Beaver Island Lighthouse School
Alternative Education School
The Beaver Island Lighthouse school is a co-educational, residential high school for students ages 16-19 who may be having difficulty making positive choices in the areas of academics and social environments. Classes include math, science, English, and social studies. Students also learn responsibilities in a work environment and have the opportunity to enjoy camping trips and other outdoor activities. Personal enrichment in group counseling, career awareness, and presentations by agency professionals on relevant youth issues are incorporated into the curriculum.
Beaver Island Lighthouse School is supported by the collaborative effort of Northwest Michigan Works!, Networks Northwest, Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, and Charlevoix Public Schools.
The Beaver Island Lighthouse (sometimes referred to as Beaver Head Light Station or South End Light Station) is located on the beautiful, rustic, south end of Beaver Island, and has the distinction of being listed as a significant site in the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes.
Charlevoix Public Schools has owned this site since 1975. Since that time, they have collaborated with Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District and Networks Northwest to provide work experience programs to disadvantaged youth, alternative education programs to youth at risk of not completing high school, and have worked diligently to preserve this important piece of our nation’s history.
The Beaver Island Lighthouse School was featured nationally in a recent article and video essay by the Associated Press:
- Tiny Island School a Beacon for Wayward Teens by Martha Irvine, AP National Writer, The Associated Press
- "Amazing story - reading it made my grey day seem so much better. Here on icy Eastern Long Island - probably nothing compared to your weather! You made me want to pack up and come there to volunteer my time with these students in this incredible environment. Of course, you can't win them all - but sounds like you are making such a difference - please send me emails and continuing information about the school. Maybe one day I will be in a position to help. Thank you for the inspirational story."
--D. McCarron, East Hampton, NY
- "It was an honor for Beth and me to be a part of the Beaver Island Lighthouse School graduation and to present the first 10-10-10 Scholarship Award to the Valedictorian. I was very impressed with the dedicated staff and the love between students and staff."
--M. Gillingham, Chicago
- "I just read an article written by Martha Irvine dated January 24th, about your lighthouse school on Beaver Island. How wonderful that these kids have a place to go and get their diploma. May thanks to those who are involved in this educational project."
- "May your efforts continue to bear such magnificent results as shown here. What ever the question, love is the answer."
- "I just read the story, about your school and got a little dusty myself. Keep up the great work, these kids need you. How can we help the school out at (our) end?"
--D. Carrier, Waterford, Michigan
- "I just read a long article about your school that appeared on my Wowway Internet news page. As a community college instructor and as a fellow human being, I am very impressed with and appreciative of the work that the staff does there and the success and drive that your students have to succeed. Congratulations on a job well done and that, hopefully, continues to be well done."
- "Great story!!! Wish we had a bunch more alternative schools like this one all over the country for young people falling through the cracks and just not fitting in. Keep up the great work you're doing for these precious young people."
- "Good news to learn about your wonderful school. Thanks for all you do!"
--B. Bauer, Ph.D.
- "Greetings from Baltimore, Maryland!! I just read an article on your school and really felt the need to commend you on what your doing for those kids. I'm speaking as someone who in 1994 would of loved to know of your school...I was a mess who got kicked out of school half way though 11th grade. Keep helping those kids become successful citizens of society. I've since got a GED but always dreamed of walking across a stage to graduate. Keep giving them that chance...tell the kids to keep going because when you're 34 like me, a little thing like walking across a stage to get a diploma is still something that hurts me. I feel like i really missed out on an the experience to enter adulthood the right way. Don't let them miss not one tiny experience."
- "I was just reading a story about your school by the AP, and it started getting a little dusty in my living room!"
- "I have read this at least 20 times lately, and I attended this school, had a lot going on back home on mainland and droped out, only wish to go back!!! it definitely made such a difference in my life! I matured, and I made a change!!! yet such an amazing place!!"
- "I can not express my gratitude to the teachers and staff for the job they do! I will always have wonderful, thoughtful wishes for all that helped us shape our son in to the wonderful young man he's become with an education. We all certainly formed a life long bond!"
- "I have talked to many teenagers through the years that have gone to this school and they all loved it. I have enjoyed taking the teenagers on nature walks and I have cut firewood for boiler. The staff have always been a pleasure to deal with. A fine school on an absolutely beautiful Island."