Students explore new subjects during Winterim

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 8, 2015

School is back in session, but things aren’t back to normal at North Hills Christian School – at least not yet.

This week is the high school’s Winterim, a one-week mini-semester between the school’s first and second semesters.

“The point of Winterim is to give the kids exposure to things they may not be able to do during the school year,” Leslie Pullen, dean of academics and high school lead teacher, said.

Students are spending a week focusing on a variety of specialty classes, including biology lab, cooking, outdoor survival, auto mechanics, sign language, card games, senior project and World War II.

Pullen’s biology lab class dissected fish, eyeballs and frogs in the school’s brand new biology lab, while students in Doris Plummer’s cooking class learned the art of making French toast and baking cookies.

Students in the World War II class played the board game Risk to demonstrate war tactics, while students in Crystal Boyd’s sign language class learned new vocabulary and answered questions using a newfound language.

Sarah Lynn Carlton, an 11th grader, took cooking, auto mechanics and sign language for her Winterim classes.

She said she chose sign language because she’s been learning to sign at her church for a while and wanted to strengthen her signing skills.

“I would like to learn how to fix my car,” she added, as to why she picked auto mechanics.

“It’s wonderful because the kids aren’t tied to a rigid schedule,” Pullen said.

The students start out the year with no homework and no graded assignments, giving them the opportunity to acclimate to the spring semester and catch up with friends before buckling down and resuming normal academic work.

It also gives them something to talk about for the rest of the year, Pullen added.

The students pick three sessions to attend daily from the classes listed above, and select a fourth session in either research, mentoring or community service.

During the afternoons, they participate in Spiritual Emphasis Week, led by Brian Hancock, chapel coordinator and Bible teacher, and a team of high school students.