In Kindergarten, children are engaged in early reading activities that include Morning Message, Calendar, and listening to stories. Students are exposed to rich vocabulary throughout the year. The Kindergarten math program consists of many activities that develop number sense in students. In Bible, students focus on stories from both the Old and New Testament. Several Science and Social Studies topics are also studied throughout the year. The Kindergarten room is set up in learning centers where students have a variety of opportunities to learn through hands-on activities.
In 1st and 2nd grade, reading instruction is split between two teachers to give students plenty of individual attention as they become confident readers. 1st grade reading is taught by a Reading Specialist, while 2nd grade reading is taught by the classroom teacher. Both reading programs use the Daily 5, Café reading strategies, a Basal Reader, and a phonics program. Math in 1st and 2nd grade focuses on mastery of addition and subtraction. The Bible curriculum at this level deepens student knowledge of stories in both the Old and New Testament. In Science, students study space, animals, and plants. In Social Studies, the 1st and 2nd graders learn about a variety of topics, including communities and government.
In 3rd and 4th grade, reading instruction uses both a Basal Reader and novels to help students grow in their reading proficiency. Math instruction focuses on mastery of multiplication and division, but also includes units on fractions, graphs, and measurement. In Bible, the 3rd and 4th graders focus mainly on Old Testament stories, including some in-depth studies of Bible characters. In Science, students study topics from Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science. One of the main focuses in Social Studies is learning about the 50 States and the Regions of the United States.
In 5th and 6th grade, reading instruction includes stories from a Basal Reader and from novels that are read and discussed. Math instruction in 5th and 6th grade focuses on decimals, fractions, and algebra. In Bible class, students learn about how the promises that God gave to His people in the Old Testament are fulfilled in the New Testament. A highlight of Bible class for 5th and 6th graders is celebrating a number of Biblical feasts. Science at this level has a strong focus on Life Science. A variety of topics are studied in Social Studies, including Minnesota history.
In 7th and 8th grade, literature studies focus on story elements through short stories and novels. Students are also taught effective textbook comprehension skills. In English class, students learn about the parts of speech, punctuation, sentence structure through diagraming, and creative writing. 7th grade math focuses on ratios and percents, geometry, probability, and pre- algebra. 8th grade math is Algebra I. In Bible, students study both the Old Testament (focusing on Kings and Prophets) and the New Testament (focusing on the book of Mark and the book of Revelation). In Science, students study topics in both Physical Science and Life Science. In Social Studies, students have one year of U.S. History. They also study world geography and civics, which includes field trips to the State Capitol and the County Courthouse.
HCS has a long tradition of providing an excellent and rigorous course of study which provides a solid foundation for student success at high schools and colleges. These results are demonstrated by 100% of our students being placed in the advanced English classes and nearly 70% being placed into advanced math and science classes when they transfer into public schools entering 9th grade. Standardized testing consistently places our 3rd-8th grade students within the top 25%. A majority of HCS graduates are honor roll students in their high schools.