Academics

Pre-K

Our Pre-Kindergarten program is not only designed to develop readiness skills for reading and math; care is taken to plan developmentally appropriate learning activities to cultivate a child’s social, emotional, and spiritual growth.

Our Pre-K students will also participate in music, art, Makerspace, JumpStart, Spanish, and P.E. classes.

We offer flexible half- and full-day scheduling to meet individual family needs.

Elementary

Our elementary program includes Kindergarten through Grade 6. We will honor and encourage our students’ interest in learning and asking questions. Instruction will not only include well-tailored academic content but will also include hands-on learning, field trips, explorations, and projects.

We want our students to understand how important they are to God. Because of this, we intentionally weave God’s Word and a dependence on Him throughout the day. They see God as Creator in science, as sovereign through history, and as designer of all, intending us to live lovingly and respectfully in community. We practice restorative discipline as a way to resolve conflicts and encourage personal responsibility for better choices.

Since learning to read well is foundational to all other learning, there will be a strong balance of phonics and comprehension skills, incorporating not only leveled readers but also trade books and classic children’s literature.

Elementary students will have weekly art, P.E., chapel, Spanish, music, and Makerspace classes. Grades 2-6 will also develop digital literacy through weekly computer classes.

Curriculum for  our Elementary School includes:

  • D’Nealian Handwriting
  • Abeka Math
  • Journeys Reading, Language, Spelling & Writing
  • Positive Action for Christ, Inc. for Bible
  • Unit Studies planned by teachers for Science & History

Middle School

HCA is pleased to offer a combined 7th/8th grade in the 2020-2021 school year. Building onto a strong upper elementary program and stretching forward with deeper content and application helps to bridge the transition to high school. Our middle school incorporates project-based learning (PBL) with solid academic content and lively classroom discussions. Career exploration through frequent guest speakers is an important element to our middle school; we intentionally guide and support students as they look to the future.

2020- 2021 HCA Middle School Courses:

*Bible: Middle school students will begin to understand and live out the biblical worldview in today’s post-Christian world. Students will discuss worldview topics, such as popular culture, atheism, pantheism, apologetics, revelation, truth, materialism, miracles, and so much more.  This is a full-year class.

*English: Students will read and  discuss youth literature including, but not limited to, classics such as Swiss Family Robinson, The Bronze Bow, and The Hiding Place.  In an engaging and comprehensive project-based format, students will dive deeper into themes, meanings, and knowledge based in historical context. Vocabulary development and spelling skills through a study of Latin and Greek roots and writing and oral presentations skills emphasizing effective communication will round out this English course.  This is a full-year class.

*Social Studies: This is a multi-disciplinary World Tour! Students will experience some of the beautiful peoples and places on Planet Earth through regional stops in Asia, Europe, and more, learning more about geography, history, culture, the arts, and even cuisine. What is it like to be an ESL teacher in Korea? How do the Japanese make sushi? What is life for believers of Jesus in Thailand? Special cooking projects in the school kitchen and class learning showcases will add even more to this course’s unique celebration of life and invitation to prayer.  This is a full-year class.

*Science: Science clearly supports the belief that the universe has a Divine Creator. We will study the world God created by exploring fields such as biology, botany, zoology, anatomy, microbiology and ecology.

*Math: We study mathematics because of its importance to our lives. Math 8/7 is made up of daily lessons on individual concepts and lively investigations after every ten lessons. Also, after each lesson, Mixed Practice Problems are assigned as homework. These problem sets review previously taught concepts and prepare each student for concepts that will be taught in later lessons. A test/quiz is administer in class after each fifth lesson, to celebrate what each student has learned and as needed, and help each student recognize to those concepts yet to be mastered. This is a relaxed class with the long term goal of mastering each concept in Math 8/7 as it works best for each individual student. Each test/quiz may be retaken as many times as needed to master the material. In many ways each student is able to work at their own pace to accomplish their particular goals for Math education.  This is a full-year class.

*Spanish: Spanish 1 will be a step-by-step approach to reading, writing and learning Spanish vocabulary. We will be using a textbook to guide us in our grammar basics in learning how to converse naturally. All students will be required to hand in homework each week and participate in classroom interaction.  This is a full-year class.

*Finance Park: This course is a collaboration with Junior Achievement of South Central PA that helps students learn more about money and how to manage it wisely. Interactive sessions about income, saving, investing, credit/debit, and budgeting culminate in a virtual simulation where they create an imaginary but realistic family budget.  This is a one-semester class.

*Makerspace & Digital Skills: In this hands-on STEAM lab course called Makerspace, students will learn and practice both traditional handcrafts like textile, wood, and paper crafts as well as contemporary tech like 3D printing, digital animation, website design, and robotics. Computer skills such as presentation tools, efficient keyboarding, and coding are also included. Guiding the creative process is the awareness that we have been made in the image of our Creator God and have been commissioned to work together to steward the natural world with love, respect, and consideration for all living things.

*Art: Hershey Christian Academy offers an art curriculum that explores a variety of artistic media including drawing, painting, sculpture and textiles. While creating artwork, students are introduced to famous works from art history, forge connections with other cultures and learn how artistic skills are applied to other academic subjects.  This is a full-year class.

*Music: Music Class helps students to realize the primary purpose of music is to glorify and worship God, to discover and develop their musical abilities, and to create an atmosphere of love and enjoyment for music listening and performance. Children will prepare for concerts and other school performances throughout the year. We also offer instrumental music lessons for an additional cost (see the Admissions page).  This is a full-year class.

*Health: To be announced shortly.  This is a full-year class.

*Physical Education: The goal of physical education at HCA is 3-fold:

(1) teach students motor skills and movement patterns that enhance physical activity and fitness;
(2) teach students concepts, principles and strategies related to athletic performance;
(3) teach students behavior patterns that reflect principles in God’s Word.

This is a full-year class.

High School

At HCA, we believe that the years before graduation should help to launch students into meaningful and interest-driven work and service. Our academic preparation is holistic and Christ-centered, with intentional guidance, care, and interest in the discovery and development of both natural and spiritual gifts. We are actively building local community business, trade, and service partnerships so that our students can job shadow, intern, and apprentice before graduation. We encourage them to pursue certification in digital literacy tools and other areas of interest, whether or not they are college-bound. But it isn’t just job preparation that motivates us; we want to encourage our students to develop conscience and choose to serve others in need according to Jesus’ example. Opportunities to do this are found both in the school and the local communities through a developing Christian Service program.

Our high school consists of 9th and 10th grades for the 2020-2021 school year, with the goal of offering 11th and then 12th grades in the next two years.

2020- 2021 HCA High School Courses:

*Bible: Students will understand the basics of Christian faith and learn how to defend and promote a biblical worldview against a world full of teachings that distract and dissuade them from following God. This is a full-year class.

*English:  Analyzing & Interpreting Literature is designed to help students identify literary devices and develop biblically-informed discernment in communication. This class will prepare students to take the related CLEP course at the end of the year for a possible 3 college credits. Students will read and discuss a wide variety of literature, including Beowulf and The Pilgrim’s Progress, and develop skills and analyze them for meaning and impact. A systematic program of memorizing Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and stems will lead to greater mastery of the English language. Individual and group projects designed to improve oral and written communication skills complete a well-rounded and engaging study.  This is a full-year class.

*Western Civilization I: Western Civilization I is a survey of history including the Ancient Near East, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Reformation, and Early Modern Europe. The course will prepare students to attempt to earn 3 college credits through the related CLEP exam at the end of the school year. Even better than this, though, is the inclusion of the biblical record in the story of mankind, so often neglected in ancient history texts. Students will learn how to take notes, how to research and lead investigative discussions, how to fuel their curiosity for knowledge with biblical and archaeological evidence, and how to work together to create interesting presentations based on their discoveries. This is a full-year class.

*Science:  We will explore the world God created by exploring our environment. Our earth is a complex system of interactions between the atmosphere, the oceans and the land.

*Math: Algebra is not difficult. Algebra is just different. These are the wise and thoughtful words of John Saxon, the author of the curriculum used at HCA. Algebra 1 includes a daily lesson on a new concept with a 20 question quiz/test after each fourth lesson, to celebrate what each student has learned and, as needed, return to those concepts yet to be mastered. Daily, after each lesson, thirty homework problems are assigned which cover past and current concepts until the student masters the concept. This is a relaxed class with the long term goal of mastering each concept in Algebra 1 as it works best for each individual student. Each test/quiz may be retaken as many times as needed to master the material. A large part of learning algebra is devising defense mechanisms to protect oneself from the mistakes one is prone to make. Repetition is the name of the game. Algebra is not hard, just different, and we will all we can to help each student becomes familiar with, and even friends with Algebra, by the end of the year, so that their future math courses can be engaged with confidence and good skill.  This is a full-year class.

*Spanish: Spanish 2 is an interactive course beginning with review of Spanish 1 vocabulary and grammar. There will be written and oral exercises from our book along with monthly oral tests. Each student will be required to submit homework every week and be prepared to participate in classroom conversation. This is a full-year class.

*Finance Park: This course is a collaboration with Junior Achievement of South Central PA that helps students learn more about money and how to manage it wisely. Interactive sessions about income, saving, investing, credit/debit, and budgeting culminate in a virtual simulation where they create an imaginary but realistic family budget. This is a half-year class.

*Makerspace & Digital Skills: In this hands-on STEAM lab course called Makerspace, students will learn and practice both traditional handcrafts like textile, wood, and paper crafts as well as contemporary tech like 3D printing, digital animation, website design, and robotics. Computer skills such as presentation tools, efficient keyboarding, and coding are also included. Guiding the creative process is the awareness that we have been made in the image of our Creator God and have been commissioned to work together to steward the natural world with love, respect, and consideration for all living things.

*Art: Hershey Christian Academy offers an art curriculum that explores a variety of artistic media including drawing, painting, sculpture and textiles. While creating artwork, students are introduced to famous works from art history, forge connections with other cultures and learn how artistic skills are applied to other academic subjects.  This is a full-year class.

*Music: Music Class helps students to realize the primary purpose of music is to glorify and worship God, to discover and develop their musical abilities, and to create an atmosphere of love and enjoyment for music listening and performance. Children will prepare for concerts and other school performances throughout the year. We also offer instrumental music lessons for an additional cost (see the Admissions page).  This is a full-year class.

*Health: To be announced shortly.  This is a half-year class.

*Physical Education: The goal of physical education at HCA is 3-fold:

(1) teach students motor skills and movement patterns that enhance physical activity and fitness;
(2) teach students concepts, principles and strategies related to athletic performance;
(3) teach students behavior patterns that reflect principles in God’s Word.

This is a full-year class.

Check out some pictures from the current school year!

Visit our website again soon or call our office to keep up-to-date with the developing plans for the 2020-2021 school year!

What is a Makerspace?

There are numerous ways to name a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) lab. We call ours The Makerspace. It’s a class intended to celebrate hands-on learning and discovery. In the Makerspace, all kinds of learning happens. We could be programming robots to navigate a block maze,  hand-sewing pillows, creating scrapbook pages, watching what open and closed circuits do, or making something that does something. We might be tracking bird migrations or fashioning flower arrangements or taking apart old gadgets. Guided inquiry invites more questions and experimentation, which then leads to repurposing, new inventions, and more enthusiasm to explore. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings!” This is the invitation of the Makerspace. It’s a favorite place to be!

The theme of the Makerspace is Genesis 2:15 (NIV)…

“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”

Our philosophy about Makerspace education is based on these core observations.

    1. God is Creator.“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
    2. As God’s image-bearers, we celebrate and develop the desire to explore, experiment, and create that He placed in all people.“So God created man in HIs own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” (Genesis 1:27-28)
    3. Teachers and students are both learners and can therefore share the process of discovery in humility and wonder. “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4)
    4. As followers of Jesus, Christian educators are called to lovingly provide students with a safe, affirming environment in which to discover and develop their gifts and interests. “Jesus said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14) 
    5. Inquiry-based discovery learning from a faith perspective is an effective and respectful way to explore the physical realm, engage in its care, and understand God’s ways. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:26-27)

What are Digital Skills?

Do Digital Natives need digital skills classes? Our students represent a generation that has never known life without mobile devices. Their global perspective has largely been formed by the World Wide Web.

Digital skills are of utmost importance to these learners. At Hershey Christian Academy, we will honor our students by mentoring them for present and future success In both computer literacy (hardware, software, keyboarding, word processing) and computer science (problem-solving STEM applications, coding/programming, CAD/3D modeling).

Digital citizenship and online safety accompany all aspects of our digital skills program. The fact the the Internet is a useful tool does not mean that it is morally neutral. As followers of Jesus, we want to obey HIs instruction to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” in the way we live and represent Him. This has great significance in the digital world. There must be intentionality in the way we build discerning, blameless, compassionate, and courageous young people who lead balanced and successful lives with the help of technology.