Hughes News

Counseling Newsletter -- January / February 2023


January's counseling focus is kindness! Students are participating in the Great Kindness Challenge via their enrichment classes.

Our focus in February shifts to career exploration as we look toward course selection for the 23-24 school year. I am excited about the new career tech programs that will be offered in the CTE Annex and hope that many students take advantage of them! More information to come about those!

It is never too early to start thinking about the future!

Free Tutoring

Start off second semester strong by accessing resources early if your student is struggling. UA's LIFT program offers free academic tutoring at various locations in town. You must register your student before attending. Use the link below to learn more and to register your student. Tutoring begins the week of February 6th.

Hillcrest also offers peer tutoring daily during 3rd block enrichment. Contact your student's teacher to ask them to submit a peer tutoring form if your student is struggling.

Finally, National Honors Society tutoring on Wednesdays after school in Room 401 or 403 is free. Students do not need to sign-up ahead of time and should head the math hall right after school to attend.

Dual Enrollment

Many students and their families are interested in Dual Enrollment opportunities for rising 10th and 11th graders. Students must complete 9th grade to apply for dual enrollment. It is a great option for many students, but speak with your student about the rigor and expectations of college courses before deciding the best path!


Shelton State Dual Enrollment:

Students can take two free dual courses at SSCC through the dual enrollment scholarship.


UA Early College:

Students must take the UAEC 200 intro course (5 weeks--and NOW IT'S FREE!) before enrolling in dual credit-bearing courses. For students who wish to take classes this summer, applications must be completed by Friday, February 3 to qualify to start UAEC in time.

UAEC 200 Dates/Information:

UAEC is also hosting an information event on Tuesday, January 24 at Bryant Conference Center. Please see the link for more info and to register for the event!

UAEC Tuscaloosa 2023 Information Event:


There are ACT and/or placement tests required for English and Math courses.

See the chart below about when students can take specific core classes, per TCSS Student-Parent Information Guide.

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Sick Season

Cold and flu season is upon us--early it seems! If your student is out due to illness, ask them to email their teachers for work if you anticipate that they will be out for several days. Students need to get in the habit of using their school email addresses for school communication, and this is great practice! Many teachers already post to Schoology each day, so students should also look there for work.

Students need a note (doctor or parent) to excuse their absence upon their return to school. Students should bring their excuse notes to the front office in-person before school, and they will be given an excused slip to show their teachers. Unexcused absences add up quickly, so please remember excuse notes to avoid truancy issues!

Teacher email addresses can be found HERE


One of the best ways you can support your student is to be informed about their grades and attendance. Please log in to PowerSchool regularly to check grades and attendance. Encourage your student to check PowerSchool and their school email each week (or each day!). This should be much easier now with student iPads.

Is your student struggling or missing work? Please reach out to your student's teachers individually to address concerns in their classes early.

Can't access PowerSchool? Email me for an access code if you are a first-time PowerSchool user. If you had an account last year, you will need to use your username and password from last year. No one at the school can reset or see your parent portal password; please use the Forgot Password feature if needed.


January 25-27 -- iReady diagnostics in English and Math

January 26-29 -- HHS Theatre presents "Band Geeks" musical

January 27 -- In-school presentation of "Band Geeks"

February 10 -- Progress Reports

February 20 -- President's Day -- NO SCHOOL

February 22 -- Unity Black History Month Program

Course Selection for 23-24 school year will begin in late February or early March.

Meet Mrs. Hughes

I am excited to be starting my 2nd school year in the counseling department and my 12th year at Hillcrest. My counseling duties cover all of our 9th and 10th grade students. The first two years of high school are formative, and it is my honor to support our underclassmen on their high school journeys!

I have lived in Tuscaloosa for 16 years, and I have a husband and two children. When I am not at school, I enjoy cooking, traveling, and spending time with my family.