New recovery high school in San Antonio seeks to support youth overcoming addiction

The school is the first of its kind in Bexar County

SAN ANTONIO – For parents who have tried everything they can to save their child from addiction but can’t seem to make progress, there’s another resource available, says Bea Blackmon, the Rise Inspire Academy Program Administrator.

The creation of the recovery high school in San Antonio resulted from a collaboration of love and a response to a need, Blackmon said.

“It felt like sometimes you know that we were doing everything we can, right? But kind of like we’re spinning our wheels knowing that we need to do more,” Blackmon said.

Rise Recovery has been working with youth in recovery for decades. The support of a recovery high school was a natural transition for their continuing support, says CEO Evita Morin.

“Without this, there would be no other place to bring a daughter or son who’s been struggling with substance use, who’ve been struggling with behavioral issues,” Morin explains.

The school officially started in the fall of 2021, after a successful pilot launch last year.

“We were the only major city in Texas who did not yet have a recovery high school. So it was that called by the community that led us to the opportunity to try and lead this program,” Morin said.

The charter school has 13 students but it can host up to 60 kids. There are families on the waiting list, but the school at its current location has reached capacity. The school will relocate to a new location near Vance Jackson and Loop 410 next summer.

There are 45 recovery high schools in the nation, all of which are part of the Association of Recovery High Schools. The schools rely on multiple sources of funding, and some are public, charter or private schools.

According to the Association of Recovery High Schools, their research shows students in recovery schools have higher graduation rates than those in non-recovery high schools. They also show a lower rate of absenteeism and say students in recovery high schools are more likely to abstain from using substances.

The challenges around the schools are the enrollment variability, the high costs to support the schools, and the changing enrollment, which leads to a large turnover in the student population.

Still, those behind the schools say the schools help save lives.

“These kids, without this school, would be forgotten,” Evita said. “What we desperately need is people to support and rally around this high school.”

About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.