Serving Students: NHS School Educates Beyond the Classroom

The former Howard Gardner School for Discovery building in North Scranton took on a new life this year as the NHS School Scranton opened its doors for the first time.

The NHS School Scranton was established in 2010 as an autism school with one classroom, three students and three staff members. Since that time, it has grown and expanded to provide both autism and emotional support services to more than 40 students across 15 school districts, spanning three counties in northeast Pennsylvania.

“We have transitioned more than 20 students back to their home school district for education alongside their typically developing peers,” said director Cecelia Farrell. “At NHS, we do not have to refer individuals out of our system for additional services, but rather we can design a system around that person. The work of NHS is anchored in the firm belief that it is every individual’s right to achieve growth, dignity and fulfillment in their lives.”

By following its mission of providing exceptional services through an individualized approach, the NHS School Scranton crafts a “Least Restrictive Enrollment (LRE)” plan that can be closely monitored and used to provide information to school staff. This plan is designed to assist with the maintenance and generalization of skills acquired in order to facilitate movement to the student’s least restrictive environment.

Additional services provided include applied behavior analysis, behavior modification, transition programming for students aged 14 to 21, an extended school year and professional development and consultation.

“Today NHS, through its subsidiaries, is a leading provider of community-based, non-profit education and human services,” Ms. Farrell said. “More than 10,000 employees provide care to adults and children throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, New York, Maryland, Delaware, Louisiana, and Michigan.”

“We believe in creating communities where everyone is empowered to take meaningful steps toward reaching their fullest potential,” she continued. “All of our employees take great pride in promoting that mission to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to succeed.”

For more information on the NHS School Scranton, visit