Out of Control Policy Blog

Niche Charter Schools: Recovery Addition

One of the great benefits of the charter school movement has been the creation of truly original and unique schools that serve the specific needs of individual students.

A new charter school in Indianapolis, started by a Fairbanks hospital, upholds this charter school tradition.

After helping alcoholics recover from the bottle for more than 60 years, Fairbanks Hospital is ready to try a surprising new tactic -- a charter school.

With the blessing of Mayor Bart Peterson's charter board, Recovery High will offer the state's first school solely dedicated to students who want to stay free of drug and alcohol abuse.. . .

Students and parents will sign a contract for the student to abstain from drugs and drinking and to attend at least two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week. To protect the school's culture and values, they also will pledge to report any other student using drugs or alcohol.

"This is not an alternative school for kids that get suspended," says Rachelle Gardner, who will head the school and directs Fairbanks' current work with young people. "It's a school for kids who are committed to staying clean and staying in recovery."

Lisa Snell is Director of Education


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