Hillcrest opened its doors to the community on Tuesday night with an open house and full school tour. The 100 year ministry is launching a new initiative to educate the community on the health, social, academic, and spiritual benefits of attending a Christian school like Hillcrest.
On Tuesday night Principal Jeff Isaac gave a ten minute overview of the Hillcrest program using the school's recently updated School Profile. In his opening, Principal Isaac referred to an academic survey that shows students who engage in the Bible four times or more per week have a natural decrease in the likelihood of participating in premarital sex, pornography, smoking, getting drunk, and having suicidal and destructive thoughts. He noted that Hillcrest students engage in Bible training in every class every day, making the point that attending Hillcrest offers a longterm health and social benefit.
Principal Isaac also shared what he called the 10,000 hour rule. He cited Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers that speaks to expertise being built in 10,000 hours of study or practice. Principal Isaac opened his thoughts on the topic by saying that, "Education is a transfer of a way of life. Your students will become an expert in a certain worldview at school." Students will spend 11,700 hours in training at Hillcrest from 7th-12th grade, 7,800 hours in training in high school alone, when factoring in classroom training, athletic preparation and competition, extra-curricular clubs, and homework. "Your students will become an expert in a worldview, the question is which worldview will they be an expert in?"
Following Principal Isaac's introduction, families joined current students and teachers on a tour of the school. The groups stopped in Hillcrest's newly renovated classroom section, visiting the library, science labs, and history classrooms to hear the way Hillcrest integrates the Bible into academic training. Principal Isaac noted that the school has success with students venturing on to college, citing that the recent test scores for the SAT place Hillcrest's average in the 90th percentile nationally. However, Principal Isaac noted that Hillcrest's gauge for success has a longer view, focusing on what kind of 28-year-old Hillcrest students are, rather than simply what kind of 18-year-old graduates.
A testimony to the 28-year-old test happened by way of testimony from a current student to the lifestyle and focus of a thirty-seven-year-old Hillcrest graduate, Ryan Garvin, who is now teaching history at Hillcrest. One of Ryan's current students who was leading the parent group on the tour spoke up as Ryan was going through the way his class approaches history. Ashley Jarvi, a Hillcrest senior taking American History in Ryan's class, shared that that the classroom is important, but the thing she appreciates most about Mr. Garvin's classes are that his devotional times before class are real and authentic as he leads the students to consider how the Bible relates to American History.
To close the night the groups gathered in Hillcrest's new dining hall located in their Student Union on Hillcrest's campus. Coffee and treats were provided by the students' coffee house, the Comet Cafe, and parents received door prizes before Hillcrest gave away a free semester of tuition to a family in attendance.
Hillcrest is continuing the open house momentum by offering a complete tour to members from the community on what the school is calling Walk-in Wednesdays. Families can call the school at 218-739-3371 anytime to schedule their tour during the day or after work. Special tours are available on weekends, as well.