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CHIME History

The CHIME Institute, a nonprofit organization established in 1990, is a national leader in the development and implementation of an unique model of inclusive education. The institute began with an early childhood program based at California State University, Northridge. The success of the early childhood program, coupled with the needs of the community and sound research, prompted a group of parents and Cal State Northridge faculty to develop a charter elementary school in 2001 and a charter middle school in 2003. The two schools were merged into kindergarten through 8th grade in 2010 and named the CHIME Institute’s Schwarzenegger Community School.

Inclusive education at CHIME Institute 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 each child’s strengths while also addressing learning needs.

In addition, CHIME serves as a model for educators through its partnership with Cal State Northridge’s Michael D. Eisner College of Education and the Los Angeles Unified School District. It facilitates research opportunities and regularly hosts visitors from surrounding districts and as far away as Japan and the United Kingdom who are interested in replicating CHIME’s successes, in their own schools and communities.

CHIME Founders
HaneyAbout Michele Haney: 
Michele began teaching at CSUN in 1990 and taught in the Early Childhood Special Education credential and Master's programs for 32 years. Michele's book, Preschool Inclusion, is based on their early work with CHIME. authored with Dr. Claire Cavallaro, as well as her multiple publications and educational videos, have served as valuable resources in her field.
Michele served as a project co-director for multiple federal grants to support candidates in the ECSE program. In 1990, she joined Dr. Claire Cavallaro's work leading a federal grant to create a demonstration preschool inclusion project at CSUN.  That program has grown into the CHIME Institute, an internationally recognized nonprofit organization and Professional Development School serving infants, toddlers, and school-age students from birth to 8th grade in inclusive settings, now in its 33rd year.  Dr. Haney was personally responsible for the design of the CHIME Infant/Toddler program which began in 1991. Michele served as the CHIME Board President for 12 years and continued to provide great support to the CHIME Early Education Programs until her recent passing in January of 2023. 
In addition to her work with CHIME, Michele supported educational access for children with disabilities through her international humanitarian work. With Project Vietnam, she accompanied doctors through rural areas of Vietnam to provide education for families of children with disabilities.  Over the past 15 years, Michele has also been providing both in-person and virtual support and technical assistance to educators in Ukraine working towards inclusive education.  When the war began, she and colleagues provided online training to help children with developmental disabilities cope with the traumas of war and displacement. Her team also supported the distribution of comfort items for children with disabilities who were displaced.