Behind the Scenes
Trial and Error
In the fall of 1999, the Big Rapids Community Learning Center (CLC) began at the middle school. Approximately 30 percent of the school staff signed on, and several new staff members were hired to help. One of the biggest challenges was keeping the lines of communication open for regular and after-school teachers, because the new after-school program took place during a time previously used for a meeting between these groups. E-mail became the primary means of communication between regular teachers and after-school staff. It also became an efficient way of tracking students' progress.
As the CLC begins its second year, more of the school staff are invested and involved. Enrollment is up, and new goals are on the agenda: better curriculum connections, regular meeting times for staff, more recruitment of high-risk students, increased parent involvement, and training for staff. There is strong collaboration among the CLC, the middle school, the district administration, and the community.