Annual Report

January 3, 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 the DSISD 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 your child's program supervisor/principal, Lacy Lauzon, for assistance.

The AER is available for you to access electronically or you may review a copy in the main office at the Learning Center.

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 school has not been identified with one of these labels as we are a center-based school for students with disabilities.


As a center-based program, it is important to understand that the progress and achievements our center-based students make each year are much different than those that of students in a traditional school setting.  Every student at the Learning Center has an Individualized Education Planning (IEP) meeting, which is held annually.  Goals developed for our students are typically focused on communication, independence, socialization and functional/life skills along with academics.  Behavior is also a common focus for intervention, as many of our students struggle to cope with their emotions.   Most of our student goals are shared by providers and practiced on a daily basis throughout all activities during the school day while riding the bus, playing with peers, eating lunch, and engaging in personal care routines – all which take a great deal of time, patience, and determination on the part of both students and teachers.  Even as the accomplishments may be small, they are always cause for great celebration.   


Additional Required Information:

School Description

The Learning Center, which is part of the DSISD is located in Soo Hill at the former Escanaba Elementary School.  The Learning Center is staffed by 7 teachers and 20 full-time instructional aides, 2 part-time instructional aides, 1 interpreter and both a full-time and part-time custodian.  We are also supported by several professional service providers.   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 (Canceled due to COVID-19)
  • Swimming at the YMCA (Canceled due to COVID-19)


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.

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.

Parent Involvement

The Learning Center believes that parent involvement is an essential part to student success.  They will always be every child’s first teacher.  We consider parents as the most important members of our IEP teams. Our efforts to work toward increased parent involvement by engaging in the following activities on an annual basis (even as the pandemic has changed how we engage with parents, which has primarily been virtually during the 2019-2020 school year) include: 

  • 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 (Canceled due to COVID-19)
  • Annual Open House and/or Winter Carnival (Canceled due to COVID-19)
  • Annual Parent Survey

Status of School Improvement Plan

Overarching Goal - The Learning Center will continue to develop an interactive, positive learning environment where all students have access to engaged communication partners fluent in the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication to support the implementation of strategies related to Comprehensive Literacy for Autonomous Communication.


    1. By June 2021, the Learning Center staff will increase the number of resources that are specifically designed for active engagement with communication and literacy.


  • Staff have been continuously working on fringe boards to go with Core books that are in our Library.
  • Staff looked into Boardmaker online but they have the wrong district. Our speech therapist will arrange for access DSISD-wide.

  • Shared predictable chart writing is in the google drive but only the TIGER team members have access right now.

  • Entire staff was emailed the Project Core modules (people from all classrooms were interested and/or completed all the modules during virtual learning time).
    1. By June 2021, the implementation team will utilize routine observations to provide reinforcement for staff and students and identify additional needs for support. 


        • Incentives for implementation have been purchased and information about how to get them was shared.
        • Decided on a team name, TIGER team, Team for Implementation of Great Emergent (literacy) Resources


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.  In addition:

  • We believe all students can communicate.
  • We believe all students should have access to augmentative and alternative communication modes.
  • We believe all students and adults can learn.
  • We believe that a cohesive team is critical to the success of implementation.
  • We believe that everyone is responsible for actively engaging in the change/improvement process.


Districts We Serve

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


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 expected outcomes for preschool students in the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program is to transition the majority of students to their local district as the 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. 

There were no graduates in 2019-2020 and two preschoolers transitioned out of the ECSE program with a moves to Head Start and a local Kindergarten respectively. 

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. 



Lacy Lauzon

Program Supervisor/Principal

DSISD Learning Center