Lakes Partnership School (LPS) is a day treatment school for students who are currently experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges that prevent them from making progress in the public school setting. The school is a partnership between Prairie Lakes AEA, Spencer Community Schools and other northwest Iowa school districts. This is the first school of its kind in Prairie Lakes AEA and opened in September 2014. Spencer school serves as the host district as well as acts as the fiscal agent. Districts who send a student to the school are billed for the services that are provided for each individual student.
LPS is not a "forever placement," but rather a place in which students learn strategies for
student success. While at LPS, students will receive services from a multidisciplinary team
of behavior specialists, teachers, paraprofessionals, and administrators. The goal is for
placement to be short term so students can return to a least restrictive environment quickly.
Students who attend LPS work with the team to build the skills necessary to be successful
in a public school setting. This is accomplished through the application of researched
based strategies and to develop a behavior intervention plan that is individualized and
effective for each student. LPS will work collaboratively with the student’s licensed mental
health providers to ensure student needs are being met.
The school can serve approximately 18 students from kindergarten through 8th grade. The
students will be placed in one of the three classrooms – one for K-2 students, one for 3-5
students, and one for students in grades 6-8. Each classroom will have a certified Special
Education teacher, a Behavior Interventionist, and two Paraprofessionals. The students will
also be supported by a Behavior Program Specialist who will assist in developing and
supporting the appropriate Behavior Intervention Plan for each individual student. The
Prairie Lakes AEA Challenging Behavior Team works closely with the staff at LPS.
While at LPS, students receive academic instruction in the core areas from a certified
Special Education teacher. This instruction is based on the Iowa Core Standards and
individualized for each student based on his or her needs. Students receive this instruction
in a way that is best for him or her. Students use technology to access the curriculum, as
each student will have access to a Chromebook while attending LPS.
Transition back to the home school, which is the shared goal, starts at the initial intake
meeting. The criteria for returning back to the home school is determined at this initial
meeting and is individual to each student. When students are ready to begin the transition
back to their home districts, the districts will be coached in how to utilize the strategies that
were successful for the student at LPS. This would consist of the district and AEA staff
doing regular observations and visits at LPS, as well potentially sending a staff to learn the
plan for their student for a short period of time. The LPS Team and the Behavior Strategist
from the home school district will be key players in facilitating the student’s transition back
to the home school. Like all services students receive, this will be individualized and
discussed at IEP progress meetings.