Teachers Improve Financial Fitness

While students hopefully enjoyed a day off from school yesterday, their teachers were hard at work, learning about “Financial Fitness for Life.”  This in-service presentation sponsored by the Mississippi Council on Economic Education featured lessons which not only were intended to help teachers plan better for their own futures, but also included activities and skills which teachers can pass along to students. Some of the specific areas covered were recognizing income and assets, mastering a budget by understanding fixed vs. variable expenses, and learning advantages and disadvantages of credit. These are skills which can be used in almost any classroom setting, not just in Economics or business classes: for example, English classes might study vocabulary related to finances; math classes can calculate costs based on interest rates; and social studies classes might explore the history of banking and how the industry has changed in America and throughout the world.

In order to practice teaching, instructors must earn a professional license, and this must be renewed every 3 to 5 years. Because a teacher’s daily actions influence students’ lives — their brain development, their character, their aspirations, and their self esteem — each state puts a process into place to ensure that those who assume this role have the necessary skills and expertise.  The workshop held on Monday will help Hillcrest’s faculty toward that end.

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.