educational classroom-like sessions are conducted in our new Equine Learning Center where visual aids (books, worksheets, DVDs, etc.) are used to promote understanding of basic equine physiology (parts of the horse), equine behavior (herd mentality, how to “think like a horse”), identification/explanation/purpose of tack, and overall horse care/barn management. Job skill related sessions within the barn area are held where hands-on grooming techniques, stable maintenance, and day-to-day horse care requirements are taught, modeled and carried out. Riding Instruction Mounted riding sessions under the PATH International Model are conducted as follows: Weekly group (2 – 3 riders) therapeutic riding sessions with a focus on skill building and self discovery Weekly group (2 – 3 riders) “trail” rides around campus with a focus on esteem building and environmental mindfulness as it relates to the horse Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Intensive individual, group and family Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy sessions are added to the each student’s treatment curriculum as needed. These sessions are made up of ground activities that utilize the horses in a way that requires the individual student, group or family to apply certain skills. Non-verbal 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. Students learn how to provide day-to-day care for the horses and are given opportunities to regulate their own behaviors and emotions to benefit the relationships cultivated between horse and human. Students who have been unsuccessful in social or academic environments are provided the chance to experience themselves as successful in the supportive surroundings of the Equine Program at the Charlton School. Through carefully guided interactions, students develop riding, horsemanship and stable management skills that enhance social, emotional, physical and academic growth that they can carry with them beyond the Equine Program. As the students become more proficient in their horsemanship abilities, they begin to experience a feeling of mastery and success that is highly transferrable to other life areas.

Expressive Arts

The Expressive Arts Program at Charlton is visual arts based. Directed by Jesse Epstein, MFA, the program offers students an intensive, individualized experience in the Fine Arts. Students are guided through the stages of the creative process: inspiration/idea development, materials selection and engineering, technical processes, evaluation, editing, and critique. Our program is unique in that it focuses on the individual, exploring and giving voice to their experiences while challenging them with university level processes. Expressive Arts works in conjunction with our Treatment Groups. The flexibility of the arts as offered through the expertise of our instructor leads to personal growth and development while providing us with additional insight about the student. 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. Students also have the opportunity to learn and achieve in an environment outside of the school setting. Wide ranging conversations and an open-ended research process expose young minds to possibilities never before encountered. Because math, science, technology, and invention are foundations of art making, students learn that careers as electricians, architects, scientists, engineers, and others are attainable. In the studio, student projects range from simple pinch pots to more complex mold making, life casting, soldering, and moveable parts.

Outdoor Therapy

The campus of The Charlton School sits on 50 acres of land surrounded by 300 acres of meadows, woods, and farmland — all of which belong to Charlton. We have developed a wilderness area on the land that includes a fishing pond, a trout stream, a large Adirondack lean-to, a camping area, a tree farm, and a nature trail. The area is isolated but not remote, and only a fifteen-minute walk from our campus. In the Outdoor Adventure Program, we teach students the importance of the environment and help them experience and learn about the wonders of nature. Students also learn about shared responsibility.

Community Service

Acts of giving and service to others strengthen self-respect and esteem, so Charlton students are encouraged to participate in a variety of community service activities such as volunteering at the local consignment/thrift shop or generously donating time at a nearby nursing home or animal shelter. Mature and responsible individuals are also invited to work or volunteer with our students on-campus as tutors and visitation resources, or to provide supervised activities off campus.