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Hope Academy

 

About Hope Academy

Hope Academy, founded in 1997, is an inclusion based private school, accredited by SCISA.  As part of Project HOPE Foundation's lifespan of services for the autism community, our mission is to provide supportive classes that develop and celebrate each child's academic, behavioral and social successes.  Classes are small with extra staffing.  Our classes are blended grades enabling children to work at their own level, reducing frustration and boredom.  This model allows us to foster knowledge, character development, and social responsibility.  At Hope Academy, our students “love to learn … and learn to live.”

The Hope Academy Way details our teaching philosophy.  We are grateful to Advent United Methodist Church for generously providing a home for our classes at their educational facility at 2258 Woodruff Road, Simpsonville, SC 29681.  

Hope Academy received the Best in the Upstate for Private Schools award from the Greenville News readers.

Instilling a love of learning is critical to the Hope Academy philosophy.

  • Low student-to-teacher ratio
  • Individualized curriculum
  • Character development
  • Public speaking opportunities
  • Academic excellence
  • Related arts

Our administrators and teachers know and appreciate each student as an individual.  We purposefully find ways to enjoy the process of learning, incorporating movement, conversation, and laughter throughout the school day.  We carefully provide a nurturing environment in which children learn for understanding rather than for test-taking.  We emphasize the goal of fluency instead of focusing on a grade.  Our faculty takes the time to develop strategies that emphasize each child’s individual skills and natural aptitudes.

Working together, Hope Academy’s families, faculty, and administration create a supportive and stimulating educational environment for each child.  Open classrooms allow families to share in the learning process.  An open-door administrative philosophy promotes family involvement and input. As an independent nondenominational school, Hope Academy puts people ahead of policies. Within established guidelines and procedures, we seek creative strategies.   As administrators and teachers, we strive to model respectful, cooperative problem-solving.   Respectful debate and discussion are encouraged at Hope Academy, enabling students to appreciate different approaches and viewpoints.  Hands-on learning and theme-based projects promote creativity and independence.

The South Carolina Curriculum Standards serve as our baseline for learning.  However, we do not restrict teaching to those prescribed units.  Classroom curriculum is not dictated by standardized testing, although we do administer standardized testing. Those results assist teachers in planning.  Teachers have the freedom to share their own expertise and experiences.  Additionally, we encourage each student to identify, cultivate, and share areas of personal interest and application.  This philosophy permits frequent inclusion of guest speakers, field trips, and enrichment activities.  Recognizing that the ability to communicate skillfully shapes lives, we provide multiple opportunities for students to develop fluency in writing and speaking.  Small classes enable every child to present information to a group, fostering comfort levels in public speaking from a very early age.  

We embrace character development as a core subject, routinely taking the time to monitor choices of voice, words, and actions.   Administrators and teachers model appropriate character skills through their daily interactions and monthly assemblies.  Role-play, group discussion, and one-on-one counseling facilitate awareness of the connection between thoughts, actions, and consequences.  Our goal is to assist children in developing a moral compass and self-control.

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Our Philosophy Is Simple

WE ALLOW EVERY CHILD TO BE BOTH SUCCESSFUL AND CHALLENGED THROUGH INDIVIDUALIZED AND SMALL GROUP LEARNING.

Using a multi-media approach, our faculty strives to meet each child’s academic, physical, emotional, and social needs at an individual level.  Our goal is to ensure self-esteem through success and growth through challenge.

WE RESPECT AND VALUE EACH MEMBER OF THE HOPE ACADEMY FAMILY.

Working together, Hope Academy’s families, faculty, and administration create a supportive and stimulating educational environment for each child.  Open classrooms allow families to share in the learning process.  An open-door administrative philosophy promotes family involvement and input.

WE FOCUS ON FINDING SOLUTIONS.

As an independent school, Hope Academy puts people ahead of policies. Within established guidelines and procedures, we seek creative strategies.   As administrators and teachers, we strive to model respectful, cooperative problem-solving.

WE ENCOURAGE AND EXPECT INDEPENDENT THINKING.

Respectful debate and discussion are encouraged at Hope Academy, enabling students to appreciate different approaches and viewpoints.  Hands-on learning and theme-based projects promote creativity and independence.

WE EMBRACE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AS A CORE SUBJECT.

We routinely take the time to monitor choices of voice, words, and actions.   Administrators and teachers model appropriate character skills through their daily interactions and weekly assemblies.  Role-play, group discussion, and one-on-one counseling facilitate awareness of the connection between thoughts, actions, and consequences.  Our goal is to assist children in developing a moral compass and self-control.

WE CREATE DAILY OPPORTUNITIES FOR SELF-EXPRESSION, BOTH WRITTEN & ORAL.

Recognizing that the ability to communicate skillfully shapes lives, we provide multiple opportunities for students to develop fluency in writing and speaking.  Small classes enable every child to present information to a group, fostering comfort levels in public speaking from a very early age.

WE RECOGNIZE THAT MISTAKES ARE ESSENTIAL TO LEARNING.

We carefully provide a nurturing environment in which children learn for understanding rather than for test-taking.  We emphasize the goal of fluency instead of merely focusing on a grade.  Our faculty takes the time to develop strategies that emphasize each child’s individual skills and natural aptitudes.

WE SEIZE TEACHABLE MOMENTS.

The South Carolina Curriculum Standards serve as our minimum standards.  However, we do not restrict teaching to those units.  Classroom curriculum is not dictated by standardized testing.  Teachers have the freedom to share their own expertise and experiences.  Additionally, we encourage each student to identify, cultivate, and share areas of personal interest and application.  This philosophy permits frequent inclusion of guest speakers, field trips, and enrichment activities.

WE HAVE FUN.

Instilling a love of learning is critical to our philosophy.  Our administrators and teachers know and appreciate each student as an individual.  We purposefully find ways to enjoy the process of learning, incorporating movement, conversation, and laughter throughout the school day.

WE DEMONSTRATE THAT INCLUSION BRINGS EXCITING POSSIBILITIES FOR ALL STUDENTS, FAMILIES, AND STAFF.

Hope Academy’s unique educational model intentionally places children with autism into classes of typical students.  In small classes with additional staff, children with autism successfully study grade-level curriculum as they learn to interact with and imitate their typical peers.

Typical children thrive in Hope Academy’s classrooms where individualization promotes unlimited growth. They gain self-esteem and problem-solving skills as they help a friend who has a different approach to life and to learning.  They focus on abilities, not disabilities; see strengths, not weaknesses; accept, not fear.

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Class Options at Hope Academy

Preschool

Hope Academy’s preschool limits class size to approximately 10 children, with both a lead teacher and an assistant teacher. Since its inception, Hope Academy has used a blended-age approach in its classrooms, offering both a K3/K4 and a K4/K5 blend. This approach helps with transitions between classes. Additionally, children have opportunities to experience a wide variety of skills, addressing both the need for extra challenge and the need for extra practice.

Our K3/K4 class is half-day, five days a week, from 8:15-12:00; we also provide limited options for a Tuesday-Thursday or a Monday-Wednesday-Friday track.

Our K4/K5 class is half-day, five days a week, from 8:15-12:00; we also provide limited options for afternoon stay until 3:15.

We fill our allotted classroom slots for children with autism in Hope Academy’s preschool classes thorough our Hope Reach ABA program based upon clinical recommendations.

Elementary

Hope Academy’s elementary classes typically include 12-16 students, with both a lead teacher and an assistant teacher. Since its inception, Hope Academy has used a blended-age approach in its classrooms. Children have opportunities to experience a wide variety of skills, addressing both the need for extra challenge and the need for extra practice. Additionally, keeping the same teacher-student relationship for two years promotes increased efficiency and stronger bonds.

All Hope Academy elementary classes are 8:15-3:15, Monday through Friday.

We offer a K5/1st grade blend, a 2nd/3rd grade blend, and a 4th/5th grade blend.

We fill our allotted classroom slots for children with autism in Hope Academy’s elementary classes thorough our Hope Reach ABA program based upon clinical recommendations.

Admissions Process

Admission to inclusion or Bridging the Gap classrooms at Hope Academy has several paths.  

  • If you are a Hope Reach family, referrals are made from your Supervisor.  
  • If you are a Bridging the Gap family, referrals for inclusion classrooms are made by the BTG Coordinator and your Supervisor (if receiving ABA services).  
  • f your child has an autism diagnosis but you are not yet part of the HOPE family, we welcome you to complete an interest form.  However, space is limited and BTG and Hope Reach families receive priority admission as they are receiving services from Project HOPE Foundation.  If you are not yet receiving ABA therapy for your child, please refer to our Hope Reach programClick here to learn more about our Bridging the Gap program.
  • For families who do not have an autism diagnosis, you are welcome to complete an interest form and we will be in contact with you.  You may contact us directly at 864-676-0028 for more information.  

Interest Form

Hope Academy Faculty & Staff

LISA LANE
Executive Director
Co-Founder
Project HOPE Foundation

SUSAN SACHS
Executive Director
Co-Founder
Project HOPE Foundation

MARY EVAN GILES
Administrative Assistant
Hope Academy
 

IVY WOODRUFF Grade: K3/K4 Lead Teachers

IVY WOODRUFF
Grade: K3/K4
Lead Teachers

BETH TIRRO Grade: K3/K4 Assistant Teacher

BETH TIRRO
Grade: K3/K4
Assistant Teacher

ANGI PALMER
Grade: K4/K5
Lead Teacher

KIMBERLY FIELDS Grade: K4/K5 Assistant Teacher

KIMBERLY FIELDS
Grade: K4/K5
Assistant Teacher

CHRISTINE GAYNOR Grade: K5/1st Lead Teacher

CHRISTINE GAYNOR
Grade: K5/1st
Lead Teacher

MIA HARPE Grade: K5/1st Assistant Teacher

MIA HARPE
Grade: K5/1st
Assistant Teacher

SHERYL HANSHAW Grade: 2nd/3rd Lead Teacher

SHERYL HANSHAW
Grade: 2nd/3rd
Lead Teacher

MARIANNE WAJDA Grade: 2nd/3rd Assistant Teacher

MARIANNE WAJDA
Grade: 2nd/3rd
Assistant Teacher

LINDSAY BACHMAN Grade: 4th/5th Lead Teacher

LINDSAY BACHMAN
Grade: 4th/5th
Lead Teacher

BETTYE BUTLER Grade: 4th/5th Assistant Teacher

BETTYE BUTLER
Grade: 4th/5th
Assistant Teacher

 

Volunteer for Team HOPE

TEAM Hope is the parent volunteer organization of Hope Academy.  It was born from the idea that we as parents need and want to support our teachers and administrators and thank them for the hard work that they are doing.  TEAM Hope stands for Together Everyone Achieves More and we truly believe that if we all do our part, we can make Hope Academy a phenomenal place to educate and raise our children. 

Three main areas we focus on are teacher/classroom support, teacher appreciation, and general school support.  Examples of teacher support include a room parent, field trip driver, and making copies.  Teacher appreciation would include "tokens of thanks" throughout the year, "take-out" lunches for teachers, and an end-of-year teacher luncheon.  General school support covers many areas, including helping at school events, coordination of TEAM Hope events, marketing and public relations assistance, fundraising, and much, much more.  As a group, we want the teachers and administrators to come to us with a request and for our response to be "we can get that done!!"

We all have busy schedules and other commitments, but we hope that every parent will become actively involved in TEAM Hope. Our motto is: Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something!

You can find our volunteer form below.  

There are many ways to get involved at Hope Academy, click on the form below to let us know how you want to volunteer.

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SC Tax Credit

South Carolina Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children

As the tax year comes to a conclusion, now is the opportune time for taxpayers to do year-end tax planning and to consider the benefits of available state tax credits.  

South Carolina currently offers an Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children tax credit, a dollar-for-dollar tax credit, for individuals and corporations.  Applicants are required to make a donation to Exceptional SC, a 501(c)(3) entity authorized by the South Carolina state legislature.  

A pool of $10,000,000 has been designated for these tax credits, given out on a first-come, first-serve basis, for tax year 2016.  As of November 4th, $5,285,631 of the $10,000,000 pool had been donated.  A five-person board awards tuition scholarships from this pool to qualifying exceptional needs children who attend approved private schools in the state.

Benefits of a Donation

  • Provides a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit  for up to 60% of a taxpayer’s South Carolina income tax
  • Allows for a charitable contribution for federal income tax purposes

Eligible Donors

  • C corporations
  • LLCs
  • Partnerships
  • S corporations
  • Individuals (parents/guardians of scholarship recipients will have a credit limitation)

Eligible Funds for Donation

  • Cash
  • Publicly Traded Securities

Taxpayers Who Benefit Most

  • Individual taxpayers paying Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) – for federal income tax purposes, the donation is considered a charitable contribution; it is not an add-back for AMT purposes whereas state income tax payments are
  • C corporations paying Alternative Minimum Tax
  • Individual taxpayers contributing appreciated stock – taxpayers will receive a charitable contribution deduction for the fair market value of the security donated (no taxable gain reported)

Other Items

  • The state tax credit is limited to 60% of state tax, with no carryovers
  • The amount of the federal charitable contribution deduction is an addback for SC income tax purposes
  • Charitable contributions may be limited for federal tax purposes
  • Flowthrough entities making donations should consider the effect on each owner individually

How to Make a Donation – Go to https://exceptionalsc.org/donate/

How to Apply for the Credit - Complete and file SC Form 57A after the donation has been made

This information has been provided by Project Hope Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) public charity located throughout upstate South Carolina, which provides a lifespan of services to the autism community, including Hope Academy,  an exceptional needs school for children with autism that is located in Greenville, SC.

While Project Hope does not directly benefit from your donation, we are providing this material to help facilitate full utilization of the $10,000,000 pool for this tax year.  Hope Academy provides services for approximately sixty children who received these scholarships.  These scholarships are vital to our ability to provide future services to the children.