Annual Education Report

Berrien RESA Electronic Letterhead

2020-21 Annual Education Report (for 2019-20 School Year): Lighthouse Education Center

January 5, 2021

Dear Parents and Community Members:

We are pleased to present you with the Annual Education Report (AER) which provides key information on the 2019-20 educational progress for Lighthouse Education 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 your child's principal for assistance.

The AER is available for you to review electronically or you may review a copy in the main office at your child’s school.

For the 2019-20 school year, schools were identified using definitions and labels as required in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) school is one that has at least one underperforming student subgroup. An Additional Targeted Support (ATS) school is one that has a student subgroup performing at the same level as the lowest 5% of all schools in the state. A Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) school is one whose performance is in the lowest 5% of all schools in the state or has a graduation rate at or below 67%. Some schools are not identified with any of these labels. In these cases, no label is given. Our program has not been given a label.

It is important to understand that the achievements and milestones our center-based students make each year are much different than those goals of a typical K-12 school system. Specific goals are set for LEC students during their Individualized Education Planning meeting, which is held annually.  Goals can include making eye contact, tying shoes, using utensils, learning how to wait in a line, understanding consequences or even managing their own behavior. While simple for some, these types of goals represent an entire year’s worth of practice, patience and determination for others. These students (and their teachers) deserve our highest praise. 

State law requires that we also report additional information:

  1. Process for assigning pupils to the school
  2. The status of the 3-5 year School Improvement Plan
  3. A brief description of each specialized school
  4. Identify how to access a copy of the Core Curriculum, a description of its implementation and explanation of the 
    variances from the state’s model
  5. The aggregate student achievement results for any local competency tests or nationally normed achievement tests
  6. Identify the number and percent of students represented by parents at parent-teacher conferences
  7. For high schools only also report on the following:
  • The number and percent of postsecondary enrollments (dual enrollment)
  • The number of college equivalent courses offered (AP/IB)
  • The number and percentage of students enrolled in college equivalent courses (AP/IB)
  • The number and percentage of students receiving a score leading to college credit

We are very proud of our students and look forward to achieving even more goals next year!

Eric Hoppstock

Additional Required Information:


Lighthouse Education Center is a center based special education facility designed to provide programs and related services to meet the education requirements of severely emotionally impaired and autistic impaired students, kindergarten through 12th grade. The center emphasizes positive reinforcement, personal responsibility, appropriate decision making skills and the development of socially acceptable behavior.  

Students who participate in the Lighthouse Education Center program are referred by Berrien County’s 14 local K-12 education agencies and public school academies as the most severely impaired students within the County. These students have been unsuccessful in their local districts even with intense Special Education Supports. Local districts place their students under the care, supervision and educational direction of the Lighthouse Education Center staff. The Lighthouse Program also has the benefit of two social workers, a technology/computer teacher and behavior consultants.

It is the primary goal of the program at Lighthouse Education Center to help students develop the skills necessary to return to their local school program. Over the last 8 years, over 50 students have returned to their home districts. Last year, two students in the LEC program earned their high school diplomas.
ASD Program
With classrooms located throughout Berrien County and at LEC, the ASD program supports the needs of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The program features a positive learning environment, enabling students to achieve and enhance self-confidence, self-esteem, independence, social acceptance, and intellectual and personal growth according to their Individualized Educational Plan and Transitional Service Plan.

Placement Process:

The Michigan Administrative Rules state, “Emotional impairment shall be determined through the manifestation of behavioral problems…which adversely affect a student’s education to the extent that a student cannot profit from learning experiences without special education support”.    

Many of the students entering a severely emotionally impaired program have previously demonstrated inadequate academic progress.   Many of them fall significantly below grade level due to their inability to “profit from learning experiences.”  Berrien RESA’s Severely Emotionally Impaired (SEI) Program addresses the behavioral issues which interfere with learning. As the students develop appropriate social and emotional skills, they are better able to benefit from the educational experience. With continued success, they are transitioned back to the local school districts. This allows for new referrals to enter the SEI program.  With the continual flow of students entering and exiting the program, the statewide assessments may not reflect the emotional and educational gains achieved by the students, however the SEI program does offer a highly structured behavioral and academic program which facilitates growth and personal development.

Status of the School Improvement Plan:

Currently, LEC is drafting a new school improvement plan. Once complete, the plan will be submitted to the Michigan Department of Education.

The implementation of the school improvement plan is expected to enhance the acquisition of academic and behavioral skills for the students at Lighthouse Education Center. The focus of the program is to help students develop the skills that will allow them to be successful within the general education curriculum. However, that improvement may not necessarily be reflected through student test scores. This is due in part to the specific needs and characteristics of the students that receive services in the Severely Emotionally Impaired Program.

Lighthouse Education Center administers a variety of assessments to help determine student needs and progress. Students are assessed in grades one through eight with unit assessments from the curriculum and M-STEP/MI-Access assessments. Students in 9th and 11th grade take the M-STEP and Michigan Merit Exam (which includes Work Keys and the ACT).

Core Curriculum:

The curricula implemented at Lighthouse Education Center are based on the Grade Level Content Expectations.

For English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, the unit pre and post testing for the content area assist with implementation of the curricular material. The autistic impaired curricular material is assessed in regards to the MI Access and classroom measurements. There are no variances built into the Lighthouse general education curriculum. The autistic and emotionally impaired program provides for the individual students special and unique needs. Curriculum expectations and goals are included in each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).  Copies of the IEP are provided to parents.  

Parent Teacher Conferences

Lighthouse Education Center and the ASD Program conduct scheduled parent/teacher conferences twice a year (during the fall and spring). Parent participation is encouraged with notifications sent out throughout the school year,  through parent newsletters and school calendar.  

Parent Teacher Conference Attendance
Year Fall-Number Attending Spring-Number Attending Fall-Percentage Attending Spring-Percentage Attending
2018-2019 93 74 83% 58%
2019-2020 47 32 94% 65%

Parent Involvement Plan

The Berrien Regional Education Service Agency Board of Education strongly encourages and welcomes the involvement of parent(s)/guardian(s) in all of the District’s educational programs that directly serve students. The term parent refers to any caregiver/guardian who is responsible for the academic, social and emotional needs of a child. It is recognized and appreciated that parents/guardians are the “first teachers” of their children, and that their interest and involvement in the education of their children should not diminish once their child enters the schools of the District.

Consistent with standards set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act and Sec.380.294 of the Michigan Revised School Code, the Board encourages parental involvement through: Regular and meaningful communication between home and school;

  • Promoting and supporting responsible parenting;
  • Ensuring that parents have an integral role in assisting student learning;
  • Encouraging parent participation as volunteers in schools;
  • Including parents as full partners in the decisions that affect their children and families; and
  • Fostering parent, school and community collaboration in order to enhance student learning, strengthen families and improve schools.

In accordance with state law, the Superintendent shall provide a copy of the District’s Parent Involvement Plan to all parents via the student handbook, at parent-teacher conferences, Individual Education Plan meetings and through parent groups.

Adopted: February 9, 2005

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate/College Equivalent Courses 

For the past two years, no high school students enrolled at LEC participated in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Dual Enrollment or College Equivalent Courses.  Students at LEC can take courses offered by local school districts or College Credit/Dual Enrollment Classes if they meet the necessary criteria.

Contact Information

Lighthouse Education Center
379 West Glenlord
Saint Joseph, MI 49085
Tel: 269-429-2351
Fax: 269-428-0143

Tina Lawson 
Director of Special Education 
Tel: 269-471-7725 ext. 3206

Robin Snyder

Supervisor of Autism Programs
Tel: 269-429-2351
Fax: 269-428-0143

Nondiscrimination Clause/Title IX

It is the policy of the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency not to discriminate in its policies and practices with respect to compensation, terms, or conditions of employment because of an individual's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, height, weight, marital status, political belief, genetic information, disability or handicap which does not impair an individual's ability to perform adequately in that individual's particular position or activity.

Lynda Hurlow
Executive Director of Human Resources
Berrien RESA 
711 St. Joseph Avenue
Berrien Springs, MI 49103

For procedural information, please review our NEOLA Board Policy No. 2260.

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