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Our School

The Birchwood School is a highly-successful day school predicated on the therapeutic milieu model. Founded in 1984, Birchwood provides a highly-structured and individually-tailored program of remediation and therapeutic intervention. Approximately 80 elementary, intermediate and high school-level students – whose emotional difficulties necessitate a special educational setting with a range of related services to meet their unique management, academic, physical and social needs – are enrolled. The students present a variety of diagnostic disorders including: childhood schizophrenia, learning disabilities, adjustment disorders (i.e. depression, borderline, eating and conduct), autism and school phobia.

The Birchwood School is part of the Clarkstown Central School District, and is located in a park-like, spacious country setting. Students who require a more intensive program are referred to the Birchwood School, which is the District's most supervised environment. We also accept students from districts throughout southern New York and northern New Jersey, who are referred by their local Committee of Special Education. The tuition is paid by the home school district.

There are 10 classes (from kindergarten through Grade 12) with a maximum of eight students, and one special education teacher and one teaching assistant. The elementary, intermediate and high school programs offer an innovative curriculum wherein the methodologies, support systems, modifications and specialized instructional materials are designed to respond to the emotional and academic needs of each student. These needs are specified on each student's individualized education program (IEP), and are determined by psychological and psycho-educational testing as well as by direct classroom observation.

High school diplomas are issued through the home school district, and a Birchwood school counselor coordinates the curricular standards of the home school with the needs of each student through direct contacts with counterpart school counselors. All courses are directly comparable or equivalent to state and district-established curricula. At the high school level, academic programming is offered on the Regents, local and IEP levels. In addition, career exploration, vocational assessments and career counseling are provided. Students can participate in Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) courses, paid work experience or college placement on a part-time basis. Birchwood also provides a diversified work program where students are provided a structured, supervised work experience and related classroom instruction. Through the combination of daily classroom instruction and on-site supervision by a certified teacher-coordinator, students can develop basic employment skills.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in Birchwood, please contact the main office at (845) 639-6480 and select option 3.  


Jonathan Slaybaugh

Jonathan Slaybaugh

Bell Schedule

The school day begins at 8:30am and ends at 2:30pm.

Counseling Center

Matthew Backs
School Counselor
(845) 639-6480 x4111

NYSED Parent Dashboard

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Therapeutic Program

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