The Christian Learning Center (CLC) Network is an organization of experts in inclusive education. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they have been partnering with private, faith-based schools and churches for almost 30 years to create inclusive communities for persons at all levels of ability and disability. Given that private schools are not required by law, as are publicly funded schools, to educate children with special needs, the CLC’s work is critical for any parent that has a child with a disability and who prefers a private, faith-based education for their child.
They currently partner with over 60 schools in eight states, primarily in Michigan and nearby midwest states. However, they have traveled throughout the United States to work with schools and churches that desire an inclusive community. They provide access to educational consultants, school psychologists, and a wealth of resources, including books, curriculum, online webinars, and research-based articles to schools and churches who are interested in creating an intentionally inclusive environment.
The CLC works alongside Christian schools to transform teaching for all students – from children with mild learning disorders to children with more moderate or severe disabilities to gifted children and everyone in between. They seek to address student’s learning challenges before problems arise through Response to intervention (RtI). Their goal is to assess areas of gifts and needs in children, and to assist the general and special education staff at faith-based schools to support each student so that every individual they educate is challenged to reach their potential.
The CLC creates customized consulting approaches, as each school is different. Their process includes:
- Comprehensive Site Studies: Evaluation of school’s readiness and capacity to serve students with atypical needs and a roadmap to go forward.
- Professional Development and Teacher Training: Provide best practices for teaching from a Christian perspective.
- Academically Talented Online Courses: Middle school students receive instruction at an intellectual and emotionally-appropriate level with teacher-directed online courses.
- Educational Evaluation: Evaluate students to better understand their strengths and areas of need.
- Best Practice Education Consulting: Provide strategies and tools for including students with a variety of needs in the general classroom.
The CLC Network combines their inclusive educational expertise with their passion for inclusive worship through inclusive worship environments with training workshops, observation and consultation services, and church site studies.