(Madison, WI): Hickory Hill Academy (HHA) has been built on a strong foundation of Early Childhood Education for more than 25 years. Formerly known as Kids Express Learning Center, HHA believes all children are capable and self-directed learners who respond positively to guidance from teachers that are warm and loving. With a goal to provide a quality education in a rural setting, HHA educators guide children in their curiosity, natural exploration and wonder of learning, with a concentration on the whole child’s development.
Social Emotional Curriculum
HHA provides exceptional daily learning for children focused around literacy and writing, science, gross and fine motor skills, world language (including Spanish and Mandarin), as well as social/emotional development. New this school year, HHA has incorporated a Social Emotional Learning curriculum and tool developed at Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence called RULER. The program focuses on being emotionally present with oneself, while recognizing how emotions affect one’s behavior.
In addition to the learning that occurs in these focused areas, HHA provides a wealth of exploration in natural enrichment programs, which gives opportunities for children to flourish, such as gardening in the organic garden and participating in specialized music sessions. The extension of outdoor learning includes playgrounds in tree filled spaces, a dedicated outdoor classroom, and an educational exploration area to visit.
Academic excellence is a consistent goal and priority that their educators have for all children. Portfolios of development and learning are completed throughout the year to demonstrate the growth and development of children from 12 months – 4K. These portfolios are explained during parent/teacher conversations. Although HAA encourages daily and weekly communication between parents and teachers about their child(ren), having dedicated time for conversation builds the relationship between them. It definitely takes a village to raise and support children through their early years of learning and development and HHA’s team of educators strive to provide a strong foundation and to be a part of each child’s individual educational journey.
The school community (and supporting the community outside of HHA) is one of the greatest attributes on the campus. There are special events on a monthly basis that provide opportunities for children, families, and faculty to come together to strengthen the school community. Many families have several children that make their way through our program, which creates a community built on relationships and connection.
As HHA looks to the future of growth, they are expanding their educational offerings that will guide children all the way through 8th grade! Children, families and faculty are excited for this opportunity and HHA looks forward to the next 25 years and beyond – encouraging the development and growth of young children!