BOCES launches Compass Academy to support students in drug recovery

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Broome Tioga BOCES has launched a new program designed to educate and support students in drug recovery.

BOCES held a ribbon cutting today for its Compass Academy, located at its main campus in the Town of Dickisnon.

It’s a partnership with the Addiction Center of Broome County.It’s designed for high school students struggling with mild, moderate or severe forms of addiction.

Students ride a regular bus to school in the morning and then undergo standard classroom learning through the school day.

They then remain after-school when ACBC counselors work with them on group therapy, art therapy, homework help and provide dinner. ACBC staff then provide them a ride home.

ACBC Executive Director Carmela Pirich says this provides the students with support and engagement during the critical after school hours. “Our recovery high school model was maybe a little bit different from the historical version.  We wanted to be sure that we provided something that was less disruptive to their natural day, that we were able to work with them in the community and with their families so that hopefully we aren’t necessarily seeing kids that have to be removed from their home, and sent out of town for in-patient treatment.”

The Compass Academy opened in October and currently has 2 students, both seniors, and room for many more.

Referrals come from school social workers, family or others.

Their home districts pay BOCES for the academic piece while a $350,000 state grant is covering the ACBC counselors.

And three local foundations, Klee, Mee and Community, plus Broome County donated a total of $90,000 to cover the cost of driving the kids home.

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