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February/March 2010

Branch Christian Community School
Christian Focused, Forward Thinking
by Julie Edwards

 
Firmly rooted in traditional values while offering a progressive approach to education, Branch Christian Community School in Lawrenceville provides a unique learning environment for students from pre-kindergarten through 9th grade.

An independent, non-denominational Christian school fully accredited with the Georgia Accrediting Commission, Branch Christian maintains a Christ-centered approach in all areas of instruction. Classroom ratios are low, ranging from 12:1 for elementary to 15:1 for middle grades/high school. All staff members are trained to implement instruction through the Branch Learning Process while all core staff (language, math, history and science) must have at least a four-year degree and specialize in a core subject.

At the heart of Branch Christian is the Branch Learning Process, a multisensory, layered approach to learning that is based on neurological development. Combined with methodically structured organizational procedures, the Branch Process supports and challenges each learner in an environment that focuses on individual success.

“We’re a ‘brain-based’ school that stresses an individual approach to learning and a balance between academics, the arts and physical education, which we believe gives students the best opportunity to succeed,” says Janice Sinclair, head of Education for Branch Christian.

The Branch Process also provides a supportive and challenging learning environment for students with dyslexia, processing delays, ADHD, and other learning differences. At Branch Christian, these students are taught by the same methods within the structure of mainstream classes.

In 2009, Branch Christian celebrated its 20th anniversary and, at the same time, launched its four-year plan to add grades 9-12 to its curriculum. “In 2009, we added 9th grade classes, in 2010, we’ll add 10th, in 2011, 11th grade and in 2012, 12th grade, which will also be the year of our first graduating class,” Sinclair says.

 
In 2010, the school plans to develop some of its property (the school owns 5.5 acres of which only 2.5 acres is being utilized) by constructing a gymnasium-size structure, half of which will house a gym and the other half of which will house classrooms.

“Throughout our history, the school has had slow, productive growth, which makes sense for our school and has worked well for our progress,” Sinclair says. “This approach has allowed us to perfect the curriculum at each level as we add new coursework or classes before we continue to the next step.”

Branch Christian accepts applications from and enrolls students and families with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. While the school is focused on Bible-based learning, unlike some Christian schools, Branch Christian does not require that students be Christian in order to attend the school. Rather, Sinclair says the “goal is to build a learning environment and community of like-minded individuals and families.”







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