Harris County Department of Education opened the county's first public recovery high school on August 27, 2018. The 20,000-square-foot facility includes a culinary arts program and is located at 11902 Spears Road in the Greenspoint area. Recovery schools help students who have completed a substance abuse or dependency rehabilitation program continue their high school education in a sober environment.
Three components exist: coaching, counseling and academics. Recovery coaches are staff members who teens can relate to and who have experiences with adolescent recovery, as well as training. Licensed counselors are available onsite to provide additional support. The school’s academic team helps students achieve the ultimate goal of receiving a diploma in a safe and sober environment. All students enrolled in the school are recovering from substance use disorders.
The risk of relapse is higher when students must return to their pretreatment schools. One study found that nearly all adolescents returning to their old school were offered drugs on their first day back. For many adolescents, schools represent the environment of previous use and contact with using friends.
Researchers have concluded that post-treatment or continuing care is essential to recovery – especially for youth. While adolescents have many of the same issues as adults, they are statistically more susceptible to fatal injuries from motor-vehicle accidents, suicides, homicides, violence, delinquency, psychiatric disorders and risky sexual practices, as well as physical, sexual and emotional traumatization. Adolescents with a history of substance abuse are, not surprisingly, at an even greater risk.
HCDE will develop student selection criteria. Districts may purchase seats through the interlocal process (similar to how they currently purchase seats at our Highpoint and AB Campuses). During its first year, the recovery school will offer 30 seats, with plans to grow to 60 seats and 90 seats in subsequent years.
The student must be referred by the Harris County school district, so a parent or guardian would need to contact the student’s home district.
For the first year, transportation will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
When a student gains the diploma, it is issued from the home school district. However, students may participate in either ceremony for graduation purposes, or both.
HCDE gathers all participating school calendars and decides on a schedule which benefits the majority of the students. The calendar will ultimately be one devised by HCDE administration.
Yes, random drug tests will be conducted. Appropriate consequences will result from such testing.
Yes, the recovery school’s counseling team will work in harmony with the students’ therapists. Students and parents will have to sign a release form so that the school’s counseling team and outside therapists may communicate with each other regarding the student’s recovery status, progress, or other related concerns.
Yes, it is possible for the students to graduate on time while attending the recovery school by regaining any academic credits that may have been lost.
Ideally, students will remain at the recovery school for the remainder of their high school years to receive a high quality education in a sober environment.
The school’s counseling and coaching centers will encourage continued sobriety through various classes and activities.