- What is the mission of Decatur Heritage Christian Academy?
The mission of Decatur Heritage is to assist families by providing their children with an education that is excellent and which instills Biblical principles to guide their lives (see Parent/Student Handbook Section 1.0 – Introduction).
- Are parents encouraged to get involved at Decatur Heritage?
Of course! We believe that the education of your child is a partnership; therefore, we’re glad for you to participate in various opportunities throughout the school year (i.e. Parents’ Association, homeroom mom, field trips, library assistant, Booster Club, etc.). Watch for our “Helping Hands” survey that is sent home at the beginning of each school year; this is a perfect opportunity for parents to sign up for various ways in which they can assist in and around the school.
- Is the curriculum at DHCA different from other schools?
Decatur Heritage takes pride in the fact that we offer a more advanced education for our students. Our program is characterized by rigorous academics presented from a Christian worldview in a way that accommodates all learning styles. A phonics-based language program, combined with hands-on opportunities, provides a varied learning experience for all (see Parent/Student Handbook Section 8.0 – Academics).
- What distinguishes the Decatur Heritage faculty when compared to other schools?
Our teachers are best described as both committed Christians and outstanding educators. They are dedicated to meeting the unique needs of every student in their classroom through a variety of teaching strategies. In addition, DHCA faculty are motivated and encouraged to attain only the highest professional standards and academic qualifications. All possess, at a minimum, Bachelor’s degrees in their area(s) of expertise, while many also have (or are working towards) Master’s degrees.
- Does my child have to dress a certain way when he or she comes to school?
Yes, however the key idea is that our students dress neatly, modestly, and in an age-appropriate manner (see Parent/Student Handbook Section 9.0 – Dress Code).
- How is discipline handled at DHCA?
In an effort to be fair and consistent, Decatur Heritage endeavors to partner with parents in the development of character qualities such as respect, responsibility, and cooperation. We believe this is best accomplished in a loving, nurturing environment where expectations are clear and consequences are designed to promote growth and learning, not mere outward conformity (see Parent/Student Handbook Section 10.0 – Discipline).
- What are class sizes like at DHCA?
Students are randomly placed in a classroom by the administration balancing the number of boys and girls, the various academic abilities of students as well as the different personalities and behaviors of students and the number of students per classroom at any given grade level. The goal is that all classes will be balanced and manageable.
- What do my tuition dollars provide?
Your tuition dollars go directly towards the general operating budget of the school, which includes compensating our wonderful faculty, purchasing our curriculum, paying for utilities, etc. Funds for major capital expenditures such as new playground equipment, paving of parking lots, etc., are raised through special fund-raising campaigns.
- What is the length of the school day?
The Lower School classes (K-6) start their day at 8:00 a.m., while the Upper School classes begin at 7:45 a.m. The Lower School classes complete their day at 3:00 p.m. The Upper School classes close out their day at 2:45 p.m. (see Parent/Student Handbook Section 4.0 – Operating Schedules).
- Is there a lunch program?
Yes. We offer all of our students the opportunity to select from a variety of entrees including chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, pizza, etc. Students may place their order a week in advance. Healthy snacks and beverages are also available at reasonable prices.
- What kind of a school is DHCA and how is it governed?
Decatur Heritage is an independent, non-denominational, community-based school with over 40 churches represented. While the Headmaster, along with his administrative team, handles the day-to-day operations of the school, a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees provides accountability and oversight with respect to the mission and policies of the school.
- Is Decatur Heritage a member of the Alabama High School Athletic Association?
Yes. We compete in a number of sports against other AHSAA schools in our area. Our athletic program includes football, cross country, volleyball, basketball, golf, tennis, softball, baseball, soccer, and track and field. Our teams have won a number of area, subregional, and regional championships over the years. Our baseball team won the state 1A championship in 2016.
- Is it possible for our child(ren) to visit the school and meet their prospective teacher(s) and classmates prior to making our decision?
Yes. We positively encourage students to visit for a “shadow” day to assist in the decision-making process.
- What is the procedure for registering my child at DHCA?
You should complete the application online (click here to apply) and submit a copy of your student’s most recent report card, a copy of recent (within two years) standardized test scores, an unofficial transcript from current school, and the non-refundable $75 testing fee. Please note that prospective students must go through the entire enrollment procedure before being accepted; space availability in a classroom does not guarantee admission. Once the above mentioned items have been received and reviewed, the school will continue the enrollment process by scheduling a shadow day, a testing date, collecting the required $175 registration fee, and scheduling a subsequent family interview with the principal. For Upper School (7th-12th grade) admissions, the prospective student must attend and participate in the interview as well. The registration fee will be refunded if the school does not accept the student.
- I’ve heard that Decatur Heritage is AdvancEd accredited. What does that mean?
Decatur Heritage is accredited by the agency AdvancEd which means that DHCA has met the standards outlined by them to be an accredited school. The school has been continuously accredited since its initial accreditation in 2001 and undergoes a rigorous renewal of that status every five years. Decatur Heritage is also a member in good standing with the Association of Christian Schools International.