About Our Program

The Hills Academy is a program designed for students who struggle with anxiety, depression, school phobia, and school avoidance. Acceptance into the program is for students who have been screened and demonstrate average to above average intelligence. All students will receive weekly individual and group counseling sessions and all courses are taught by Half Hollow Hills teachers who are content/special education certified teachers. The program follows the NYS Common Core Curriculum and students will graduate with a Half Hollow Hills Diploma.

Mission Statement

Our goal at The Hills Academy is to help students who are struggling with anxiety, depression, school phobia and school avoidance. To help students with the tools, resources and skill-set to be successful, we want to encourage our students to attend school on a regular basis and help to develop the skills necessary to successfully transition back into high school. In this safe, structured environment, students will gain academic and social skills as well as develop self-discipline in order to earn admission back into the regular school setting.

Our Vision

At The Hills Academy we seek to provide a student-centered, nurturing, supportive environment that allows students to reach their full potential. We have a commitment to ongoing self-reflection, humility, and transformation. Students will be encouraged to develop their self-expression and self-confidence, while being fully engaged in the academic and service learning curricula. They will demonstrate resilience when faced with challenging situations while learning strategies to promote problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Students will work to build positive relationships among their peers, families, staff and the community as they strive for academic success and individual growth. Through this, they will be empowered to become lifelong learners and share their gifts with the world.

The ultimate goal at The Hills Academy is to provide the tools and coping

skills necessary for students to transition back into a traditional high school setting. Such skills include arriving to school on time on a consistent basis, taking responsibility for personal actions, improving academically, and identifying barriers that inhibit their social and educational development. We aim for students to show growth in 3 main areas: attendance, academics, and behaviors. We believe it is important to set attainable goals with students and work towards achieving them. Student goals are reviewed on a quarterly basis with staff and discussed during individual counseling sessions.

What Makes Us Unique?

The Hills Academy offers a therapeutic setting with smaller class sizes and individualized instruction. We have a full-time School Psychologist and Social Worker on staff as well as dual-certified teachers in content areas and Special Education. The mental health staff offers various supports such as parent counseling and training, home visits, and individual/group counseling sessions.

The students start their day in an advisory period where they work in small groups and discuss social skills, academics, and character development. Students attend a Mindfulness class once a day where they learn various meditation and mindfulness practices. Every student receives a support period in their schedule to help stay up to date on classwork and assignments. We attend monthly

team-building trips and community service outings to offer opportunities for students to make positive connections to peers and their community.

Philosophy /Theme

At The Hills Academy we believe in an overarching theme of Resilience. Our goal is to help tend to the biological, psychological, and social needs of our students by providing them the tools they need to not only be successful, but resilient. Many of the students at the academy have struggled to overcome various psychosocial stressors which have hindered their return to school. We feel it is our mission to help promote resilience in students allowing them to survive and to thrive in the academic and social environment.

Our theme of Resilience is woven throughout our curriculum and day-to-day environment to help refresh, remind, and re-establish positive mental states. Some of the mindsets we believe in are:

  • - Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)
  • - Distress Tolerance
  • - Emotional Regulation
  • - Grit
  • - Growth Mindset