Dual Enrollment Students Earn College Credit

Dual enrollment is a rapidly expanding program which allows high school students to earn credit toward a degree at a Mississippi public university; many private colleges accept dual credit as well.  Even better, these courses simultaneously count as credit toward a high school diploma. Currently, Hillcrest offers English Composition I, English Composition II, and College Algebra through a partnership with Hinds Community College.  Seven students are earning 3 credit hours this semester in College Algebra with Mr. Ryan, and fourteen will receive 3 more credits in English Composition I with Mrs. Massey.  It is possible that seniors may have 9 college credits by the time they graduate from Hillcrest, almost enough to be counted as full-time for one semester!

Anyone who has been to college will likely agree that the most difficult part is learning to be responsible for yourself, and those considering taking dual enrollment courses must be aware that personal responsibility and time management are critical skills for success.  Furthermore, because these are college classes, the work assigned is often more challenging than in typical high-school classes. However, because dual-enrollment students are familiar with their instructors (who are given the title of adjunct professors at Hinds) and with the environment, these early college students are able to transition into the college frame-of-mind more easily than if their first experience was on a campus with thousands of others.

Any current juniors who are considering taking one or more of these courses during their senior year should consult the Dual Enrollment page here on the website, under Academics, or talk to Mr. Ritter for more information.

Students Collaborate in Class

Collaborative learning (also called group work or peer learning) has students working in pairs or small groups to discuss ideas or to find solutions to problems after having been introduced to new material. Similar to the idea that “two heads are better than one,” many instructors find that students teach each other and address misunderstandings or clear up misconceptions in ways that might be easier for their classmates to comprehend.

Research from the Cornell University Center for Teaching Excellence shows that some of the benefits of collaborative learning include the following:

  • Development of higher-level thinking, oral communication, self-management, and leadership skills.
  • Increase in student retention, self-esteem, and responsibility.
  • Exposure to and an increase in understanding of diverse perspectives.
  • Preparation for real life social and employment situations.

Encouraging students to work together to find solutions is only one of many methods used at Hillcrest to create tomorrow’s thinkers and leaders.

group work

Sophomores in Writing Skills work to put mixed-up essays back in logical order.

Elementary Students Accelerate Reading Skills

Accelerated Reader is a program used in the lower school to help students improve their independent reading skills, allowing them to choose their own books, on which they then take short comprehension quizzes. Students work toward personalized reading goals and growth.

MrsHeadAR MrsHeadAR2

Mrs. Head’s first graders are already learning how to use the A.R. program all on their own!

Setting the Stage for Excellence

It didn’t take long for Hillcrest students to get back “into the groove” of the regular school routine.  After one week, notes have been taken, homework has been completed, and a few tests and quizzes have even been passed!  The stage has been set for our scholars to achieve excellence this year.

IMG_8723Mrs. Matthews’s and Coach Talley’s science classes paying attention and working hardIMG_8703

math1 math2

Mu Alpha Theta, a national honors organization for math, is a new addition at Hillcrest for students with high academic achievement in the area of mathematics.


Brand new lockers were delivered to the junior high building.

It’s going to be a great year!

HCS Welcomes New Faculty

Hillcrest is proud to have several new faces to add to our outstanding faculty this year.


New Upper School faculty include Brandon Blakeney, Nathan Foreman, Jessica Matthews (returning), and Anthony Pike.


Mrs. Baldwin teaches 6th grade.


Mrs. Weathersby teaches 2nd grade.

 Welcome to the Hillcrest family!