Hilburn Academy provides an innovative approach in preparing students for success in the 21st Century. Students’ unique learning needs are engaged in a rich environment that celebrates personal growth. Collaboration, communication, cooperation and critical thinking skills are foundational to our learning activities, as we know these skills are transferrable across all disciplines and professions. With STEM ideals in mind, academic subjects are integrated whenever possible and based on real-world applications through project-based learning. All of this occurs in a safe and nurturing environment where students are seen as unique individuals, each with special gifts and talents to develop.
Hilburn Academy is in the process of expanding into Wake County’s only K-8 school. Sixth grade was added in 2012, with seventh and eighth grades being added in 2013 and 2014. This format provides a unique opportunity for students and families desiring a small-school feel with a large community presence. Transitions from elementary school to a middle school are eliminated with a K-8 format, so teaching and learning may continue seamlessly from one grade level to the next without disruption. Relationships between students, parents and community partners can span nearly a decade at Hilburn, which further contributes to an already vibrant school community.
The school’s program provides students with exceptional opportunities: an integrated arts curriculum; global language electives for all students (Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, K-8 – with an additional option of Arabic for grades 6-8), international teachers, a global-regional VIF Passport program and band for students in the upper grades. Career & Technical Education, only available in traditional middle- and high school settings, is integrated by a specialist in all grades starting in Kindergarten. Hilburn students enjoy SmartBoards in every classroom, 200+ iPads for instruction, a new Mac lab, new media collection, new Science & Engineering building and new personal laptops for every student in the middle grades. Additional staff specialists are on hand to ensure meaningful integration and support. Parents, members of the business community and NC State University are very active in supporting Hilburn Academy’s academic programs.
In terms of performance, Hilburn exceeded High Growth status in 2011 (Overall and in Math) and earned High Growth status again in 2012 (Overall, Reading and Math). A School of Distinction, Hilburn has exceeded all AYP expectations for success and leads the district in math performance among multiple subgroups. Most importantly, students’ individual and team-based work for STEM Expos and daily instruction reveal increasing mastery of 21st century skills.