North Hills hosts high school preview night

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 5, 2017

By Rebecca Rider

SALISBURY — Tough decisions wait for students and families at the end of eighth grade. Not only is it time for students to start looking at colleges, but many have to decide where they’ll attend high school.

In a county full of options, North Hills Christian School has begun hosting a “preview night” to let families know what they can expect in high school.

Executive Director Maria Lowder said the program began three years ago as a way to encourage parents to continue to invest in North Hills.

“They can get the flavor for what high school is like,” she said.

Since starting the preview night, Lowder said, the school’s student retention between middle and high school has increased. And it ensures that North Hill’s long-range approach to education has a chance to grow properly.

“As youngsters, as elementary students, we’re planning seeds. In middle school, we’re seeing roots starting to grow, and in high school, our students flourish,” Lowder said.

On Thursday, students and parents got a chance to meet and talk to the school’s high school faculty, as well as hear from current high school students.

Students talked about their workloads, cultivating time management skills, the constant support they receive from teachers and opportunities such as dual enrollment with Catawba College or Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

High school classes at North Hills also have less of a focus on rote memorization and more focus on discussion and debate.

“It’s not enough to just dig deep in a topic,” guidance counselor Michael Templeton said. “We want our students to be able to eloquently express what they think and understand.”

Families also heard from recent North Hills graduates who are pursuing college degrees. Former students Caitlin Harrison and Avery McGrail stressed how important it is for students to be prepared for college. For them, North Hills was the right place to do that.

North Hills is one of only private schools in the area that offers both high school courses and a classical Christian education. For many parents and students, that is what made it the right choice for their families.

But speakers acknowledged the school isn’t for everyone. Public schools have fine teachers, as do nearby charter schools. But if parents wanted a solid, Christ-centered education, organizers said, they should consider North Hills as an option.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.