FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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.).
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.
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. We do expect our students to dress neatly, modestly, and in an age-appropriate manner. However, we do not ask them to wear school uniforms.
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.
WHAT ARE CLASS SIZES LIKE AT DHCA?
Students are placed in a classrooms in a manner that best balances 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 built to foster the success of every student.
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 and the advancement of the school such as playground equipment, paving of parking lots, etc., are raised through special fund-raising campaigns.
WHAT IS THE LENGTH OF THE SCHOOL DAY?
The school day begins at 8:00 a.m. and finishes at 3:00 p.m. with the exception of Thursday morning. On Thursdays school begins at 8:30 a.m. for the Lower School and 9:15 a.m. for the Upper School. Among other benefits, this late start allows our teachers to have sustained and regular time for professional development, curricular review, and collaborative program development.
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. The Administrative Team, led by the Head of School, 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, swimming, basketball, tennis, softball, baseball, and track and field. Our teams regularly win area, subregional, and regional championships including the 1A state baseball championship in 2016 and the 1A state boys basketball championship in 2019.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR OUR CHILD(REN) TO VISIT THE SCHOOL AND MEET THEIR PROSPECTIVE TEACHER(S) AND CLASSMATES PRIOR TO MAKING OUR DECISION?
We would love to arrange a way for you to experience a safe and informative visit. This visit could include a tour the school and a time to have all your questions answered by administration, faculty and/or staff to help you in the decision-making process.
HOW DO I BEGIN THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR DHCA?
You should complete the application online (see Admissions) and submit a copy of the student’s most recent report card, a copy of recent (within two years) standardized test scores, an unofficial transcript from current school, and a non-refundable $100 Application Fee. These are the first important steps in the application process. Once the above mentioned items have been received and reviewed, the school will lead you through the remainder of the process leading to enrollment. This would include a family interview with a school administrator and any necessary testing assessments. A decision regarding acceptance will be communicated to families after the full enrollment process has been completed. A $150 Enrollment Fee is to be paid within 30 days of a family’s notice of acceptance to secure the student’s enrollment
IS DECATUR HERITAGE AN ACCREDITED SCHOOL?
Yes, Decatur Heritage is accredited by the agency Cognia, formerly known as 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.