Mission & Values

Motto

Our school motto is AUT VIAM INVENIAM AUT FACIAM which means “Either I will find a way or make one,” emphasizing society’s need for entrepreneurial and trail-blazing leaders for the 21st century.

Mission

Our mission is to educate the whole person using the Dalton Plan to develop individuals who contribute to humanity. Our community of lifelong learners fosters healthy, creative, social, and globally minded individuals who can think independently and critically. Our students strive for academic excellence by taking a challenging, balanced curriculum in core disciplines, the Arts, and technology as embodied by the Seven Cs.

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Dalton Plan

Dalton Plan was developed by Helen Parkhurst. She was the founder of the Dalton School (aka Children University School in New York City) and her philosophy of education spread in America, England, Germany, the Netherlands, the Soviet Union, India, China, and Japan during 19th and 20th centuries.  

Dalton Plan has two principles: Freedom and Cooperation.  Principle of freedom is based on the uniqueness of the individual with his or her independence, creativity and interests. Principle of the cooperation is based on positive socialization through collaboration and exchanges with a variety of people.

The three parts of the Dalton Education includes the House, Assignment, and Laboratory.  The concept of the house goes beyond the scope of the homeroom for the sake of the attendance.  It is where socialization and bonding takes place between students.  The assignment is a set of goals based on contracts and projects between students and teachers.  Assignment can measure the progress of students not only by the teachers, but by students themselves in self direct ways. The Laboratory is a concept of a “garage” which enabled inventors and entrepreneurs of America to foster their own passion.  For example, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started their company called Apple in a garage; Michael Dell started his company called the Dell Computers in a garage; Jeff Bezos started a company called Amazon in a garage, etc.  In like manner, laboratory is a center of educational experience that can be either teacher or student led during the school hours as a co-curricular activity.

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John Dewey

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Helen Parkhurst

House

The House system is widely used in Commonwealth and private schools in North America. It is also a part of the Dalton Plan. At Hsinchu County American School (HCAS), the House system encourages both school and team spirit. Houses are committed to enhancing student relationships while fostering and encouraging team spirit, and a sense of belonging together regardless of age or grade. HCAS has chosen to implement a House system with each student and faculty member assigned to one of four houses named after the “four gods” of Chinese mythology as they represent qualities important to and inherent in the HCAS mission statement. While school and team spirit are promoted, the house system also encourages integration, responsibility and a sense of community among our students. Membership in a house is life-long in theory. Each student should be responsible for the well-being of fellow members and be proud to work for the betterment of the House. Houses will work together and compete in academic, sporting, service projects and events.

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House Competition

Each House is in competition with each other to achieve the highest number of house points at the end of each term and most importantly by the end of the year when there will be prizes. Regular house point totals will be advertised in the Student Council Room, in the Student lounge and other places.

Students can contribute to their house point totals in a number of ways both in and out of the classroom. All students are expected to participate in at least one of the many house events/activities.

  • Merits Based Points
    Students are awarded points for outstanding effort and achievement.

  • House Activities
    House activities are organized by the House Leaders and House Captains.

  • Clubs
    Students can also earn house points for their involvement with clubs inside or outside school. These can be achieved by pupils showing commitment through high attendance, outstanding effort and outstanding achievement.

  • Achievement
    Students can also earn house points for varying achievements such as: Placing in a local or national competition in sports, music, or academic subjects.  They can also receive House points where students are nominated by staff for showing a positive attitude to school life and its community.

  • Extra-curricular Competitions
    Students can also earn house points if they regularly enter competitions advertised in school for: representing their school, showing commitment and an active sense of involvement with extra-curricular opportunities.

  • Attendance
    Students who achieve 100% attendance in a term or those showing significant improvement receive a house point.

The culmination of points will allow one of the Houses to receive the House Cup at the end of the academic year. 

With the Dalton Plan as the foundation for the curriculum, graduates from HCAS will achieve the following learning outcomes:

HCAS Seven Cs

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ACS WASC Accreditation 

Hsinchu County American School is an ACS WASC (Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges) candidate school.  We are currently undertaking an intensive self-study in order to take an in-depth look at the strengths and weaknesses of our school in relation to student learning and all areas of the HCAS school program.  This comprehensive self-study is part of an ongoing school improvement process referred to as the ACS WASC Accreditation For Growth cycle.  It is explained in their publication, Focus on Learning.  This process provides us with a framework for examining what currently exists and what needs to be improved to support high achievement and well-being for all students at HCAS. 

The self-study team is comprised of five different focus groups, which examine the impact of The Dalton Plan at HCAS; the school mission and 7 Cs; curricula and instructional practices; school support systems, culture, and environment; and school resources.  Focus groups consist of teachers and administrators from all departments who meet regularly to examine each of these areas.  The self-study ensures that all community stakeholders are given the opportunity to share a voice in improving our school.  Through surveys, interviews, observations and collection of documents, the self-study will show evidence of the areas in which HCAS excels, and more importantly where we should concentrate our focus for improvement.  In the words of Harvard Professor Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot, “The sign of a good school is that we know we are not perfect.  There is always something that can be improved for student learning and well-being.”  

The results of the self-study will be submitted to the ACS WASC Visiting Committee for our Spring 2022 full visit.  The Visiting Committee, comprised of fellow educators from other schools, will support us with meaningful feedback and insights on major growth areas for us to concentrate our resources.  As an ACS WASC candidate school, we will be eligible for full accreditation status following this visit.  The ultimate goal of the ACS WASC cycle of continuous school improvement which we are following.  The results of our self-study, will allow us to implement a data-driven action plan which supports high achievement and well-being for all students in our school community.   

For a more information about ACS WASC accreditation,

please contact HCAS WASC Coordinator: paul_cornelius@hcas.com.tw or visit the ACS WASC website: acswasc.org