February 2017

Growth Mindset: Christian Academy Heads to Bluffton

Author: Mary Delle Robinson

“Progress is not possible without change.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Bursting at the seams, bursting with good news, bursting with potential: Hilton Head Christian Academy finds itself bursting in very good ways. So much so, that a big announcement is at hand. They’re moving to Bluffton.

“We will be the only K-12 private Christian school in the fastest growing area of the state,” said board member Rod Strickland, adding, “We’ve owned these 27 beautiful acres for years, and now is the time for us to build and grow for the future.”

Over 50 percent of HHCA’s student body currently commutes to the school from Bluffton, so this is glorious news for them. The move also opens the school up to a broader base from which to draw families into its community “of people doing life together,” as Doug Langhals, head of school, would say. He believes this growth could possibly reduce tuition, an attainable and important goal. “We want every family who seeks this kind of challenging, engaging, loving education for their children to be able to realize it at HHCA,” Langhals said. “Our vision, above all, is ‘To Know Christ and Make Him Known.’”

The greatest area of growth is the opportunity to fully realize all of HHCA’s twenty-first century educational goals. The additional space and modern, high-tech facilities will allow Hilton Head Christian Academy to expand in every area:

Imagine state-of-the-art academic spaces and learning lounges where students can sprawl out comfortably while owning their education—whether it be reading, working through math problems, planning a future city, learning to code, or discussing a story within its historical context in a small group.

Imagine, down the hall, a state-of-the-art science lab where high school students test tensile strengths of various metals. Around the corner, voices can be heard emanating from the foreign language lab. While walking the campus, one might see students sitting one-on-one with a faculty member, discussing the thesis of their senior capstone project or how to best handle a conflict.

Imagine top-notch athletic facilities, where scholar-athletes are coached, mentored and cultivated into leaders and to the highest level of competition they can attain. Separate football, baseball, and practice fields, along with the eventual addition of track and field facilities, plus practice and competitive gym space will allow sports programs to thrive. Fine arts will also be enriched with modern studio art spaces, an expanded performing arts center, and a dedicated theater stage. Budding and developing musicians, artists, actors and technical designers will find their niches within which to grow and flourish.

What can be expected at each level of the new-and-improved HHCA education? In the elementary setting, the best elements of a classical educational approach will continue, while being infused with differentiation through technology integration and made comfortable with flexible seating arrangements. In middle school, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and humanities curriculums will expand, bringing learning to life through project- and problem-based inquiries and by connecting literature with history. In upper school, faculty-student mentorships will broaden and deepen, guiding students toward success using their unique gifts, developing their passions, deepening their faith, and providing anchors along their journeys. Online, college-level learning combined with robust AP and honors course selections will ensure students’ readiness to confidently and successfully meet and impact the world that awaits them.

“It’s a bold move. It’s a big move. It’s a necessary move,” Langhals said. “It’s an exciting time for Hilton Head Christian Academy families and those who wish to join this community of life-long learners, seeking a vision-driven, faith-based, twenty-first century education.” 

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