To discern and develop our students’ gifts, and to foster the confidence and breadth of spirit necessary for them to share their gifts with the world.

Hillside Student Community School seeks to provide a challenging, college preparatory program centered on recognizing and appreciating our students’ gifts, and fostering the confidence and breadth of spirit necessary for them to share their gifts with the world. The development of creative, compassionate, critically thinking individuals is our highest goal. Youth need a central set of ethical values to give them the strength to be unique.  Hillside integrates these values within an inspiring core curriculum. We encourage students in the following ways.

Honing their critical thinking abilities, developing academic skills, and striving for excellence

Students develop their abilities in many areas learning to explore, to seek evidence, to verify, to challenge, to revise, and to create. They seek the truths—whether scientific, intellectual, moral, or spiritual—that can guide their lives and decisions. The journey of this search is one of lifetime learning and growth.

Risking mistakes – since errors are stepping stones to creativity and learning

In small, supportive classes, where they are known, students feel safe to risk mistakes—which is how real learning happens. They learn the courage to fail, to forgive the failure, to learn from it, to revise, to move forward, and to try again.

Participating in a nurturing, respectful environment

Instead of competing with each other, they discover how to get along with students of all types, ages, and personalities. They learn to cheer each other on to pursue their interests. With everyone in the front row, each feels able to join the discussion, and students find that they can help each other on their journeys, understanding that they don’t have to do it all alone!

Exploring feelings and choosing responsible actions

They learn to be self-aware, to recognize the strengths and limitations of themselves and others, and to use those limitations to develop compassion. In community they learn to resolve conflicts rather than to avoid them. In addition, in response to our many crises, Hillside encourages students to seek ways to create a more just, loving, and sustainable world.

Discovering their own strengths and celebrating the strengths of others

Each person has a gift of inner light to contribute to the world. We seek to find, to uncover, to develop it, and to let it shine. The true purpose of education is to draw out and to develop the potential that already lies within the individual like a hidden treasure or a magic seed. This is our goal at Hillside—and has been for over fifty years—to allow the promise that already exists in each student to flourish in a supportive and engaged community. As in the world’s many myths and fairy tales, those who enter on the adventure eventually realize that the treasure they seek has been buried all along under their own hearth or in their own garden, that the light or power to change things is found in themselves—but they only learn this by going on the journey. Education can be that journey which opens us to radical, fundamental, imaginative change—change that alters our assumptions, prejudices, and rigid institutions—and also alters ourselves. We need our many heroes to accept the call to adventure, to develop the resilience to overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles, to develop their skills to face ever-shifting challenges, to imagine, and to create a better “normal”—and, again, to risk mistakes and to forgive those mistakes in order to keep learning and growing and solving.

Top-Rated 5-12 Preparatory School Education for Dedicated Students on Seattle’s Eastside

Serving the Needs of Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Mercer Island, Sammamish, Newcastle, Kingsgate & Issaquah