As an independent Episcopal School, we are able to blend challenging academics in a warm, nurturing environment supported by basic Christian values and teachings. While our Christian beliefs are the underpinning of everything we do, differences are welcomed and respected.
No. Holy Comforter Episcopal School welcomes children of all religious, ethnic, and social backgrounds. In fact, our teachers come from various Christian denominations!
The Episcopal Church encourages respect for the other person’s beliefs. As an Episcopal School, we actively seek faculty and students of diverse backgrounds and traditions in the belief that they bring something to be valued and respected, and because we seek to be broadly inclusive of the community we serve. As an Episcopal School, we look for the values that unite people rather than those that divide, and do not allow factionalism to undermine the life of the whole.
PK is a five day program and offers an academic half-day. The school day begins at 8:05 and children may be picked-up by parents at 11:45am (before lunch). PK students may extend their school day with LUNCH BUNCH (until 2:45pm) and then with EXTENDED DAY (until 6pm).
There is also an optional EARLY DROP OFF beginning at 7:30am. Kindergarten is a full academic day (8:05 – 2:45pm) with Before School (Alpha) and After School (Omega) extensions optional.
We don’t have a dining hall at this time. Children pack in their snack, lunch and water bottle (optional) daily. There is a catered lunch option available to parents which utilizes local restaurants who deliver to the school. The EXTENDED DAY program provides a light snack to children who stay after 3:00pm.
Yes, HCES offers need-based financial assistance to families who apply for, qualify, and merit financial assistance. No scholarships for academics, athletics, or the arts are given and we do not participate in any state or federal programs
With VPK, the state of Florida reimburses child care providers of 4yr old children for a few hours daily, reducing the cost to families. We do not accept money from any state or federal program and believe that our programs far exceed the requirements mandated by the state.
Our PK program adapts the Land of the Letter People, a comprehensive, thematically organized kindergarten program for use in our PK classes. This curriculum successfully immerses children in reading and writing and focuses on phonemic awareness and phonics, but integrates science, math and social studies with active, hands-on learning.
See our Curriculum Guide for more detailed information.
In addition to their classroom instruction, beginning at PK 3 our students also receive weekly Specialist Instruction in Art, Music, Spanish, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in the Lower School STEM Lab beginning in PK 4) and Physical Education (twice a week). The Media Specialist also works with all students helping to instill a love of reading and stories and an understanding of modern research and intellectual property.
All children participate in a Chapel Service three days a week, taking their turn to lead Chapel on Fridays. Separate services are held by age for Middle School, Older Elementary (2nd - 5th) and PK – 1st grade. PK 3 students have “little chapel” in their room on Monday and Wednesday mornings, but join their older friends on Fridays for the student-led services.
In our preschool, because this is a developmentally appropriate program, children have time for unstructured play both inside and outside every day. The early childhood playgrounds have been specially designed for young children and have shade structures. Children who stay in the LUNCH BUNCH or EXTENDED DAY will have additional outside playtime, weather permitting, as a part of each program. Older students have 20 – 30 minutes of outdoor playtime on developmentally appropriate playgrounds during the school day and additional time if they stay for the Afterschool program (Omega).
We do not routinely test preschool children, however we have a guidance counselor on staff who specializes in our youngest students if some testing is needed. Standardized testing begins in the 3rd grade. We use the ERB which is normed nationally to both public and independent school populations.
We take the safety of the children entrusted to us very seriously. In addition to a highly trained security officer on campus, there are procedures in place for emergencies and all entrance doors are secured by card access control.
Yes! There are many opportunities for parents to be involved, both in the classroom and the school. Parents who volunteer or chaperone are required to take the Safeguarding God’s Children class online.
The uniform is mandatory for all HCES students except PK 3. There are many uniform options available through Lands End, Buckhead and locally at GWillies. The Parent Association also runs a Uniform Exchange which provides gently used uniforms for an even exchange or any piece for $1.
Our Middle School Guidance staff works closely with 8th grade parents and students to review choices for High School enrollment. Traditionally, HCES grads have chosen both public and independent High Schools. College matriculation data is available.
Parents are partners with the school and are included in their child’s education. Through scheduled formal conferences, informal communications via email or phone, class newsletters, and class webpages, parents stay “in touch” with their child’s teachers.
We agree! “Holy Comforter School believes that each child is a unique creation of God...” is in our Mission Statement and we live it each day. Our teachers specialize in accepting children where they are and encouraging and challenging each child to achieve their potential through Differentiated Instruction, utilizing cutting edge technology and time tested teaching methods.