Calhoun Christian School recognizes that children are a gift from God and are unique individuals created in His image. Therefore, all children are valuable to us. Not all children learn the same and some children have special needs that make learning more difficult for them. It is our aim to help these children overcome the obstacles that hinder their learning and to provide them with the tools necessary to be successful as a student at CCS. All children have value in God's eyes and so we will take every opportunity to encourage them and help them to feel part of their classes.
Beginning in the fall of 2018, we are pleased to launch an inclusive education classroom for qualifying students in PreK through 3rd grade. An inclusive education classroom provides services and support for students with unique needs, as well as students with mild to moderate physical, cognitive and/or emotional challenges. These students will spend the majority of their time in the general education classroom with other students in their grades. However, they will also have a special education teacher who works with them in order to provide additional, specific services. Our inclusive education classroom is being modeled after the highly successful program at Zeeland Christian School. We are working with the Christian Learning Center Network as we build a program that includes all of God's children.
These inclusive education students will be a tremendous blessing to our school community. Not only will we be able to provide these students with a high quality, Christ-centered education; they will provide all of our students with the opportunity to practice living out their faith as they daily interact with students whom God has uniquely gifted.
While we recognize that we may not be able to accommodate all children with special needs, every effort will be made to provide an honest assessment of their learning needs and identify ways in which we can (or can learn to) help. For students performing above or below grade level an academic accommodation plan should be entered into between the teacher and the parents on behalf of the students. Also, while we recognize that this individualized intervention plan is not an official IEP, we commit to providing this opportunity for any child who demonstrates a need. As a board, administration, and staff, we will model a Christ-like attitude toward children with special needs which we believe will filter down to the parents and students in the school.
In addition, Calhoun Christian School works with the Calhoun Intermediate School District (CISD) to provide students with some special education services. Through the CISD we are able to provide speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, school social work, and teacher consultant services. These services are only available through the IEP process and are written as a Service Plan for CCS students.
Calhoun Christian School is committed to meeting the academic needs of our students.
Biblical Basis for Inclusion
Chrisitan Learning Center Network provided us with a book titled "Any Questions: A Guidebook for Inclusive Education" by Barbara Newman. The following is her answer to the question "Is there a Biblical basis for inclusion?".
"The most compelling reason to launch an inclusion program is the Biblical support for developing an inclusive community. After reviewing passages about the body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12 and passages about accepting other in Romans 15, it becomes clear that God intends for us to live together as an integrated body of believers.
But why, might you ask, does God consider it so important for us to live in inclusive community? We often enjoy the company of peers who are like us. Sometimes differences make us uncomfortable. Is inclusion really so important in God's vision that we alter our educational system to accommodate those with differences in our schools? YES! Where better to become comfortable with the beauty of God's diversity and our responsibility to incorporate it into our lives than as a young child at school.
One of the reasons we are asked to function as one body, recognizing God's image in those around us and celebrating these differences, is that my times there ar leassons to learn from one another. We would contend that those who deny themselves the chance to be around those with disabilities are missing out on many opportunities from God."