Sounds like Hillwood has changed quite a bit in the last few years, so wanted to update/correct some information that's out there. The focus is definitely on academics and some may call it old fashioned, but that works for some kids...including mine. They create a solid foundation to build upon year to year. They do indeed have small class sizes which again, work for my kids -- they don't fall thru the cracks with individualized attention when they need it. Students at Hillwood socialize just fine in a small setting...it's heartwarming to see upper graders interact with the younger kids and see friendships develop across grades. The three classes are all multi-grade classes (K/1; 2-4; and 5-8), and all three teachers are very adept at differentiated instruction. Curriculum is supplemented with Spanish, art, music, field trips, and other after-school activities. Upper graders use computers for research and other projects. They have a very small play yard, but this does not hinder the kids in any way, they have active recesses and also go to Alta Plaza park up the street for PE regularly. Definitely worth a visit if you're looking for a reasonably priced private school.
I have two kids at Hillwood, one just starting and one starting her 4th year here. My initial concern was the small size of the school, but after 3 years, I am a firm believer that my kids are better off in a smaller school. The classes are combined which helps the kids strive harder, as well as reinforce their learning by helping others. The atmosphere is very familial and nurturing and I can already see my kids blossoming into confident, helpful and well adjusted individuals. This is the first private school that never asks for your money or time and because of that parents (myself included) are more than willing to participate and volunteer their time. The teachers are wonderful mentors and very qualified and involved individulas. The school offers language, music, art and science projects outside of their regular curriculum. The academic standard at Hillwood is more advanced than the same grades in a lot of other schools.
I have taught in many schools including this school. This is the only school where I would not have sent my children due to the quality of the education. I disagree with the review that said the principal had anger issues. I never saw him angry when I was there.
Hillwood is an excellent choice for K-8 because of its family atmosphere and the one on one attention a child deserves. Public schools charge you for extended hours and lunch. Our kids always enjoy their lunch with the flexibility of staying until 6pm, or coming as early as 7:30am. The teaching staff and the principal are all wonderful people that really treat you like friends and family. It's a great and safe learning environment for any kids that as a parent I don't have any doubt about.
My child is receiving an excellent education at Hillwood and is very happy. We like the small class size, the amount of attention each child receives and the family atmosphere created in the school. If you want small class size, individualized attention and diverse, pleasant peers then Hillwood is a great choice.
So I attend Hillwood Academic Day School in the 7th grade. I really like it and its really fun. Before I came, my attitude was horrible! Now, my parents are really happy with me. The good side : combined classes which lets the younger ones look up to the older ones, hot homemade lucnches, a Spanish and Music class , and everyone is like this part of a big family. The downsides are : we don't have a big yard (although we usually go to the park) , we don't have much extracuuricular activities, and we also have a little bit people in our class so there's only a few people to actually hang out with. But I'm still happy and I hope this review helps you decide that it's a great school (coming from a current student) =P
With its small size, Hillwood does a wonderful job of giving each student plenty of attention and a love for life-long learning. Students at the K through 8th grade school go on to attend some of the city's top private and public high schools. Better still, as high schoolers, they still come back to visit. It's also an incredibly affordable school option in the Bay Area. Our son attends, and we're thrilled with the school and our son's learning there.
This school is great. I had fun during my years in it. I got into Lowell High, and the other kids in my graduating class got into other really good high schools. Hot meals, choral lessons, and a Spanish class is included in the tuition, which is now $700. I say that's a good deal. The downside is that there aren't any extracurricular activities. The grades aren't separated. The first classroom has the kindergarten through 1st grade in one room. The second has grades 2 - 4, and the third has 5th - 8th. In general, Hillwood is a small school, but the staff and kids.. We're all family. The staff members are nice and friendly.
This is a school with old books, old desks, and very unorganized. The teacher cooporation is very poor. They say whatever they think which often is very bad. The principle has anger issues. This school would be a waste of money. When my son took the high school entrance exams, he had a very low score, because they are very behind in mental education there at hillwood.
My kid always score at least 2 grade levels above the recommended state level in all academic subjects! The classes are small, so the kids get plenty of attention from the teacher. Spanish is taught once a week. I highly recommend Hillwood Academic Day School.