For adolescents in recovery from a substance use disorder or dependency, attending school can often put their ability to maintain their recovery at risk. Recovery High School (RHS) programs play an important role for these students by offering them another educational option in which they can feel supported in their recovery while still working towards a high school degree.
Recovery High Schools are state-funded grant programs, as set forth in M.G.L. c. 71, § 91. RHSs are not autonomous schools or school districts; they are public programs operated by a school district or an education collaborative. Licensed school-based personnel provide a variety of services within the RHS programs to help support the individual needs of their students by developing and following an Individualized Recovery Plan while providing a comprehensive four-year high school education.
The five Recovery High School programs are:
Any Massachusetts student, ages 14–21, who has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder or dependency can apply for admission to one of the five Recovery High School programs throughout the Commonwealth.
The admissions process for a student to attend a Recovery High School program can be initiated by any of the following:
To support students with disabilities who are attending Recovery High School programs, there is an administrative advisory entitled: Recovery High Schools and Students Eligible for Special Education. This advisory supplements the regulations related to RHS programs, 603 CMR 54.00, which were adopted by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in February 2017.
Recovery High School Program Overview (printable)
Recovery High School Program Quality Program Guidelines serve as guidance on program quality expectations for the implementation of Massachusetts Recovery High School programs.
The Recovery High School Legislative Report | May 2019
For further assistance, please contact:
Substance Use Prevention & Intervention Specialist
Office of Student and Family Support
firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 338-6305
Last Updated: August 23, 2021
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.