About Us

Front of Jo Brighton

Welcome to THE JO!

Providing AMAZING skill building for special needs students Downriver since 1973!

The Jo Brighton Center is a program centered around preparing students for adult life.   There are two parts to our program.  The first part is our middle and high school classrooms.  Our middle school classrooms are part of Wilson Middle School and our High School classrooms are part of Roosevelt High School.   The focus in this part of our program is on a curriculum tied to the common core essential elements.  Additionally, there is a focus on pre-vocational work, how to safely access the community, social and emotional learning, electives alongside general education peers, adapted PE and health, peer mentor programs, and many more opportunities.  The second part of our program is the skills center portion.  This is a program for students 18 to 26.  Students in this part of the program have access to a vocational curriculum tied to what employers are looking for in future employees.  Students also have access to independent living skills, work site based learning opportunities, apartment living, college experience, social skills instruction, adapted PE and reproductive health, extracurricular activities, and many more opportunities to prepare them for their future. 

Jo Brighton is a strong school community.  We believe that our students come first.  The collaborative environment that Jo Brighton has created between school staff, students, families, and the community is unique.  The students of Jo Brighton are held to high academic and vocational standards in order to prepare them for their future.  Our students not only gain job skills but they learn and become responsible citizens.  Our school community does this through our curriculum, our job training, and our positive behavior intervention program.  Students have access to technology in every classroom: SMART Boards, Chromebooks, iPads, etc. 

Our school staff works very hard to grow and learn alongside our students every day and to provide individualized instruction.  Our speech, occupational, and physical therapists work with our teachers and students to provide a comprehensive education program and to make sure students are as independent as possible.  Our support staff includes our transition coordinators, social worker, and behavior specialist that help students foster positive relationships throughout the school community as well as gain access to necessary outside services. 

Our Jo Brighton Special Athletes Program is run through Special Olympics of Michigan where students and families can form strong bonds while exploring different sports and activities. 


Photo of Josephine Brighton

Josephine Marie Brighton 1918-1973

Photo of Lincoln Jr High 1955

Jo Brighton originally Lincoln Junior High
Sunday November 12, 1955

JoBrighton, special education program housed in the former Lincoln Junior High School.  The building was built in 1955. The Principal of JoBrighton Skill Center is Katie Bradd. 

JoBrighton is for students ages 18 to 26 who are Moderately Impaired.  JoB is known for their Bakery and it is open to the public.  They have a dining room for lunch by reservation.  They also have their Work Skills Program where their students are employed throughout the downriver area.

JoBrighton was inspired by Josephine Marie Brighton 1918-1973, who was a pioneer for special education Downriver and throughout Michigan.

Josephine Marie (Jo) Brighton began her career in Wyandotte in 1948 teaching at the old Lincoln Junior High School on Oak Street. In 1951, Jo Brighton was named to the position of Teacher of the Homebound, a program she implemented the home-school telephone system that provided direct phone-line communication from the student’s bedside to the classroom. Jo Brighton also created the first program in the state for continuing the education of teenage mothers. This innovative program has become the model for similar programs throughout Michigan.

In 1973, In recognition of her dedicated service, the Wayne County intermediate school district established the Josephine Brighton Skills Center, an alternative vocational program for special education students.  Originally housed in the St. Francis Xavier School in Ecorse, the program was moved into the Hale school in Riverview in 1976 and then to the Lincoln Junior High School in Wyandotte in 1983.  Today, the skills center continues in the innovative spirit of Josephine Brighton, serving special education students from seventeen Downriver school districts.