Wednesday, October 19, 2016

School philosophy.. or it's all in the spin

The Hinman Academy

A Private K-12 Preparatory School
Established 1996

The Hinman Academy seeks to provide a quality education using the best of both traditional and modern educational methods. A low teacher to student ratio is maintained at all times and all faculty members hold a master's degree or higher. All graduates from The Hinman Academy have been accepted to and have attended colleges and universities. 

In the primary grades, the emphasis is age-appropriate hands-on learning. A play based curriculum is the focus as children develop the necessary mental scaffolding for later academics. In this context world history, literature, and the natural world are introduced, with opportunities given to respond to these new ideas in creative ways. Numeracy and literacy are encouraged through both direct instruction and ample opportunities to work with a wide variety of manipulatives. Since physical movement and competency are keys to greater mental function, plenty of opportunities for large muscle play and activity are given throughout the day. Periods of free time are also provided to encourage the imagination and development of ideas.

In the middle grades, more emphasis is placed upon formal academic learning. Literature, grammar, and formal mathematics play a larger role in the student's day. The curriculum for the student is determined individually to meet the student where he is as well as move him into further study. This course work is self-paced and a teacher is always available for help, questions, or discussion. Literature, from both the United States and around the world, will be assigned, keeping in mind each student's particular interests and abilities. Since play is an important part of learning, even for children at these older ages, time will be allotted for the creative expression of what has been learned. This is also the stage at which students will be encouraged to discover their own unique interests, as well as how to research and explore these interests on their own. 

In the upper grades, students play a key role in mapping out their academic pursuits and well as how to implement them. Each high school program will be unique and a direct reflection of the student who helped to create it. We encourage our students to be imaginative in what they want to study and not feel constrained by a more typical and boxed-in curriculum. Learning takes place at the student's chosen speed and assessments of learning will be through discussion with the teacher as well as through any formal assignments decided upon. In-depth learning is encouraged, as is a greater engagement with the broader world.

The Hinman Academy believes that all ages should interact and not be segregated into age-based classrooms. This allows students to gain practice in socializing with others who are at a different developmental stage than themselves, as well as providing opportunities to both teach and learn from peers.

The Hinman Acedemy believes that children of all abilities are valuable members of our community and worthy of inclusion and instruction. Students with varying intellectual and emotional abilities are included in all classes. Not only do we aim to educate any child attending our school, but we also hope to instill the character traits of compassion and understanding in all of our students. Since we provide highly individualized instruction, teaching students with special needs is not different from teaching typically functioning students.

The Hinman Academy does not believe in traditional formal grading practices. With a low student-to-teacher ratio, discussion and observation provide the teachers with enough information as to how the student is learning. The focus at The Hinman Academy is on mastery learning, which a grading system would undermine.

The Hinman Academy does not believe in homework. Academics are just a part of a student's life and must not intrude into other equally important areas. Family time, meals, rest, and sleep are as important to the learning process as formal academic work.

Application and acceptance policy, tuition, and fees are available upon request.


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