Admissions

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Wellspring Academy exists to provide a safe, sober and supportive environment in which students can achieve their highest level of educational success and personal recovery.

Wellspring Academy will open virtually in January 2021 with drop-in sessions available, and will begin welcoming youth for in-person classes at our campus, located in Farmington Hills, Mich., beginning in September 2021.

The academy is uniquely positioned to meet the educational needs of students struggling with addiction in Southeast Michigan.

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Covid-19 Considerations

Wellspring Academy is a traditional in-person high school. However, due to the pandemic, we will begin online learning in January 2021 with in-person learning launching in September 2021.

You probably wonder if we are right for you.

Making sure we fit together is an important part of the admissions process. So, whether you are searching for yourself or for a youth struggling with substance use, take some time to reflect on these questions. If many of your answers to the questions below are “yes,” please reach out to us. Our team can help determine if Wellspring Academy is a place you or your youth will grow and prepare for a recovery-oriented lifestyle.

To answer these questions, select the quiz that best describes you.  

I’M A TEEN. I have experienced:
  • Changes to energy or loss of appetite?
  • Falls or injuries while I was drunk or high?
  • Being told I should slow down when using or continuing to use after my friends have stopped?
  • Irritability, agitation, mood swings, anxiety or depression as a result of substances?
  • Episodes where I had difficulty concentrating, memory lapses and blackouts?
  • Not caring about school or knowing if I have a future?
  • Physical or verbal fights while using?
  • Relationship problems with my parents, siblings and closest friends?
  • Feeling misunderstood by others, isolated, alone or feeling like nobody understands me?
  • Wanting to forget something in my past?
  • Feeling down or worried, and needing to change how I feel — no matter what?
  • Managing my stress with drugs/alcohol?
  • Binging on any single occasion?
  • Going over limits on using that I set for myself?
  • Dangerous situations or experiencing thoughts of suicide because of drugs and alcohol?
I’M A PARENT. My teen has experienced:
  • Trouble with the law because of drug and alcohol use?
  • Decline in school performance over the years?
  • Poor job performance or disregard for being on time?
  • Caring less about his or her hygiene and appearance?
  • Dangerous situations or had thoughts of suicide because of drugs and alcohol?
  • Falls or injuries without explanation for the injury?
  • New friendships with people you have never met?
  • Unexplained signs of irritability, agitation, mood swings, anxiety or depression?
  • Relationship problems with you, siblings and close friends?

Criteria

Students at Wellspring Academy must express and demonstrate a commitment to recovery. That commitment means they will be surrounded by like-minded peers who share that commitment to change.
  1. 1
    In order to enroll in Wellspring Academy, all prospective students must be committed to actively working toward a recovery-oriented lifestyle and must be willing to submit to regular monitoring through drug test results.
  2. 2
    Students are required to be actively maintaining their recovery, and remaining clean and sober while attending Wellspring Academy.
  3. 3
    All enrolled students must work with Wellspring recovery staff to develop an individualized recovery plan. In the event of relapse, the recovery plan may be revised to provide increased support for the student.
  4. 4
    Students must participate fully in substance abuse recovery programming offered at Wellspring Academy.
  5. 5
    Students must attend a minimum of two self-help meetings (or equivalent outside activities) each week (e.g., AA, NA).
  6. 6
    Prospective students are expected to answer all questions honestly during the interview process. This will enable Wellspring staff to work most effectively with applicants as they await enrollment decisions, and if/when they are admitted to Wellspring Academy.

Fees

Wellspring Academy is a tuition-free public charter school. There may be additional fees assessed for: drug testing, field trips and other events that may occur outside of the academic school day.

FAQ

What makes a recovery high school different?
A recovery high school is a safe and supportive secondary school where students who are in or pursuing recovery can work toward achieving their academic goals while working to establish a community of peers, mentors, teachers and coaches who will help them in their long-term recovery.
Why choose Wellspring Academy?
Our number one goal is that our students are in an environment where they will feel supported and celebrated for their days of engagement in the recovery process. We also know that maintaining sobriety isn’t a straight path forward, and we want to customize each student’s experience based on their needs.
Will the student earn a high school diploma and will it be accepted at colleges?
Absolutely. The curriculum we use is supported by the Michigan International Prep School, which is authorized by the Michigan Department of Education as a diploma issuing institution, accepted by all secondary institutions.
What are the requirements my student will have to meet to be enrolled and stay enrolled?
  1. In order to enroll in Wellspring Academy, all prospective students must be committed to actively working toward a recovery-oriented lifestyle and must be willing to submit to regular monitoring through drug test results.
  2. Students are required to be actively maintaining their recovery, and remaining clean and sober while attending Wellspring Academy.
  3. All enrolled students must work with Wellspring recovery staff to develop an individualized recovery plan. In the event of relapse, the recovery plan may be revised to provide increased support for the student.
  4. Students must participate fully in substance abuse recovery programming offered at Wellspring Academy.
  5. Students must attend a minimum of two self-help meetings (or equivalent outside activities) each week (e.g., AA, NA).
  6. Prospective students are expected to answer all questions honestly during the interview process. This will enable Wellspring staff to work most effectively with applicants as they await enrollment decisions, and if/when they are admitted to Wellspring Academy.
Are there any supports for families?
Addiction is a disease that impacts the whole family. Therefore, Wellspring Academy takes a holistic approach to recovery. Since the student will not be living at the school, the family will need to play an active role in helping the student maintain sobriety. Family support and education are offered to help families recover from the impact of addiction.
What happens if the student relapses? Are they expelled?
Wellspring Academy recognizes that addicted persons often exhibit certain behaviors which have been understood to a) signal relapse, b) lead to relapse, and/or c) signal an unwillingness to pursue an education at Wellspring Academy. These behaviors can include lying, excessive tardiness, sleeping at school, excessive absences, not completing schoolwork, and disrespect toward school staff, peers, and school policies. These, “relapse behaviors" can be used as grounds for enactment of the relapse policy. Certain checks, including random drug screens, have been established to monitor student sobriety and will be used in conjunction with staff observance of relapse behaviors to hopefully lay the groundwork for long-term recovery. A student's family will be responsible for the cost of any requested or random test not covered by his/her insurance.
How does a student apply to the high school?

Use the Schedule a Tour link and provide your contact information so our team can connect with you.

Can I make my student attend?
This spirit of Wellspring Academy is that we want students to be ready to be in this type of environment. Without their desire to want to maintain sobriety/recovery, there is little we can do to be a support to them. We are not a treatment center, therefore, attending school is voluntary.
Does the student live on campus?
Our students do not live on campus.
Will there be transportation available?
Currently, there is not public transportation for students attending Wellspring Academy. Each family is responsible for arranging transportation to and from school.

Accommodations

Michigan’s first free-standing recovery high school opens in January 2021 on Wellspring Lutheran Services’ 88-acre campus, located in Farmington Hills, Mich. Campus amenities include:
  • Library
  • Computer Lab
  • Gymnasium
  • Weight Room
  • Dining Hall
  • Auditorium
  • Art Studio
  • Ball Fields
  • Running Track

Handbook Excerpt

Behavioral Indicators & Expectations for Students  

Be Prepared

  • Be on-time to school, courses, and returning from lunch
  • Bring materials for course (have a writing utensil)
  • Dress appropriately (No hats/no hoods on)

Be Positive

  • Please say hello and goodbye
  • Take redirection & feedback quickly and positively
  • Avoid saying “I can’t”
  • Participate to the best of your abilities in course and school activities
  • Give new things a chance
  • Complaining undermines a positive environment
  • Express a desire to be in the school community and course

Be Productive

  • Complete homework and coursework
  • Remain engaged in course until the teacher dismisses students
  • Meet your deadlines
  • Cut outside conversations
  • Make up any work you miss
  • Don’t sleep at school (Be awake and alert)
  • Choose your battles
  • Participate in individual and group assignments

Be Polite

  • Speak to staff and other students respectfully and as you would expect to be treated
  • Respect each other and personal space
  • Use appropriate language
  • Respect our school community, property and space
  • Keep your feet on the floor
  • Clean up after yourself
  • Put downs of others are not acceptable
  • Show good sportsmanship at all times
  • Express opinions politely and without judgment
  • Honor the differences we bring (no racist/sexist/homophobic language)

Be Personally Responsible/Accountable

  • Control your physical, emotional and/or verbal self
  • Take ownership of your behaviors and actions
  • Be accountable for your part in a conflict
  • Be positive. If you can’t, at least don’t be negative
  • Follow your outside plan of recovery
  • Bring group issues to group, not course
  • No drug talk or war stories when it’s not appropriate.

Relapse Policy

Wellspring Academy recognizes that addicted persons often exhibit certain behaviors which have been understood to a) signal relapse, b) lead to relapse, and/or c) signal an unwillingness to pursue an education at Wellspring Academy. These behaviors can include lying, excessive tardiness, sleeping at school, excessive absences, not completing schoolwork, and disrespect toward school staff, peers, and school policies. These, “relapse behaviors" can be used as grounds for enactment of the relapse policy.  Certain checks, including random drug screens, have been established to monitor student sobriety and will be used in conjunction with staff observance of relapse behaviors to hopefully lay the groundwork for long-term recovery.  A student's family will be responsible for the cost of any requested or random test not covered by his/her insurance.

In all cases of suspected or confirmed relapse:

  • The student’s parent or guardian will be notified immediately and is required to attend a meeting with their child and school staff within one school day to determine how to best support the student’s recovery going forward
  • Recovery is considered the priority for all Wellspring Academy students. Post relapse action plans will vary based on circumstances, but all relapsed students will be absent from the school community for the appropriate treatment (ie. 15 days/30 days/90 days)
  • Any student who is removed from the Wellspring Academy community due to severe relapse will be subject to a relapse/re-entry contract upon their return to school as well as a revised recovery plan that may include an increase in the frequency of drug testing, verification of meeting attendance, and/or changes to outside therapy/counseling routines
  • Any student who is removed from the Wellspring Academy community due to relapse whom is in good academic standing will be counted as constructively present and may be provided coursework during treatment.

Self-reported relapse: 

  • Honesty is highly valued at Wellspring Academy, and while we do recognize relapse as a need for a more intensive or varied recovery approach, we are also able to support students who self-report relapse to return to the WA community sooner unless it is determined that to do so would jeopardize the safety of the student or the recovery community.

Commitment to 12-Step Recovery

All students must adhere to the following guidelines

  • Maintain abstinence from drug and alcohol use
  • Work a 12-Step (AA, NA or other appropriate self-help) program, which includes doing step-work with a sponsor and attending Twelve Step meetings outside of school.
  • Attend at least two meetings per week
  • Obtain a sponsor if he/she does not already have one and maintain regular contact with this person.
  • Report his/her own relapse and/or the relapse of any fellow student to the school principal or recovery counselor immediately so that he/she/they may receive help and support.

Additional guidelines applicable to some students

  • Students come to Wellspring Academy at various stages of recovery, and some have not yet been exposed to recovery-oriented models of support. As such, many students may be asked to attend more than two meetings per week based depending on their stage of recovery as determined by the student, the school, and other representatives for the student.
  • Some students may also be asked to receive more frequent drug tests during their first month of attendance. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the school principal.




Wellspring Academy is a program of Wellspring Lutheran Services, an independent nonprofit, 501(c)(3) corporation; and does not discriminate against any student because of race, gender, creed, religion or sexual orientation.

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