Scottsdale Christian Academy offers a Quality Education with a Christian Worldview
By Michelle Talsma Everson
“Parents shouldn’t have to choose between a quality Christian education and a quality academic education; the two are not mutually exclusive,” says Dr. Brent M. Hodges, superintendent of Scottsdale Christian Academy (SCA). Dr. Hodges explains that generations of local families have been educated at SCA. He should know: he is a former student as are several family members and his son.
“Since 1968 we’ve been providing the same premier Christian education in the Valley,” he says. “If you look at our mission statement and our history, we are deep rooted in the Christian faith and providing a rich academic experience for our students.”
SCA’s motto is to “Maximize, Prepare, Impact.”
For the past 50 years Scottsdale Christian Academy has been fulfilling its mission to maximize the God-given potential of each student, preparing them to live lives of distinction, by impacting the world for Jesus Christ, according to the school. Students in preschool through high school are discipled and mentored for holistic growth through excellent academic offerings, co-curricular activities, and service opportunities.
With the goal of maximizing each student’s God-given potential, Dr. Hodges shares that the private school serves approximately 800 students ages preschool through 12th grade and offers a rich athletic program, fine and performing arts, AP and dual enrollment courses, and much more.
“For example, we close the high school one week a year, and take all the students and staff on different mission trips, both locally, regionally, and even internationally,” he shares. “By the time a student graduates, he or she will have served numerous communities in a wide variety of ways.”
With COVID-19 still at the top of everyone’s mind, Dr. Hodges says that the school does plan on re-opening this month with enhanced cleaning and prevention measures in mind.
Any modifications they are making are for the following purposes, according to staff:
• First, to be in compliance with any state and local legal orders that directly apply to us as a private school.
• Second, to have processes and possible alternatives specifically for those classified as being at a higher risk or who desire them.
• Third, to have health and safety actions in place which include promoting healthy hygiene, intensified cleaning and disinfecting, and protocols in place that are effective but least disruptive to a student’s learning environment.
“We are adapting and adjusting to COVID-19 with students’ and staff’s health and safety in mind,” he shares. “I am proud to share that our fourth quarter last spring was successful. Our faculty and our students adapted well to remote learning.”
Still, Dr. Hodges reassures that he and his staff are working hard to ensure a safe return for students.
“It will be a great joy to be back on campus and returning to an environment where we are teaching and learning together, in person, as a community of Christ-followers whose confidence ultimately lies in Him,” SCA staff wrote recently to current parents of SCA students.
While this school year may look a bit different, it doesn’t take away from SCA’s focus on being a Covenant model Christian school with the goal to teach students to “love God, and love others,” Dr. Hodges shares.
How can local parents and caregivers know that SCA will provide a quality Christian education for their students? Dr. Hodges notes that it comes down to Biblical integration, engaging curriculum, and dedicated teachers and staff.
Here are some highlights:
Spiritual Life: SCA integrates Biblical study and principles into academic life and lessons. In addition to mission trips, they offer Bible studies, small group get-togethers, and weekly chapel services. SCA also involves students in weekly devotionals, and emphasizes serving others in many capacities. Earlier this year (before pandemic related travel and safety restrictions), students went on local, national and international mission trips to locations such as Belize, California, the Dominican Republic, and more.
Early Childhood and Elementary School: From preschool to fifth grade, SCA helps students to develop a love of learning and faith. Staff recognizes each student represents a tremendous potential to impact the world for Jesus Christ in whatever arena they find themselves in future years. They encourage their students to explore varied interests and find joy in the process. Education is an adventure that God uses to teach us about ourselves and grow in our understanding of His purpose for our life, according to the school.
Middle School: Grades 6th, 7th and 8th encompass middle school at SCA. A middle school student at SCA is working to develop the gifts and abilities that God has given them, according to the school. During these years, students experience high school preparatory academics in all of the basic subjects combined with Bible study and several elective options. Courses like journalism, choir, Spanish, visual and performing arts, and more are all available to middle school students.
High School: “We seek to serve the developmental needs of the whole student. We endeavor to maximize each student’s God-given potential. We strive to stimulate the pursuit of creative expression in academics, arts, and athletics,” is the motto for SCA students in high school. In addition to traditional topics, SCA offers state of the arts performing and visual arts opportunities as well as unique courses.
“In high school, we offer many electives that contribute to a positive future,” Dr. Hodges shares. “For example, we have a personal finance course, something that often isn’t seen in other schools. Our alumni are diverse and successful. They often come back and visit, and keep in touch with classmates. Our alumni are some of our best spokespeople.”
Athletic and Fine Arts: Dr. Hodges says that it might surprise some to know that, even though SCA is a small school, they have robust athletic and fine arts programs. Upper elementary, middle school and high school students can join athletic teams, many of which have enjoyed state championships and successes. In their world-class fine arts program, Dr. Hodges says SCA offers band, choir, theater, visual arts, graphic design, photography, and broadcasting.
Education for Everyone: Dr. Hodges emphasizes that SCA is a school where the whole family can go. Whether students are on an honors track and ready to excel academically, or they need some extra help in the classroom, the school is prepared to assist through their honors and Pathways programs. “People who come here are actually surprised by all that our school has to offer,” he adds.
Dr. Hodges notes that one thing that might surprise locals is how affordable a Christian private school education may be. “We’re actually very socioeconomically diverse and encourage those who are interested in their children attending to reach out and see how we can help make an education here possible for their students. The opportunities for financial support in Arizona are robust. A Christian education is affordable and we can help you discover how to make this possible,” he says.
“We’re about educating the whole child to become a good citizen and shine a light in the community for Christ,” he continues.
For those who are interested, SCA offers on-campus tours; call 602-992-5100 or visit scottsdalechristian.org to learn more.