There is evidence of organizations similar to intermediate districts throughout the country dating back to the 1800’s, when most school districts were very small, rural and often isolated. There was a need for an agency to provide a variety of services for the districts, as well as the state, and county governments were the logical choice.
The official creation of county boards of education in Michigan took place in 1935. The boards were to oversee the districts, enforce rules and regulations, gather data for the State, coordinate the distribution of State funds, and provide other compliance, support and instructional services. Each county in the State had a board of education.
Legislation in 1962 created 83 Intermediate School Districts, one in each county in the State, replacing the county boards of education. The legislation required districts with less than 5,000 students to annex with a neighboring district within a three year period. In 1965, the annexation of Houghton, Baraga and Keweenaw counties was completed, forming the Copper Country Intermediate School District. There are now 57 ISD’s in the State.
The Copper Country ISD is a service agency that provides special support services, special help and special equipment to educators in its 13 constituent local school districts; in addition to serving as a liaison office between the districts and the Michigan Department of Education. The responsibilities and role of the ISD have grown over the years in proportion to the needs of its constituents and in accordance with State and Federal