Harris County’s Recovery School To Help Students Struggling With Addiction

The school is one of a handful of public recovery schools in the nation

Officials, including Harris County Department of Education Superintendent James Colbert and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, break ground on Fortis Academy.

Harris County is constructing a new school designed to keep kids sober after they leave rehab. The school, called Fortis Academy, will open during the 2017-2018 school year.

A school that helps students struggling with addiction isn't new — there are many throughout the country — but most are private. Harris County's new Fortis Academy is one of a handful to be formed as a fully public school.

Harris County Department of Education Superintendent James Colbert said he hopes that Fortis Academy will allow students from low-income backgrounds to access a resource normally reserved for those with the ability to pay for an expensive tuition.

Colbert said the school is for recovery, not punishment, so students will work with addiction counselors and participate in culinary arts classes and a ropes course to keep them active.

"We know that our kids are kinesthetic learners,” Colbert said. “They need to be active, they cannot sit in a room all day when they're struggling with the issues of addiction."

Colbert said the school will be funded with subsidies from property taxes and money from school districts that send students to Fortis Academy.

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