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Hillcrest Academy

Private | K-8 | 159 students

Thirty six years of quality academic programs
 
 

 
 

Living in Temecula

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $271,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,610.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 3 ratings
2013:
Based on 9 ratings
2012:
Based on 3 ratings
2011:
Based on 11 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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126 reviews of this school


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Posted May 14, 2014

We have been a Hillcrest family for the past four years and are very happy with our decision to attend Hillcrest. Our two boys love going to school every day because of the small community and family feel. The curriculum is exceptional and well-rounded including art, music, PE and either French or Spanish. In addition the phenomenal education they are receiving, our children are appreciated and valued at Hillcrest. Their day begins with the Head of School and parent volunteers greeting them by name in the morning. As parents we are comfortable knowing that we have placed them in this caring environment to learn and thrive. The teachers are fully invested in each student and the intimate class sizes allow them to help them as individuals. Our children are growing into confident, knowledgeable, curious students who love to learn. Their peers are supportive and kind and I believe that many of the friendships they have made at Hillcrest will last a lifetime. From our experience, we can honestly say that the high quality of education and genuine regard for the student s well-being makes Hillcrest the best choice in the area.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 2, 2014

With my first child setting the precedence for all siblings to follow, it was important that I make the right choice to lay a solid foundation for a successful academic career. After visiting and researching all of the private schools in the surrounding area, I firmly believe wholeheartedly that I made the right choice for my children. The teachers, administrative staff, & fellow parents create a very welcoming environment that really encompasses the true meaning of family & support. The involvement of parents is without question fantastic and makes all of the school events extraordinary. The education is first rate and second to none. The curriculum by far is superior and has pushed my child to excel beyond his grade level. I had reservations of the school being able to keep my child challenged but they've exceeded my expectations with all subjects. Communication w/ teachers is open. They work with each student individually to ensure they continue to grow academically. The school is not only academically driven but they put importance on good character building as well. It's comforting to know the values being taught at home are being reinforced at school as well.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 21, 2014

After visiting a few private schools in the Temecula area, it was Hillcrest that stood out immediately. The genuine enthusiasm and dedication among the administration and faculty are infectious that spreads to the students and parents. My son who started in kindergarten is now finishing up First grade. He has achieved remarkable strides in reading and writing, surpassing his peers in public schools. Aside from the academic achievements, he has developed into a confident and caring individual. And yes, he enjoys the benefits of having art, music, and a foreign language. Hillcrest is more than just a private school. It is a small community of faculty, staff, students, and parents dedicated in providing an environment where a child can thrive and achieve excellence in academics, moral character, and leadership skills. More importantly, my son is part of an extended family who care about his development as a well-rounded individual. As the paying parent, the overall value of Hillcrest is the best. The cost (including tuition, donations, field trips, etc.) is still less than half of what it would cost at a private school in San Diego. Trust me, you re getting your money s worth!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 21, 2013

We have been a Hillcrest family since 2009 . We chose Hillcrest Academy for the academics, French program and secular education. We LOVE Hillcrest's focus on leadership and personal growth. Students take immense pride in recognition for their actions with weekly awards and acknowledgement from staff. They are expected to use these skills daily; the smaller classes allow oversight of this. Middle school students attend Leadership programs daily. Academically, our 6th grader started this year with his teachers already challenging him to higher goals alongside very motivated peers. Our 2nd grader is happily presenting monthly book reports, 7x tables and learning force in science. She has learned so many artists and loves the PE coach's games. Objectively, Hillcrest s sports program is limited; there is no band. Parent involvement is essential to extracurricular programs. With an older child who attended other local public/private schools we have compared. Ultimately, our children are at Hillcrest because they are thriving, learning leadership skills in a secular, unpretentious environment and they are academically challenged by teachers/staff who know them well and really care.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 17, 2013

Hillcrest Academy is good alternative to public education and offers the advantage of small classes, foreign language, art, music, and physical education in their curriculum. Their weaknesses are communication, asking for parent input, elementary math, and technology. The math program shows improvement in the middle school program but the students arrive unprepared for the middle school curriculum and may require tutoring. Technology is almost ignored at Hillcrest even though they promote it as an area of focus and you are asked to provide computers or tablets in the middle school program they aren't used often. The school has had ongoing administration changes over the last 3 years but seems to have stabilized this year with the head of school returning for a second year. They have also made cuts to some of their curriculum and library program without parent input or notification. In the end I do believe it is a better alternative to public education in this area but the current curriculum needs improvement.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 8, 2013

My granddaughter is currently a first grader and began attending during the 2012-2013 school year as a kindergartener. I cannot speak highly enough about this school. As a former teacher in the public school system, I see in Hillcrest Academy the type of education I wish every child in our country had access to. Not only are the academics strong, but a great deal of emphasis is put on the arts and language as well. During her kindergarten year, I asked my granddaughter one day what she had learned at school that day. She said she had learned that Kandinsky drew modern art. I then asked her if she knew what modern art was. She said something to the effect,"they draw lines and circles and use colors like red and black and bright yellow." One day we were in Target and as we passed some paintings she said,"Oh, the Mona Lisa". Her enthusiasm for every subject is just as strong as with art. But perhaps the best part of Hillcrest Academy is the character building component. Kindness and caring are emphasized in an integral and daily way that really manifests itself in it's students. The older students are some of the nicest young adults I have ever met.


Posted September 2, 2013

My wife and I started looking for a school for our son when he was three years old. Our requirements were a private, non-religious school that would provide support to his level of learning. In addition, we wanted a school where parental involvement was encouraged without disruption to the learning process. Hillcrest Academy was the only school that covered all of our desires. Our son is at the top of his class, but the staff continues to find ways to challenge him in areas of strength. The teacher-parent relationship is personal and demonstrates the teamwork required to make a student successful. The Head of School is continuously visible and available for concerns. Other local private schools discouraged parent involvement and openly said that the parents' part of the education was to pay the tuition. The tuition is as reasonable as it gets. I gave Parent Involvement 4 stars only because I wish more of the parents would become more active with the school. The superior accreditation of Hillcrest is important to note when comparing other schools. Some schools' "accreditation" is simply a paid fee that goes without the scrutiny to ensure the integrity of your child's education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 28, 2013

This is our 4th year at Hillcrest Academy. My daughter started as a kindergartner and has just started 3rd grade. The K-2 education that my daughter has received thus far has been top notch and as such her reading, writing and Math skills are well ahead of that of a regular 3rd grader. She's also learned a lot from her Music (2 times a week), Art (twice a week), PE (3 times a week) and daily French classes. The teachers and staff are great! It is also important to note that Hillcrest undergoes accreditation from both CAIS and WASC and this assures us parents that the school provides high quality education by undergoing thorough independent reviews done by leaders in the educational field. The bottom line though is that my daughter LOVES going to school and is getting a high quality education at the same time.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 19, 2013

Hillcrest Academy is an amazing school. My son began kindergarten at Hillcrest last fall and had a wonderful first year. He is looking forward to starting first grade next week. The teachers are all dedicated, passionate, and invested in the students. The work is challenging and the small classroom sizes allow for more one-on-one attention. Hillcrest offers children the chance to learn a foreign language from the kindergarten age onwards which was very important to us. They also offer art, music, PE, and library classes. The school is a very close-knit community with a lot of parental involvement. The children have a safe and secure environment to develop their personalities, friendships, and interests as well as their academic achievements. Last year, my kindergartener went on field trips that included a fall trip to Bates Nut Farm and a spring trip to SeaWorld. He also regularly attends the after school daycare program and absolutely LOVES it. We couldn t be happier with this school for our child.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 17, 2013

We LOVE this school-our daughter is entering her 2nd year at Hillcrest Academy, & will currently be a 1st Grader this Fall. We knew that we wanted a private school for our child, & our criteria included non-profit, non-religious (even though we are religious people ourselves), small classroom size, personalized teaching, advance studies, and arts & foreign language was a must. We found all of these things & more at Hillcrest. They have an amazing staff-excellent communication with great teachers, personalized learning for each student in each study; & what school has the Head of School out every day greeting in car line?! All of the administration & office staff know every student by name; and the teachers take time to assess each child regularly & help them to achieve their best. Parents are welcomed & highly encouraged to become involved. Children receive multiple classroom studies (advanced by a grade from the state standards), art, music, PE, foreign language & library/research from Kinder on - & all are fabulous. Field trips & extra cirriculars, as well. Before/After school care is great (& cheap!). Healthy hot lunches. IB Candidates for MS program. Best school in Temecula!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 17, 2013

We had all 4 of our children at Hillcrest in 2012-13. My oldest just started high school in August; the 1 year he was at Hillcrest for 8th grade prepped him more than any other year/s of schooling! The teachers are all amazing, top-notch professionals who truly CARE about each and every child. My 3 younger children are thriving! When my youngest graduated Kingergarten in June, he was reading at a 2nd grade level and doing Math problems my older 3 kids didn't learn until 2nd/3rd grade at the traditional public school. The school community is welcoming, pro-active and open; honestly the best school community we've ever been part of! We absolutely love Hillcrest...truly the best school (and the best kept secret) in Temecula!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 18, 2013

I looked at ALL the local private schools, and Hillcrest comes out on top for several reasons: 1- the academics are not rote or formulaic. Hillcrest consistently reviews its curriculum both internally and with outside accreditors (CAIS), including adding IB. Other private schools have not looked at changing their curriculum in years. Check the website of their accreditations to see they can be bought with no oversight. 2-The small school, not just small class size, environment. The teachers and administration know and care about EVERY child individually. My son's teacher gave him extra math instruction during her own free time to make sure he was challenged. The students have the self-confidence to ask questions and be truly engaged in what they are learning because the teachers can creatively teach and have in-depth discussions in these small groups. My oldest is a Hillcrest alumni getting straight A's in High School now because he was taught how to love learning. 3- Non-religious/secular environment. Students receive character lessons, not bible study. 4- Non-profit. All $ raised goes back into the school. Fundraising fees are bundled into tuition, not additional fees.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 4, 2012

To me, the tuition increase is like everything else these days- things simply cost more !I certainly don't pay the same at the gas pump as I did a year ago. I am the parent of two students at Hillcrest and I am getting my money's worth. As a public school teacher, I have seen first hand the devastating effects of budget cuts. Classrooms are over crowded and programs like art, music and PE have been most significantly impacted and are virtually nonexistent. Hillcrest offers all three! In public schools today, teachers are lucky if they get to take their students on one, local, field trip a year. Conversely,students at Hillcrest participate in experiences that extend and enrich the classroom learning. For example, 4th grade students study California history then visit Sacramento and see first hand where gold was discovered in California. Those types of experiences are offered at all grade levels. I value the fact that my kids attend a school where a variety of programs are offered. Hillcrest has a several solid accreditations, the most well rounded program and a dedicated teaching staff. That is why I will pay more next year to send my kids to Hillcrest. You get what you pay for!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 23, 2012

Apparently "great schools" removes comments that are negative, hence I wonder what what point of "school reviews" is?? Unless the only review posted, is the the positive ones. You are playing with the numbers at Hillcrest. Tuition did NOT go up 900, it went up 2000. It went from 7,000 to 9,000, math tells me that is 2000 dollars. What you did is instead of allowing parents to pay for those "extraneous fees" throughout the year, you rolled them up into the tuition, and THEN raised it 900 dollars. So please, dont play people for idiots, you raised the tuition 2000 dollars. Spin it any way you want. The education at that schools isnt worth that much more, considering all the other options have not raised their tuition to those extreme levels. This would also explain why your having to continuously run openhouses, becuase the staggering amount of the increase is taking people aback.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 29, 2012

I am employed by Hillcrest and just want to comment on the "beware people of Hillcrest comment". The fact is that the tuition is being raised by $900 (about $5 a day) after no increase last year. As a non-profit school tuition goes directly into programs and salaries to enhance the education of the students.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted November 17, 2011

I agree, this school is phenomenal! My daughter has just entered middle school, the most informative years, and I cannot imagine her anywhere else. The leadership program is preparing her with confidence to speak publicly, work with her peers respectfully and connect with the community and world with purpose. She is presenting Power Point presentations on the One-to-One laptop program and never complains about having to go to school or do her homework... she loves it! She has a wealth of knowledge not only in her core subjects, but in the liberal arts programs provided. Most exciting is the integrated field trips such as Catalina, Pali Mountain, and later Europe. Additionally, my son graduated last year and has a 4.0 as a freshman. He is hard-wired from the 7 year education he received at Hillcrest to be driven in his studies and future and migrating towards like-minded kids. Of all the things I have invested in, I couldn't be happier that I put their education at Hillcrest as #1! For anyone looking into a better education and supportive community environment, I highly recommend you tour Hillcrest and do your homework... nowadays, kids need extraordinary opportunities!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 15, 2011

Phenomenal School! This is the best school in the Murrieta and Temecula Valley! I spent a great deal of time searching for a school and cannot be more pleased. I have found the rigorous, dynamic academic curriculum with its family atmosphere exceptional. My daughter comes home everyday with new French words to describe things. In this day of budget cuts, Hillcrest continues to maintain low teacher-student ratios along with a great all around curriculum which includes English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Art, Music, and French. The school also maintains a close knit family atmosphere that makes everyday enjoyable for the kids and their families.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 13, 2011

A+++++ - go see for yourself., Best academics in the area. Many alumni are at ivy league schools and credit the hillcrest academy foundation they had, as giving them the best academic schooling start
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 10, 2011

I toured this school as a prospective parent. I have to say this was by far the best school I have visited. I love that they start teaching foreign language (French) starting in Kindergarten. They seemed to have an excellent educational program.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 19, 2011

Hillcrest is an incredible environment to grow a child into a balanced adult. With all the cuts to public education, children are the victims and will pay the ultimate price. At Hillcrest children receive a balance of art, music, physical education, foreign language and character building. They are rewarded for helping and thinking about others. The teachers and staff know all the kids by name and provide a safe and happy environment.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 62% 26%
Hispanic 12% 52%
American Indian/Alaska Native 11% 1%
Black 5% 6%
Two or more races 3% 3%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 1% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Gifted specialist(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
German
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Gardening

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
  • Drama

Language learning

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Foreign languages
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Clubs
  • Cooking club
  • Gardening

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 3:15 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:00 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:30 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Mr. Christopher Lincoln
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NAIS
Fax number
  • (951) 676-5316

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Gifted / high performing
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Foreign languages
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Flag Football
  • Flag football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Flag Football
  • Flag football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Boy scouts
  • Chess club
  • Cooking club
  • Cub scouts
  • Gardening
  • Girl scouts
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

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29275 Santiago Road
Temecula, CA 92592
Website: Click here
Phone: (951) 676-4754

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