Climate and Culture

Students-Studying-at-Table-for-WebAt Harding Fine Arts Academy we share a sense of purpose and values, norms of continuous learning and improvement, collaborative collegial relationships, as well as our experiences in the classroom. Equally important to our culture are empowerment, innovation, leadership and teamwork. Teachers eagerly share their successes and feel safe to seek advice when they struggle. Likewise, students are encouraged to share their experiences with one another and work together as colleagues toward an end goal in many different aspects of their educational journey. In student leadership, academics, the arts, and co-curricular activities, students are expected to collaborate to accomplish tasks in and out of the classroom. Both students and teachers are inspired in an atmosphere of support where creativity and hard work are valued.

Adopting the name from our school mascot, both students and graduates often refer to our "Firehawk Family." A recent student survey indicated that 96% felt there was at least one faculty member that they could trust and confide in and 94% agreeing or strongly agreeing that the principal and teachers have high expectations of them. From their first visit while student shadowing, to their new student orientation, through their sophomore slump, and to the final senior dinner, students are welcomed as they are, but are challenged to grow academically, artistically, emotionally and socially. The principles of relationship, relevance and rigor in the classroom intertwine and extend to the many co-curricular activities in which students are encouraged to participate. With more than a dozen clubs or teams, students participate in physical, social and extended learning opportunities.

In as much as we strive to create a culture at school, we also recognize that students and their family bring their own culture from home. As a charter school, students come to us from a variety of different backgrounds and educational experiences. The one unifying strand is that at HFAA, students are respected for their differences. While we expect each student to achieve to their abilities, we do not expect everyone to fit a certain mold. We recognize that it is out of our differences and unique experiences, we become more successful, creative and strong as individuals and a community. It is the respect for diversity, appreciation and interweaving of experiences of each student, teacher, administrator and staff member that creates the Firehawk Family!