Santa Clarita Sober School Opens January 2014
By: Cary Quashen, Founder/President of Action Family Counseling
In a historic move, January 13, 2014, the William S. Hart Union High School District and the Action Family Foundation are partnering to open a sobriety school for local junior and senior high school students attending school within the school district’s boundaries.
The campus will open at the Action Family Zone located at 20655 Soledad Canyon Road, Unit 24 in Santa Clarita. Currently there are 20 slots available for students, 10 for junior high and 10 for senior high students and more added as the school grows. There will be 10 students per classroom and students will attend school Monday – Thursday. Students attending the Action Academy will attend one to two semesters, and return to their established school sites.
All student work at the Action Academy is accredited just as it is at their regular school site.
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The educational component is comprised of University of California (UC) approved courses, A-G courses, and online course work via the APEX program which includes Math, English, History, Science, Physical Education, and electives. Just as in a regular classroom, grades and credit reports are issued to students every quarter. All student grades and credits are transferable. Students will also have access to college planning with their school counseling staff.
Creating a partnership with the William S. Hart Union High School District and Action, centered around a sober school, has long been a dream of mine. While there are other sober schools across the nation, I believe this is the first time a school district and a drug treatment program have partnered together opening a sober school. The district is providing the teaching staff and curriculum and Action is providing the drug counseling staff and therapeutic services to help kids maintain sobriety and move into recovery.
Many people are asking me why a sober school. Unfortunately we live in a culture where both adolescence and almost everything else around us from television to music, from movies to fast partying, and peer pressure tend to glorify and promote substance abuse. And the easy access to alcohol and drugs in our society creates a perfect and sometimes deadly storm for our teens and their families.
For many alcoholic and drug addicted teens, the sober school offers teens a fighting chance to embrace sobriety, overcome their problems and live happy and successful lives. Recovery schools fill in the educational gap and emotional holes opened when kids use. Because classes are small, teachers can check in with each student regularly. Students also receive extensive drug counseling and recovery skills. And each student will have specific education goals and an individual treatment plan.
The treatment curriculum includes life skills, addiction education, family and group dynamics, relapse prevention, as well as individual and group therapy. Students who attend the Action Academy will improve their decision making and leadership skills, as well as coping and resistance skills. Extensive parent involvement is also an important component of the well-rounded education students will receive at Action Academy.
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If you know a junior or senior high school student who has trouble with addiction, now is the time to get them the help they desperately need. Teens often start their sobriety quest thinking ‘sobriety sucks’ but we can no longer justify writing off teen substance use as a rite of passage or bad behavior. Addiction is not a behavioral problem or even a choice. Addiction is a disease and our teen’s behaviors while battling addiction is a cry for help. And teens do recover.
For further information about the Action Academy one may call Alex Urbina at (661) 467-2714 or Kathy Hunter at the William S. Hart Union High School District at (661) 259-0033, extension 210.
For more information about Action Family Foundation, click here.
For more informaiton about Action Family Counseling, click here.