HCDE Board approves plans for 1st public recovery school in Harris County

The Harris County Department of Education Board of Trustees voted 4-0 on April 18 to approve the budgeting and implementation of a recovery high school, the first public Harris County substance-use prevention high school. The Texas Education Agency has reported that in a given year, there are over 11,000 Harris County students that have had drug offense issues, per Public Education Information Management System data.

The school will be available to all 25 school districts in Harris County on a contractual basis and will serve 30 students as it is opened with a target date of September 2017. 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.

“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.”

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.

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.”

About Harris County Department of Education: HCDE helps school districts in the state’s largest count meet the needs of uniquely challenged learners, directly serving students at their schools or one of four HCDE-operated campuses across the county through its HCDE Schools division. Two schools support students with intellectual or behavioral disabilities and two alternative schools provide education for adjudicated or expelled youth. View our video and learn more about these services and more at www.hcde-texas.org .