In 2008, Wedgwood Christian Services (a nonprofit social service 501c3 agency) applied for and received a Strict Discipline charter contract through Ferris State University to provide educational services to expelled, court placed and special education students through Lighthouse Academy. One of the legal requirements was that Lighthouse had to become a separate legal entity from Wedgwood, which was done at this time. The school began educating students under the charter in 2008 under the management of a for-profit Educational Service provider (ESP).
The students served by Lighthouse required lower student to teacher ratios and special skills to increase the likelihood of their success. This combination of needs increases the cost to effectively operate the school. One way to reduce the school's expenses was to reduce the management cost by having a non-profit ESP. However, after a statewide review of ESP's, it became very evident that there was a need for a nonprofit ESP.
In October 2010, Integrity Educational Services was established to provide support services for schools serving urban and rural poor at-risk children. In this role IES seeks to develop a comprehensive range of efficient and cost effective management services for charter schools that seek to provide high quality education. These services will enable schools under contract to maximize their resources to bring the best possible educational services to children from a variety of disadvantaged situations.
Since then, IES has begun to manage Hope Academy - a sister charter school to Lighthouse Academy which serves at-risk children and youth in urban Grand Rapids.
As we continue to grow we fully expect to work with schools throughout the State of Michigan.