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Next Steps Program

The Next Steps program is designed to help students in fifth through eighth grade learn the skills they need to become successful in high school, college and their careers. It also reinforces Holy Child Academy’s commitment to the principle of developing the whole child. Lessons educate students about social skills, emotional skills, and quality of character.

The program includes five distinct areas:

  • Personal Development and Life Skills
  • High School Application Preparation
  • College & Career Exploration
  • Strategic Test-Taking Skills
  • Educational Program/Academic Lessons

Fifth and Sixth Grade

Strategic Testing - In the spring, students will develop highly effective critical-thinking strategies and test-taking skills to improve their test scores to maximize their performance on standardized tests.

College & Career Exploration - Introduction to the working world students will one day enter and increase students’ knowledge of career options. Includes a class visit to a college.

Personal Development and Life Skills

  • Time Management lessons teach students to plan and manage their time.
  • Respect/Conflict Resolution lessons educate students about resolving conflict while maintaining an empathetic attitude and mutual respect for others.
  • Resilience-building activities are designed to educate students about how to regulate emotional and social aspects of their lives to successfully manage life tasks and challenges.
  • Bullying/Cyber-bullying lessons provide students with resources designed to motivate them to speak out against bullying, and create new ways to make their schools safe for everyone.
  • Introduction to the Resume lessons educate students about the purpose of a resume and portfolio the basic rules for writing one.
  • Decision-making and goal-setting lessons teach students techniques to succeed.
  • Lessons about Differences educates students about empathy and the benefits of learning with classmates from different backgrounds and cultures.
  • Student-Led Conferences allow students to hone their verbal communication and critical-thinking skills while discussing goals and areas for growth

Seventh Grade

Strategic Testing with Test Innovators - In the spring, students will learn strategies to prepared for ISEE (Independent Schools Entrance Exam).

Educational Program/Academic Lessons - Students learn the techniques used in persuasive arguments and apply them to independent writing activities.

Prepare for High School - Participate in shadow days, attend lunches with high schools and prepare for the application process.

College & Career Exploration - Participate in a job shadow day to visit a workplace and see the first­hand skills and training necessary in various types of careers. Includes a class visit to a local university.

Personal Development and Life Skills

  • Social Skill Development lessons help students practice and cultivate their social and communications skills.
  • Lessons are structured to enhance self-esteem and character with emphasis on socially acceptable behavior.
  • Multiple Intelligences lessons explore and differentiate learning styles and multiple intelligences.
  • Resume Building lessons encourage students to think about how their different activities, skills and interests can build a resume.
  • Goal Setting lessons teach students the importance of setting goals, and recording short- and long-term goals to complete during the school year.
  • Internet Safety lessons educate students about digital threats.
  • Student- Led Conferences focus on academic progress and allow students to discuss their accomplishments in all content areas.

Eighth Grade

Strategic Testing with Test Innovators - Classroom tools prepare students for ISEE (Independent Schools Entrance Exam).

Self-Presentation Skills - Ability to put one's best self forward, develop courtesy and sensitivity to interact well with others.

Educational Program/Academic Lessons - Students participate in a capstone project. In Spring 2018, the topic was Immigration.

Prepare for High School - Students participate in the application and selection process during the fall and winter. They attend shadow days and lunches with high schools.

College & Career Exploration - Learn about different colleges and careers. Includes a class visit to a local university.

Personal Development and Life Skills

  • Mock Interview lessons prepare students for high school interviews.
  • Personality inventories help students through an analysis of the descriptions of personality types.
  • Transitioning to High School lessons educate students about time management and prepare them for the high school structure and workload.
  • Student-Led Conferences give students the responsibility to prepare and direct the conferences with their parents while targeting goals for their final year of middle school.

Preparation for High School and Beyond

Recent HCA graduates earned scholarships to the following high schools:

  • Archbishop John Carroll High School
  • Academy of Notre Dame de Namur
  • Devon Preparatory School
  • Merion Mercy Academy
  • Sacred Heart Academy
  • The Agnes Irwin School
  • The Baldwin School
  • The Shipley School
  • St. Joseph's Preparatory School
  • Villa Maria Academy
  • The Westtown School

Recent graduates have attended Boston College, Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgetown University, Haverford College, Harvard University, MIT, New York University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, Villanova University, Yale University, and other top-tier institutions.

For more information, contact Dr. Rebecca Kellich, Associate Head of School, at or 610-259-2712.