Independent Schools: In Their Own Words

Cardinal Newman School

2945 Alpine Road, 29223

(803) 782-2814

Our world is changing rapidly, learning expectations are higher than ever, and faith-filled values are the foundation of a stronger tomorrow. At the heart of this future is Cardinal Newman School, where we are not satisfied with the traditional definition of educational success. We expect more and are committed to partnering with parents to create young faith-filled leaders by redefining excellence. How? Through the integration of Catholic values throughout a holistic learning experience on our new campus that is not just a school, but our home.

We recognize students have various interests and abilities, and we are committed to helping them reach their potential in a safe, nurturing and faith-filled environment. Our faculty and guidance counselors are equipped to provide a rigorous academic challenge for students who need it as well as an individualized plan to ensure success for those who may require extra attention. We also provide a myriad of opportunities, through community service, clubs, extracurricular activities, athletics, and the performing and visual arts, to bring out each student’s unique gifts and talents. We know that no matter who they are or where they excel, all of our students can proudly say: “I am a Cardinal!”

We’re enrolling now, so call our Admissions Director Theresa Harper and schedule a tour.


Hammond School

854 Galway Lane, 29209

(803) 776-0295

For more than 50 years, Hammond School has been recognized for the strength of its academic program and success in preparing students for life in college and beyond. Academics, though, is only half of the story. Hammond boasts a unique experience that follows students throughout their lives. The Hammond community is a nurturing family where faculty and coaches work alongside students in a small, caring environment. Lifelong friendships are forged, a love of learning is instilled, and talents are nurtured. Students of all ages and grades have opportunities to participate in experiential learning, and the school’s focus on a global curriculum is a hallmark of the Hammond experience.

In addition to unique and innovative programs for early learners through high school students, the school boasts equally impressive athletic, arts, and service learning programs. The small environment affords students the opportunity to participate in athletics, and the school’s teams have earned a reputation for success on the playing fields and courts. Likewise, the varied palette of arts programs allows students the chance to explore interests and talents in an emotionally safe environment.

Community service opportunities are expansive from the youngest grades to the oldest and an integral component of life at Hammond. Hammond is proud of the well-rounded students who graduate each year and find success in whatever their chosen endeavor. While Hammond is a pre-kindergarten through grade 12 school, it considers itself “pre-kindergarten through life.”

•    The average SAT score is 1406, and the average ACT score is 33.4.

•    2017 academic scholarship offerings topped $8 million and included several full cost of attendance awards.

•    Members of the Class of 2017 were accepted to prestigious institutions such as Columbia University, Georgetown, Harvard, Duke, Chapel Hill Honors, Cal-Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Southern Cal Honors, and many more.

•    93 percent of students in middle and upper grades participate on an athletic team.

•    The varsity football team has won the SCISA State Championship for nine out of the past 14 years.

•    The Select Ensemble choir regularly performs at home and abroad, most recently singing throughout Europe and for Pope Francis at New Year’s Mass.


Heathwood Hall Episcopal School

3000 S. Beltline Blvd., 29201

(803) 765-2309

For more than 65 years, Heathwood Hall has been an educational leader in South Carolina, providing a distinctive learning environment, a challenging curriculum, and signature programs that create unique opportunities for higher-level learning. Our focus on the whole child cultivates tenacious, sophisticated thinkers who value service to others over self-interest. Our graduates are engaged, empathetic leaders, prepared not only to take on a dynamic world but to transform it.

Heathwood’s teachers have an average of 17 years of teaching experience, and more than two-thirds of them hold advanced degrees. They are committed to building strong relationships with each student to facilitate confident and engaged learning. That’s why, since 2001, 11 members of the Heathwood faculty have been named SCISA Teachers of the Year.

Heathwood is also distinguished by its signature programs that offer exceptional opportunities for academic and personal growth:

Columbia Connections — School-wide program that connects students with leaders from the academic, cultural, scientific, nonprofit, and business communities in Columbia for real-world application of what they’ve learned in the classroom.

Upper School Winterim and Lower School LEAP Week — Week-long experiential learning programs in which students broaden their educational experience through internships, short courses, community service, or national/international travel.

PEAK — Heathwood’s signature outdoor program, which provides students of all ages with hands-on opportunities in wilderness exploration, environmental education, and leadership development.

Hands-on Science — Our Tinker Lab, Life Sciences Lab, and Honors Science Research program provide learners of every age the opportunity to experience and analyze the world around them.

Senior Exhibition — A year-long scholarly research project that is the culmination of our school-wide focus on strong writing skills. Students select a topic and demonstrate mastery of it through a lengthy research paper and a public presentation.

Heathwood’s resources, including a 122-acre campus with five distinct habitats, a Makerspace, a thriving fine arts program, outstanding athletic facilities, and a new natural learning environment playground opening next year, also enrich students’ experiences, as does our Episcopal identity, which encourages spiritual growth for students of all faith backgrounds.

Heritage Christian Academy

649 Barr Road, 29072

(803) 951-3901

Founded in 1996, Heritage Christian Academy has successfully been educating students of Christian families in and around Lexington. We are a college-preparatory, non-denominational school founded on Biblical principles.

We are located in a residential area of Lexington on a beautiful 10-acre campus. Some qualities that characterize our students include:

•    Heritage students are confident, well-spoken, and self-disciplined in their studies.

•    Heritage students value and display a love of learning and of God’s creation, treating it responsibly and with dignity.

•    Heritage students show initiative, perseverance, and cooperation with others, respecting others as God’s creation.

•    Heritage students recognize the teachers are thoroughly invested in them, thus encouraging academic success and spiritual growth.

•    Heritage students love their school family where friendships are made for life.


Northside Christian Academy

4347 Sunset Blvd., 29072

(803) 520-5656

Northside Christian Academy is exploding onto the athletic scene in 2018 with a new multi-million dollar baseball and football stadium being built on campus. The private Christian school, which opened in 2011, has continued to be the fastest growing private school in South Carolina for several years running. The school location is right off Interstate 20, making it conveniently located for students throughout the Midlands. Competing with teams throughout the South Carolina Independent Schools Association, Northside has already advanced to the football state championship in their division last season. The new Crusader football stadium will now give the program a true home field advantage with sod that has been laid over a premium top soil blend to enhance the playing experience. The field will also feature a built-in press box with customized bleachers, along with a track around the perimeter.

The baseball stadium amenities are equally as nice. The field features an imported ruby red clay, brick backstop, brick dugouts, two turf bullpens, a two story brick press box, a 20-foot by 50-foot covered batting cage, and outstanding lighting. Head of Schools Pastor Scott Crede states, “Our new sports complex will allow us to further our goal in using sports as a way to lead young people to Jesus Christ. We strive for excellence here at Northside in everything that we do.” The school will play its first baseball games and football games at home in 2018.


Sandhills School

1500 Hallbrook Drive, 29209

(803) 695-1400

Sandhills School gives bright students the tools they need to be successful academically and become leaders among their peers and in the community. At Sandhills, highly specialized teachers focus on the strengths of each student and help them navigate traditional obstacles of learning. Sandhills provides a supportive, college preparatory environment where first through 12th grade students rediscover the joy of learning and renew their intellectual curiosity. Through authentic success in small, hands-on classes, leadership opportunities on the sports field and the stage, and traveling internationally and serving the community, our students gain confidence in their abilities, and fears and anxieties begin to fade. Sandhills parents notice a positive difference in their child almost immediately.

For more than 40 years, Sandhills School has changed the lives of young people diagnosed with language-based learning differences such as dyslexia or ADHD. As the only Orton-Gillingham accredited college-preparatory school in the Midlands, Sandhills has teachers who are highly trained to provide research-based individualized instruction tailored to each student’s academic needs. This approach produces tremendous progress in everything from reading, writing, and math to study skills, organization, and college entrance test preparation. Our graduates go on to the colleges of their choice, are recognized by state and national scholarships, and are equipped with the tools they need to succeed in college and beyond.


Timmerman School

2219 Atascadero Drive, 29206

(803) 782–2748

Timmerman School is the largest independent 2-year-old through 8th grade school in the state. It was founded in 1954 by Mrs. June H. Timmerman. Mrs. Timmerman began her teaching career in Alabama’s public school system, where she designed the 5-year-old kindergarten phonics program for her school district. After transferring to Columbia with her husband, John, she saw a need for pre-school education; therefore, she decided to start a school just to prepare 5 year olds for the rigors of first grade. The school quickly grew, adding grades and outgrowing three campuses. Mrs. Timmerman hosted a daily live children’s educational television show through ETV for many years. She was awarded The Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest honor for its citizens, for her contributions in educating students throughout the state of South Carolina.

Today the school enjoys a beautiful campus in Forest Acres serving 2-year-old children through 8th grade students. A highly qualified staff guides and instructs students through an advanced academic curriculum with an extremely small teacher/student ratio. If needed, Timmerman’s LOGIC Program, consisting of small groups and individualized instruction, enhances academic proficiency. Administrators at Timmerman have been recognized with both the Dr. Charles Aimar Educational Leadership Award and the SCISA LEAD award, both statewide recognitions.

The performing arts are an integral part of the total Timmerman experience. A comprehensive athletic program, including the new football and sporting clays competitive teams, is building character and teamwork. The girls’ volleyball team boasts consecutive tournament championships. Timmerman students achieve success in any high school environment. The mission of Timmerman School is to foster the three R’s: Respect, Resourcefulness, and Responsibility. Students who live by these three R’s will be successful in all of life’s endeavors.

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