Annual Education Report for BLC

2016-17 Annual Education Report:  Blossomland Learning Center


May 14, 2018

Dear Parents and Community Members:

We are pleased to present you with the Annual Education Report (AER) which provides key information on the 2016-17 educational progress for Blossomland 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 principal for assistance.

The AER is available for you to review electronically (https://goo.gl/rkYtaV), or you may review a copy in the main office at your child’s school.

For the 2016-17 school year, schools were identified using new 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 three or more underperforming student subgroups. A Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) school is one whose performance is in the lowest 5% of all schools in the state.  Some schools are not identified with any of these labels. In these cases, no label is given.  Our center-based program has not been given one of these labels.

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 BLC 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.  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!
 
Sincerely,

Kevin M. Ivers, Ph.D.
Superintendent

Please be reminded:

Subgroups being measured in this report typically have less than 10 students.  Should there be a variance in the number of  students counted in the groups from year to year, the change in proficiency will be reflected as a dramatic drop or increase; skewing the true proficiency of our students.  Additionally, because the subgroups are so small,  it is highly likely that attendance requirements will not be met.  For example, in a group of 10 students, if one student does not participate in a test, then we do not have the required 95 percent participation. 

To gain a true picture of students success at a center-based program, individual student progress should be measured consistently throughout the school year.  Therefore, Berrien RESA does not feel that this report accurately reflects student progress.

Additional Required Information:

Description:

Blossomland Learning Center (BLC) provides comprehensive programs and therapeutic services for severely multiply impaired and 
moderate to severe cognitively impaired students, ages 3 to 26.  

The school facility includes classroom areas for Pre-primary, Primary, Intermediate and Teen-Adults.  Each contains space for large-group activities, kitchen amenities, rest rooms, conference rooms, offices and other programmatic areas to address the specific needs of that particular age group of students. Other building features include therapy areas, a central kitchen, a 30’ by 60’ swimming pool and a gymnasium with adjoining shower and dressing rooms.  Blossomland Learning Center also offers students the services of music therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adaptive physical education, community-based instruction, speech therapy, a licensed practical nurse and a registered nurse.

Blossomland Learning Center also offers off-site programs located throughout Berrien County.  Off-site programs offer students learning experiences in a community-based setting or within local school district buildings.

Placement Process:

Placement is made through the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process.   The IEP team must agree that the student’s unique educational needs would be better or more appropriately addressed within a center-based special education facility than through their local district. 

Status of the School Improvement Plan:

Currently, BLC is in year five of the school improvement plan.   The annual School Improvement Plan was submitted to the Michigan Department of Education last year.

BLC started working with the Safe & Civil Schools Program eight years ago.  The program guides schools through the process of developing a proactive and positive school-wide discipline plan.  It helps schools develop and implement effective behavior management and motivation practices as well as behavior support for all students.  The Safe & Civil School Committee participated in 6 full days of training and met weekly in the 2008-09 school year to prepare for the implementation.  During the 2009-2010 school year, a core team continued to participate in three additional days of training.  The full School Improvement Team met bi-weekly to maintain communication and to implement any changes found necessary.   The second year included one additional day of training and process checks.  

Blossomland applied for and won the 2012 Michigan Association of School Boards Education Excellence Award for this program.  A review of three years of data showed a decline in the frequency of use of the time-out booth and in the number of behavior incident reports.

The committee is comprised of administrators, teachers, ancillary staff, paraprofessionals and parents.  The School Improvement Plan is fully aligned to the School Improvement Framework from the Michigan Department of Education.  Due to the Safe & Civil School initiative, the School Improvement time line was revised to incorporate its components and committee meetings will continue to be held bi-weekly.  

Core Curriculum:

Blossomland Learning Center utilizes both the Michigan Merit Curriculum Extended Grade Level Content Expectations (EGLCE’s) and the Addressing Unique Educational Needs for Students with Disabilities (AUEN) for their curricular needs.  English Language Arts and 
Mathematics are currently aligned to the student’s Individualized Education Program.  Staff utilize curriculum Checklists that combined these for documentation of individual skills and resources, and to identify areas of need.  The curriculum Checklists were developed for both the Participation and Supported Independence student levels and provided to the staff during the 2009-10 school year.  There are no variances from the State’s model.  Staff utilize science and social studies pacing guides to identify key concepts for instruction and for alignment to state requirements.

Curriculum expectations and goals are included in each student’s IEP.  Copies of the IEP are provided to parents.

Retention/Drop-Out Rate

Blossomland Learning Center is a center-based program for students with Moderate to Severe Cognitive Impairments or who are Severely Multiply Impaired.  Students are not retained in a grade nor does the Center have drop-outs.  Students exit the program at age 26.  A written attendance policy is provided to each parent.  Truancy is reported for students who do not have a medically related illness.  If a prolonged medical-related absence occurs, home bound services are arranged or an Individual Education Program meeting is scheduled to help the student continue to meet their educational goals. 

Graduation Rate

Students are able to attend Blossomland Learning Center until they reach the age of 26.  Students do not attain a diploma, but rather a “Certificate of Completion.”  The Class of 2017 had 12 students exit the program and receive “Certificates of Completion.”  

Parent Teacher Conferences

Blossomland Learning Center conducts 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
 2016-2017  186 180 86% 83%
 2015-2016  188 191 82% 84%

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 BLC participated in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Dual Enrollment or College Equivalent Courses. 

Contact Us

Blossomland Learning Center
711 St. Joseph Ave.
Berrien Springs, MI 49103
Tel: 269-473-2600 ext. 1201
Fax: 269-471-9788

Principal: Tina Lawson
Tel: 269-473-2600 ext.1206
Fax: 269-471-9788
tina.lawson@berrienresa.org

Asst. Principal: Craig Kuhn
Tel: 269-473-2600 ext. 1205
Fax: 269-471-9788
craig.kuhn@berrienresa.org

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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