Director’s Message

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Eileen Lake, Director of Coutin School

It is my pleasure to welcome you to Coutin School.

My name is Eileen Lake, and I am the Director at Coutin. My father, Harvey Coutin, opened Coutin School in 1978 and helped it to grow into an inclusive learning environment for children who were not getting their needs met in a regular education setting. A few years ago, I took over as Director of Coutin School. At that time I made the commitment to continue the tradition of “loving structure” that my father started many years ago.

Today we are a thriving and nurturing community of students, faculty, counselors and support staff that often feel more like a family than a school. We offer small classrooms, a teacher assistant for every class, and an academic curriculum that is geared toward graduating with a diploma after 12th grade. Graduation Day is my favorite day of the year, as each graduating senior has an opportunity to share their gratitude and inspirations, often recognizing particular staff members for helping them reach a milestone they had always thought was out of reach. The best part of this job is seeing students graduate, diploma in hand, having built a personal foundation of coping skills, academic competence, and self-advocacy, ready to experience success in reaching their personal and vocational goals.

As you explore our school, you will see that we balance our academics with fun and rewarding enrichment classes during the regular school year and during our Mini-Courses. Our Rewards Program utilizes a behavior management program emphasizing personal responsibility and accountability and culminating in weekly activities that each student can earn. Workability provides job training (and a paycheck) in the community, field trips provide community service and college campus exploration, and our creative faculty provide opportunities for arts, music, and performing.

In addition to Graduation Day, I especially enjoy seeing the students participate in our Annual Live Night Talent Show, Halloween Festival, Thanksgiving Feast, Team Sports Games and many other special events throughout the year.

Feel free to call and find out when our Open House or Talent Show or Graduation is taking place if you want to see us in action!

As a nonpublic school, all our students have IEPs to attend, and are funded through private tuition, charter schools or local school districts. If you are interested in finding out more about Coutin and seeing for yourself if it is the right fit for your child, I invite you to call the main office at 818-992-0301 and set up a tour.

Eileen Lake
MFT, Director, Coutin School


"Almost a year later I can’t believe the changes in my daughter; she likes school, she’s made friends, she loves her teachers and especially loves Laurelle, her one-on-one teacher’s aide, and also her driver, Albert."

–Patty Flores, Coutin Parent

Coutin School