Annual Report

Dear Parents and Community Members:

We are pleased to present you with the Annual Education Report (AER) which provides key information on the 2017-18 educational progress for the Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District’s Learning Center. The AER addresses the complex reporting information required by Federal and State laws. The school’s report contains information about student assessment, accountability, and teacher quality. If you have any questions about the AER, please contact Lacy Lauzon (Learning Center Program Supervisor/ Principal) for assistance.

The AER is available for you to review electronically by visiting the following website www.dsisd.net, and then clicking on the Learning Center tab near the top of the webpage, and selecting Annual Education Report from the dropdown menu, or you may review a copy from the main office at the Learning Center.

 

The state has identified some schools with the status of Reward, Focus, or Priority. A Reward school is one that is outperforming other schools in achievement, growth, or is performing better than other schools with a similar student population. A Focus school is one that has a large achievement gap in 30% of its student achievement scores. A Priority school is one whose achievement and growth is in the lowest 5% of all schools in the state.  Our school has not been identified with one of these labels as we are a center-based school for students with disabilities.

Based on achievement data provided from Learning Center teachers, over 70% of our students made enough progress in their individual educational goals to increase the criteria for success. We want to continue to expand upon our methods for teaching academics while also increasing our focus on their functional applications.  Additionally, the Annual Education Report from the Michigan Department of Education indicates that our on-track attendance rate (students that miss fewer than 10% of the days possible) was 29% as compared to the state average, which was 79%.  This was the first year attendance was measured in this way, so it is difficult to compare the results to last year’s average daily attendance rate of 87.95%.  However, given the medical/physical needs of many of our students, it is understandable that our attendance rates by any measure might be low but, even so, there is room for improvement which is reflected in our updated attendance policy.  We are also committed to preventing the spread of illness amongst our fragile students who are most frequently absent by working hard to establish a consistent cleaning and sanitizing (including hands) protocol to help reduce absences and model healthy habits in our school environment that can also be practiced at home.  We also work together with families to establish individual student goals that support increased engagement at school to encourage the attendance of students who struggle with their school routine. 

The Learning Center believes that parent involvement is an essential part to student success.  We appreciate the feedback provided from the 26 parent surveys that were returned with both positive comments and suggestions for improvement, such as a newer building with additional space. We will also continue to work toward increased parent involvement by engaging in the following activities on an annual basis: 

  • Regular Home-School Communication
  • Parent/Student Handbook
  • Parent Support Activities
  • Parent Volunteer Activities
  • Involvement in decision-making about your student’s educational needs
  • Participation in school functions or events
  • Annual Open House and/or Winter Carnival
  • Annual Parent Survey

Enrollment Process

The Learning Center works with the nine local districts within Delta and Schoolcraft Counties to provide a center-based program and services to students, as determined through the IEP process. The Learning Center does not enroll students independent of local involvement.  If an individual’s family is interested in our programs at the Learning Center, their first contact should be with the local education agency.

Status of School Improvement Plan

a.         Goal 1 – The Learning Center staff will share our mission and beliefs to support increased opportunities for disability acceptance and inclusion in our community.

  • We have been collaborating to seek out opportunities for our students to interact with typically developing peers.This has included weekly lunches and gym time for our transition students at the Escanaba High School and also sharing the Lemmer playground on occasion.We have also shared press releases that have resulted in the publication of positive news about our students in newspapers, social media, and television.

    b.         Goal 2 – Within the next 3 years, the Learning Center will become an interactive, positive learning environment where all students have access to communication partners fluent in the use of CORE boards. 

  • CORE boards have been posted throughout our school in all areas – classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, gym, music room, buses, etc.All staff have also been given smaller versions of the CORE board to wear on a lanyard for easy access.Parents have been introduced to the CORE board during IEPs and are offered copies of the CORE board for home use.Project boxes addressing all subject areas have been created to promote practice in using the CORE board.Our communication/school leadership meets monthly to review progress and plan or continued implementation.We also collected pre/post surveys from staff and observed target students at three points during the year.Staff surveys showed an increase in staff comfortability with the use of the CORE board and student observations indicated steady progress toward communication goals using the CORE board within the classroom.

 

Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District (DSISD) Mission Statement

“Partners in education making a difference in the lives of all.”

  • Empowering parents as essential partners in the growth of child.
  • Students, families, educators, and communities are partners in enhancing learning and academic achievement.
  • An integral part of our educational practice is supporting positive interactions that promote academic, social, and emotional learning.
  • Adhering to the philosophy that every child is a lifelong learner who can achieve high standards. 

Learning Center Philosophy Statement

It is the philosophy of the DSISD Learning Center that students have the right to, and can benefit from a free public education.  These students deserve to be treated, taught, and cared for with the same positive techniques, respect, dedication, creativity, and kindness that we would expect for ourselves.  We believe that these students share the same rights as others for the opportunity to develop, to succeed and fail, to take risks, to have social interaction, to develop meaningful relationships, and to make choices. 

Districts We Serve

  • Bark River-Harris
  • Big Bay de Noc
  • Escanaba
  • Gladstone
  • Manistique
  • Mid-Peninsula
  • Nah Tah Wahsh PSA
  • Rapid River

 

School Description

The Learning Center, which is part of the DSISD and housed in Escanaba, consists of 6 classrooms. The school building is rented from St. Anne’s Church, which is attached.  The Learning Center is staffed by 6 teachers and 23 instructional aides as well as support professionals.  Transportation is contracted with McKnight Transportation and the fleet includes 4 buses run by 4 drivers and 4 bus aides. 

The Learning Center program is designed to meet the educational needs of students 2.6 to 26 years of age, from Delta and Schoolcraft counties, who meet eligibility requirements and, need a placement other than that which is available in the traditional school setting.  Eligibility may be determined in the following areas under Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE):

  • Speech and Language Impaired (SLI)
  • Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD)
  • Cognitive Impairment (CI)
  • Severely Multiply Impaired (SXI)
  • Physical Impairment (PI)
  • Other Health Impairment (OHI)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Students with other disabilities or functional levels of impairment may be placed in this program if it is determined that their individual needs can best be met within the Learning Center’s program structure and through interaction with peers whose functional levels are similar.  This will be determined by the Individual Education Program Team (IEPT). 

Program Services

  • Music Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • School Social Work
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consultation
  • Vision Consultation
  • Sign Language Interpreting
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Integrated Opportunities in Local Districts
  • Swimming at the YMCA

 

Educators at the Learning Center work with local districts and families to provide center-based programs and ancillary services to students as determined through the IEP and referral process. Ancillary services provided by the DSISD may include: Occupational and Physical Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Vision and Hearing Services, School Social Work, and Psychology. The Learning Center does not enroll students independent of local involvement.

Core Curriculum

The Learning Center’s curriculum is based on the Common Core Standards, but also includes the use of Teachers Pay Teachers interactive lessons to complement Unique Learning Systems, Michigan Model, News-2-You, Reading A-Z, Starfall, and other programs designed to best meet our student population’s unique educational needs. This allows us to match instruction to student need based on age, grade level and performance. We also utilize Functional Independence, Participation, and Supported Independence Curricula that have a primary focus on promoting independence for students. Areas of focus include:

  • Leisure and Productivity
  • Social Interactions
  • Communication
  • Personal Care, Health, and Safety
  • Mobility
  • Domestic Activities
  • Personal Work
  • Community
  • Group Situations
  • Unexpected Events/Potentially Harmful Situations
  • Time Management
  • Self-Determination
  • Functional Academics

 

The foundational goals for all students are socialization and independence.  For our preschool students, the goal is to transition the majority of students to their local district’s Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) to attend Kindergarten, while the adult transition program has a goal of preparing students for independent or supported living and employment. 

In 2017-2018, 5 preschool students were transitioned to their local school districts for Kindergarten; 3 additional primary/elementary students were also transitioned to their home elementary schools; and we celebrated with 5 graduates from our adult transition program. 

We are proud of the achievements of our Learning Center students and the compassion and dedication of our staff.  The Learning Center team works cooperatively to increase opportunities for our students, families, and the greater community and helps to create a support network to address the individual needs of our students.   We strive for continuous improvement to better serve the wide range of student needs in our program and are grateful for the support of our school community in maintaining a nurturing school environment. 

Sincerely,

 

Lacy Lauzon

Program Supervisor/Principal

DSISD Learning Center