How We Work

Archway Academy is a close-knit group of teachers, recovery experts, and students working together to create a welcoming campus that not only physically challenges its high-schoolers to remain sober, but stretches their expectations socially, spiritually, intellectually, and academically.

Read our brochure

A three-part

We’ve structured Archway Academy via three important partnerships with three distinct but closely integrated functions:

  • The Archway nonprofit, our recovery staff and support
  • Southwest Schools, our educational faculty and curriculum
  • Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, the downtown/Medical Center space where our campus resides

When students come to Archway, they technically enroll in two programs: Southwest Schools’ academic program, and the Archway Academy recovery program. Students’ transcripts and diplomas read Southwest Schools.

A two-part

Keeping students sober and in class is our priority. While our organization plays a dual role, our staff do not.

We’re not therapists who tutor or teachers who counsel, but specialists in our respective fields in close communication with each other and our students throughout the school day. Our teachers and administrators are experienced educators; our recovery coaches and staff bring diverse degrees and backgrounds in clinical, therapeutic, and peer support care. When a student requires emotional support or when they require help in history, we call on the right person at the right time to help in the right way for that student. We’re all driving the same direction, but we stay in our own lanes. And we all keep each other in the loop.

How We Work

Choosing the right APG for your family is an important decision.

The following four organizations work closely with Archway Academy and understand our criteria for enrollment. They provide each student with the emotional and therapeutic support they need to be successful in school.

Adventure Learning Program


Palmer Drug Abuse Program (PDAP)


Unlimited Visions


Teen and Family Services



  • What’s a “Recovery High School”?

    As defined by the national Association of Recovery Schools (ARS), of which Archway Academy is a member, a Recovery High School must “meet state requirements for awarding a secondary school diploma” and be “designed specifically for students recovering from substance use.” This includes requiring that all enrolled students be in recovery and working a program of recovery approved by the school.

    Recovery Schools are also prepared through policies, protocols and the hiring of qualified personnel to address the needs of students in crisis, therapeutic or other. To learn more about ARS, Recovery High Schools, and colleges that offer academic or sober living programs designed specifically for students recovering from substance use disorders, click here.

  • What’s the difference between Archway and Passageway? What’s the criteria for eligibility?

    Archway Academy offers two unique programs on campus. The Passageway program is for students new to our community who have fewer than 60 days of sobriety and/or who are coming to us from a residential treatment setting. Passageway students receive additional designated recovery support, more frequent drug testing, and are under more stringent observation.

    The traditional Archway program is for students with more than 60 days of sobriety and a full referral from an Alternative Peer Group. Archway students are allowed more freedom and privileges due to their sustained recovery. For detailed Admissions criteria, please click here.

  • Is Archway a Christian school?

    No, but our classrooms exist inside of generously shared space at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church. While Archway is not affiliated with any religious organization, we are spiritual in nature, following the 12-step recovery model.

  • Does Archway enroll students who have dual diagnoses?

    Yes. Please visit our Admissions page to complete our detailed enrollment and student history forms, or contact us if you’d like to discuss more in-depth.

  • What if I find out about Archway after the semester has begun?

    We’re proud to offer a “rolling admissions” policy, which allows for a student to be admitted at any time during the semester when feasible. For students who are behind, Archway’s curriculum provides flexibility for self-paced learning. Motivated students can catch up and gain the credits they need to get back on track.

  • Does Archway Academy have a summer school program?

    Yes. Archway provides a credit recovery summer school program for students with academic need. The program operates over four weeks, split into two-week sessions. Archways academic advisor determines which students are in need of credit recovery summer school and makes a recommendation to families as needed.

  • What’s the grading schedule?

    Our school year is divided into six 6-week grading periods, or three per semester. The six-week report cards are disseminated via email. Halfway through each grading period (three weeks), a progress report is sent home with the student. Parents and guardians are welcome to email the teachers directly at any time throughout the year, if they have questions or concerns about their student’s progress.

Do you still have unanswered questions? Feel free to drop us a line here!

Archway vs. Passageway

Archway vs. Passageway—what’s the difference?

Passageway is for students at the beginning of their recovery journey who need more structure, supervision, drug testing, and recovery support. Passageway students remain on campus for lunch and eat with the recovery coaches and other Passageway students. During lunch, they cover a variety of recovery topics and receive extra support with challenges unique to early recovery. The recovery team will help Passageway students set and monitor weekly recovery goals. Sobriety time and progress with recovery goals are the two main criteria to “graduate” from the Passageway program.

Archway is for students with more sustained/consistent recovery who have earned the privilege of more freedom, flexibility and off-campus lunch. Archway students must have more than 60 days sober, be actively working with a sponsor, be settled in their counseling/APG group, be in compliance with medication recommendations (if applicable), and show forward progress with other mental health goals.

Overview of Services

  • Sober high school in Houston

  • Two programs—one for students who have fewer than 60 days sober and one for students with 60+ days

  • Rolling admissions policy

  • Small class size and low student-to-teacher ratios

  • Flexible curriculum—combination of online & traditional classes

  • Summer school

  • Rigorous academic curriculum with electives, PSAT, college fairs, and student council

  • Layers of accountability and communication within school and across continuum of care including private counselors, probation officers, residential treatment clinicians and Alternative Peer Groups (APGs)

  • Daily check-in sessions

  • Easy access to recovery supports and on-site clinician

  • Financial aid and scholarships available

small medium large