Adolescent Services | Rushford Academy

Rushford Academy is a long-term residential substance abuse treatment program for adolescents males ages 13 to 17. The program is provided in collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.

Successful treatment for substance abuse/dual diagnosis takes a variety of disciplines and professional experience. The Rushford Academy multidisciplinary team approach to treatment does exactly that, utilizing the skill and expertise of all members of the treatment team.

The Program

Rushford Academy employs the Seven Challenges® Program to give young people a framework for recovery. The Seven Challenges® Program has been proven effective in treating both substance abuse along with other mental health and trauma issues.

Our program has several integral components. Among them are individual therapy and group therapy, year-round educational programming and recreational therapy. The team at Rushford Academy is comprised of a doctoral level clinical director, program manager, case manager, master’s level clinicians, psychiatrist, recreational therapist, childcare workers, principal and licensed teachers. Clinicians function as the residents’ primary therapists, responsible for providing individual psychotherapy, group therapy, family counseling/therapy and development of individualized treatment plans (ITPs). Coordination of ITPs include maintaining family, collateral and court contacts, supervising implementation of the plan, and facilitating discharge planning. These tasks are addressed by clinicians and the case manager.

A licensed psychologist serves as the Academy’s clinical director and provides clinical supervision and oversight of the program. A psychiatrist provides psychiatric diagnostic evaluation and medication management.

For more information, please call 1.877.577.3233.

The Rushford Academy School

The Rushford Academy School (RAS) is located in on a large, rural campus in Durham, Connecticut.

Adhering to Common Core State Standards, RAS tailors classroom and one-on-one instructional sessions to meet the educational needs of each and every student. In addition, teachers and administrators work closely with the each student’s home district to ensure state and local educational requirements are met.

Classes at RAS are staffed by a State of Connecticut Department of Education-certified special education teacher as well as an educational assistant. The student maximum per class is eight, allowing each student to receive immediate academic assistance.

All RAS classrooms are equipped with Smart Board© technology and Internet-accessible computers to enhance their educational experience.

Art at the Academy
To encourage creative passion, RAS provides students with instruction in art. We take great pride in displaying student art work throughout the school building.

School Pets
For students who enjoy animals, RAS is home to two bearded dragons, a Leopard gecko, a turtle, and a large goldfish. Students wishing to help care for the animals may apply for the job of zookeeper.

Career and Vocational Training
At RAS, students explore and prepare for the workplace through vocational education. In addition to career and vocational instruction in the classroom, there are opportunities for hands-on, practical job experience.

Student Employment
Obtaining a RAS job is like getting any job, as students must fill out an application and go through an interview prior to being hired. Students working at RAS jobs earn “points” to spend at the school store.

Students may apply for several for several different student jobs at RAS, such as:

  1. Zookeeper
  2. Plant Hydration Specialist
  3. Classroom Tutor
  4. Gym Assistant
  5. Art Assistant
  6. School Store Assistant
  7. School Custodian

Spice Catering Internship
In a unique partnership with the Spice Catering Group of Durham, RAS students work alongside trained, professional chefs to learn basic food handling and preparation skills. Upon successful completion of this eight week program, participating students receive a certificate which can then be used as a reference for a future job.

Greenhouse, Plants & Grounds
Every student at RAS participates in our plants and grounds programs. Students are responsible for helping staff to maintain the campus grounds – weeding, watering, and planting outside, and caring for indoor plants.

Beginning September 2014, students will also be part of our new Plant Hospital and Greenhouse program. With staff assistance, students will grow vegetables, herbs and flowers for resale to the Hartford HealthCare (HHC) community. The students will also take in pot bound or ailing plants and “make them well” before sending them back home.

College Visits
For students interested in pursuing higher education after high school, RAS visits colleges, universities, and technical training programs throughout the academic year. Recent tours have included:

Rushford Academy School Day Program
In addition, to our residential program Rushford Academy school also accepts day students ages 13 – 21. Please contact Katie Gomes, Principal, at or 860.349.1989 X200 for further information or to schedule a visit.

Service Locations:

  • Durham

    The Durham location houses our Rushford at Stonegate & Rushford Academy programs. Residential substance us and addiction programs for adolescent males. Continued Secondary education assistance provided.