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GreatSchools Rating

Hillcrest Elementary School

Public | K-5 | 462 students

 
 

Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 4 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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27 reviews of this school


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Posted August 20, 2013

We are new to the school, but so far I've been impressed with the teachers, office staff, and classrooms. My daughter is happy and I am thrilled. Parent involvement seems higher than in other schools my kids have attended.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 5, 2013

Great school. Love the language classes. New uniforms coming - hurray! Cafeteria could improve. Web site could be more updated. More green space is needed for children to have recess or outdoor lunch with parents. But otherwise awesome school, great parent involvement, and excellent teachers and principal.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 21, 2013

There was a change in administration beginning the 2012-2013 school year and foreign language curriculum was adopted for the Spanish and French academies. The principal is professional, accessible and passionate about student success and parent input and involvement and has raised the standard for both faculty and staff and the foreign language magnet program. There is a high expectation for Common Core standards to be taught with rigor but a dire need for upgraded technology in the school to prepare for OCPS and state target of full digital curriculum by 2016. A proactive PTA and SAC works cooperatively with administration and the future is bright for Hillcrest.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted April 14, 2013

In my opinion, much inproved with the new principal. With multiple children, we've been here long enough to experience 3 principals and see a large difference. Regretably, many good teachers have left, but many good remain and have had a positive influence on our children. Hopefully, positive changes continue and the school can return to previous academic levels for our remaining years. New parents get involved to positively influence the academic experience for your childen.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 7, 2012

Hillcrest is a wonderful school. This year we have a new Principal who is amazing! She is doing an outstanding job. Her number one priority is the safety of our children and she has implemented some excellent changes. She has created a wonderful nurturing environment for our Teachers and children and we are extremely fortunate to have her here. She is indeed a breath of fresh air!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 30, 2012

We are just a few months into the year with the new Principal. The former principal was OUTSTANDING. This new one makes robo-calls to the parents every weekend. She instantly changed procedures that were working just fine. She cites "safety" for every change she makes - although safety is clearly not an issue. She comes from a school that was quite unlike Hillcrest, and she didn't take the time to learn about Hillcrest's atmosphere before implementing changes that are probably necessary at schools with little parental involvement and that have behavioral issues. Hillcrest is a small school with strong community and parental involvement. It is an exceptional place for a child to go to school with caring teachers. This new principal needs to realize that and stop running it like the institutions she's used to and return to the comfortable and fun learning environment that Hillcrest teachers, parents, students and the former principal worked so hard to achieve. I've heard many complaints about this new principal. She needs to wake up or move on.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 16, 2011

I think Hillcrest is a Wonderful school. I just graduated from 5th grade. I was in Ms. Brewer's class she is the best 5th grade teacher. I was a Saftey Patrol and I saw everyone in the morning. Every is well-behaved and all the teachers are great. You can ask any teacher for help. It is a wonderful school and i would recommend it to anyone i knew! A one word rating would be: Awesome!!!!!!!


Posted August 1, 2011

My son finished Kinder in Hillcrest. One word: WOW Ms Amy Istler his teacher and Ms Zandy his french teacher made my son's first experience in school an "amazing" one! They truly care. I went to private schools and THIS particular school is WAY better. The Frenh, spanish and Vietnamese programs are excellent. I wish we didnt have to move. I know it will be hard to find another Hillcrest. The staff is wonderful and very helpful. I was conerned about the comments I had read, so I was very happy to realize that they were wrong. They could have more green areas for kids to play and run,but overall is GREAT
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 23, 2010

The school seems to accomadate the younger children such as preK thru 1 or 2 grade. The 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes are not so good anymore. The fifth grade has only one class, meaning the 4th grade students in the neighborhood did not return because of ongoing administrative issues. Meaning the Principal is not doing her job, and she does not have a good reputation with the parents. She is known to be very rude and arrogant and does not seem to care about the kids at all. What a shame for such a fabulous school in the past, before current Principal. The school recently put in a portable building for the Vietnamese children, when the main building has empty upstairs classrooms. The school wastes money on crazy things like a unfinished garden, that has been underconstruction for about 3 years and the children have never gotten to use it. The area could have been used for PE or the money for a music program. But instead they have an unused garden area. And a past school PTA president raised money for a greenhouse and it was never built. (where did that $ go?).
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 18, 2010

This school has a great foundation and the administration and teachers are expanding on its legacy. How sad that a gem such as this is not always fully appreciated.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted July 19, 2010

Ever since the new principal of Hillcrest the school has gone down hill. My childs experience in the past 3 years has been a nightmare. Awful parent/teacher communication. The principal has bad social skills and does nothing about the incompitent teachers in the school. I am sorry to say I am glad my one child has graduated from Hillcrest and going on to another school. Now I have to worry about my other child that has 2 more years to go. If the same teachers are going to be teaching my other child I will definetely pull my child from the school. This is so sad, because the early years were good with the other principal, but this principal has no right working at a school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 17, 2010

My daughter started KG this year at Hillcrest and I have fallen in love with this school. I am very pleased when my child comes home and has so much to tell me about what she has learned everyday. The principal has done an excellent job to the best of her capacity and cares about the school. The teachers are dedicated and there is tremendous parent involvement. As such, these are the qualities that make up an exceptional learning environment for children to learn. I look forward to the expansion of this wonderful school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 13, 2010

We love Hillcrest and feel our children are getting a great education. I attended private schools and was very nervous about sending my kids into the public school system until I heard about Hillcrest. I don't understand the comments about the principal. She has had a lot of obstacles from the school system and some parents, but overall my husband and I believe she is doing an outstanding job. I wish people would cooperate more instead of blaming an individual for the educational mess in the State School System. Do not just complain, bring a solution.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 12, 2010

Wow - some tough reviews based on not liking a principal. I will agree that communications is sometimes an issue, but people, you don't know what a nightmare principal is! At least she cares about the school. Scrolling through the history of posts, I noticed similar posts about the last principal. The school offers far more then most elementary schools in OCPS unless it's doing worksheets all day. The teachers are very creative and want to be at the school. I'm very pleased with the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 15, 2010

Rating Hillcrest is tricky. I'd give the school 4 or 4.5 out of 5 stars for the foreign language, but only 2 or 2.5 stars for the general curriculum and current admin, so I'll average them and give 3 stars. I agree with the previous poster that said the new principal is a nightmare. Why? Poor people skills, very controlling of teachers and staff - almost like she trusts no one, discourages parent involvement unless she chooses to 'showcase' something. (Her word, not mine.) As a former public school employee, I feel I am qualified to judge. She has never been a principal before Hillcrest though, so perhaps she'll improve over time. Because Hillcrest is the ONLY true foreign language option, my daughter will stay. Parents need to be aware that there are sacrifices made to get the foreign language, but the foreign language teachers are wonderful.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 26, 2010

The last post says Hillcrest should not be changed to 'just another FCAT school'. Has anyone noticed that Hillcrest is currently, and has always been, below the state average in all FCAT subjects? These are minimum benchmarks being tested. I am happy to have my child learing a second language - but I would like them to master English as well. Since there is no testing for the second languages, we don't really know how well Hillcrest teaches those subjects either. Having a focus on foreign language should not mean that every other basic subject is lost.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 26, 2009

I have 2 children at Hillcrest. We loved loved loved the school until this year. There have been too many changes with the federal, state, and county laws that impact what the school is supposed to be about. The new principal is a nightmare and has completely changed the climate at the school. I hope they ditch her and realize that Hillcrest is not supposed to be just another FCAT school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 29, 2009

Both of my two daughters has attended Hillcrest. The oldest will be going to 5th grade and the little one will be going to 2nd grade. We are a Spanish speeking family and I wanted for my daughters to keep talking and to be able to read in Spanish. So this is why we chose Hillcrest. Teachers are great and they do work really hard with the students. I am so content that Hillcrest will not be closing. Hopefully it will never be closed. I will recommend this school to any parent that wants their child to be able to speak a second language.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 16, 2009

My grandaughter is in third grade at Hillcrest, and it is a great school, the idea of closing it and putting the lower grades with the middle school does not seem like the best plan for the students. Schools should be the most important thing, but they are always the ones to suffer.


Posted March 31, 2009

My daughter has attended Hillcrest for several years. She fluently speaks and reads chapter books in the second language. There is an emphasis on celebrating different cultures represented at the school (Spanish, French, Vietnamese). There is a substantial waiting list for admission to the magnet program. The latest OCPS plan is not to 'close' the school but to move the program to a larger campus nearby because it has become so popular. As one poster said, the program is not a good fit for English-speaking children who are struggling with academics because 1.5 to two hours per day is in the second language. We have had very good teachers overall and like the new principal (in 2008), Dr. Gonzalez.
—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.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 58% in 2014.

82 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
73%

2013

 
 
83%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
66%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 57% in 2014.

82 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
87%

2013

 
 
77%

2012

 
 
75%

2011

 
 
68%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2014.

76 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
86%

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
66%

2011

 
 
59%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 61% in 2014.

76 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
83%

2013

 
 
78%

2012

 
 
78%

2011

 
 
72%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2014.

75 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
85%

2013

 
 
81%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 56% in 2014.

52 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
81%

2013

 
 
66%

2012

 
 
66%

2011

 
 
47%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 61% in 2014.

52 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
92%

2013

 
 
74%

2012

 
 
79%

2011

 
 
71%
Science

The state average for Science was 54% in 2014.

52 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
81%

2013

 
 
67%

2012

 
 
64%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Writing

The state average for Writing was 81% in 2012.

58 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
86%

2011

 
 
97%

2010

 
 
82%
Scale: % scoring at or above level 3

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) to test students in grades 4, 8 and 10 in writing. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills needed to progress through school. The FCAT writing exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 6. The state considers a score of 3 or above as meeting state standards.

Source: Florida Department of Education

  • In 2011-2012, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2010-2011, this school received a grade of "B".
  • In 2009-2010, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2008-2009, this school received a grade of "A".

About the tests


Florida uses School Grades to measure the overall performance of a school each year on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Each school is assigned a letter grade (A-F) based on three criteria: the overall performance on the FCAT, the percentage of eligible students who took the test, and whether or not students made progress in reading and math. The School Grades are calculated by adding points earned from each of the performance criteria listed above.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school
White 47%
Hispanic 23%
Black 17%
Asian 8%
Two or more races 5%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Limited English proficient 6%N/AN/A
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 80%N/AN/A
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Bachelor's degree 64%66%61%
Master's degree 36%N/A36%
Doctorate degree 0%1%1%
Other degree 0%N/A2%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2012-2013

Teacher credentials

  This school District averageState average
Classes taught by non-highly qualified teachers 0%N/A5%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2011-2012

This school has not yet provided program information.


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1010 East Concord Street
Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 245-1770

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