Finding the right school for your child can be a daunting task. With many different options available, it is sometimes easy to get overwhelmed by the details. Here are some important questions to ask at your next school visit:

What are our options for before and/or after school care?

Find out if the school offers any before and/or after school care for their students. Many schools also offer after-school clubs at a cost. If there are interscholastic athletic teams, most of the practices and events will take place after school as well.

HCA offers both Before School and After School Care for students in Preschool through grade 5, and students in grades 6-8 who are on campus after 3:10 PM are required to go to the Middle School Study Center. Many of our middle and high school students participate in after-school sports, service opportunities, and clubs.

As a parent, am I required to attend church?

Not all Christian schools require parents to attend church. There are two types of Christian schools: missional Christian schools and discipleship/covenant Christian schools. Missional schools do not require any church affiliation or statement of faith, but do require that families abide by their code of conduct and approve the school’s Biblical teaching. Discipleship schools do often require church attendance and that at least one parent professes to be a born-again Christian.

HCA is a discipleship Christian school. Our student body represents over 100 churches. We believe in partnering with Christian families and local churches to disciple their young people so that “when they are old, they will not depart from it.”

How diverse is your student population?

Diversity is important to many private independent schools. The NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) states that the diversity rate for students of color in most private independent schools is approximately 30%. If a diverse environment is important to your family, ask the admissions office about it.

HCA’s diversity rate is 57%. Our diverse student body is truly a representation of heaven.

Is financial assistance offered? 

Financial assistance for private Christian schools is typically need- and/or income-based. There may also be other options available for saving on tuition as well.

HCA offers Tuition aid based on financial need. There also are several other ways to save on tuition, including: SCRIP program, Tri-County Scholarship Fund, and Merit Scholarships. For more information about these programs, view our Financial Aid page.

What is the deadline for admissions?

It is important to keep admissions deadlines in mind, as different schools that you are considering may have different deadlines and different requirements. In addition to the deadline(s), you may also want to ask the admissions office for any application tips or pointers.

HCA’s applications are processed in the order they are received. Apply early, as class size is limited and may fill up quickly. Applications are available online.

Is there a nurse on campus to address medical concerns?

If your child has any specific medical needs, an on-campus nurse is extremely valuable. Even if your child has no major medical concerns, a present medical professional can be invaluable in case of emergency or unexpected problems.

HCA has a full-time nurse on staff. She has been at HCA since 1985, and stays current on her medical training, especially in the areas of food allergies and asthma. If she is absent, a substitute nurse will replace her for the day.

Are our young ones kept safe and secure throughout the day?

Children’s security is of the utmost importance. Many schools are investing in security measures to ensure that the student body is kept safe. Make sure to ask whether a security system is in use, or if there are other security precautions are being taken.

Your child’s security is as important to HCA as it is to you. HCA has invested over $125,000 in a campus-wide security system, which includes 46 high-definition, motion-sensitive cameras, automatic locking doors, and three on-staff security guards. We are also blessed that our campus is covered by praying families, a pastoral staff, and our faculty that is present and watchful every day.

How rigorous are your academic programs?

Rigorous academics are often a sought-after asset when considering different schools for your children. The strength of the academic programs will determine the solidity of their foundation for higher learning. Be sure to also ask about available options for students who may need extra help.

As a Christian academy, HCA provides a strong academic program based on the truths and principles of Scripture. We address students of all learning levels, and provide personal attention and staffed Learning Centers to aid those who may require additional help. Our students’ testing scores are above both the national and state averages. For more information, view our test comparison.

At HCA, we pray that the Lord will guide you to the school that He has planned for you – and we hope that’s HCA! Hawthorne Christian Academy provides a Christ-centered education for Christian families. We encourage you to call or visit our campus, and to get to know us a little better. To inquire about HCA or to begin the application process, contact our Admissions Office at or (973) 423-3331 ext. 225.