Admissions

The Learning Center

About The Learning Center


The Learning Center provides a truly individualized, comprehensive, educational program for students grades 6 and up who have more significant needs. Located on the 威尼斯赌博游戏手机版 campus, The Learning Center is a 3,900+ square foot, state-of-the-art, learning facility complete with simulated home and work environments and academic classrooms. It is designed for 30+ students. Students receive integrated therapy, modified Upper School curricula, and post-secondary training.

Celebrating the Individual

Often, those with disabilities are placed in classes with such a mix of students that it is difficult to recognize and therefore address individual students’ needs. We provide a tailor-made approach to educating your student, offering a more effective model than the self-contained classroom. Here’s how it’s done:

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  • Low Student-to-Staff Ratio

    Our ratio, approximately 3 to 1, is in place to ensure that each student is engaged as an individual. This enables our staff to identify and implement meaningful, inclusive opportunities, to customize schedules, and to provide the best learning strategies for each student.
  • Individual Assessment

    Constantly assessing each student as an individual is key to creating optimal learning experiences—both inside and outside the classroom. Our staff is able and eager to customize community involvement and to implement job training opportunities that are specific to each student’s interests, as well as abilities. This individual attention gives students the confidence and tools they need to become engaged in their communities both while they are with us and—more importantly—once they have graduated.

    The Learning Center seeks to provide the maximum impact in academic, therapeutic, post-secondary, and independent living domains of growth. This looks different for every student, and we are committed to helping every student grow.
  • Academics

    Using the best curricula for educating students with a range of learning abilities, we expect many students to continue to follow a standard sequence of academic instruction for middle and high school with modifications when necessary. Students also focus on the more functional aspects of learning such as using money, calculating the time needed to complete tasks, designing a budget, and reading for work and daily life.

    Some students take standard middle and high school courses, while other students follow an alternate curriculum across academic disciplines. Planning with multidisciplinary teams with significant input from the student and the family allows us to create tailored academic programs that are specific to each student’s needs.
  • Therapy

    Therapy services that assist with the integration of school, life, and vocation skills are a vital part of the student’s day. Occupational, speech-language, and physical therapy strategies are provided as direct services and integrated into daily learning across activities.

    Students can access the right amount of therapy in the right settings according to areas of need for targeted development. Having the flexibility and the resources to integrate therapy services based on each student’s needs allows the focus to be on individual growth. This approach is preferred over a one-size-fits-all approach offered a limited number of times per week.
  • Post-Secondary Opportunities

    What happens after graduation is a daunting subject for all high school students. Our staff works with students to determine high areas of interest and high levels of skill potential in order to begin planning toward post-secondary work, training, or school placements. Our general education students are invited to participate in post-secondary planning programs alongside The Learning Center students.

    Some of our unique business partnerships within the community allow us to look at vocational possibilities for students in order to train for jobs that focus on the strengths and interests of each individual. We offer the Alternate Academic Diploma based on Tennessee standards for students who are able to meet the criteria and who plan to continue with a post-secondary educational placement like a college or university.
  • Independent Living Skills

    Creating a budget, planning a grocery list, caring for a living space, setting an alarm, and accessing transportation are some of the skills we teach to support independent living. These skills are explicitly taught in the classroom and involve regular practice out in the community. For instance, some students take sections of the Personal Finance course, then visit banks to practice the skills taught in class in real-life settings. Practicing all that is involved with having a bank account, grocery shopping, meal planning, budgeting, and components of housekeeping such as safety, laundry, food storage, etc. are explicitly taught, then generalized across real-world environments.
  • Safe and Sound

    Safety and good care are fundamental priorities for our students. Parents often worry about what is happening at school and want to ensure safety as a top priority. For students with limited verbal ability, families should have frequent communication from teachers and other school staff.
  • Come By and Come Often

    Parents and families are always welcome to come visit The Learning Center. We know this is a way to provide communication and information for students who may be challenged to provide this information on their own. Communication and input from everyone who knows the student is a necessary approach in Exceptional Education school environments. Outside therapy providers are also welcome to come visit their clients at The Learning Center and to share their knowledge of the student in order to assist our staff. Our goal is to provide the best possible support and care for the growth of the students.

Care Beyond the Classroom


We know that many families
need care beyond the typical school day. The Learning Center provides after-school and summer care for all students. During the summer, we open up spots to others within the community who need access to good care even when the school year is over.

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  • Extended Care

    Often, after-school care is not available for students with more significant needs. We provide care for your student well after the school day has ended. The purpose of this time is to allow busy and/or working parents more flexibility when picking up their students.

    Extended Care fees include great care and a snack, and students may be involved in supervised on-campus activities. By providing these extended hours, we hope that families with working parents or multiple children involved in activities will find the school day more manageable and compatible with busy family schedules.
  • Summer Care

    While there are many wonderful camps in Chattanooga, full-time summer care is not available for older students with more significant needs. The Learning Center Summer Care program begins the Tuesday after Memorial Day and ends with the first day of school at 威尼斯赌博游戏手机版. We offer summer care throughout the summer and operate Monday through Friday except Memorial Day and July 4 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Pre-Vocational Partnerships

    We have a group of unique community partners to draw from when working toward post-secondary vocational goals. We know that not every student fits into the categories for employment that are typically available for adults with disabilities.

    Our goal is to work with students to determine areas of high interest and skill potential and to find a fit with employment that can be meaningful and promote the uniqueness and dignity of each student. Whether it is a small business venture, service industry work, or an IT job, we have campus facilities and community connections to help students meet their career goals.
  • Next Steps

    Students may participate in Pre-Employment Transition Services through vocational rehabilitation services to explore vocations and learn 21st century work skills as well as self-advocacy, goal setting, and other important, life skills.

    Leveraging specific partnerships with businesses and state services available, students graduate with skills to enter the next phase of working, learning, and participating in community. 

Application Process

The Learning Center admissions and financial aid processes begin with each prospective applicant going through the checklist described below. Applications for the 2023-2024 school year are accepted beginning Sept. 1. The application process and financial aid application must be completed by Jan. 31. We will continue to receive applications as long as there is space available.

To begin your online application or to schedule a tour, please create an account in My威尼斯赌博游戏手机版. Within 24 hours a checklist will be assigned for registration.

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The 威尼斯赌博游戏手机版 Community

Students at The Learning Center are full members of the 威尼斯赌博游戏手机版 community. With a vibrant community full of arts, athletics, STEM events, chapel, and a vast array of Student Life activities, there is always something to enjoy. The opportunity to experience life beyond academics is an essential part of The Learning Center experience.

Meet Our Team

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  • Shonda Caines

    Director of Ex Ed
    Lower School Head
  • Haley Faith Morin

    Admissions Associate
  • Kristina Richard

    Coordinator and Lead Teacher