, , ,

Proposals Sought For Second Recovery High School In Wisconsin

Wisconsin Has 1 Recovery School For Teens Struggling With Addiction


Gov. Scott Walker and state lawmakers signed off on a bill this summer to create a recovery high school for teens struggling with addiction. The University of Wisconsin System is currently seeking requests for proposals for the four-year pilot project.

Right now, Horizon High School in Madison is Wisconsin’s only recovery school.

Gary Bennett, director of the Office of Educational Opportunity at UW System, said about a dozen people have shown interest in the pilot project so far.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“Successful recovery schools have to provide all of the content necessary to get a high school diploma, but they have to have the partnerships in the community for mental health services and for social support for both the students and their families,” he said.

The legislation approved by lawmakers would allow $50,000 for creation of the school, which can be located anywhere in the state. The school must serve up to 15 students each year.

“It’s open to any student who has been diagnosed with substance abuse disorder and has been in recovery for at least 30 days, whether that addiction is opioids, which is sort of the most talked about right now, or alcoholism, which is extremely prevalent unfortunately among high school students, or any other drug,” said Bennett.

Teens would also need to consent to random drug tests. Bennett said the success of the school will be evaluated based on students’ rate of relapse.

“So how many of the kids are staying in recovery once they’re in the campus,” he said. “If students relapse, do they stay in recovery or do they exit the program and then fall back into addiction.”

Bennett said they’re seeking $50,000 in matching funds for creation of the recovery school. The deadline for proposals is Dec. 2, but he said they may seek another round of applicants in the spring if proposals don’t provide the best fit for students.

There were 43 recovery schools operating or planned at sites across the nation in 2016, according to a report from the Association of Recovery Schools.