High school opens at Brookdale for teens in addiction recovery
MIDDLETOWN — A new school in the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District caters only to students who've fallen victim to addiction and are working hard toward recovery.
KEYS Academy, which stands for Knowledge Empower Youth and Sobriety, opened its doors this month on the campus of Brookdale Community College. The recovery high school is already serving students from Monmouth, Ocean and Somerset counties.
"It's a therapeutic and educational environment," said Superintendent Joseph Majka.
The school accepts students who have successfully completed a rehab program to fight addiction, and are currently testing clean. There's a 12-student maximum per class, and the program includes counseling along with the routine subjects that students would study in a traditional high school.
"Once you've completed a rehab program, going back to the same environment you were in often leads to relapse," Majka added.
Along with continued treatment, the recovery program also aims to strengthen students' coping skills and resiliency, and connect them with community resources and employment opportunities.
Students can be referred by parents, family courts, school counselors and treatment facilities.