Chiang Rai International Christian School (CRICS) is located in Chiang Rai, Thailand, a city near the Golden Triangle area of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. Chiang Rai city is quickly developing into a modern Asian city. However, outside the city limits, the province is rural with a large population of ethnic minorities.
The roots of Chiang Rai International Christian School: Family Learning Community (CRICS) go back to 1996 when two YWAM missionaries, Audrey McCauley and Vickie Franciscus, felt compelled to create an English speaking learning community for children in the Chiang Rai area and ultimately to create an international Christian school. Their dream became a reality in November of 1997 when the family learning community began classes in a rented room near downtown Chiang Rai.
Over the years CRICS has transformed immensely. What started in 1998 as a small co-op of 6 children, quickly grew to 19 children, requiring a transition in early 2001 to a larger house. In 2005, with 48 students, the school moved into a shared space with the Baan Attitaan Church. As the school grew to 75 students in 2007, and was clearly outgrowing the church facility, it became necessary to rent an old hotel. With the formation of the Christian Education Foundation of Thailand and a functioning school board, the CRICS community began petitioning for a campus of its own. This vision became possible with the hard work and dedication of the CRICS community as well as the generous hearts of donors around the globe. On October 31st, 2011, the construction of the first phase of the CRICS community campus was complete and classes were able to begin. Today, CRICS has over 100 students and the school is ready to expand again, this time with plenty of room to grow!
As the school continues to increase numerically, better systems are being developed to meet the needs of the student population. This included giving attention to our ESL program, developing our library processes as well as receiving generous donations of books for our collection, improving weekly chapel times, continuing with community service opportunities, and enjoying various school activities including a “Cultural Arts Contests,” dramas, a growing athletic program, and student council activities. Our Thai department continues to enhance the services we provide, and we now have a computer lab for students to use, including a campus wide use of Sycamore, an online educational organization tool. We continue to develop our curriculum to best meet student needs, and strive to hold tightly to our core values and vision.
Good news – moving forward….
In 2007, the Christian Education Foundation of Thailand initiated the Chiang Rai International Christian School project with the goal of helping the school becoming a legally registered international school with the local ministry of education. During this process the school community formed a school board, bought land and built a new school campus, and satisfied a list of other regulations for international schools in Thailand, including acceptance of the school’s curriculum. In the fall of 2011, the buildings were completed, the entire school community moved to the new campus, and the registration process with the government of Thailand was finalized. In January 2012, the CRICS community hosted a Grand Opening ceremony to publicly celebrate God’s faithfulness in building this house. Presently, our staff and teachers are stepping up to the challenges of rapid development and CRICS is now pursuing accreditation with both ACSI and WASC.
God continues to nourish and grow the seed He planted in the hearts of the founding mothers through all those he has brought over the past 12 years and through all those who will continue to tend to the growth year after year as Chiang Rai International Christian School-producing beautiful fruit that will, with God’s help, continue to reproduce in the lives of young people as a testimony to His goodness and love. Praise God for the ways in which His Spirit continues to move!