MCPS Partners with Family Services, Inc. to Provide a Substance Use Recovery Program for Students

May 15, 2018

Initiative Funded Through Grant from Maryland’s Opioid Crisis Command Center

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) leaders were joined by Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon, and leaders from Family Services, Inc., to announce the opening of the Recovery and Academic Program. The program pairs academic coursework from MCPS with recovery support services provided at the Landing, a program of Family Services which is a part of the Sheppard Pratt Health System, designed to support youth through the recovery process.

“Students in Montgomery County, and across the nation, are facing increasingly complex challenges related to mental health and wellness, and substance use,” stated Rebecca Smondrowski, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Education’s Special Populations Committee. “The Recovery and Academic Program allows our school system to step up to this challenge and provide students with the opportunity to engage in substance use recovery while also working toward graduation and college, career and community readiness.”

“The Recovery and Academic Program leverages resources from the state and our partnership with Family Services to ensure students in substance use recovery have the academic supports needed to learn and access to the intensive social emotional supports they need to thrive,” said MCPS Superintendent Jack R. Smith.

"Opioid and other substance abuse has derailed too many young people from a successful Maryland education and a hopeful future,” said State Superintendent Salmon. “Innovative, flexible academic programs such as this one in Montgomery County give our students a chance to reclaim their dreams.”

The Recovery and Academic Program is made possible in part to a $200,000 grant from the State of Maryland. The program is part of Governor Larry Hogan’s $50 million commitment to address the heroin and opioid crisis.

"Family Services is excited to continue its collaboration with MCPS and launch the Recovery and Academic Program, where we will work together to provide a safe and sober environment for MCPS students to help promote academic success while actively in substance use recovery," said Kylie McCleaf, Chief Executive Officer for Family Services, Inc.  “The Landing, Family Services' recovery clubhouse, will be instrumental in this effort, which provides after school recovery support services to adolescents ages 12-17. The partnership between Family Services and MCPS will help support students who are committed to maintaining sobriety while also providing academic, social and behavioral support so they will have a successful and brighter future."

“Maryland’s students are the future of our state and too many have been affected by the heroin and opioid crisis,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “We hope to replicate this pilot program in other communities so that our students have a second chance.”

“The opioid epidemic has touched the lives of so many Marylanders and we are working hard every day to fight this crisis,” said Clay Stamp, executive director of the Opioid Operational Command Center. “The recovery and academic program is one more tool.”



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