On April 18, the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) Board of Trustees voted 4-0 to approve the budgeting and implementation of Harris County’s first recovery high school, with its focus on substance-use prevention.
As reported by Public Education Information Management System data, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) states there are over 11,000 Harris County students that have had drug offense issues.

The new school seeks to provide an avenue to greatly reduce, if not totally eliminate that number. The goal of the recovery high school is to provide support and assistance to students after successful completion of a rehabilitation program. Students continue to receive counseling and support as they attend their school.

The school will be available to all 25 school districts in Harris County on a contractual basis and will serve 30 students. If all goes well, the school is slated to open its doors this September.

“It’s a good thing we are doing this because it’s a chance to help students in a revolutionary way,” said HCDE Board Vice President Eric Dick. “I had a troubled youth and am glad to be a solution to the problem.”

A low student-to-teacher ratio will be implemented as the school provides an academic curriculum along with life skills and recovery coaching. Staff at the school will include teachers, recovery coaches and counselors. The school will accept students from all areas of Harris County.

“We recognize those who struggle each day in the fight against addiction—the students, parents, teachers and community,” said Harris County School Superintendent James Colbert, Jr. “This school represents a big step in recovery for students in Harris County.”

HCDE will renovate a 20,000-square-foot HCDE school facility located in the Greenspoint area in north Houston at 11902 Spears Road. The HCDE Board of Trustees approved $950,000 in start-up funding for the project.

By Aswad Walker