We're almost at the end our second child's career at Hilliview, and the journey has been nothing short of excellent. Classes, teachers and course selection are very solid across the board, with incredible instruction in the Music and Drama programs (a range of dedicated theater and performance classes). The homework is challenging but excellent preparation for college-track high school programs. The academy system brings a positive sense of additional social structure and identity to the kids and teachers. And an amazing, dynamic principal in Mr. B. I'm just sad this is our last year with Hillview.
The administration on campus and in the district office care more padding their resumes, then helping the children thrive. There is an elitism present and if your child doesn't fit their idea of success, they are ousted. The academics are challenging and there is a wide variety of courses available, but the homework load is ridiculous and non beneficial. When are the kids supposed to be able to develop talents, nurture friendships, and have FUN! Our does take Qw3st, but its not enough. As for the iPads- Kids have full access to airdrop, which allows them to send non traceable inappropriate content. Each child has YouTube and they constantly share inappropriate videos. How about google docs? Sounds innocent, but kids are meeting in google docs to have untraceable conversations and sexting. The school is giving the benefit of the doubt to preteens! Of course they are going to be curious and push boundaries, that's what 11-14 yr olds do! But the stakes are higher when they are online and talking to friends and strangers in unstructured and unsafe environments.
Our child is just over 2/3 through the first year at Hillview. It was probably the usual dramas of 6th grade to start. But with all the fun things to do and learn, supportive teachers and counselors, and friends of course ... it's been great. Our already savvy computer user has grown even MORE comfortable with technology with the new iPads. The academies sound scary but aren't. The ideas about somewhat sheltering and encouraging the 6th graders have all worked for our child. I was skeptical about the Qu3st (study hall of sorts), but it has helped keep the homework beast tamed just fine. Mini course week was not only an amazing feat of logistics, but a great way for kids to try something new and grow in fun new directions. I'm seeing more self-confidence and independence these days (of course! but in good ways :). Parents are welcome and can volunteer if they are interested and have time. But it's not required for working parents. Mr. B, the principal might be a bit arrogant, and I suspect the teachers don't always get a say, but he does get things done. Will be interested to see the test scores the next couple years.
It's is the best school know that we can have the help we need thanks to our new Principle Mr. Burmeister who has made the community in the school a better place. Also we are glad to have iPads as a tool to our learning. I think that it needs to improve in bringing more EPA people on the circle to change their route in life to help them in those who really want to go far that it should have at least a 50% white kids and the other 50% to be Mexicans, Asians, Tongans to make the community between the different race in the community of Hillview Middles School to bring together the leaders that can make a change where everyone is equal where more Mexicans, to gone, Asian, and white work together to know that it does not matter the race you are but how working together with others is something that can be a great thing.
Hillview Middle School offers a superior-quality and well-rounded education. The principal and assistant principal are young, inspired, progressive and experienced, with excellent leadership skills and willingness to weave strong values into all school programs. The principal was nominated for national principal of the year last year. Staff, students and parents admire/appreciate his leadership, energy, attitude and skill. The school is building innovation into the curriculum by implementing recommendations of a design team of parents/staff/school district leaders that used Stanford's Design School principles and practices. The community of parents at Hillview is invested in the success of each student and staff member; many volunteer for projects and programs. This year Hillview is offering an outstanding series of free presentations by experts in education, raising teens, safe use of technology, and I plan to take advantage of them. My son is in his last year at Hillview and has blossomed academically, emotionally and socially there. The only negative has been a PE program hampered by too little space during construction of the new campus, still not quite finished.
Hillview is an excellent Middle School. Great new principal, bringing fresh ideas to an already very good school. Completely new campus has a comfortable open design. Our child has many friends. We know many of the parents - it has the feel of a community school. Academy groupings allow same teachers to work with a group of students in various subjects. Academic standards are high, but school environment is not excessively competitive.
This school overloads the children with way too much homework. I hear 1 1/2 hours for 6th grade, but it's more like 3 to 4 hours. All my child has time to do is dash frantically through the work in order to get everything done. The teachers are harsh, overwhelmed and unsympathetic. They don't want to hear from the parents, but are unapproachable to the students. My child's self-esteem is at an all-time low. We are thinking of private schools for the first time, although my child scores well on standardized tests and has lots of friends.
I used to go to Hillview and loved it! Unfortunately the new principal is awful. He completely got rid of the unique activities all of us students got to participate in. Also, he changed around the school configuration. Now there are "academies", which separate students into three different groups.
Hillview used to be a tremendous school with outstanding programs, but the new principal blew off the traditions that made the school great, and with the introduction of the academy system, mediocrity has become institutionalized. Many teachers will privately tell you that they are not happy, and my current Hillview student has been subjected to a dumbed-down curriculum. The Hillview that so many of us remember fondly is no more!.
Outstanding school. Students graduate well prepared for high school. Wonderful programs with caring engaged teachers and counselors. Strong parent involvement shows. It is a larger school with a small school feel. Starting in 2012 the all new state of the art campus will be completed. There is no reason for a typical student to pay for private school.