On July 29, state Sen. Joe Morrissey (D) and Del. Carrie Coyner (R) discussed the new Chesterfield Recovery Academy, which is set to open Aug. 22 when the other public schools open.
The school will be located at 13900 Hull Street Road in Midlothian.
The eastern Chesterfield County duo chatted about the school on Morrissey’s program, the Fighting Joe Morrissey Show, which can be viewed live or replayed on Facebook.
Morrissey said the high school was the “brainchild” of Coyner, who said the idea sprung from her time serving on the Chesterfield County Public Schools board. “The idea was at the top of her wish list every since her time on the school board,” Morrissey said.
Coyner said the school, which will have 25 students in its first year, is a pilot program. MyChesterfieldSchools.com calls the Chesterfield Recovery Academy the first of its kind in Virginia, although Coyner said Virginia Beach is trying to get one started.
The school is designed for students in early recovery from substance abuse disorders, according to the website. The program will provide flexibility to allow students to participate in internships and hold a job while enrolled.
Coyner shepherded the bill through the House and Morrissey led the effort in the Senate, Morrissey said.
Coyner noted it is a regional school that can be attended by students within the boundaries of the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, ranging from Charles City County on the east to Goochland County on the west and from Hanover County on the north to Prince George County on the south.
Coyner said Superintendent Merv Daugherty got behind the idea.
She said that school district officials will be working with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health. The program will also get assistance from police and legal agencies and various government programs, according to the website.
“It will save lives and help people who became addicted due to sports injuries,” for example, Morrissey said.
The program was funded through legislation passed by the General Assembly in June.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was scheduled at the school on Aug. 2.