CHIME Institute’s Schwarzenegger Community School, which has extensive ties to California State University, Northridge, has been awarded the 2013 Grazer Outstanding Achievement in award by state officials.
The award, funded by Hollywood producer Brian Grazer’s family, recognizes exemplary practices in special education and celebrates programs that serve California youth with disabilities. CHIME officials received the award earlier this month at a meeting of the California Advisory Commission on Special Education at the California Department of Education.
“We have a responsibility to provide all of our students in California with the education, support and tools necessary to realize their dreams,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson when he announced the award. “I commend CHIME for its exceptional work educating our youth and hope others can learn from its academic and social achievement in educating students of all abilities.”
CHIME Executive Director Erin Studer said school officials were honored to receive the award.
“This award validates our work and shines a light on the power of inclusive education for all children,” Studer said. “I hope this recognition draws attention to the fact that schools really can be places in which all children, regardless of ability or background, can be welcomed and honored; that schools really can become communities in which each child has the chance to realize their full potential.”
Inclusive education at CHIME means that children who reflect the demographics of the surrounding region—including children who develop typically, children with special needs and children who are gifted—learn side by side. CHIME’s model allows for the individual needs of each child to be addressed in a manner that enhances his or her strengths, while also providing educational progress.
“The CHIME Institute’s Schwarzenegger Community School is quite deserving of the recognition and exemplifies the kind of powerful partnership that exists between CSUN and the community that ensures that all students receive a high quality education,” said Michael Spagna, dean of CSUN’s Michael D. Eisner College of Education.
The CHIME Institute’s Schwarzenegger Community School, located in Woodland Hills, is an independent school that provides free public education for children in kindergarten through eighth grade through affiliation with the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school serves as a demonstration and teacher-training site for the Eisner College of Education.
The school is part of the CHIME Institute, a national leader in developing and implementing model educational programs and dynamic research and training environments to disseminate best practices in inclusive education. The institute’s research and training center is housed in the Eisner College of Education. The CHIME Institute also offers an infant/toddler program and preschool/kindergarten program that is located at CSUN. CHIME has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a national model for full inclusion of students with disabilities and for providing a blueprint for local schools across the country.