THE MISSION OF HOVNANIAN SCHOOL IS
To preserve and elevate the Armenian community
by creating generations of well-rounded and globally-minded leaders
through an education focused on
academic excellence, multi-lingual expression, emotional intelligence,
and a rich Armenian-American identity.
We are a community of learners at Hovnanian School. Our approach is comprised of five unique but overlapping elements that are woven through the curriculum and integrated into every aspect of school life. The school’s philosophy of teaching and learning creates a safe and nurturing environment to allow each child to thrive in their own unique way.
Developing the Whole Child
Our school recognizes a set of natural rights: each member of our community is an individual human being and each person ought to be secure in property and in basic liberties. We strive to respect and promote the rights of each individual while protecting and nurturing the welfare of the community.
Learning takes place in many languages. The main languages of the school community are English and Armenian. Students are introduced to French from the age of 2. A “one person/one language” strategy and language immersion helps foster natural conditions of language acquisition, while intensive language programs and interactive methods enhance daily practice. The school itself is the setting for language acquisition. There is no assumption and no preference about whether the children can or cannot speak Armenian - outside of the school, in the home, or in the community. Consequently, the goal is to have all children proficient in the language before they learn to read and write. Viable and vital space created for each language helps the natural choice of language and the natural reaction among peers. From the early ages, within the environment created by the teachers, children are the master of their linguistic development and grow as competent, multilingual individuals.
Multi-age Learning / Interaction
The learning experience at Hovnanian School is largely influenced by small class sizes and the closely-knit community. In traditional classroom setting, students are grouped into separate age groupings. In reality, however, people interact and share experiences regardless of age. At Hovnanian School, we believe multiple strengths - self-esteem, self-respect, and self-confidence - come from allowing students from different age groups to interact and develop relationships across grade levels.
The essence of the school’s multi-age learning philosophy is demonstrated by “Project Time” workshops that occur every Friday afternoon for the last hour and a half of the academic day. During Project Time, grades 1-8 participate in one of eight workshops change from term to term and include Mosaics, Student Government, Musical Theater, Chess, Community Service, Scrabble, and Woodworking to name a few. As students select their desired workshops, each session is inevitable comprised of a variety of grade levels. The means a 4th grader might play Scrabble against a 1st grader, or that a 7th grader, 3rd grader, and 1st grader must work together to write a newsletter column. In this multi-age experience, students explore new ways to observe, create, learn, and express their knowledge. They are exposed to new environments and different teaching styles. As students engage in unique dialogue with children of all ages, their ability to communicate and appreciate other perspectives flourishes. Working with others within a multi-age dynamic also enhances students, social skills, and their problem solving abilities.
Teachers from 1st through 8th grade work together to prepare workshops, propose new ones, and make any improvements along the way. As Project Time is a collaborative effort, it offers a natural basis for professional development, self-assessment, and peer review. The Project Time experience proves that our small community has the potential to fully realize the benefits of its size and that the multi-age experience - bringing students and faculty of all ages together for a unique learning experience - is the ideal forum to fulfill this potential.
The multi-age experience eliminates fears, decreases teasing and bullying, and fosters community understanding within the school setting. It also helps make other projects that involve various grades more successful and enriching.
The Student-Faculty Partnership
The close relationship made between administration, teachers, and students without the stress of academic competition helps garner a nurturing and friendly school community that prepares our students for a global society wherein everyone - regardless of religious, ethnic or cultural background - is respected and appreciated.
Cooperative Conflict Resolution
At Hovnanian School, we are dedicated to contributing toward our students growth as responsible and caring members of society. Many programming initiatives are designed to build cooperative skills for children to effectively resolve issues and work through conflict. Social settings such as Project Time, International Day, and combined class recess expose each child to different styles and provide an opportunity to further develop the sense of community. This exposure helps students become more receptive to change, more open to new ideas, and more capable of integrating non-routine events and activities into their daily routines without disruption.