Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2021: Recovery High School Program

Fund Code: 791


The goal of this state-funded competitive grant is to support the implementation of Recovery High School (RHS) Programs, as set forth in M.G.L. c. 71, § 91.

In partnership with a public school or educational collaborative, RHS programs provide a structured plan of recovery for Massachusetts students, ages 14–21, who have been diagnosed with substance use disorder. Additionally, RHS programs offer students a comprehensive four-year high school education, while supporting the individual needs of youth in recovery. These programs work with students on developing and following an individualized recovery plan and an educational plan that meets their academic requirements.


Priority will be given to applicants that:

  • have prior experience in the implementation and oversight of RHS programs;
  • address the expectations in the Massachusetts Recovery High School Program Guidelines Download Word Document;
  • incorporate trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive strategies and practices;
  • use a culturally responsive approach to Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and articulate strategies to strengthen social emotional competences;
  • provide individual and group counseling;
  • have developed policies procedures, protocols and best practices regarding the interactions between staff and students;
  • offer detailed plans which describe ways to access community-based supports when students are not in school;
  • admit and retain students who are in recovery from a substance use disorder and are substance-free;
  • drug test students at random intervals, and when there is suspicion of relapse, in order to inform individual recovery plans and goals;
  • provide clinical supervision to all staff on a regular basis and as needed.


Massachusetts public school districts or educational collaboratives are eligible to apply.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) is seeking to fund five (5) programs across the Commonwealth to facilitate student enrollment in different geographic regions of the state.

Funding Type:



The maximum amount for which an applicant can apply is $500,000 per year. Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available, it will be distributed under guidelines set by the Department.

Fund Use:

Funds must be used in alignment with the purpose and priorities outlined and as described in a budget, budget narrative, and required program information that is submitted to the Department's Office of Student and Family Support.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval (no earlier than 7/1/20) – 6/30/21 (subject to appropriation)

Pending budget appropriation, one year of continuation funding will be available, for a total grant period of two (2) years FY21 and FY22.

Continued funding in year two (FY22) will be contingent upon implementing grant requirements in year 1 (FY21).

Program Unit:

Office of Student and Family Support


Samantha Graham

Date Due:

Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
Part I — General Program Unit Signature Page (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)

Download Excel Document
Part II — Budget Workbook

Download Word Document
Part III — Required Program Information

Download Word Document
Grant Assurance

Additional attachments (Include one PDF File or Word Document containing the following):

  • Relapse Policy and Procedures

  • Guidelines for Student-Staff Interactions Policy and Procedures

  • Drug Testing Policy and Procedures

  • Out-of-School Support Procedures

Additional Information:

Each approved program is required to participate in the following:

  • a series of Instructional Rounds as determined by the Department,

  • scheduled leadership meetings with the Department, and

  • site visits conducted by the Department requiring, in part, RHS programs to self-asses their programs based on expectations found in the Massachusetts Recovery High School Program Guidelines Download Word Document.

To support students with disabilities who are attending RHS programs, there is an administrative advisory entitled: Recovery High Schools and Students Eligible for Special Education.

The Need for Recovery High Schools:

Students with substance use disorders are at risk for a variety of adverse outcomes. Many of these youth have experienced a gap in their academic career because of time spent in treatment or chronic absence related to drug/alcohol use/misuse. These students are at risk of dropping out of high school or falling severely behind in their academics, in addition to other long-term risks.

According to 2017 Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey:

  • 15.9% of high school students reported binge drinking in the last 30 days
  • 24.1% of high school students used marijuana in the past 30 days
  • 4.1% of high school students report ever using cocaine
  • 2.9% drinking in school in the last 30 days

In addition, the Youth Health Survey conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) found that approximately 11% of high school students have used prescription drugs that are not their own.

The RHS programs are specialized settings in which students who are committed to recovery can pursue their academic and personal goals in a supportive, sober, safe, structured school environment where recovery efforts are understood, valued and fostered.

Submission Instructions:

Email one (1) complete set of all required documents, in their original Word or Excel formats (i.e., not converted to a PDF, unless otherwise noted), and one scanned version of the signed Part I document, to by the date noted above.

Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget in EdGrants and upload required documents. Once selected, grant recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Last Updated: March 5, 2020

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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