HFCA's hands-on/minds-on curriculum engages learners from preschool through middle school.
HFCA is the only school in the northwest suburbs that is nationally and internationally recognized for its curriculum and instruction as evidenced by our International Baccalaureate World School Authorization, US Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award, Cognia (formerly AdvancED) STEM Certification, and Museum of Science and Industry Leadership Initiative.
Our curriculum is future-focused. It is designed to develop the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in jobs and career paths that have yet to be created. It is also geared towards helping students address the various familiar or unfamiliar social and emotional dilemmas they will most likely face in their lifetime. While it might not give them all the answers, it will prepare them to question the world around them and to deal with all the unknowns of tomorrow as they become global citizens and productive members of society.
HFCA prepares students for the jobs of tomorrow by focusing on:
- Reading and writing--beginning in early childhood and continuing through middle school, HFCA has a strong emphasis on building comprehension, fluency, and expressing thoughts and ideas through the written word and public speaking.
- STEM--our approach to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics goes beyond equations and functions and instills in our students logic, critical thinking, and problem-solving by using real-world issues and hands-on/minds-on learning.
- Life Skills--HFCA intentionally focuses on building relationships or life skills that foster communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution through our use of teamwork and restorative practices.
HFCA's curriculum nurtures the attributes of creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration among our students. This is made possible by the following:
- Our authorization as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School allows us to improve our curriculum and incorporate educational best practices from a range of international resources. We have access to world-class, research-based publications and teaching materials and the opportunity to participate in worldwide online forums with other IB practitioners.
- Our philosophy of Inquiry-based learning helps students develop their own knowledge and solutions. Used in preschool through Grade 8, it is a hands-on/minds-on way to engage students in learning.
- Learning goes beyond asking and answering questions.
- Teachers are trained to act as guides and facilitate learning.
- Core subject areas (reading, writing, math, science, and social studies) are mastered and applied to solve authentic problems or issues.
- Technology is integrated throughout our curriculum. Students use technology to research, report, collaborate, and publish student products. Equally important, our teachers use technology to assign online course content, use adaptive software for students with a variety of learning styles, and assess student learning.
- Our curriculum is aligned with the Archdiocese of Chicago standards, which meet or exceed the Common Core State Standards for Math and Reading, the Illinois State Standards for Social Studies, the Next Generation Science Standards, the National Education for Technology Standards, and the College and Career Readiness Standards.