Special Education & Programs

Denise Reisig, Director | (269) 926-3123 | [email protected]

Sherry Fudge, Secretary | (269) 926-3128 | [email protected]

2580 S. Cleveland Avenue St. Joseph, Michigan 49085
FAX: (269) 428-0333


Every child in the St. Joseph Public School District has a dream, but not all of our children follow the same academic paths to reach them.

At St. Joseph Public Schools we offer a variety of dynamic programs that thrive outside the traditional K-12 curriculum to increase your child’s academic success. Here are some of the opportunities that may fit your son or daughter’s needs.

Extra Help

If your child needs extra help to succeed in a subject area, it’s available from Kindergarten through 5th grade. Each of our elementary schools offers federally funded Title I and State funded Section 31A remediation programs. School social workers are also available to provide guidance services. As a team, we will set strategies, identify resources and develop programs for your child’s special needs.

Speech Language Pathologists

St. Joseph Public Schools provides speech language pathology services for all district residents, from pre-school age through high school. Our Speech Language Pathologists are fully licensed and certified. All have master’s degrees, with extensive experience. Services are provided at all district school buildings.

Specialized Programs

If your child has special educational needs, we offer county wide specialized programs to help meet their educational needs.

  • Hearing Impaired
  • Visually Impaired
  • Specific Learning Disabled
  • Early Childhood Developmental Delay
  • Severely Multiply Impaired
  • Speech & Language Impaired
  • Physically Impaired
  • Otherwise Health Impaired
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Emotionally Impaired
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

When possible, your child will learn in a regular classroom. We will provide academic assistance in the most challenging subject areas. However, if it is in your child’s best interest to be in a specialized school, we work with the Berrien RESA to meet your child's needs.

Determining Specific Learning Disability

For determining the existence of a Specific Learning Disability in Special Education our district will use a process of analyzing a Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses. For more detailed information on this process please consult the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency website:


Early Childhood Developmentally Delayed Program (ECDD) - (269) 926-3605
ECDD focuses on language comprehension, expression and socialization skills so children are prepared for either a traditional classroom or one geared to their learning abilities. Enrollment is available to families in the St. Joseph Public School system. Students from other districts may be accepted on a space-available basis. For more information, please contact the Director of Special Education.

Lighthouse Education Center

379 West Glenlord
(269) 429-2351

The curriculum offered at this site is for children with severe emotional or autistic impairments. Courses emphasize personal responsibility, appropriate decision-making skills, and the development of socially acceptable behavior.

Your child will receive basic educational services, plus pre-vocational, vocational, and work study program experiences. Ultimately, the teachers and administrative staff hope your child will develop the skills and behavior necessary for re-entering a regular classroom.

Programs are available for;

  • Severely Emotionally Impaired (SEI) students with severe emotional behavior problems. Classroom programs serve students ages 6 through 25.
  • Autistic Impaired (ASD) students who typically have severe speech and language delays, behavioral disorders and unusual or repetitive motor movements. The program serves ages 3 through 25.

Blossomland Learning Center

711 St. Joseph Avenue, Berrien Springs
(269) 473-2600

If your child, age 3 through 26 years old, is diagnosed as moderately or severely cognitive impaired, the Blossomland Learning Center offers an upbeat, positive learning environment. The staff helps each child more fully develop his or her intellectual and personal skills, self-confidence, independence and social acceptance in the community.

Operating much like a traditional school, the students serve on Student Council, participate in athletic events such as Special Olympics and create special memories at prom and other school events.

Hearing Impaired Program

(269) 471-7724

The Berrien Springs Hearing Impaired Program provides educational services for students with hearing losses from Berrien and Cass and Van Buren counties. This program is operated by the Berrien Springs Public Schools and is funded by the Berrien RESA. Students may receive services in classrooms in Berrien Springs, through teacher consultants who see the students in their local districts, or teachers who see infants and toddlers at home, as determined in the IEP process. The program also has on site audiologists for diagnostics and follow up for students with suspected and verified hearing problems.

Southside Program

(269) 683-0421

Niles operates center-based programs for low-incidence special education students needing full-time placement.

A program is available for Pre-Vocational Studies students who have below-average abilities. Most students follow a curriculum that prepares them for independent living, although some achieve a high school diploma. This program serves ages 16 through 25.

Early On Berrien RESA Infant/Toddler Program

(269) 471-7725
The Berrien RESA Early-On program is an inter-agency collaboration that coordinates special programs and services for children from birth to three years old. This service involves both parent and child.

Services include:

  • Speech Language Pathology
  • Audiology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Psychological Services
  • Service Coordination
  • Diagnostic Medical Services
  • Early Identification
  • Infant through Preschool Screening and Assessment Services
  • Health Services
  • Social Work Services
  • Vision Services
  • Adaptive Equipment
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Family Skill Training
  • Counseling Home Visits
  • Special Instruction (teaching)

For more Early On information, visit https://www.berrienresa.org/education_services/early_childhood_education/early_on_and_build_up_michigan