Experience Strength Hope

Mission Statement

The Experience Strength and Hope Recovery High School (ESH) is an Alternative High School established in collaboration with Union County Vocational-Technical School District (UCVTS)and Prevention Links. The school is specifically designed for high school-aged students who have endured substance abuse-related issues and are looking for a self-contained, public school, conducive to meeting the needs of their education and recovery. The school educates students in grades 9-12, accommodating varying levels of ability, learning styles, and credit status. The school employs a blended learning model that allows the student to engage in monitored, self-paced virtual instruction, accompanied by a teacher to enhance the learning, provide supplemental activities, and assist with course progress. In addition, students receive traditional, individualized classroom instruction from our certified secondary teachers in the areas of Language Arts and Social Studies. While students are able to take a combination of full-year and credit recovery courses, both UCVTS and New Jersey Virtual Schools’ courses are aligned with The New Jersey Student Learning Standards, ensuring adequate content preparation for NJSLA testing.

Students who attend the ESH Recovery High School may complete their education with us, ultimately receiving a High School diploma, conferred by their sending school district. All State of NJ graduation mandates, as well as the requirements of their sending school district are strictly adhered to. The staff is instrumental in assisting students in transitioning to post-secondary, student-centered goals including, college, vocational, and career opportunities. Recovery support, themes, and principles are integrated into every aspect of the students’ school day. These supports are supervised by a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor (LCADC) and delivered by certified peer recovery coaches, or “mentors.” These are young adults in stable recovery (three years or longer) who have been trained in both recovery coaching and traditional youth mentorship.

The Role of the School Counselor

The role of the school counselor is to be a strong advocate for each of our students and to help them become advocates for themselves. As part of our role as school counselors at UCTECH, we help students develop academically and socially while guiding them to become productive, well-adjusted adults in the future. It is our responsibility to help students increase their knowledge about college and career readiness, to have high expectations for all students, and to challenge them accordingly. At UCTECH we firmly believe that planning for college success starts during the freshman year of high school. We will guide all students to take courses that are appropriate for their goals and interests. We also strongly encourage all students to become involved in extracurricular activities through which they can make important social and community connections.