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Why Friendship Academy?


  • Friendship Academy combines an Approved Private School (APS) and a school-based partial hospital to offer programming for students ages 5-21
  • Customized programs include autistic support, emotional support, and life skills.
  • Our Partial Hospital Day Program includes medication management and specialized clinical therapies conducted within a trauma sensitive environment.
  • Our team consists of accomplished professionals in the fields of education, mental health and behavioral health who bring years of experience to the program.
  • We employ certified special education teachers as well as certified content area teachers for English, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, family and consumer sciences and technology education.
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Friendship Academy

Exceptional Children Achieving Exceptional Results

The Watson Institute Friendship Academy
255 S. Negley Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA  15206
412-365-3800
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Friendship Academy has been a member of Watson's family of schools since October 26, 2001. As both an approved private school (APS) and a school-based partial hospital component (PHP), Friendship Academy serves 155 students from first to twelfth grade, specializing in meeting their individual educational and mental health challenges. 

Friendship Academy provides services to students who are emotionally and behaviorally challenged. Students may be diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD), depressive disorders, conduct disorder, Asperger's Disorder, severe anxiety and many other conditions. Our students have needs that cannot sufficiently be met using traditional educational programs or techniques. Students come from school districts within Allegheny County as well as surrounding counties as an alternative placement.

To address the treatment needs of our students, Friendship Academy is a psychiatric partial day hospital program that is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and Office of Mental Health. Intensive treatment services are provided six hours per day during the school year.

The partial day hospital program provides comprehensive care that is individualized to the goals and needs of each child and their family. Services included in treatment are: psychiatric intervention, medical services, psychological services, social work services and emergency crisis intervention.

To serve educational needs, Friendship Academy runs a private elementary, middle and high school program approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Each student's program includes annual goals, short-term objectives, evaluation procedures and a variety of strategies. The primary focus of the educational program is to offer an individualized instructional program for each child. Our goal is to help students develop skills that will enable them to reach their maximum academic, social and emotional potential, while enabling them develop into life-long learners and contributing members of the adult community.

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Parent Testimonials

At Friendship Academy, we consider parents and guardians essential team members in determining positive outcomes for our students.  They play an integral role in their students' education and success.