Hsinchu County American School (HCAS) utilizes the Dalton Plan, a progressive educational framework, developed by Helen Parkhurst in early 20th century. Focusing on developing the whole child, Dalton plan tailors each student's program to his or her needs, interests, and abilities; to promote both independence and dependability; and to enhance the student's social skills and sense of responsibility toward others. Encouraging cooperation within the community and providing environment of freedom for individuals as the two principles, HCAS uses three-part plan which are House, Assignment, and Laboratory. In addition to the Dalton Plan as the conceptual framework, HCAS uses project based learning for both formal and summitive assessments in all grades.
School is divided into three divisions: First Program, Middle School and Upper School. The First Program consists of grades K1 to grade 4, Middle School consists of grades 5 to 8, and Upper School consists of grades 9 to 12. HCAS utilizes 40 minutes segments for the First Program, and Middle and Upper Schools use the block schedule of 80 minutes. For Upper School, one subject requires 120 hours (7,200 minutes) of class or contact time with the faculty member over the course of one academic year (180 school days) to fulfill the Carnegie Credit Units (CCU).
Foreign Language Requirements
HCAS is an English medium of instruction school. Chinese, Spanish, and French are offered as foreign languages. All Upper grade students are required to take foreign language courses as a graduation requirement. Students can opt out of the Chinese Language requirements by taking the AP test or continue to take higher levels of Chinese during their Upper School years. French and Spanish are offered as a foreign language for four years in Upper School. For the First Program and Middle School, Spanish and French are offered as a co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.