At Hillsdale Academy

we get back to basics, because the basics

have never been

more important

than they are right now.

Getting back to basics means

learning how to learn.

Hillsdale Academy is a private co-ed day school offering kindergarten through grade eight, located on the campus of Hillsdale College in south-central Michigan.  It was established in 1990 as a model of private initiative in school reform, and it has stirred interest because of an innovative approach that combines traditional concepts of instruction and discipline with a modern understanding of childhood cognitive processes — all in an atmosphere of concern, encouragement and close personal attention.

Cultivating Mental Discipline

Instruction at Hillsdale Academy reflects an essential insight:  School children today are not just deficient in knowledge of facts basic to earlier generations, they have been deprived of the opportunity to learn how to learn.

The influence of so-called “progressive” teaching methods and the over-simplification of textbooks make it difficult fort students to acquire the mental discipline which “traditional” instruction methods once cultivated.  Modern educators stress “learning skills.”  But learning skills are acquired only by addressing tangible facts, considering logical concepts, using intelligent language.

That’s called thinking.  It’s what schools once taught students how to do, and it’s what educational reformers are talking about when they say we have to “get back to basics.”

Hillsdale’s approach

to the basics is as timeless

as it is up-to-date.

Where most schools today aim at a minimum level of student competence, the goal of Hillsdale Academy is mastery.  And we pursue that goal with a modern adaptation of a very old idea: the one-room schoolhouse.

Flexibility, Individuality, Reinforcement

Classes at Hillsdale Academy feature clustered grades.  Grades one and two are taught together, as are grades three and four, five and six, and seven and eight.

This offers maximum teaching flexibility, and frees students to move ahead as quickly as individual aptitude permits, rather than locking them into a classroom pace set by the slowest members.  It also reinforces subject understanding by allowing older students to tutor and encourage younger ones.  And it ensures that no one can “slip through the cracks,” because no student moves on until demonstrating mastery of each level of skill and understanding in any given subject area.

Classic Books, Substantial Content

The curriculum developed at Hillsdale Academy offers a traditional, well balanced mix of English grammar, reading, writing and spelling, along with math, science, history and geography, plus a foreign language (French), physical education, and both music and art appreciation.

Phonics instruction begins in kindergarten, and classic literature appropriate to the are and ability of each child is emphasized over standard texts.  This provides a higher quality of content, stimulates interest, and introduces students to the rich literary heritage that receives scant attention in most schools today.

Logical “Hands-On” Progression

All subjects are presented cumulatively, each level of difficulty building on knowledge previously acquired.  Science is taught in a “hands-on” manner, employing field studies, manipulation of objects, experiments, and individual projects.  Students progress logically through each aspect of mathematics, from counting and arithmetic to algebra and simple geometry.  Computers, calculators and other learning devices enhance individual comprehension and provide enrichment.  But computational aids are introduced only after basic understanding has been achieved.

Tradition with a Purpose

At Hillsdale Academy a traditional dress code (complete with uniforms) enhances classroom decorum, reduces peer pressure, and reinforces the precept that school is a place for learning, rather than for “fashion competition.”  Likewise, a daily routine of ceremonial observances, including morning flag-raising, Pledge of Allegiance, and Bible and poetry reading, encourages spiritual growth and an appreciation of America’s patriotic and cultural legacy.

Hillsdale’s educational concept

is designed to be shared.

The vision that underlies Hillsdale Academy is intended to inspire similar initiatives in educational reform throughout the nation.  And such inspiration has never been needed more than it is right now, when American education is in truly desperate straits.

Information to Help You

We have encountered a broad range of challenges involved in organizing a private school, formulating a curriculum, building a facility, and developing parent, community and donor support.  We consider it an essential part of our mission to share that knowledge and experience.

Accordingly, we are currently preparing a special advisory kit that will offer guidance to churches, organizations and individuals considering starting private schools in their communities.  It will be available soon at nominal charge.  Please use the postpaid reply card enclosed, if you would like to receive information about how to obtain this material.

Hillsdale Academy

A Model for America

• • •

Direct-to-Consumer Promotion

Mid 1990s

Extract from a booklet promoting student enrollment and marketing of school-development materials

Services Provided:

  1. Creative Conception

  2. Copywriting

  3. Design Supervision

HOME          ABOUT            SERVICES          PORTFOLIO          FEES          CONTACT

NOTE: This copy was created for, and is the property of, Hillsdale Academy. Permission is hereby granted for downloading and printing out by prospective clients for the purpose of evaluating the quality of the writing, as well as for educational purposes by instructors or students. All samples provided in this online portfolio have been excerpted from copy created for the organizations noted, and are the property of those organizations. All other contents of this website are the property of Company Publications, Inc.


HOME          ABOUT            SERVICES          PORTFOLIO          FEES          CONTACT