This is our everyday...

From PK4, our students deepen their knowledge and develop their innovative spirit and digital know-how through our STEM program and Makerspace.

Peter Klekamp, Head of School

"We want to promote how we embrace academics differently. It starts with our talented and dedicated faculty and staff who are experts in guiding children through a PK-8 educational experience. We attract new families by communicating our premium and diverse qualities while delivering exceptional academics. Our brand speaks to the inspiration of students through 21st-century learning, differentiated instruction, state of the art campus technology, integrated hands-on learning and especially our new and enhanced presence in the STEM segment of education."

iEducateTM

In 2011, Holy Comforter established the iEducate™ program, a technology initiative formed to create a roadmap for 21st-century learning. The mission of Holy Comforter iEducate™ is to engage students in learning, enrich the classroom environment, and empower every learner with the tools necessary to be productive citizens in the 21st century. Our unique integrated teaching program is designed to incorporate technology applications and instruments into the curriculum. The specially designed iEducate system empowers teachers, engages students, and enriches the classroom experience through hands-on participation with technology. Through this, children are taught to use technology as a valuable resource to enhance the learning process. iEducate supports the Holy Comforter academic experience touching every grade, every subject, every classroom, every student, every day.

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  • Apple Distinguished Program & iEducate

    In February 2013, Holy Comforter Episcopal School’s iEducateTM program was named an Apple Distinguished Program for 2012-2013 school year. iEducate joined a select class of institutions that Apple recognized nationwide as exemplary learning environments and centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence.

    Due to the success of iEducate, the one-of-a-kind program was trademarked in February 2013 and iEducate was once again named an Apple Distinguished Program in 2015.
 

1:1 Technology Program

Holy Comforter officially launched the 1:1 technology program in 2013, in which each student in 1st through 8th grades had their own device. 1st through 5th-grade students use an iPad and 6th through 8th-grade students participate in a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program. The Middle School BYOD program allows students to bring their own school-approved laptop or they may choose to purchase one through the school. From an early age, technology skills are intertwined into the classroom curriculum through everyday lessons. In addition, lower school and middle school students are introduced to coding, programming, keyboarding, and taught digital citizenship - how to use the internet and social media in a socially responsible way. A Holy Comforter student takes a slow, deliberate path to understanding technology and how to use it responsibly.  By the time a student graduates from HCES he or she is well versed in digital citizenship and has mastered the basic technology skills that are required in today's working world.
 

21st Century Skills

We know academic training that emphasizes innovation, collaboration, communication and the development of unique and creative solutions to problems is more important and relevant than ever. At HCES, we have taken aggressive steps to ensure the education we provide will be relevant by infusing 21st-century skills and STEM programming into our curriculum.

“Classrooms need to become learning studios in which students participate in designing their own pathways to knowledge and understanding and teachers design deep learning opportunities in which students discover how to access, evaluate, organize, and communicate information in creative and innovative ways.” (ASCD, Teaching 21st Century Skills)

What our students learn at HCES not only prepares them for participation in the complex digital, global, and highly interconnected society they will encounter, but equips them to lead it.
 

STEM to STEAM: The Knight STEM Building

In the Fall of 2012, the Knight STEM Building opened. The two-story 12,385 square foot resource-rich science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) facility, the Knight STEM building was the first and only one of its kind for an independent school in the area, dedicated solely to STEM-based hands-on learning for students in grades K-8. The building itself incorporates environmental best practices and serves as a teaching tool, with features such as 2 fully-equipped science laboratories, a Lower School STEM classroom for grades K-5, an interactive energy monitoring system featured on a large screen in the hallway, rain barrels for collecting water, 2 classrooms with ceiling tiles removed so that structural, electrical and mechanical components are exposed, and more. With project-based learning, students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, which encourage imagination and productivity.

In addition, the STEM curriculum, gives teachers the opportunity to develop real-world, complex and open-ended problems; to act as facilitators, making sure students are staying on track and finding resources; to raise questions that deepen the connections students make within the concepts they are being taught; to teach in the balance between providing guidance and encouraging self-directed learning. In a true STEM environment, students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which will encourage imagination and productivity.
 
Holy Comforter hosted the 1st STEM Saturday in January 2014 with overwhelming success! The event now welcomes over 130 students from over 30 schools, each year with the addition of the “arts” in 2018, now called STEAM Saturday. Families enjoy an exciting morning of hands on, interactive science experiences taught by Holy Comforter STEM teachers. Each session focused on one core science concept that included both technology and engineering and includes a take away for the student to repeat the activity at home.

MakerSpace - “If you can imagine it, you can make it”

In the summer of 2015, HCES built the MakerSpace - a room specifically designed as a new creative learning environment for all students. The space is an extension of the classroom where students come to create using critical thinking, problem-solving and collaborative skills.

If you can imagine it, you can make it. As part of our 21st Century Skills curriculum, we enable our students to learn through hands-on interactions. The MakerSpace provides creative time and space for project-based learning. Students and teachers can identify problems, formulate ideas to solve problems, build prototypes, and analyze the success of the solution in this space. Analyzing the functionality of the solution will allow students to decide if the idea needs to be reworked. If so, they begin the sequence again. It’s a learning environment where it is safe to fail and retry.

Nationally Recognized as a Leader in the Field of Education

In August 2017, HCES was nationally recognized for our innovative approach to education, our unique school community and what we do best - fostering independence and creativity while developing children’s intrinsic motivation to learn, and Inspiring Children to Be the Difference both in and out of the classroom.

HCES was one of only 2 schools and the only private school in Tallahassee asked to host the United States Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, as she toured campus visiting Lower and Middle School classrooms. Secretary DeVos interacted with the students, as they coded Lego Robots in the Lower School STEM Lab, played a language arts game in 5th grade, observed the design process in the MakerSpace and talked to Middle School Foundations in Technology students. She also had the opportunity to read a Dr. Seuss favorite, “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” to kindergarten students. At the conclusion of the tour, Madame Secretary DeVos addressed members of the press, answered questions and had this to say about our incredible school.

Secretary DeVos

What We Do Best?

In the Fall of 2017, the entire HCES community completed a survey facilitated by Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), one of the accrediting agencies for independent schools across the Southeast. According to our families, these are the things HCES does best (in no particular order),

Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Safety
Faculty Care and Concern
Inspirational and Motivating Faculty
Academic Rigor
Current and Available Technology
Character Education and Ethics