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"Senior Portraits", Watercolor creations by HPS students
Everyone who becomes involved with Hunterdon Prep quickly comes to know that HPS is an exceptional school. Our students and parents know it, our staff members know it, our community partners know it, visitors to the school know it. Putting your finger on specifically what sets HPS apart is a little bit more difficult, however.
When Executive Director, Toby Ray Loyd, posed this question to several community partners, Child Advocate, Dana Carney, provided the following response.
As a parent and a Professional Special Education Advocate, I have spent years observing all types of schools. When looking to make a decision to place your child out of district, you need to think about who your child is, and what your child needs in an educational program to enable personal success.
The first time I entered the Hunterdon Preparatory School, I instantly knew that HPS was the one school that was finally providing what so many kids need; the undeniable advantage of being in a truly unique and authentic learning and social environment where they can trust and feel the security that allows for maximum academic and personal growth.
What puts HPS in a league of its own is its "Good Faith Agreement” honor code which is incorporated into all areas of daily life at the school. This agreement requires all students and staff members to share feedback, practice conflict resolution and acquire the communication skills necessary to create and sustain healthy relationships and practice effective self-advocacy. These skills naturally carry over to work in the classroom and greatly facilitate academic achievement.
These are what I call real-life skills; the ability to effectively problem solve the conflicts that happen in real life using direct, appropriate language in line with social expectations. In most schools, conflict resolution and communication skills, if they are addressed at all, are merely ‘scripted’ goals that never become internalized for use beyond the classroom setting.
HPS has proven that this critical learning can be accomplished without a script by building its program on a foundation of open communication, respect, accountability and acceptance. It is real-life skill learning in its most effective and authentic form.
The Hunterdon Preparatory School is a rare gem. The authenticity of the faculty is remarkable,
There is no pretense. The environment feels as safe as if you were in the company of old friends. The academic success that this environment produces is clearly in evidence by the large number of college and career-bound HPS graduates.
HUNTERDON PREPARATORY SCHOOL IS A, not-for-profit, day school serving students between the ages of 12 and 21
from over 40 school districts in New Jersey. We are located near the town of Clinton in west central NJ.