This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Hillside Elementary School2
Posted November 13, 2014
- a parent
There is a lot to be said about this school and faculty. The schools academic program is more appropriate for a middle school child not a 2nd grader. All of the front staff is Hispanic and very hard to understand. Long story short if you have other options I would look to send your child elsewhere.
Hillside is a great school! The teachers and administration work together to be innovative, to challenge all students and really want all children to succeed. The school & parents work together to bring many amazing programs to our school including an amazing Science Day and Artist Day.
This year, Hillside began a new program in which students have three separate teachers: one for reading, one for math and one for science/social studies, in an effort, I believe, to allow teachers to focus on one subject and to group students by level in different subjects. I believe the program can be beneficial in the later elementary school grades. However, my child is in kindergarten at Hillside and I must admit I'm extremely unhappy with the program for that age group. I believe a five year old needs nurturing and stability and I don't feel like they get that under this new program. In fact, my child has had five different teachers in less than two months. I'd be surprised if any parent was happy with that for their five year old. I believe this environment is too academic for early elementary school; I feel that the relationship between a teacher and student, in kindergarten especially, is as important as how well their can read, write, etc. I feel my child has missed the opportunity to form a real bond with the kindergarten teacher in this new environment. I don't think it has been a positive experience for us, thus far.
We have had a great experience with Hillside. I have a fifth and first grader who love school. They are excelling academically with strong teachers who love what they teach, thanks to the new content specialization. I am delighted that my children are learning real world skills through interacting with the diverse student population. The PTA consistently provides fun, enriching programs that supplement the curriculum. I have friends with children at other area schools who, when they hear about all that is going on at Hillside, are continuously impressed with the opportunities afforded to the students there.
I have three children that have attended Hillside Elementary from 2002 to present. We have been extremely pleased with the teachers, the administration and the peers at Hillside. Our children love and appreciate the cultural diversity at Hillside. They have also been challenged academically in their regular classes and in their TAG classes. We have had extraordinary teachers over the past 12 years and all three of my children have had some of the same teachers who have been at Hillside since it opened! I would highly recommend Hillside to anyone!
The teachers and staff have been amazing! Great parent involvement too! I have a 3rd grader who is happy and loving school! The enthusiasm that the teachers and parents have for the Content Band Specialization is exciting. Proud to be a Hillside Husky!
One of my children graduated last year from Hillside and was very prepared and confident to enter middle school. He returns to Hillside to see his younger siblings' activities and often stops by to say hello to past teachers and considers Hillside home/family. Both my children enjoy school and have been challenged and motivated by great teachers (one "bummer teacher" year out of 11 combined). Hillside's Principal, Dr. Otway is now attracting top teaching talent with the new teacher-designed Content Band Specialization to help deliver on the rigorous Core Standards. Our family is pleased with our school, its diverse student body and culture, and its academic innovations. The PTA is focused on serving student needs and building a strong Hillside community. The PTA also has a good working relationship with Principal.
My son started Kindergarten at Hillside in 2010. The teachers have been amazing throughout. We have never had a teacher complaint, and he has always experienced high grades and exceptional testing scores. Over the last couple of years, with Dr. Otway taking over as Principal, the learning methods and enthusiasm have skyrocketed. The teachers voted last year and have begun this school year (2014) content band instruction for all grades. It is amazing. Each teacher can pick their mastered subject and teach it all day. They have 3 grades in the bands, and each grade is further divided into levels based on under-performing, performing and excelling students. The competition and zest for learning is through the roof. Now, my daughter is in Pre-K at Hillside. The Pre-K teacher has been there for several years, has instructed all of our neighbors' kids, and we were so thrilled to be chosen in the lottery to attend at Hillside. The PTA is consistently voted among the strongest, most involved in the system. Any time I am at the school, I see no less than 15 neighbors from the pool and parks we attend. We love Hillside and are so glad we chose such a vibrant, family community.