Mr. Keenan Hartline -
& Mrs. Julie Olsen -
Welcome to eighth grade at Holy Cross Academy! We are happy to have this opportunity to tell you about student life in the eighth grade. One of the first things you will notice at Holy Cross Academy is that integrity, character, and kindness are lived and reinforced throughout the students’ day. High expectations, both academically and morally, are set by the teachers, but amazingly, are often surpassed by the students.
Our faith is present in all that we do at Holy Cross Academy. Every day begins and ends with school-wide prayer. Every class, as well, begins with prayer. Mass is celebrated every week and on every Holy Day that occurs on a school day. Students study Religion and continue preparation for their Confirmation which occurs in the spring of their eighth grade year. In addition, our parish priests take an active role in the students’ religious education and Confirmation preparation. In Christ’s service, each class provides and prepares lunches for the Thurman Brisben Homeless Shelter twice each year, and participates in food and clothing drives, as well as their own classroom HOPE project.
Academic excellence pervades every class the eighth grade offers. Besides Religion, students study in one of three math courses: Math 8, Pre-Algebra, or Algebra. Those who study Algebra will also study Geometry. Those who excel in Algebra and plan to attend public high school have the opportunity to get course credit in Algebra by passing the Virginia SOL the summer after eighth grade. Those students who plan to attend a Diocesan high school may place out of Algebra by passing an end-of-year placement test. In addition, students study Physical Science in eighth grade, investigating properties of matter, chemistry, and physics; they learn United States History from 1870 to 2000 in Social Studies; and in English and Literature class, they continue to perfect their writing and reading comprehension skills through a study of short stories, novels, non-fiction selections, and poetry.
Being an eighth grader at Holy Cross Academy carries some unique opportunities and responsibilities. Each student is paired with aspecial friend in kindergarten. The eighth graders sit with these children at weekly Mass, modeling proper behavior. Throughout the school year, the eighth graders share time with their young friends playing on the playground, having Christmas cocoa, reading aloud to them, and making crafts with them. In addition, eighth graders present the Living Nativity during Advent, attend the Diocesan Vocations Mass in the fall; and participate in the Diocesan Shakespeare Festival each May.
Opportunities for enrichment abound at Holy Cross Academy. Classroom teachers use technology like interactive white boards and digital document cameras, and incorporate the Internet whenever possible to enrich daily lessons. Students also learn Spanish, participate in gym class, and have weekly lessons in computer technology. Our guidance counselor leads weekly lessons in which students discuss ways to live their faith in these challenging times. Students compete in classroom and school-wide rounds of the National Spelling Bee and the National Geographic Geography Bee. And the eighth grade Social Studies students finish the year with a challenging, comprehensive research paper in which they develop needed skills to be successful in high school.
Holy Cross Academy offers many extracurricular and extension activities for our eighth graders. Students have the opportunity to play soccer, basketball, and field hockey; attend school dances; and participate in Photography Club, Choir, Drama Club, and Running Club. They can develop leadership in the Student Council Association and in Young Catholics for Change, our school service club. In addition, for students who qualify, there is an active chapter of the National Junior Honor Society at Holy Cross Academy.
Holy Cross Academy provides a challenging, nurturing environment in which to learn and live our faith. We are ready to welcome you and your child to our community!