The Hillside Experience

Hillside Student Community School has been helping students discover their gifts and share them with the world since 1969. A few parents and students have recounted their experience at Hillside below:

Hillside has a gifted teaching staff that offers a flexible approach and attention to each individual student, meeting them at their current level. While the small size of the student body does limit some opportunities it also promotes a level of cooperation, respect, individual responsibility and tolerance that won’t be found in more conventional schools. The results speak for themselves- the older daughter is a mechanical engineering major at Stanford, the younger a biology/anthropology double major at Bowdoin. – Conrad S, Parent

There was such a strong support system, due to the small class size, that I was able to ask questions and get the help and direction I needed. Within the curriculum, if I wanted to do special projects, or was interested in a particular field, I could talk with the teachers and see how it fit in with my educational goals. This made a delightful flexibility that changed studying into a more engaging and enjoyable process. – Pipasa G –Student

Hillside nurtures each student’s individual gifts. They place great importance on everyone in the community treating each other with kindness, respect and appreciation for who each person is, and there is no expectation like in many public schools to conform. Everyone is accepted for who they are. – Ingrid D –Parent

I just want to thank you, because, through all of the Word Roots training, I learned a ton. We just got our scores back from the PSAT and I scored higher than 98% of sophomores on the Writing section. I never realized how much this class would help! Audrey M – Student

The curriculum of this school is exceptionally demanding, but also the teachers are incredibly warm! My child is very confident and supported by his peers. This school is a hidden gem for any student who is interested to achieve their very own best. – Parent

I am truly happy to say that I was a student at Hillside for five years.
Hillside helped me to stay interested in continually learning,
to be sensitive to my environment, and to appreciate the people around me.
It definitely had a positive influence on my life values, and gave me the courage
to explore and to follow my heart. – Student

Bullying is absent, as is exclusive behavior. All that plus rigorous, high quality academic instruction. My husband and I heartily recommend Hillside. –Parent

Hillside School is extremely warm, but also demands that each student reach his or her FULL potential. My child was never so happy in life — and he never learned so much so quickly. –Parent

I graduated from BC (AA degree) and UW (BA degree) and was amazed how a scary portion of my peers didn’t know how to write a quality paper. I helped edit a lot… Other graduates from Hillside (who are still my best friends today) also experienced this at their colleges. –Student

We highly recommend Hillside Student Community for parents and students looking for a more integrated model of learning. Both of our daughters thrived there with small classrooms, caring teachers and engaging lessons. Hillside is a wonderful alternative to the big classroom and busy work approach to schooling, and offers respect for the different learning styles and personalities of the students. – Doreen D. – Parent

The high school humanities teacher spends hours going over all writing assignments from his students with copious comments and revisions and really teaches them how to write. — Parent

Going to Hillside was a phenomenal experience that prepared me for all aspects of life intellectually, creatively, and inter-personally. I still maintain connections with most of my peers and teachers from my time there. Truly a wonderful place, and one that not only nourished and readied me for the best colleges and academic pursuits, but taught me to become an involved member of my community and hugely enrich my life. – Student

Our daughters enjoyed the outstanding drama department and grew as critical and creative thinkers in Hillside’s supportive, in depth learning environment. — Parent

Hillside provides a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, but in a very warm and supportive manner. There are rarely more than 8 students in a class. This allows for some very close interaction among students and teachers, and for some really lively discussions. No student can just “hide” in this type of environment. –Parent

Hillside was a fabulous experience for my two daughters. Both girls got an excellent education with tons of individual attention and very small classes. The teachers care about each student and are responsive to each student’s individual needs, strengths and weaknesses. –Parent

This will be my son’s fifth year at Hillside. He is happy to be in a learning environment where there is time for depth, discussion and debate. His writing has improved by leaps and bounds. I can’t say enough about this fabulous school. He is well prepared for the rigors of college. — Parent

Larger projects like the Medieval and Renaissance Feasts really showed me (and, I believe, our families) how hard work paired with close study of an individual (or subject matter) can result in a beautiful and deep appreciation for history! –Student

Singing songs in myriad languages on the short but sweet bus ride up the Hill is one of my fondest memories of Hillside. Thank you to my teachers, mentors and classmates! Keir W– Student