Touring the U.S. 10 Corridor

OSCEOLA COUNTY – There is only so much information that can be understood through a report, only so much that can be gained through analyzing data.

On Wednesday, Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District board members and Superintendent Curt Finch toured the classrooms of Ashmun School at Eagle Village, Pineview Homes and the Muskegon River Youth Home with Big Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Tim Haist, Morley Stanwood Community Schools Superintendent Roger Cole and Mike Miller, Career Center principal.

The MOISD operates the schools at each of these facilities along the U.S. 10 Corridor, partnering with staff at each location to meet the educational needs of residential youth.

“Traditionally the whole corridor was set up for counseling, and education as an afterthought,” Finch said.

The visit allowed the group to see the environment of each building and talk with students about their learning experience.

“It’s nice that we are able to tour to have hands-on, face-to-face time with some of our staff and see what goes on in these buildings because they are not typical, regular school buildings,” said Marie Wilkerson, president of the MOISD school board. “Seeing the staff and the wonderful things they can do to help these students learn from their own mistakes and how they can improve their lives is very important.”

“We have made so much progress over the years,” added Sheri Thompson, MOISD school board vice president. “We are bringing better services to these kids and helping them attain goals that they haven’t before.”

One such advancement is the use of e2020, an online educational curriculum in place at Ashmun School and Pineview that allows students to work at their own pace.

“As great as e2020 is, we know that is not good for a student with ADHD all day long,” said Emily Adema, MOISD supervisor of the U.S. 10 Corridor. “Being able to find that hybridized schedule is very important.”

Adema estimated between 50 and 60 percent of the students the MOISD serves at the three facilities are special education. Many youth are court-ordered to each location due to situations such as abuse or neglect, delinquency or felony offenses.

For MOISD school board Treasurer Larry Sredersas, touring the schools for the first time and seeing the students and staff interact was an eye-opening opportunity.

“It’s nice to see there is a place for troubled students to go instead of just being turned away,” Sredersas said.