Frequently Asked Questions

What is CHIME?

CHIME was started as a model demonstration project funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Originally, it was known as the Children's Center Handicapped Integration Model Educational (CCHIME) Project and its goal was to develop an effective model for providing special educational services at an existing child development program. The CCHIME Project was housed at the Associated Students/Children's Center at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and funded for a three-year period from October 1987 through September 1990. 

The CHIME Institute was established by Claire Cavallaro and Michele Haney, professors of in the Special Education Program at the CSUN College of Education, as a private nonprofit corporation in August 1990 to continue the work of the CCHIME Project using local funds. Its Preschool Inclusion Program was started at that time serving children from 3 to 6 years of age at the campus of California State University, Northridge. The CHIME Infant and Toddler Program established in 1991, serves children from birth through age 3 and their families.

The CHIME Charter Elementary School was established in fall 2001 and serves children from kindergarten through 5th grade. The CHIME Charter Middle School opened fall 2003 serving students in 6th to 8th grade in fall 2004. The CHIME Institute is overseen by a Board of Directors comprised of CSUN faculty, parents, and community members. In 2010, the elementary and middle schools were combined into one K-8 model and renamed CHIME Institute's Schwarzenegger Community School.

What is the Need for CHIME Educational Programs?
Demonstration sites where best educational practices in early intervention and inclusive learning communities of students, with some students in each class receiving special education services alongside their typically developing and gifted peers, are needed for further research and training. 

What is unique about the CHIME Infant and Toddler Programs?
The program is unique in its provision of transdisciplinary; developmentally appropriate early intervention programs in community and home settings. A team of professional staff including credentialed early intervention specialists (special education teachers), speech and language pathologist and physical therapist provide multidisciplinary assessment, program planning, and evaluation. 

What is unique about the CHIME Preschool Inclusion Program?
The CHIME Preschool and Kindergarten Inclusion Program is unique in its provision of a transdisciplinary, developmentally appropriate program, special education services and support for inclusion in a general education setting. The program operates at the CSUN Child and Family Studies Center, a demonstration and research site. 

What is unique about the CHIME Institute's Schwarzenegger Community School?
CHIME Institute's Schwarzenegger Community School is a multi-cultural school dedicated to meeting and exceeding California content standards by emphasizing each students’ strengths and accommodating different learning needs. We are an inclusive community with fully credentialed teachers and a collaborative approach which teams parents, teachers, CSUN faculty and CSUN students to best meet the needs of all students in the general education environment. 

What is a charter school?
A charter school is a tuition free, nonsectarian public school of choice that operates independently, with freedom from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools. The "charter" establishing each such school is a performance contract detailing the school's mission, program, goals, students served, methods of assessment, and ways to measure success. A charter school is usually able to hire its own staff but can be closed for failure to meet its promises regarding student performance or for financial mismanagement.

What are charter schools like?
Charter schools are public schools of choice, meaning teachers and students choose them, and are very diverse. They operate with freedom from many regulations that apply to traditional public schools: some emphasize college prep; others feature science, technology or performing arts.  Charter schools generally offer teachers, families, and students more authority to make decisions than most traditional public schools. Instead of being accountable for compliance with rules and regulations, they are accountable for academic results and for upholding their charter.  

The inclusion programs at CHIME Charter Schools use a co-teaching model between general and special education teachers that not only meet the learning needs of students with disabilities, but also provide for richer and more active learning experiences for typically developing and gifted students. At the heart of our community culture is academic excellence paired with understanding and tolerance of diversity and the development of social consciousness. Our schools are proof that students from any background can succeed as long as they have a committed teaching staff that is empowered to make a difference for the students they serve.” 

Upcoming Events
  CHIME Distance Learning
  COVID-19 Community Report
  K-8 Charter School Prospective Parent Virtual Tour
7/2 Reopening Protocols for K-12 Schools Appendix T1 (Revised 7/2/2021)
6/28 DRAFT 2022-23 LCAP Plan for Board approval 6/28/22
8/9 CHIME Charter School Meeting - 8/9/22 at 6:00 pm - Agenda - Zoom Link
8/9 CHIME Institute Board of Directors Meeting -8/9/22 at 6:45 pm - Agenda - Zoom Link

Imagine a world where all children are equally valued, a world where all children are seen as a gift.
CHIME Early Childhood
Infant/Toddler Program
Tel: 818-677-2922
CHIME Preschool
Inclusion Program
Tel: 818-677-2922
CHIME Institute's Schwarzenegger
Community School
Tel: 818-346-5100