Ketchum Grande Memorial School

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 designed to prepare students to pass Regents examinations through grade level courses and earn credits toward high school graduation. MORE

Message from the Director of Education

“The restoration of self-confidence based on tangible academic and personal success is accomplished in the academic program of The Charlton School.”

The work of childhood is mastery. As parents we fondly remember first steps and first words, which were the beginning of the challenges of development in childhood. Adolescence is a continuation of that path, and most of our entering students feel they are failing the challenges of mastery. Our school is the place and has the experienced and committed teachers and staff to help students return to belief in themselves, their potential and a future that matches their hopes. The restoration of self-confidence based on tangible academic and personal success is accomplished in the academic program of The Charlton School. I encourage you to visit the school and sense the energy and positive atmosphere created by our faculty and by our students now back on track.

The School Day | Classified Students | The Transition to Home

The School Day

The school day conforms to the typical requirements of public schools for students in eighth to twelfth grade. The use of a high school model assists students to better transfer new school skills, values, habits, and routines to their home schools.

The Charlton School/Ketchum Grande follows the statewide annual calendar through a 12-month program comprised of a 40-week school year and six week summer school. The hours of instruction are from 8:45am to 2:45pm, Monday to Friday. Normative student behaviors such as arriving on time, being prepared for class, completing homework, and consistently giving the best effort are encouraged through structured reinforcement. Counseling is readily available to help students acquire and practice coping strategies and process feelings that arise during the school day. MORE

Classified Students

Courses and activities are fully accessible to all students with 100% inclusion of classified students with non-classified peers. School counseling is a related service that is provided by a school psychologist through individual and group sessions and speech. Language therapy is available as required. The school assists referring school districts with the IEP process and takes the lead in assessing learning difficulties.

The Charlton School/Ketchum Grande is fully integrated with other programs of The Charlton School, ensuring a comprehensive approach to treatment, care, and the personal development of students. Students who have extended residential placements transition to co-enrollment at the local high school when deemed ready. Vocational/technical education opportunities may also be arranged.

The Transition to Home

The Charlton School/Ketchum Grande maintains communication with each student’s home school guidance counselor or other contact persons through interim reports and report cards, CSE contacts and, as discharge nears, the Aftercare Services of The Charlton School. At discharge, faculty provide reports by subject area that are forwarded to the home school to be shared with teachers and school counselors.

Discharge summaries smooth the transition back to public school and home by providing detailed and current information about student learning and behavior. Other information may also be shared such as writing samples, science lab reports, and psycho-educational records.

The Day School

In response to the growing number of psychologically and emotionally fragile students with special education needs, The Charlton School/Ketchum Grande was approved by the NY State Education Department as an 853 Special Education School in April 2005. We welcome non-resident students in the 8th-12th grade to our respected day program where they benefit from the same intensive special education and treatment programs delivered to residential students. School districts may now refer students classified for special education directly to The Charlton School/Ketchum Grande. MORE

Extracurricular Activities

During the school year between 3 PM and 9 PM, students are offered a variety of educational and recreational programs. Choices include Expressive Arts, computers, physical activities, board games, and community service projects.

There is a variety of recreational equipment on campus, including an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, mountain bikes, in-line skates, a work-out room, camping facilities, a fishing pond, and an Expressive Arts Program.

The programming at Charlton is designed to offer structured activities that provide physical movement and creative challenges in a healthy, drug-free setting.

Equine Therapy

The Equine Program at The Charlton School is part of each student’s individualized treatment plan. Equine Facilitated Learning, Therapeutic Riding, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, and Horse Care/Barn Management Skills are the main components of our year-round, clinically-based Equine Therapy Program. Through interaction with horses, students are given the opportunity to learn countless life lessons, coping skills and self-assessment techniques.

The Equine Program at The Charlton School can help students begin to develop:

Effective communication skills
Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
Improved ability to stay focused and attentive
Techniques related to emotional management
Ways to build healthy interpersonal relationships
Pride of responsibility for a being other than oneself

All equine related programs at Charlton are facilitated by a dually-certified PATH, International Therapeutic Riding Instructor/Equine Specialist.

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.

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.


The Horticulture Program teaches students the basic responsibilities and skills associated with plant germination, nurturance, and care. The program uses our greenhouse and the science labs to prepare students and the plants for maturity and readiness to thrive in other environments. The plants eventually move to our many outdoor gardens, just as the students return to their homes, schools, and communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the campus school give the customary State exams?

Yes, The Charlton School/Ketchum Grande school administers Regents Exams and Regents Competency Tests (RCTs) and most students pass their Regents exams.

Will the coursework count toward high school graduation?

The credits granted toward meeting graduation requirements are accepted by home school districts toward issuing their high school diplomas.

What about SATs, ACTs, and college admissions?

The school works with local districts to have our students take these standardized pre-admission exams at the usual times of the school year. Our guidance counselor works with home school guidance counselors and families to facilitate college admissions.

Are the courses the same as my daughter was taking at her home school?

Ketchum-Grande, the campus school of The Charlton School, is approved by the New York State Education Department to provide grade level courses similar to those offered in public schools.