Question 1: Is your family committed to Christ?
At Highland Rim Academy, we believe in the primary role of the parent as the key component to a child’s education and discipleship. We believe Scripture gives the imperative of raising up children in the fear and admonition of the Lord to parents. The school merely serves as a support for what the home has already established. Therefore, we seek to enroll like-minded, Protestant, evangelical families who actively seek to disciple their children in the context of their home as well as in the local church. We recognize some families are drawn to the high academic standards at HRA or prefer the smaller class sizes, regardless of the worldview presented in the classroom. We do not seek to offer Christian instruction apart from the context of Biblical teaching at home. Families who understand and practice the centrality of Jesus Christ and His teachings, as outlined in our Statement of Faith, in their homes will find HRA a good fit for their child’s education.
What is the primary goal for your child’s K-12 education?
Some families want a mainstream education with the primary goal of preparing students for college or the workforce. Although the rigorous academics at HRA will certainly prepare students for post-secondary learning, HRA is not a college-prep school. Our vision is to graduate young men and women transformed by the gospel and sharpened by rigorous academic pursuit, for the purpose of cultural reformation and a life committed to servant leadership. Our teachers seek to educate and disciple the whole child, aiming for spiritual, social, and academic maturity. If you were satisfied with your education (assuming you were educated in a mainstream public or private school) and hope for your children to succeed in the current popular education model, then you probably won’t find our form of education appealing. We are not a Christian version of the progressive educational model found in most schools in the US today. The Classical model is a liberal arts education whose emphasis lies in the acquisition of learning tools, rather than the accumulation of facts and subject content. Classical education affects the content of the learning as well as the mode of learning and parents are strongly encouraged to learn as much as they can about the Classical model before deciding whether HRA would be a good fit. Understanding the methods, content, and purpose of Classical education will best prepare students and parents for the differences in the educational experience they will receive at HRA. If you are attracted to education that reaches beyond job training to enrich the minds and spirits of students as they learn to love learning, then you should consider our school.
Are you committed to well-behaved children?
We seek to establish a high standard of respect, structure, and Biblical behaviors and attitudes within the school. All children are prone to misbehavior on occasion, so we don’t expect your kids to be perfect (or even close). We believe all children are created in the image of God and we deeply respect their dignity and uniqueness of their personalities. We seek to enroll families who share these high expectations in theory and practice. We have found students do best in our environment when the home and school share a similar high standard for behavior and respect. Additionally, we do expect parents to support our teachers and administration as we lovingly, but firmly discipline children who are acting out.
Question 4: Do you value academics and a Christian work ethic?
Our school is generally recognized in the community for the academic standards we uphold. This comes with a standard of work that requires a little more of both parents and students. Parents are often called upon to be actively involved with their children as they do homework. Parents remain actively involved to ensure they are diligently working to prevent frustration from poor study habits.
Some misunderstand our work ethic. We do not desire or expect children to work excessively. Certainly, children need time to play. However, a few families find it difficult to trade-off some recreational or entertainment time to focus on academics. A popular goal for children today is to become “well-rounded” by experiencing an over-abundance of after school activities. At HRA, however, our goal is for our students to be sharpened – not rounded- by the pursuit of an academically rigorous program. Most of our families continue to enrich their children’s experience with some after school activities or participate in the sports or clubs we offer. Families have found their children thrive in our environment because they enjoy being challenged. What expectations characterize your family? If you value hard work and elevated academics, HRA may be a good fit for your family.
Question 5: Does your family love learning and books?
The most consistent success factor for children at the school is the learning environment at home. Families who read and love to learn send children to our school because they want the world of language, books, history, science, and math to be an integrated whole. They want their children to use their love of knowledge to explore and seek truth. Families that do not have many books in their home and that rarely visit a library or bookstore probably will not find our value compelling.
Having said this, many families discover the world of literature and information through their children’s experience at our school. If you would like to develop a love of books, knowledge, and learning in your home, HRA can provide a great start.
*Some content borrowed from The Ambrose School website, theambroseschool.org.