Some Lewisville ISD students will be able to attend a specialized educational program tailor-made for those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction at Serenity High School in McKinney ISD.
A decision to extend a contract between Lewisville ISD and McKinney ISD that was first signed in 2020 will allow approximately 240 students to attend class at Serenity High during the 2023-24 academic year and benefit from its unique environment. It will cost Lewisville ISD taxpayers $85 a day per student.
As previously covered by The Dallas Express, Serenity High provides students who have a history of drug and alcohol abuse a pathway to a high school diploma. It offers a safe and supportive environment that blends narcotics anonymous and alcoholics anonymous sessions with community services and schooling.
Students must have successfully attended recognized programs at substance abuse treatment centers prior to attending Serenity High.
Drug use among youth has been a serious problem nationwide. In North Texas, the issue has made headlines after an alarming number of fentanyl overdoses among students in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. Three of the overdoses were fatal.
At Lewisville ISD, estimates from counselors point to a 20% increase year over year in students requiring drug and alcohol treatment.
Serenity High has similar agreements with other school districts in the area, although transportation remains an ongoing issue for students.
The school districts sending students to Serenity High include:
- Garland ISD
- Plano ISD
- Wylie ISD
- Frisco ISD
- Rockwall ISD
- Allen ISD
- Anna ISD
- Blue Ridge ISD
- Celina ISD
- Melissa ISD
- Pilot Point ISD
- Community ISD
- Tioga ISD
Through such collaborations, students get a fair shot at getting an education. Those who attend Serenity High can choose to be awarded diplomas from their home institutions or Serenity High upon graduation.
Former students stressed the importance of having a place like Serenity High to go to after leaving treatment centers.
“It helped me get on the right track,” said a recent graduate only identified as Brady, according to The Dallas Morning News. “If I just left rehab and I didn’t go [to Serenity], I probably wouldn’t be here where I am right now. I’d probably still be using because I’d still be around those old friends.”