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About » Our Core Values

Our Core Values

 
 
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HHCA leadership recently adopted the daily core values of "humble, hungry and healthy".  Throughout the 2019-2020 school year our faculty, staff and students are intentionally focused on implementing these principles in day-to-day lives and interactions.  From a brand new kindergartner through our seniors, and even the Head of School and beyond, the HHCA community is encouraged to be:
 
Humble
Think of others before self 
Live with gratitude for God's provision
 
Hungry
The desire for more
Yearning for deeper relationships, both with Christ & others
 
Healthy
Work together as a community
Communicate and interact with one another in a healthy manner, to build healthy relationships
 
 
Throughout our 40-year history, HHCA has embodied three main core values: culture, excellence and stewardship (outlined below). These values define the very heart of our mission and guide us towards our vision to know Christ and make Him known.
 
 
culture
Similar to a family, HHCA is committed to creating an environment in which all students are able to be themselves and use their gifts to serve the Lord. Our culture is one of positivity and connectedness. Similar to a family, we encourage an environment of honest and respectful interactions. Within the HHCA community, each student is known, held accountable, and shepherded to realize his passions and gifts.

A Sense Of Self

One of the deepest life questions we can ask is “Who am I?” While culture attempts to provide many answers to this question, at HHCA we have the distinct and exciting opportunity to share with our students what scripture teaches. But often, actions speak louder than words, and this is where the real value lies at HHCA – our students are surrounded by Christ-centered faculty and staff of exceptionally high character and integrity. This partnership allows students to solidify their belief system and grow firm in their own personal faith.

A Sense Of Purpose

Another question that students at HHCA are challenged to answer is, “Why am I here?” At the heart of this question is the search for significance. Our desire is that students clearly understand their identity in Christ and embrace the unique gifts and talents He
has given them. This foundation is the basis for understanding purpose. We want our students to recognize that everything they do in life--from practicing a sport, playing the guitar, studying for a test, or going on a mission trip--is an act of worship. Seeing the significance in all activities is key to having a purpose that positively impacts the world for Christ.

A Sense Of Family

When a student becomes part of the HHCA community, his entire family is embraced. Family partnerships are essential for what we do at HHCA. Our objective is to equip every HHCA family to stand up for Christ in the midst of a culture that is rapidly going in the other direction. Reinforcing this sense of family, our campus is designed to feel like home, a place that is safe and sound. To that end, HHCA has invested significant resources into building a robust department of security. Through a partnership with The Draco Group, a dedicated provider of elite security training, our security team is equipped with world-class training. We believe that the concept of security is born from a sacred calling to protect the good in our world - our students, your children.
excellence
When excellence is defined as “fulfilling potential,” it presents in a myriad of ways. Our passion is to discover what excellence look like for your child in academics, athletics and the arts. We believe in educating your child’s mind while reaching his or her heart. It’s a tall order, but one that we feel called and capable to deliver. Looking forward, HHCA is relentlessly pursuing an elevated level of excellence. We are transforming the academic model in the Lowcountry through the delivery of an excellent, experiential learning experience. It’s an exciting and challenging goal - but what exactly does it entail?

Reaching The Heart

At HHCA reaching only academic excellence would be a failure. The “C” in HHCA is our defining difference. Our Christian values and mindset set us apart. As articulated in our mission, everything we do is to equip students to impact the world for Christ’s glory. We integrate this difference throughout each student’s day in three primary ways:
 
1) Christian Worldview
We believe that Christian education is about helping each student see all of life through the lens of scripture. We teach all of our classes, from math to art, on the basis of a Christian worldview. God is the author and creator of all Truth, so it is possible to see His glory in history, science or even paper mache. 
 
2) Servant Leadership
We intentionally expose students to the truth of the scripture through Bible classes, chapels, and retreats. We also give them numerous opportunities to “walk the walk” through Life on Life mentoring, and both local and international missions opportunities. We want our students to understand firsthand the unexplainable joy of giving back and experience a peace that is not of this world.
 
3) Christian Mentoring
Teaching at HHCA requires more than a typical teaching position. Authentically living out the gospel will always be more powerful than just talking about it. We intentionally surround each student with Christian faculty and staff who are equipped to mentor and model Christ’s love. Our staff is challenged to demonstrate their faith in Christ in how they treat our students, how they reach out to hurting students, and how they invest their time into students.

Educating The Mind

HHCA is immersed in the transition from a traditional educational model to a unique experiential learning community. But what exactly does this transition mean and how does it make us different?
 
1) From What to How
Philosophically, your student will learn that HOW they learn is as important as WHAT they learn. Information is prolific. How to effectively utilize all of the facts and figures that are available is the key to establishing our students as lifelong learners.
 
2) From Lock-Step to Personalized
Traditional education is built primarily around groups of children studying the same subjects at the same pace. Some students find this process exhilarating; others find it excruciating. 21st century learning is not a one size fits all pursuit. 
 
3) A Marriage of 3R's with 4C's
The heart of 21st century education is the marriage between the 3R’s of traditional education with the 4C’s of 21st century skills. This approach is a staple at excellent schools. 
 
4) From Teacher Centered to Student Designed
Essentially, the power of learning shifts from the teacher’s traditional “stand and deliver” method to an approach that actively engages each student with deeper level questions, such as, “I wonder? What if? But why?” Teachers retain the responsibility that learning goals are met, but students now co-navigate the process to achieve those goals.
 
5) Discovering an Area of Passion/Purpose
The journey begins in kindergarten, where each child is surrounded by a nurturing environment that promotes a love of learning and Christian character. As our students grow and progress to middle school, this love of learning also grows. As students enter upper school, they are given internship opportunities to experience what their passion could look like in practice. These many years culminate in our Diploma with Distinction program in the junior and senior year. From their first day on the HHCA campus, our passion is helping each student discover his or her own passion.

Excellent Partnerships

In keeping with the philosophy of fulfilling our potential, HHCA’s leadership has thoroughly researched the preeminent providers of 21st century education and invested in only the best.
 
fni  
 
There is a significant difference between FNI and the other candidates that were considered as our lead design architects. FNI is a group of both architects AND educators. This combination allows us to take a more holistic view of how our new buildings can best complement our new methods of applied learning. FNI has the best and most diverse portfolio of innovative schools worldwide, having completed work in 47 countries on six continents.
 
 
court atkins group
 
HHCA is also partnering with local architectural firm, Court Atkins Group. Court Atkins has serviced the Lowcountry for nearly 20 years and earned an excellent reputation for quality design and local expertise. Their talented and diverse team brings together over 50 years of architectural experience. Court Atkins has won numerous design awards for both commercial and residential architecture.

Excellent Educators

Research shows that the single most important factor in the quality of the education your child receives is the quality and investment of the teacher. As our most valued asset, HHCA will continue to invest significantly in our faculty and staff. Through our partnership with FNI, we have engaged some of the world’s premier professional development and curriculum specialists to help implement the finest in experiential learning education.
 
HHCA teachers are mentors who authentically live out the gospel and pour life into our students every day. We intentionally surround each student with Christian faculty and staff who are equipped to mentor and model Christ’s love. Our staff is challenged to demonstrate their faith in Christ in how they treat our students, how they reach out to hurting students, and how they invest their time into students.

Excellent Learning Community and Campus Design

Less than one percent of all schools in the United States are designed to deliver a 21st century educational experience. HHCA will be one of the few.
 
The physical design of our facility directly complements the learning that is happening. Our campus is designed not only for the HHCA community, but also for the Lowcountry community at large. Within this highly interactive model, the advantages are mutually beneficial and the possibilities for discovering a passion multiply exponentially. 
 
In order to customize the HHCA campus, the architects and educators of FNI talked with our parents, students, faculty and staff. Using this input as motivation, our campus is designed to kindle an enthusiasm for academics, athletics and the arts in each of our students.
 
outdoor .   indoor
 
Key Design Elements Include:
 
An Intentional Design: Our campus reflects the values of HHCA. It is a place of welcome, security, inspiration, hope, and awe.
 
Collaboration of Students and Teachers: We have spaces where students and teachers can come together outside of classes as small, medium, or large groups and learn from one another.
 
Flexible and Innovative Learning Environments: HHCA students have a myriad of learning environments that include varied space sizes, room types, furnishings, and technology.
 
Awe-Inspiring Fine Arts: Filled with natural light and soaring ceilings, the art, music, and drama areas will be truly inspirational.
 
State Of The Art Athletics: We will continue to invest in our athletic programs with improved fields and a multi-use athletic complex.
 
A Natural Approach: Our students love to learn outside, and the new site embraces the natural aspects of the Lowcountry and uses them as a catalyst for inquiry.

Excellent Students

HHCA always has and always will have excellent students. Our confidence in the future is based on evidence from our past. Take a look at just a few reasons why HHCA’s students are exceptional.
 
100% of our students are accepted into colleges, with recent graduates also attending the U.S Naval Academy, United States Coast Guard Academy, and the United States Military Academy at West Point. Over the last 6 years, HHCA seniors have earned more than $16,865,000 in merit based scholarships.
 
100% of our upper school students actively serve in our community with middle and upper school students averaging around 7,500 hours per year.  Over 100 local organizations receive help from HHCA students as well as a number of international communities. Within the last five years, 190 students have served in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Belize.
 
HHCA offers 17 varsity sports and within the last five years has won over 10 state championships, more than 30 athletes have gone on to play at the college level. 80% of our upper school students play at least one sport.
 
 college   community service
 
Over 75% of our middle and upper school students are enrolled in our exceptional Fine Arts courses including Symphonic and Jazz Band, Eagles Pep Band, Worship Leadership, middle and upper school Chorus, and middle and upper school Theater. New offerings include AP Music Theory, a comprehensive general music survey course, and the popular visual arts elective, Ceramics, using our new pottery wheels and kiln. Our lower school students can begin honing their band skills in the 4th grade.
 
Upper school students engage with local businesses through a community internship program where they get real world experience in a professional setting. 
 
artssports
 
The primary focus of our lower school children is the love of learning and a love for God. Service becomes part of who they are as they serve multiple local organizations within the community.
 
Learning in middle school is driven by interests, questions, and curiosities through programs such as Model United Nations, STEM, and the Humanities courses that integrate English with Social Studies content.
 
75% of our middle school students participate in at least one sport under the direction of our middle school Athletics Director.
 
The Academic Resource Center ensures that our K - 12 students who need additional tutoring or have a unique learning style are given the personalized instruction needed by NILD trained faculty.
 
scholarships    faculty
 
Upper school students are able to choose from a dozen Advanced Placement courses in addition to having the ability to join a dual enrollment program in which college credit may be earned. A wide range of online options is also offered, adding variety and depth to student schedules.
 
The capstone Diploma with Distinction program is a two year intensive research project designed to solidify a passion in our juniors and seniors.
 
Upper school students are trained for peer mentoring and servant leadership through a unique HHCA program called Life on Life Leadership Academy.
stewardship
The HHCA community has a deep sense of the responsibility to which we are called. We carefully manage and maximize the gifts of time, talent and treasure that God has entrusted to us. Our stewardship initiatives touch all aspects of HHCA, from the purposeful design of our Board of Directors to careful and prudent financial planning and the development of impassioned students to use their time and gifting to impact the world for God’s glory.

How Does HHCA Maximize Time, Talent & Treasure?

 
board  An Exceptional Board
To ensure HHCA is operating at a level of excellence in all areas, our Board has partnered with Independent School Management (ISM). ISM is the only comprehensive management-support firm for private-independent schools in the United States and abroad. Their core purpose is advancing school leadership to enrich the student experience. With ISM’s guidance, the Board has developed an essential skills matrix to identify the specific talents that are necessary in leading HHCA to pursue its vision and mission.
 
Financial Integrity and Strength  finance
In choosing HHCA, each of our school families has made a significant financial investment, often accompanied by significant sacrifice. HHCA’s board has worked with ISM to develop and implement a five-year strategic financial plan. This plan includes aggressive yet attainable initiatives that will ensure a sound financial future, while providing accountability for effective stewardship of our families’ investment in HHCA.
 
 
 
global     Global Citizens
From day one as part of the HHCA family, our students are taught that their most meaningful investment is time serving others. Our kindergartners begin by bringing in canned goods to help fill the shelves of Deep Well, and through the years we guide them toward other service projects, like Zonta’s outreach to special needs individuals, acting out God’s Word for deaf children in Jamaica, and witnessing to those in sugar cane villages in the Dominican Republic. Time is too precious of a commodity to put off doing good. It is our goal that as our students mature, serving becomes an integral part of who they are. They are not only part of the HHCA family but also global citizens within the body of Christ.
“Culture at HHCA is best described as embracing your place.Just like a family we are not perfect, but our goal for every student is to feel valued within our community of faith.”
–  Doug Langhals, Head of School