History of Lakeland School

Walworth County has historically provided a first-class educational environment for students with the greatest needs.

Walworth County is recognized as being the first rural County in the nation to demonstrate that it’s towns, villages, and cities can cooperate in a cost efficient manner and share the cost associated with providing educational opportunities for children with disabilities. Walworth County’s long history and commitment of educational initiatives dates back to 1949 when Sheridan Ellsworth, the County Superintendent, asked for assistance from school administrators, parents, and others active in the communities to help develop an effective rural approach to educate mentally handicapped students, referred today as cognitively disabled students.

Programs and facilities for students with special needs in Walworth County have expanded from a leased basement in the Elkhorn VFW building, sufficient space to educate the fourteen students who were first enrolled in September 1950, to a full range of services available today. Lakeland School is one option within that range of services — a large self-contained facility which serves the needs of approximately 200 Walworth County students with a wide range of special needs. Students are placed in programs such as Lakeland School, based on an IEP team determination of need. Less restrictive, mainstream options are always considered prior to placement. Parents and other members of the IEP team are encouraged to explore all options to endorse the program and placement most appropriate for each student.

Today, Lakeland School offers a highly structured program offering significant modifications in curriculum, for students with disabilities ages 3 to 21. We have been at our new location of W3905 County Rd NN, Elkhorn, Wisconsin, since September of 2008.

Explore the history of special education and of the Walworth County Children with Disabilities Education Board (CDEB) -- Lakeland School -- through the links on the right.

You can also view an Interactive Timeline at this link.