We give Norcross students the best class experience they will ever have by providing an opportunity to inspect and experience the message of Jesus during the school day, as one of their elective classes.
What is the Norcross Christian Learning Center (Norcross CLC)?
A non-profit organization that capitalizes on an opportunity called “Released Time” in order to provide an off-campus Christian Education elective for Norcross High School students.
What is released time?
It is an elective class in a public school student’s daily schedule that takes him or her off campus for religious education during the school day.
How can it be legal?
Released Time (RT) is an appropriate accommodation by the school to a parent’s request for his/her child to go off-campus for religious instruction. In 1952 the US Supreme Court said it is legal as long as the public school remains neutral (neither endorsing nor condemning the program.)
“When the state encourages religious instruction and cooperates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions. For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs. To hold that it may not would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe…[W]e find no constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion and to throw its weight against efforts to widen the effective scope of religious influence.”
(Zorach v. Clausen, 343 U.S. 313, 1952)
What are the vision and mission of the Norcross CLC?
To provide every NHS student a legal opportunity to inspect and experience the message of Jesus during the school day. We seek to do this by developing and operating a quality released-time program.
Where are classes held?
Classes are held at Norcross Presbyterian Church.
How are students transported?
Students are shuttled to the class by a bus driven by a certified driver.
What will be taught?
The Norcross CLC offers accredited classes such as New Testament Survey, Comparative Religions, Leadership and the Old Testament, and Following Jesus…A Christian Worldview. The class is taught with an emphasis on the Christian perspective, although Christian faith is not a prerequisite for the course, nor is it a requirement for passing the class. Students want a safe and fun place to ask questions and to seek answers. The Norcross CLC provides this. The teacher monitors attendance and gives exams, assignments, and grades.
Will the students receive credit for the class?
Yes, elective credit is granted.
Who teaches the class?
Norcross CLC staff members have specialized training in theology, philosophy, biblical studies, youth work, counseling, and related fields.
Who oversees the program?
Everett Bracken is the director. Everett was a part of the original group who brought released time to Gwinnett County. Everett also directs the program at Parkview, and is the director of CoreFoundations – an organization which helps other communities develop quality released time programs. A board of directors oversees the organization.
How is the program funded?
There is no cost to the students. The program depends upon donations from churches, individuals, families, parents, businesses, and civic groups. No funding may come from the public school. Funds are used for faculty compensation, materials, transportation costs, etc.
How can you help?
If you are interested in supporting the work of the CLC, would you consider joining us through one of the following:
- As a volunteer. Contact Everett Bracken
- As a prayer partner. Contact Everett Bracken
- As a financial contributor. Help us continue to serve the students of Norcross. If you would like to be a financial partner with us, please mail checks to: