LCA Fergus Falls Remodel
Given our role as a service cooperative, the Lakes Country Academy (LCA) continues to strive to meet the needs of our member districts. This includes working closely with our regional director of special education to design specific programs for students with special needs.
The SUN program (Students with Unique Needs) supports students with cognitive, communication and behavioral challenges. Research indicates that students with these needs require a structured quiet space, with specialized materials to make progress within a school setting. At times, our districts are unable to support this level of service. This is when a separate program can be very helpful for our schools, our families, and our students.
Over the past couple of years, the LCA in Fergus Falls was unable to meet district needs by not accepting some student referrals to the program due to inadequate space, design, and staffing. The LCA in Alexandria supports students needing a SUN program but transporting students for over an hour was not an option.
Looking to better serve our districts and students, discussions were facilitated with our member districts. Within these discussions, our member districts indicated that they would like us to consider options and the possibility of designing a new program in the Fergus Falls area.
After looking at different options, the member districts preferred to expand/remodel our current site in Fergus Falls prior to adding any other new programs/buildings in other locations, as it proved to be the most efficient and effective use of resources. We joined classrooms to create a larger space, created a separate entrance to support our more vulnerable students, and now have the materials and training required to support our staff.
Completing this construction grants the LCA the ability to accept students with unique needs. We now have the space, safety measures, specialized materials, and highly trained staff available to serve students and districts and develop the SUN program.