How a Referral is Made to Lighthouse School

Lighthouse School has a strong commitment to communication and consistency as important criteria for quality service to your child.  All referrals to Lighthouse School come from the school district responsible for the IEP of the student, with the funding district also involved if necessary.  Authorization from the sending district is required prior to visiting Lighthouse School. This authorization is necessary even if a referral is not being made by the school district. This is to ensure that all persons involved with the responsibility of educating each student are included in the process from start to finish.

After you sign a release of information form, the school district will send a packet of information to the Supervisor for Enrollment that includes the current IEP, recent evaluations and assessments, and any other pertinent information.  This packet is reviewed by members of the Enrollment team and if the student looks like a good match for the services we provide, a visit for you and your child is arranged.

What to do when a referral is made to Lighthouse School

The Enrollment Team always reviews the referral packet to determine if the student would be able to benefit from the services available at Lighthouse School.  Close communication with your school district is maintained and you will get a call to set up a visit to Lighthouse.  Prior to this, if you would like information about Lighthouse School, you are always free to call or email.  Please gather any evaluations or other documents about your child that might not be in a school district referral packet to share during the visit.

Before your visit:

After you schedule your visit, you will receive an Application Packet with Lighthouse School brochures, directions to Lighthouse, a confirmation of the date and time of the appointment, and a Pre-Enrollment Application. Please bring the application to your visit, along with an up to date immunization list and current medical physical exam.

What is a visit to Lighthouse School like?

Visits are scheduled for two hours.  This gives us the opportunity to get to know you and your child and for you  to begin to get to know us. We hope you will have lots of questions because choosing a new school for your child is a big decision.

Some parents and guardians like to visit without the student first.  More often, parents and children come together.  You will meet with a member of the referral team who will ask you to describe your child and the services you are looking for in a school. The many services of Lighthouse School will be described to you and you will have a chance to tour the facility, observe students in lessons, meet teachers, clinicians and managers, and experience a more in-depth look at the Comprehensive Biodevelopmental Services Model.

The student is paired with a member of the referral team and tours the building. Meanwhile, an informal assessment is being made about the needs of the child and whether Lighthouse School has the programs and services to meet those needs. Visiting students also have a chance to talk with current students, teachers and clinicians.

The goal for the visit is for us to get to know your child and for you and your child to experience what it would be like for your child to become part of Lighthouse School's unique culture.  We want your child and you to feel welcomed and respected and to end your visit with knowledge about Lighthouse School and a feeling that you have been heard.

What happens after the visit?

We encourage you to communicate your feelings about Lighthouse School with your district. If you have submitted an application and the medical information requested, the Enrollment Team meets to consider all of the applications received. Sometimes, we may request additional information to be provided. Once the Enrollment Team has made a decision, the school district contact is notified and a discussion about placement and the IEP takes place.  If acceptance is the decision, the district will contact you and you will receive an Acceptance packet from Lighthouse School.

The IEP often needs to be adapted for our setting and there may be a formal team meeting scheduled prior to a start date. A placement page provided by the school district must be signed. We will ask at least one parent or guardian to come back to Lighthouse School for an Intake meeting, where consent forms and medical paperwork are completed and you meet members of the Family Division and some of the staff who will be working with your child. Meanwhile, the school district will be setting up transportation for your child. A start date will be agreed upon and when all IEP, Intake and medication-related forms have been completed, your child will begin his education at Lighthouse School.

My child is accepted to Lighthouse. What is the plan for the transition to your program?

Once your child is accepted, we get busy! We start the paperwork process to make sure the IEP is ready and we set up the Intake meeting with you. A team of Supervisors gets together to create a  Student Integration Plan to ease the student into the new program. Your child will have a primary staff person who will help him "learn the ropes" of life at Lighthouse School. Most students also have a student primary who will be their buddy for the first few days. All of the staff in your child's cluster will learn about him so that teachers, clinician's and support personnel can help ease the transition for him. At the Intake you may provide more information about your child that will be helpful to our team. There will be a group in your child's new home room to prepare the current students for getting a new student in their room.