Through its behavioral health division, Wellspring Lutheran Services, a Flint, Michigan-based not-for-profit, has announced that it will open Michigan’s first public recovery high school in January. Wellspring Academy will help teens who have struggled with drug and alcohol use maintain sobriety as they work toward their diploma.
Located on an 80-acre campus in Farmington Hills, Michigan, the school will serve up to 120 students in grades 9-12 from the southeastern region of the state. The school will use a model that first appeared in the U.S. in the 1970s and now is employed by 40 high schools across the nation, according to the National Association of Recovery Schools. The model implements smaller classroom with instructors who reinforce a recovery-oriented culture, customized student workloads, daily meetings with recovery counselors, on-site 12-Step meetings, peer support services, and an environment in which students are encouraged to be open about relapse events as they occur.
Wellspring Academy will be a free-standing charter school supported by Michigan International Prep School. The program will supplement educational services that meet the state’s traditional requirements with on-staff substance abuse counselors and mental health professionals.
Because of COVID-19, Wellspring Academy’s first semester will be conducted virtually. The school plans to begin in-person classes in September 2021.