Charlotte 'recovery school' opening for students fighting addiction

A recovery school for students battling addiction is set to open in east Charlotte this Fall.

The Emerald School of Excellence, a private school, will begin classes at Memorial United Methodist Church off Central Avenue.

Students will share a common connection of being in recovery. The school said it will offer a hands-on approach with recovery experts, while also teaching school classes.

"Who's going to get it better than someone else who struggled and has gone down the same path as you?" executive director Mary Ferrerri said.

Parents, Jim and Trish Tanger, lost their oldest son, Justin, to an accidental overdose of prescription methadone back in 2004.

They support the Emerald School and believe their child could have benefited from it.

"Would it be possible that he'd still be here with us today?" Trish Tanger asked.

The Tanger Family said that Justin struggled in school and that likely led to some of his drug use. They believe many students who fight addiction cannot break clean because they haven't changed their environment.

"Same friends, same opportunities to get drugs and things like that," Jim Tanger said.

The Tangers are hoping the school can put kids on a clean path forward.

"We wish we would have had more things to pursue," Jim Tanger said. "We tried all kinds of different things for our son and at the end of the day, it didn't work, but he was making good progress."

Emerald School said it'll be the first recovery school to open in the Carolinas. 

Emerald said it will charge $1,000 a month. For more information: