Lehigh Valley

Faith-based high school to help teens struggling with substance abuse

HANOVER TWP., Pa. - The Diocese of Allentown is opening a new high school that's the first of its kind in the nation.

Recover, succeed, transform: those are the three words marking the mission of the country's first faith-based recovery school.

Kolbe Academy is set to open in fall 2019 at the former St. Francis Academy in Hanover Township, Northampton County, near Bethlehem.

The diocese formally announced the new school Friday morning. Officials said on top of a regular curriculum, students battling addiction now will develop the tools to continue that fight after graduation as they move into society as adults.

"When students go back into the same environment, they have the same triggers or if it's the same places, people and things," said Dr. Brooke Teshe, the school's deputy superintendent.

The tuition-based school will accept 90 students in grades ninth through 12th, who have already completed 30 days of treatment.

Teshe said the students will have individualized counseling and the support of a community of kids going through the same struggles. The school will be faith-based but students of all backgrounds are welcome.

The admission process will start in January. Financial aid and scholarships will be available.

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