Administrative Offices
788 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 499-7924
Public Notice - Joint Commission
Special Initiatives
In addition to our classwork and social interactions, Hillcrest provides students with a number of additional opportunities on our campuses and throughout the community.
National Youth Project Using Mini Bikes (NYPUM)
Hillcrest Educational Centers In The Berkshires, Pittsfield, MA and Lenox, MA
Dirt Bikes Serve as an Effective Motivational Tool

NYPUM participants develop self-esteem through:
  • Achievement
  • Membership
  • Self-Control & Discipline
  • Positive Values & Work Habits

Participation in NYPUM is always at the discretion of the staff and teachers and is a direct result of meeting strict NYPUM requirements that include completing schoolwork, maintaining a high level of positive behavior, and exhibiting a positive attitude.

“I think that what I’m learning in NYPUM will help me get through life.”
Hillcrest Educational Centers In The Berkshires, Pittsfield, MA and Lenox, MA
HC Café

The Café, which has been in existence for the past several years, is another asset that allows the Center campus to offer students a Vocational option. The students are supervised by a Serv Safe staff and learn how to cook both a breakfast and lunch menu. They also learn the financial side of the food service industry by collecting fees for the meals and observing the ordering process for products. They also learn social skills by interacting with customers by taking orders and delivering the meals to the customer. The Café is successful mainly from the generous activity of our staff ordering the meals that they offer. This is a positive program for our students and great learning experience.
Culinary Pre-Vocational Program
Hillcrest Educational Centers In The Berkshires, Pittsfield, MA and Lenox, MA
Culinary Pre-Vocational Program

The Hillcrest Academy offers a culinary pre-vocational program. Hillcrest's ServSafe Food Safety Managers instruct students in the culinary pre-vocational program and certify them in food safety and sanitation, as required by the Massachusetts Food Code. 

Students are given a variety of program opportunities from basic sorting skill development to basic food recognition and preparation for increased self-sufficiency to certification in food safety and sanitation for those students fourteen and older who would like to pursue vocational job placements or who would like to have the certification for future use. 

Student food safety certifications are good for five years and will be a benefit to students as they graduate and pursue employment, becoming productive citizens of our community.
Greenhouse Gardens
Hillcrest Educational Centers In The Berkshires, Pittsfield, MA and Lenox, MA
The Highpoint Campus has a fully functioning greenhouse and a flourishing garden on site. Both of these are maintained by our students and staff on a daily basis. We grow everything completely organically, from seed to harvest. We put an emphasis on soil health, companion planting, and non-synthetic pest control, and educate the students on why this is important. We encourage the students to think about sustainability and the impact that humans put on the Earth's resources. We encourage a healthy work ethic and often discuss how learning these skills at Hillcrest will be helpful in their transitions back into community settings. Students can work in the greenhouse and garden as part of the on campus vocational program or by volunteering. 

We have brought broccoli, lettuce, spinach, zucchini and summer squash to the kitchen already this year for our students and staff to enjoy with their meals. We also have tomato, eggplant, pumpkin, butternut squash, cucumbers and sweet pepper setting fruit from our garden. 

In the greenhouse, we have an assortment of house plants and perennials. These include Coleus, Aloe Vera, Jades, Geraniums, Shamrocks, Spider Plants, African Violets, Wandering Jews, and Purple Hearts for house plants. Bee Balm, Day Lily, Coneflower, Perennial Phlox, Autumn Joy Sedum, Meadow Sage, and Catnip for perennials.
Girls’ Circle
Hillcrest Educational Centers In The Berkshires, Pittsfield, MA and Lenox, MA
Girls’ Circle

The Girls Circle model, is a structured support group for girls from 9-18 years. It integrates relational theory, resiliency practices, and skills training in a specific format designed to increase positive connection, personal and collective strengths, and competence in girls. It aims to counteract social and interpersonal forces that impede girls’ growth and development by promoting an emotionally safe setting and structure within which girls can develop caring relationships and use authentic voices. Girls Circles are held weekly for 1 1/2 to two hours. Each week the facilitator leads the group of girls through a format that includes each girl taking turns talking and listening to one another respectfully about their concerns and interests. The girls express themselves further through creative or focused activities such as role-playing, drama, journaling, poetry, drama, dance, drawing, collage, clay, and more. Gender specific themes and topics are introduced which relate to the girls’ lives, such as being a girl, trusting ourselves, friendships, body image, goals, sexuality, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, competition, and decision-making. 

Girls Circle format: 
•  Weekly sessions for eight to twelve sessions or more 
•  Five to ten participants and one to two facilitators 
• Consistent format with verbal and experiential or expressive activities 
•  Age-appropriate, gender-relevant themes 
•  Strengths-based facilitation strategies
To learn more about Girl's Circle, click here.