Parent Update 7/20/2012

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In This Issue

The Principal's Desk
President's Blog
College Corner
Underclassman Orientation
Social Media Connection
Around the Castle

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The Examined Life is Worth Living

1+1+1=Everything. This is the arithmetic employed by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his most read and taught work One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Read the Principal's Blog to hear an overview of one of the favorite readings from Mr. Gregg Preston's class. You'll get a glimpse into how Hillcrest uses Text-to-Heart teaching to cause students to understand deep themes in cherished literature that speak to the character and heart of God.

President's Blog | So Much More Than A Diploma

God's been building a bridge from Hillcrest to the province of San Pedro de Macoris, in the Dominican Republic. For four consecutive years, Hillcrest seniors have engaged in short term mission work there. Today, we have a relationship with two small Christian schools who have welcomed and embraced our students.

Read this week's President's Blog to understand how the Dominican Mission trip has been used to give students so much more than a diploma as they leave Hillcrest Academy.

College Corner

Many Parents have been asking about the ACT and SAT tests. In considering many of their questions, we have elected to communicate some good practices to employ as your family looks forward to college. In this article we will address some questions regarding preparing for college and the SAT and ACT tests.

Parents wonder when they should begin to look at colleges and begin to introduce their students to their next step in education. While Jr. High might be early to begin making plans, a student's Sophomore year is a good time to initiate the conversation. A good framework to begin the conversation is to ensure a clear path towards graduation from high school and support for the student to excel in their classes.

In addition to classwork, preparation for SAT and ACT tests are important. Hillcrest employs the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) for Junior students every October. This test serves as a preparation for the SAT and a first step to making students eligible for the National Merit Scholarship. Students who score in the top one-half of one percent for their state on the PSAT become National Merit semi-finalists. The award levels for National Merit Scholarships range from one-time awards of $1,000 to annual awards of $1,500 for up to four years. 

Some question if the SAT and ACT tests are frivolous. They aren't. Almost every college in the USA uses one of these two tests as a factor in evaluating student applications. The time to begin taking these tests is during a student's Junior year. Preparation for these tests are available through community education programs and SAT and ACT test preparation books which give practice tests to students. For more information on these resources, please email Hillcrest's guidance counselor Ruth Juliot at

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) measures a students potential with regard to college-level work. It provides a measure of verbal and mathematical competence. 

The American College Test (ACT) is an achievement test that measures what students already know as well as their ability to apply their knowledge. The ACT measures how students handle questions in English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Natural Sciences. 

The ACT and SAT tests use percentile measures to show where students stand relative to all the other students across the nation who took the same test. Suppose a person scored in the 80th percentile in the ACT English section. That student's score indicates that 80% of the students who took the same test at the same time scored lower, only 20% scored better. This information can be helpful for colleges as they assess student profeciency in their applications. A student with an "A" average at a relatively weak high school might have earned "C"'s had they studied in a school with higher standards and better teachers. Standarized tests allow colleges to better assess students apart from looking at grades alone.

Understand that no test is perfect. A test cannot measure motivation, determination, commitment and willingness to work hard. Students shouldn't feel put in a box. God uses students according to their attitude and obedience, not aptitude and test scores.

The information in this article was provided by Ron Nash's book Summit Ministries Guide to Choosing a College. It is a recommended guide for parents.

Underclassmen Orientation

Orientation is a valuable time at Hillcrest Academy. Students and parents experience both confidence and assurance as they walk through the many orientation activities throughout the first week of school. 

Orientation for many students will begin on August 21 and 22, however grades 7, 8 and 9 receive a special orientation session on August 17. For more information on where to meet and the orientation objectives please visit our website here>>

Social Media Connection

Hillcrest employs a number of ways for family and friends to stay ontop of campus activies. This weekly newsletter updates parents on essential information at Hillcrest, but can't fully capture the excitement students are experiencing throughout day-to-day activities.

To give parents and friends a better picture into the halls of Hillcrest, the Hillcrest Technical team updates the Hillcrest Academy Facebook page with daily activities and photo updates from the hallways, highways and byways that Hillcrest students interact with on a daily basis.

Please visit the page, subscribe to updates by liking the page and pass the connection information on to family and friends who may want to stay updated on your student's activities. You can view the page here>>

Around the Castle

Enrollment Paperwork
Families need to complete some necessary paperwork as our offices work to register students for enrollment at Hillcrest Academy. Paperwork can be viewed and downloaded here>> Direct any questions or concerns to Wayne Stender (
Move-in Day Registration
Hillcrest staff are doing last-minute updates to the dormitory this week in anticipation for the school year. The staff would like to know when they should expect your student. Please complete the following registration to make them aware of your arrival. You can register painlessly here>>
Sports Week Registration
Students interested in participating in Hillcrest's sports week will need to register on Monday, Aug. 13th. Please see the HLA Athletics Page for details.
Spiritual Formations Week Speaker
Parents are encouraged to view a short video biography of our opening week speaker, Alex McFarland. View the video at our Campus Ministries Page.  
Parent Prayer 
Hillcrest Parents and Staff will be gathering on Monday, August 12th at 7pm in the Hillcrest Chapel to start the school year in Prayer. Get together's are communicated here>> Please email Wayne Stender with questions (