Creating Futures and New Beginnings

A recovery high school combining academics and therapeutic support for students overcoming drug and alcohol addiction.

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A High School For Teens Overcoming Addiction

We are a recovery high school combining academics and therapeutic support for students overcoming drug and alcohol addiction.

Anchor Learning Academy's unique combination of clinical and academic programming helps students meet the academic requirements of their local school districts while supporting their goals for recovery from substance use.

We support each student's personal recovery and academic goals by integrating strong clinical and educational programming that supports the development of skills necessary for continued recovery and successful transition back to the student's community school, to higher education or to the workforce.

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Anchor Learning Academy is Rhode Island's first recovery high school operated by The Providence Center, Rhode Island's leader in innovative mental health and substance use treatment.

Anchor Learning Academy
520 Hope Street
Providence, RI 02906

Phone: (401) 432-7279
Fax: (401) 276-4015

Individualized Academics

Anchor Learning Academy's curriculum is individualized, so each student can meet the requirements of their district. Anchor Learning Academy operates as a 180-day a year program with a specialized 6-week summer program.

  • Small class size
  • Classroom instruction and blended e-learning methods
  • Curriculum aligned to Common Core State Standards
  • Support for fulfilling Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements
  • Coordination with the student's local school district to ensure completion of credit requirements
  • Credit recovery

Clinical Recovery Services

Clinical services are incorporated into each school day to help students continue the progress they have made in treatment. An on-site recovery clinician meets daily with each student, conducts weekly group therapy and maintains communication with the student's family.

  • Individualized treatment plans to guide each student's goals for recovery
  • One-on-one counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family involvement
  • Transition planning to ensure continued recovery after Anchor Learning Academy

What Is A Recovery School?

Recovery high schools provide students in recovery from substance use issues with a supportive learning environment where they can achieve success in academics and focus on their recovery journeys. The unique combination of educational and clinical programming helps students meet the academic requirements of their local school districts while guiding students in developing a recovery support network for successful transition to the next steps in their education.

Nationally, recovery high schools have proven success rates:
  • Increase graduation rates
  • Improve academic achievement
  • Reduce relapse and maintain recovery

The Need for A Recovery High School

Within 90 days of returning to school, 50% of students resume using drugs at levels at or above where they were before treatment
93% of students report being offered drugs on their first day back to school following treatment
In Rhode Island, 15% of teens ages 12-17 reported using illicit drugs in the past month compared to the nationwide rate of 9.2% (SAMHSA)

Why Choose Us?

Our Partnerships

Many of Anchor Learning Academy’s therapeutic and educational opportunities are made possible through partnerships with community organizations.

Transition Planning

Students arrive at Anchor Learning Academy at a point in their lives where being part of a community built around recovery is necessary in order to participate fully in their academics. As students move forward in their recovery with the supports at Anchor Learning Academy, the hope is that they will be able to successfully transition back to their sending school district, a trade school, college, or the work force.

Students’ plans for life after Anchor Learning Academy begin at admission. Educational and clinical staff will work with students and families to develop transition plans that focus on their goals and supports for continued recovery include on-going access to treatment resources in order to support students in their next stage of recovery. Transition plans may be geared toward successfully returning to a community high school, post-graduation plans or in response to a relapse.

Anchor Learning Academy staff maintains a close relationship with school districts to ease the student’s transition back to their community school and to ensure that students are supported and engaged in recovery services.

For a list of colleges/universities that offer recovery support for their students, visit the Association of Recovery School’s web site:

Family Support

Families are partners in the recovery process. Beginning at admission, families play a critical role in the student’s educational, clinical and transitional planning. Families participate in the admissions interview and orientation activities.

Each student’s recovery plan is shared with the family. Regular communications and meetings continue the family’s engagement.

Curriculum at Anchor Learning Academy

Anchor Learning Academy's curriculum is based on the RI Curriculum Framework, Common Core State Standards and Proficiency-base Graduation Requirements. The Common Core State Standards provides a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that students need for success in high school, in college courses and in workforce training programs. The goals of Anchor Learning Academy’s student-centered curriculum emphasizes 21st century learning skills—the tools students need to become informed decision makers and contributing members of the local community and the global society:

  • Life-long recovery
  • Empirical reasoning
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Cultural awareness
  • Creativity

Students are assigned to courses based on the graduation requirements of their home school district and their academic skill level as indicated by assessment test scores. Experiential learning, service learning, community service and group work are key components to academics at Anchor Learning Academy. Certified Rhode Island secondary school educators provide classroom instruction in the areas of:

  • English Language Arts
  • Science
  • History
  • Math
  • Physical Education
  • Electives
Fulfilling Credit Requirements

Anchor Learning Academy works with the student’s local school district to ensure completion of the Carnegie unit requirements as well as local Proficiency-based Graduation Requirement strategies for assessing applied learning. Opportunities for credit retrieval are also available.

Graduating from Anchor Learning Academy

Graduates of Anchor Learning Academy receive a diploma from the community school district upon meeting academic graduation requirements. Anchor Learning Academy staff works with each student and their district to coordinate the requirements for graduation.

Finding Your Passion
Interest Exploration

At Anchor Learning Academy, students discover their passions. The curriculum provides opportunities to explore student interests through individual and group creative exercises and the WaytoGoRI program. When students identify areas of interest, Anchor Learning Academy offers guidance in areas of professionalism, effort and engagement, organization and documentation, self-assessment and career awareness, and workplace knowledge and skill development.

Real World Learning

Anchor Learning Academy provides many opportunities for real world learning such as partnerships with organizations for internships, experiential learning, community service and service learning.  Real World Learning encourages students to gain knowledge and skills in the context of authentic work and to develop mentoring relationships with professionals in the community. Guided by a mentor and advisor, students write a project proposal detailing the purpose and scope, areas of research, timeline, and means of evaluation.

Individualized Learning

Students are assigned to courses based on the graduation requirements of their home school district and their academic skill level as indicated by assessment test scores. Experiential learning, service learning, community service and group work are key components to the curriculum of the Anchor Learning Academy. Certified Rhode Island secondary school educators provide classroom instruction in the areas of:

  • English Language Arts
  • Science
  • History
  • Math
  • Physical Education
  • Electives

Graduates of Anchor Learning Academy receive a diploma from the community school district upon meeting academic graduation requirements.

Anchor Learning Academy’s small size creates the ideal environment for individualized learning where students can address the social-emotional factors that contribute to their substance use while focusing on academics. With students in the driver’s seats of their learning and recovery plans, Anchor Learning Academy fosters leadership qualities among students.

Blended virtual learning combines face-to-face instruction with e-learning methods, allowing students to learn at their own paces and access clinical services as necessary without disrupting academic progress.

In addition to formal course work, with the guidance of staff and parent(s), each student charts quarterly planned learning activities to identify their strengths and to address their weaknesses as they work towards post-Anchor Learning Academy goals. Students meet with the Education Coordinator on a regular basis to monitor progress towards graduation and post-graduation goals and serves as the point-person for communication with each student’s home school.

The Recovery Counselor is also available to assist with other educational, emotional and social issues that students are experiencing and to provide referrals when appropriate.

Following an assessment, all students at Anchor Learning Academy have personal literacy plans that outline individualized interventions and strategies for achieving academic goals. The personal literacy plan is also differentiated for students reading at or above grade level in order to maintain a culture of challenge.

College And Career Planning
Career Search

Anchor Learning Academy helps students realize their dreams. Our staff works with students to develop goals for post-secondary education, training, and/or employment. Through individual and group activities students will:

  • Identify areas of interest
  • Develop a resume
  • Hone job interviewing skills
  • Learn appropriate work etiquette
College Applications

Students have the opportunity to visit local colleges, universities, and trade schools. They receive assistance and support throughout the college admissions process including:

  • SAT preparation and registration
  • Scholarship applications
  • Financial aid
  • College essays
  • Understanding the college enrollment process

Our Outcomes

Many teenagers successfully complete addiction treatment programs, but the challenge to stay sober when they return to high school is hard to overcome. Anchor Learning Academy provides students with resources and support to gain the academic credits required to graduate and develop the skills needed to maintain recovery. Anchor Learning Academy's small size and direct access to clinical services offers an advatange for students juggling their studies and their recovery. Prior to attending Anchor Learning Academy, 100 percent of students used drugs or alcohol multiple times per week. At Anchor, staff is attentive to even the most subtle behavior changes that signal a potential relapse. More than 70 percent of the time, staff can spot relapse behaviors like anxiety or avoidance and intervene to prevent a relapse.

80% Average attendance rate after 30 days at ALA compared to 53% at sending district
87% Average attendance rate after one year at ALA compared to 65% at sending district
93% Of students increased their GPAs by an average of one grade point over one-year


How to Apply to Anchor Learning Academy

If your child or student would benefit from the individualized learning environment and recovery supports of Anchor Learning Academy, please call Christopher Mahon, educational coordinator, at (401) 432-7106 or Christopher and his staff will guide you through the admission process.

Admission Requirements

  • Anchor Learning Academy is a learning environment.  All students must demonstrate the commitment to both education and sobriety.
  • All students upon admission must submit to a pre-admission urine toxicology screen. All students upon admission agree to future random urine toxicology screens as part of their individual recovery plan and/or as deemed necessary by Anchor Learning Academy staff.
  • Students are required to remain drug and alcohol-free while attending Anchor Learning Academy.
  • Students (along with their parents/guardians) must work with the Anchor Learning Academy recovery counselor to develop an individualized recovery plan.  In the event of relapse, the student is expected to report his/her relapse immediately to the recovery counselor or any Anchor Learning Academy staff. After a relapse event has occurred, the student and his/her parents are expected to work with the recovery counselor to revise the individual recovery plan in an effort to regain and maintain sobriety.
  • Students must be willing to participate fully in the recovery programming offered at Anchor Learning Academy.  Attendance and participation at all in-school recovery activities are required.
  • Students are required to participate in replacement activities while enrolled at Anchor Learning Academy. Possible replacement activities may include employment, sports/extracurricular activity, volunteer work, recovery support meetings, etc.
  • Students who continually relapse may be subject to expulsion with the expectation that Anchor Learning Academy will help secure appropriate alternative placement.
  • Any acts of violence or possession of a weapon or possession of drugs or alcohol on the Anchor Learning Academy campus may result in immediate expulsion from the program.

Call Our Anchor Learning Team

Meet Our Staff

Kate Pollon


Kate Pollon is the new principal of Anchor Learning Academy. Having started the position in December, Kate previously taught special education for over 30 years in New Jersey. “My goal is to enable our students to fulfill his or her personal and academic potential within a supportive and sober recovery environment through education, demonstration, and cultivation of academic excellence, social responsibility, and personal integrity.”

Kate is also new the addiction field, and is looking forward to getting more familiar with the subject. “I’m looking forward to inspiring recovery for optimum academic and social performance and to empower hope in each student as well as offer students an opportunity to grow academically, emotionally, and socially by integrating the principals of recovery into daily education.”

She has a Bachelor’s degree from Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania and Master’s degrees from The University of Scranton and Seaton Hall. She is currently pursuing a PhD. from Seaton Hall in Education Leadership, Policy, and Management.

Outside of ALA, she’s busy working on her doctorate, and enjoys traveling.

Stacy Perin


Stacy has worked in social services for 26 years and is the Director of Anchor Learning Academy and The Providence Center School. She has a BS in Behavioral Psychology from the University of Florida as well as a BSW and MSW from the University of Central Florida. She also holds a LICSW and QMHP. Prior to working in mental health, Stacy worked in oncology.

“My work is important to me because I believe in making a difference and helping students and families to have the best possible outcomes, and the highest quality of life achievable,” says Stacy. “My work is also incredibly rewarding because I have the opportunity to collaborate with so many dedicated team members.”

Outside of work, Stacy enjoys cooking, entertaining, and spending time with her family members and pets.

Christopher Mahon

Educational Coordinator

Making connections and improving academic success–that’s what native Rhode Islander Christopher Mahon sets out to achieve as the educational coordinator at Anchor Learning Academy. In his role as educational coordinator, he uses his skills to develop, evaluate and coordinate Anchor Learning Academy’s educational programs. He is also the liaison between teachers, parents and community members.As the educational coordinator, Christopher believes in facilitating students’ achievements. “No matter how simple or small, they have a tremendous amount of meaning,” said Christopher. “Success reinforces success and will provide students with incentive, motivation and confidence to continue moving in the right direction.” Christopher brings a passion for writing and reading books and literature. He plans on working with students one-on-one to gain excitement and make English enjoyable every day.Christopher, a graduate from University of Rhode Island, holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and completed course work towards a degree in secondary education. He served as executive officer in the Rhode Island National Guard from 1999 to 2008 and most recently was with the Warwick School Department.

Michael Esposito

Recovery Coordinator

Mike is motivated by his students’ success.  Equipped with an understanding that each individual is unique, he takes time to understand the interests and goals of every student.

“I’m here to help students rediscover their sober identity and guide them into recovery,” Mike said. Mike came to Anchor Learning Academy in January 2015, having previously served as a clinician at The Providence Center School and case manager in TPC’s Child and Family Services.  He implements a strength-based approach when working with students, focusing on providing students with positive feedback. Mike recieved his Master's and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in Counseling Psychology from Rhode Island College, and holds Licensed Mental Health Counselur (LMHC) and Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional (LCDP) in Rhode Island.In his free time, Mike enjoys long distance running and going to concerts. 

Laura Danti

Case Manager

Laura started at ALA in April of 2017, and has worked in the psych field for 4 years. As case manager, her role is to find ways to support the students, whether it’s making sure they have transportation in the morning by picking them up, or setting up safe activities for them outside of the school. She is heading up ALA’s Healthy Replacement Activities Program, where students participate in after-school activities with local organizations after school. “I’m trying to find ways for students to engage with the community that make them feel better about themselves by doing something productive,” Laura said.

Laura is ALA’s first case manager. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in both Psychology and Sociology from the University of Rhode Island. She got her start as a Personal Assistance Services and Support (PASS) worker at Seven Hills Foundation, which she still does part-time today.

When she’s not at one of her two jobs, she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and reading.


Support Staff from TPC School:

Melodie Thompson - Special Education

Josh Kroll - Health and Phys. Ed.

John Cipollini - Math

Katelyn Williams - Speech and Language Therapy

Shane Benjamin - Vocational Training

Sarah Staulo - Art

Ulrich Bartell - Electives