Special Education

Special Education Programs & Services

Berrien RESA offers a diverse array of services related to the education of students with disabilities, such as:

  • Offering center-based programs for emotionally impaired (Lighthouse Education Center) and Cognitively Impaired (Blossomland Learning Center) students.
  • Writing and overseeing federal grants on behalf of local school districts including grants for Early On, Early On Monitoring, Early On IFERS, Preschool, America Recovery & Reinvestment Act and Flow-through and 1512 reporting.
  • Conducting monthly meetings with special education coordinators and directors on all topics relevant to students with disabilities.
  • Providing input into the monthly Superintendent Advisory Committee meetings on all issues relative to special education and Medicaid.
  • Providing a presence at all regularly scheduled meetings with Berrien County Principals, Academic Coordinating Officials and School Business Officials, to provide information and input relative to school operations and students with disabilities.
  • Facilitating and processing special education approvals and endorsements for the local districts.
  • Providing and maintaining updates to Personnel Reports for special education staff members.
  • Coordinating the collection, oversight and review of multiple forms relative to special education including the 4096 Special Education Actual Cost Report, 4094 transportation reports, data collection relative to the State Performance Plan, Section 53, 4747, and many others.
  • Maintaining the special education student registry for Berrien County.
  • Providing all Medicaid billing activities (forms development, monthly reports tracking, and billing services) as well as provides training, online support and record keeping.
  • Serving as a liaison for the county to the state for Medicaid billing.
  • Participating in meetings and forums with Community Mental Health, Department of Community Health, MPCB, Berrien County Health Department, Juvenile Justice System, and other community agencies as a representative for the schools.
  • Providing daily on call support for districts, agencies and parents with questions or concerns about Early On, special education and Section 504 programs.
  • Facilitating a continuum of service provision for the county, including providing funding for regional/center programs for the hearing impaired, mild cognitively impaired, emotionally impaired and for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in local districts.
  • Providing direct services and program provision for the most severely impaired students for all of the local districts.
  • Planning and conducting regularly scheduled meetings for parents with students in Berrien RESA’s county-wide programs.
  • Updating a website for parents, educators, and administrators with all forms, procedures and guidelines relative to special education. This involves working with other state agencies, the Michigan Department of Education, and attorneys to have accurate and updated information.
  • Providing all Early On Services (forms, screening and services) for children 0 to 3 who are identified as needing special education for all of Berrien County. Berrien RESA also provides Early On services for a number of community agencies.
  • Coordinating transition services for local districts and developing required forms and all professional development activities associated with transition.
  • Managing shared services agreements with Michigan Rehabilitative Services on behalf of the districts to expand transition services.
  • Providing continuous improvement monitoring for transition and Early On for local districts.
  • Providing training, oversight and updates forms for the preschool State Performance Plan Indicators.
  • Employing all school psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, visually impaired and orientation and mobility specialists to provide services for local district students.
  • Employing all transition coordinators, Autism Spectrum Disorder, cognitively impaired, emotionally impaired and learning disabled teachers and staff for Berrien County school districts.
  • Providing Continuous Improvement Monitoring (CIMS) oversight, training and support for local districts to develop onsite teams, as well as aiding with CIMS workbook documentation and record keeping.
  • Conducting complaint resolution activities in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Education for all local districts.
  • Facilitating and providing support to the Parent Advisory Committee for Special Education, including hosting monthly meetings and supporting an annual recognition awards banquet.
  • Providing an Autism Spectrum Disorder Parent/Educator Resource Library.
  • Serving as the lead agency in development, training and support for a Research to Intervention (RTI) model for local districts.
  • Arranging Therapeutic Crises Intervention Training for all local districts.
  • Arranging surrogate parent training through the Berrien County Parent Advisory Committee to serve as temporary guardians for students at local districts.
  • Providing wrap-around and consulting services for students with autism spectrum disorder receiving services in local districts.
  • Facilitating and supporting the development of a Southwest Regional Autism Resource network (a part of the State Intensive Training Network for Autism).
  • Providing county and regional training related to autism for parents, educators and paraprofessionals.
  • Providing educational services at the Berrien County Juvenile Detention Facility.
  • Overseeing Project Find, the public awareness and referral service designed to locate, identify and refer all children, youth and young adults with disabilities who may be eligible for special education.
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