Growing... Academically, Spiritually and Relationally
Photography provided by Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy
This fall, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy students will return to their campuses to meet expanded programming and curriculum, as well as innovative, collaborative new spaces – all designed to greater serve the needs of children and families looking for a rigorous, faith-based education in the Greater Cincinnati region.
To begin, CHCA’s Early Learning Program is expanding to serve children as young as 2 years old, with flexible scheduling options and new engaging spaces. The Blake Lindner Thompson Early Childhood Learning Center on the Snider Road campus features an expanded 22,000-square-foot facility with open classrooms, a light-filled atrium, creative atelier, outdoor playscapes and learning gardens, among other preschool-friendly features.
“We believe that an expanded, strong early learning program will better serve families of our youngest children and will provide an even stronger learning foundation as students head into the primary school years,” says Head of School Randy Brunk.
The program’s educational philosophy is centered on the belief that each child is uniquely gifted by God, and combines the “best practices in early childhood education with the latest research on brain development,” according to the program overview. “Using a Reggio Emilia-inspired approach, children explore, discover, question, observe and construct meaning through a hands-on, project-based curriculum,” the overview continues. Scriptural lessons are also incorporated throughout the curriculum, helping young children build a foundation for a lifetime of faith.
CHCA also recently restructured their programming to establish the Upper School as the only Christ-centered college prep 7-12 high school program in the city. For Grades 7-8, they are focused on stepping out of childhood and into young adulthood. Empowering students with the tools, knowledge and disciplines to flourish in the high school years is what the program is all about. They accomplish this by engaging students at all levels – relational, cognitive and spiritual. This results in academic, social and emotional readiness for grades 9-12, as well as prepares them for a deeper, more critical level of thinking.
“With a culture that fosters maturity and school spirit, students rise to meet increased expectations for taking ownership of their learning, cultivating an internal motivation for learning and self-advocacy that will best serve them as they head into their freshman year and beyond,” says Jennifer Murphy, CHCA’s Marketing Communications Director.
Students can start earning high school credit during the traditional middle school years and participate in programs such as entrepreneurship, student-led service and intersession – a week long service learning program – as they prepare for their freshman year and above.
“The possibilities are endless for these students. We believe strongly that given the right environment, they can rise to the challenge, exceed expectations and flourish,” says Brunk.
The Upper School experience for grades 7-12 will house new innovation labs and collaboration spaces that are designed to facilitate more hands-on learning opportunities. The collaboration spaces will provide more room for students to study, research and work in teams on projects. The innovation spaces will foster creativity and leadership, and where students and teachers can supplement lectures with dimensional learning. In these spaces, students can feel free to try, manipulate and take risks in their learning in ways that stimulate discussion and creative thinking.
Additional innovation spaces include a greenhouse that will enhance the school’s renowned aquaponics program and foster graduate level research opportunities, as well as provide an additional biology lab. Students of all grade levels at CHCA will have access to this remarkable facility. A new, state-of-the-art robotics research and innovation center is planned for 2018.
CHCA’s recent $9 million capital campaign helped to fund most of the new spaces, as well as support for educational enrichment opportunities via the Teacher Innovation Fund, an ongoing resource that encourages faculty to apply for grants to further enhance students’ learning experiences.
The new Welcome Center is located at 8283 East Kemper Road, Cincinnati, OH 45249. For more information, call 513.247.0900 or visit www.chca-oh.org.