Uniform Resale Store Sale – February 6th – 3 to 6 pm

Students and parents may turn in clean and gently used (stain-free, no missing buttons, zippers working, etc.) uniforms which they have outgrown or no longer need for consignment to Hillcrest’s Uniform Resale Store, which benefits the One Spirit One Sound Band; these items are then sold to patrons at a discounted price. If you wish to turn in uniforms for consignment to the Uniform Resale Store, complete the required form at http://hcswebwonders.org/wordpress1/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Uniform-Resale-Store-Guidelines.pdf before you bring your items to the high school office. If you are donating uniform items, this paperwork is not necessary.

Promoting Career Readiness

Today during 1st through 3rd periods, Hillcrest juniors and seniors took the ASVAB — the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. This is not a test which has typically been given at Hillcrest in past years; however, many of you parents probably remember taking this standardized test when you were in high school.  According to Military.com, “The ASVAB is a timed multi-aptitude test, which is given at over 14,000 schools and Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) nationwide and is developed and maintained by the Department of Defense.”  It tests four critical areas — Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge — and first determines whether a person is competent to enlist in the U.S. military, and then how qualified a person is for certain occupational specialties and enlistment bonuses.

The ASVAB is useful, moreover, for helping students who may not haven any idea about which careers they might be interested in studying and pursuing.  The test specifically measures knowledge in the following skills:

  • General Science – measures knowledge of life science, earth and space science, and physical science
  • Arithmetic Reasoning – measures ability to solve basic arithmetic word problems
  • Word Knowledge – measures ability to understand the meaning of words through synonyms
  • Paragraph Comprehension – measures ability to obtain information from written material
  • Mathematics Knowledge – measures knowledge of mathematical concepts and applications
  • Electronics Information – measures knowledge of electrical current, circuits, devices, and electronic systems
  • Auto and Shop Information – measures knowledge of automotive maintenance and repair, and wood and metal shop practices
  • Mechanical Comprehension – measures knowledge of the principles of mechanical devices, structural support, and properties of materials
  • Assembling Objects – measures ability with spatial relationships

With this program, students also take surveys about their interests and to identify personal characteristics; their ASVAB scores then help them match their background to possible careers.  When students receive their scores in the near future, they will also receive a report which shows them the areas in which they scored highest, and this might introduce them to fields of study and careers which they had not considered before.  Hillcrest juniors and seniors were given this test because, whether or not they enter the military, it is a great tool which has helped many students make decisions about their future path.

Writing Is Fundamental

One of the courses required for graduation from Hillcrest is Writing Skills.  This is a semester course taken first when students are in 8th grade, and again in 10th grade (when the class counts as .5 elective credit).  It was added years ago as part of the curriculum to ensure that students are prepared for college-level writing.  Because a number of skills are taught in the typical English class — literature, grammar, vocabulary and spelling, and writing –there are times when one or more of those skills does not receive the amount of time and attention truly necessary for mastery.  And because effective writing is essential not only in the college academic setting, but also in most careers, Hillcrest wants our graduates to feel well-prepared when they are faced with writing numerous essays, papers, and presentations — sometimes all at once and with little-to-no guidance.

At the 8th-grade level the goal of Writing Skills is to master effective paragraph writing and to become familiar with essays.  Because the paragraph is the basic building block of an essay, this is a critical skill for communicating ideas.  At the 10th-grade level students learn, in detail, the parts of an essay and begin to develop their own style of writing by drafting two different types of compositions, typically a narrative and then an expository essay.  They also study resume writing and filling out applications — skills necessary for earning college scholarships or grants and for job hunting.  And while seniors do not take a separate Writing Skills class, during the first 9 weeks in English 12, students thoroughly review grammar, mechanics, and writing again, polishing and perfecting their skills.  So, parents, if you hear your children complaining about “all that writing” they have to do, now you know why.

Hillcrest’s teachers work hard and proudly to continue the school’s reputation for creating strong writers who excel in composition both in college and beyond.  For example, every year around Homecoming, recent graduates — often those who struggled while at HCS — return to visit and are excited to tell the high school English teachers, “My Comp. teacher uses my papers as the example for the rest of the class!” or “I have the highest grade in my English class, and everyone else is asking me for help!” Those first-hand testimonies of student successes are “music to a teacher’s ears” and the ultimate goal of Hillcrest’s comprehensive writing instruction.

Eagle Scouts Excel as Leaders

Hillcrest Christian School is proud to claim these 3 young men as our own.  Stephen Dooley and JoJo Moss recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout within the Boy Scouts of America, and Preston Vaughan is in the process of being awarded this honor.  (Read about his Eagle Scout project in the article, “Nursing students lend artistic hand to scout’s project.”)  And while many of us realize that this is an impressive achievement, we don’t completely understand why.

A young man does not become an Eagle Scout within a few months; it takes years, and only about 5 percent of Boy Scouts complete the work to earn this highest level in Scouting. According to the National Eagle Scout Association, candidates must first advance through the ranks—Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life, by passing specific tests which are organized by requirements and merit badges, demonstrating proficiency in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills.  Of the more-than-130 merit badges available, 21 must be earned to qualify for Eagle Scout, 13 of which are required in areas including First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Cooking, Environmental Science, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Camping, and Family Life. In addition, a Scout has a choice between Emergency Preparedness and Lifesaving and a choice among Cycling, Hiking, and Swimming.

Furthermore, at each of his rank advancements, a Scout must conference with his Scoutmaster in order to set goals in line with his talents and abilities and in order that the Scoutmaster may evaluate how well he accomplished his present goal.  Also, at each level after First Class, the Scout must demonstrate leadership by holding positions of responsibility in his patrol and/or troop.  The skills learned in Scouting—citizenship training, character development, and personal fitness—benefit these young men for the rest of their lives, as they enter college and careers, and in understanding the importance of community service.

The Hillcrest family could not be more proud of these 3 juniors and of their achievements!

Winter Athletics

While school took a break for the past 2 weeks, winter sports did not.  Both basketball and soccer are mid-season and still have several games left, and our Cougar athletes have been working hard and will continue to push themselves in order to have successful seasons.

Please continue to come out and support our Cougar basketball and soccer teams.  Junior varsity and varsity basketball will next play this Saturday at Jackson Academy beginning at 2:00 PM.  The Cougar soccer team will play again Tuesday, January 10 at Oak Forest beginning at 5:00 PM.