Just as God has created a unified beauty yet diversity in the physical world, He has also given each child unique abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. In providing challenging academics we take each child’s gifts into consideration, both building him in the areas of weakness and challenging him to even greater heights in the areas of strength.
What are challenging academics? HCA employs carefully crafted curricula from pre-school all the way through twelfth grade starting with a solid foundation in fundamental academics (i.e. Reading, Language, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science). Upon this academic bedrock, we build a broad range of experiences and skills to prepare our students for leadership, success, and fulfillment wherever their path takes them. These experiences let our students put into balanced perspective the past in its significance, the present and its challenges, and the future with all its opportunities. We believe this unity of knowledge is possible using a point of reference that is external, unchanging, and eternal – God’s revealed Word. Students explore their own talents and limits through music, art, and athletics; they learn to be teachable through the study of foreign languages, life skills, and literature; and they learn to influence through public speaking, drama, and writing. Furthermore, the personal skills required for leadership, success, and fulfillment are taught in every academic discipline and student activity. Some of the most important are the qualities of humility, respect, self-control, critical thinking, and perseverance.
Why do we believe in challenging academics? God’s first command to Adam, as God’s image-bearer, was to exercise dominion over the created order. As Adam’s descendants, we believe that command takes the form of learning about, exploring, protecting, and using the world around us. These activities are all accomplished by providing a wide spectrum of challenging academics to our students. True success is not found in comparison to others, but in doing everything we find to do with all our might (Eccl. 9:10). This is why every student, regardless of ability or ranking, should be challenged to give his best – as unto the Lord (Col. 3:23). We intend that HCA’s formal, academic curricula, however, are just the awakening of a life-long passion and pursuit of learning and growing for our students.
How do we ensure challenging academics? HCA employs regular evaluations of students, teachers, and processes to maintain accountability to its mission and core values. Yearly standardized tests measure the relative position of our students to national norms. As a part of our regional accreditation each core academic department undergoes a year-long evaluation and revision of its curricula in relation to national standards. To equip and build master teachers, HCA maintains an extensive professional development program which includes new teacher weekly mentoring, required monthly discussion topics, required in-service workshops for all teachers five times a year, and the provision for graduate coursework gratis to all teachers.