The 2016/2017 school year is in the books and it was a great year! Our on-campus facility, Ashmun School, completed its first year of partnership with Lighthouse Academy, a charter school system out of Grand Rapids, with amazing results.

The new system allowed students to earn credits toward graduation while also learning skills needed to navigate normal school stressors- something many of our kids struggled to do before. Two students graduated and received their diplomas during the school year, a first in our almost 50 years of operation!

The partnership with Lighthouse Academy developed in the summer of 2016 when our President and CEO, Cathey Prudhomme, wanted to try a new system for educating the kids staying with us during the school year.

“The kids we serve have been through abuse, trauma, and very difficult pasts,” says Prudhomme. “We knew we needed to meet them where they were emotionally AND in terms of their education. We looked at our options and decided to move away from a computer-based mode of learning in favor of real classrooms with instructors the kids could interact with.”

After quick renovations last summer, we relaunched Ashmun School under the direction of Lighthouse Academy in Grand Rapids in September.

“The results of this school year make it very clear to us that we made the right decision,” says Prudhomme. “We have seen such improvements in our kids and the quality of their education. The kids prefer it too. They like being able to switch classes, have variety in their day, get up and move, have some interaction with people…. This is a much better solution for all of the kids we work with.”

Our school year concluded on June 27 with an awards assembly and picnic to celebrate the success of everyone involved. Watch the pies-in-the-face and other festivities here:

The kids will have a short summer break and then be back in class at the end of July.

Way to go Ashmun School kids and staff! We are so proud of you!