Student Support Services
At HCAS, we follow the philosophy of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Poor behavior is reduced or eliminated through an emphasis on teaching and encouraging positive behavior as opposed to merely punishing student misbehavior. The school emphasizes that teachers are on the frontline of behavior management, and positive behavior is best fostered by positive and caring teacher-student relationships. Positive behavior is reinforced, but students are also held accountable when misbehavior occurs. As part of the pastoral program, students receive lessons on school safety, fire and earthquake safety, “people smarts” (stranger danger), sex education, and anti-bullying education.
Examples of topics included in Guidance Group meetings include setting SMART goals, study techniques, 7 Cs portfolios, exploring personal interests and abilities, etc. Student to mentor ratios ranging from 6:1 to 11:1 are purposefully small to promote involvement with all students.
English as an Additional Language
As HCAS teaches courses in the medium of English though situated in a country whose national language is not English, the need for English as an Additional Language (EAL) support is substantial. As developing competence in the English language is crucial to students’ success, HCAS established an EAL program to address the needs of students from non-English speaking backgrounds who are still in the process of developing Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP). The goal of the program is to equip students with the English language skills necessary so they can operate independently within the mainstream classroom. The EAL Department supports students from grades 1 – 10 with push-in and pull-out support as determined by their WIDA and MAP scores. They collaborate with staff to ensure best practices are being followed with regard to teaching EAL learners to guarantee the best possible outcomes.
To support student well-being, the social-emotional counselor collaborates with staff, parents, and the local government. The counselor meets regularly with at-risk students to provide strategies and plans to support their growth and ability to handle varying issues (e.g., depression, peer-peer relationships, family relationships, campus relationships, anger, etc.). For severe cases such as bullying or suicide, the counselor serves as a liaison among HCAS, the Department of Education, and the Ministry of Education. The counselor is responsible for adhering to school and local government protocols/procedures for all social-emotional cases.