What is a Regional Educational Service Agency

For many years Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESAs) were known as Intermediate School Districts (ISDs).  In 1962 the Michigan Legislature created ISDs to bring about quality and equitable educational opportunities to schools and students throughout Michigan.  Clinton County ISD was created in 1962 and was located on Maple Street in downtown St. Johns.  Many changes have happened since then. 

In 1972 Clinton County ISD moved to the current site of the Clinton County Educational Center on U. S. 27 in St. Johns.  The site consisted of a portable building (Walter Kyes).  In 1988 the portable was removed and the basic structure of the existing Educational Center facility was built.  During the 1994-95 school year the name was changed to Clinton County Regional Educational Service Agency (CCRESA).   With that name change came broader outreach into the community and increased services to local public school districts and non-public schools.  There are now 57 ISDs/RESAs and Regional Educational Service Districts (RESDs) across the state of Michigan.  In 2002 CCRESA moved its administrative offices including a new conference center to the SouthPoint Mall in St. Johns and shared space with Lansing Community College and the Chamber of Commerce.

Over the years, the unique roles of ISDs have adapted to include the realities of increased calls of educational accountability and choice.  For example, ISDs are helping member districts understand, comply, and implement the standards required of the complex federal No Child Left Behind law and state accreditation system.  Currently CCRESA provides technical assistance to schools in the arena of data review, teaching and learning and overall school improvement.

ISDs/RESAs/RESDs accomplish their mission in many ways.  Some are noted below, namely by:

  • Creating and promoting economies of scale.  Examples would include special education services for the entire county, a substitute teacher system operated by CCRESA and used by many constituent districts, vocational education coursework in conjunction with local districts and Lansing Community College, shared professional development across local districts and non-public schools and with other ISDs.
  • Sharing current and credible research, best practices, and innovation.  Examples would include conferences sponsored by CCRESA opened to others to attend, development of lesson plans shared across districts, assistive technology research, and learning library information.
  • Providing oversight and liaison roles.  Examples would include special education monitoring, review of annual reports and school improvement plans, gifted and talented work plans, pupil accounting, truancy assistance, etc.
  • Building and sustaining local partnerships and sharing credible research into the importance of early childhood care and education.  Examples would include Early On® Michigan serving children birth to three with special needs and their families, early childhood playgroups and home visiting through Great Parents/Great Start.
  • By working with workforce development boards, business and industry, ISDs help promote growing economics and stable communities.  Examples would include tri-county public relations work called Keep Learning...Our Future Depends On It focusing on increasing the number of college graduates in our area, the Career Preparation Program School Interview Days, and the Renaissance Program with local businesses supporting work with area students.
  • By working with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to share information, resources on new policy legislation and programs.  CCRESA manages several statewide projects for the MDE.  Examples are Early On® Training and Technical Assistance and Public Awareness, the Early On Center for HIgher Education, and Special Education Project Find.

Business Office services, Career Preparation, Innovative Projects, Educational Services, Technology Department, and Special Education all work with local partners to utilize resources in a non-duplicative fashion to maximize the scale of effort and services that can be accessed by families.