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GreatSchools Rating

Hillcrest Elementary School

Public | PK-5 | 751 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
Based on 15 ratings
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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22 reviews of this school


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Posted July 17, 2014

Hillcrest is a highly varied experience. A handful of amazing teachers but most of the teachers are awful. I agree with a previous comment that the school and the parents are overall not welcoming. This does impact my children's enjoyment of school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 23, 2014

There is a very good reason that Hillcrest Elementary School is a solid 10, even with the challenges of overcrowding. It attracts excellent teachers and it is supported above and beyond by amazing parents. Financially the PTA is heads above other schools. In 2014 $50,000 was raised by different events to enhance the educational experience for our children. A 2nd fundraiser donated $35,000 to the technology department. The children in every grade are exposed to incredible learning opportunities, an active garden and PTA evening events. The teachers, for the most part are approachable and really interested in our children. The atmosphere in the school is great.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 9, 2013

Hillcrest has the best school in Catonsville. The administration is welcoming and able to deal very well with the overcrowding situation that has developed recently due to the word getting out that this is the school district to move into in Baltimore County. The teachers are caring, atune to studnet needs and go above and beyond to make learning fun and challenging at the same time. The afterschool clubs are a big plus at Hillcrest, as is the PTA, which is very active and plans unbelievable functions such as Math and Science, Literature and International Nights. All my children have either attended or are attending Hillcrest and those that have moved on to middle and high school were very prepared. I have nothing negative to say about this great school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 8, 2013

The teachers Are great at Hillcrest and I agree with the previous post that there are a lot of changes going on. However that should not be an excuse for the legitimate concerns brought up but other parents about their child being left behind.... Although my child is having a wonderful experience, I have heard these concerns form a few parents. Change happens everywhere but seems to be more so in education. If a teacher can't handle change whether new or old, it's time to get a new profession!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 8, 2013

It is a shame for all concerned that a couple of parents have had challenging experiences with teachers. Hopefully they have addressed the situation either with the teacher or the administration - that is the most effective route, and the one that the school itself would recommend. Overall, Hillcrest is both a quality education and a bargain. The 2nd and 3rd grade teams specifically have some of the most well-respected teachers in the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 8, 2013

Hillcrest is an amazing elementary school. The administrative staff and teachers work extremely hard to be sure that all students are meeting their full potential. The parent community and PTA is very active and supportive. Volunteers are ALWAYS present in the school. I disagree with previous negative comments about teaching staff. I think we all need to keep in mind that this year is a huge transition year with the new Core, BCPS curriculum (which is still being written), evaluation process for teachers. I am thankful that our teachers at Hillcrest have the experience, administrative support, and resources to handle all of these changes. Let's appreciate that and imagine how teachers with no experience must be feeling at this point. Our kids are in good hands at Hillcrest.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 7, 2013

Hillcrest is the best kept secret in Baltimore County. It continues to amaze even though it is clearly challenged with overcrowding. The teachers go above and beyond to enrich the educational environment and we have been very happy with our child's progress. The healthy PTA continues to amaze. The extra PTA funded events that are held during the year are incredible and the kids love them. Literature night, Math and science night and International night are always well attended. The technology department is also well funded and offers progressive education unlike many of the other schools in BCPS system
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 7, 2013

This great community school manages to provide a quality education despite significant overcrowding. The teachers are great, the administration is supportive, and the PTA is amazing. The facilities are starting to show some wear and tear b/c of age.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 7, 2013

It is so interesting that there are a few parents who seem to have had poor experiences at HES while the rest of us are thrilled with the education our children receive. I can only chalk this up to a mismatch b/w the child and teacher or isolated incidences. In regards to the parents being snobby- really? This is a measure of school quality? As the parent of a student new to the school, I couldn't disagree more- I have felt welcomed and engaged from day 1. Great experience thus far. I know there are lots of concerns about the curriculum that is being rolled out this year in response to the Common Core Standards- these are viable concerns but do not reflect limitations of the teachers. Great school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 7, 2013

2 of my girls started their schooling here, one is in 4th grade and the other in 2nd. We have been pleased with every teacher every year. The school offers a lot of after school activities through the well supported PTA. Its a great school with great kids, great teachers, and great administration.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 7, 2013

Hillcrest continues to meet whatever challenges comes its way - changing demographics, overcrowding, or an aging school. The principal is works hard and is supportive of the teachers, parents, and most of all the kids. The parents are active and engaged. Not every teacher is perfect, but the majority have enthusiasm and a true love of teaching and we have been lucky to get some of the best. I recommend if any parent has an issue with a specific teacher, that they address it with the teacher and principal. Posting here doesn't really help solve the problem.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 6, 2013

I agree with an earlier post about the parents being snobby. While this is definitely true, my main concern is the 2nd and 3rd grade teams. The teachers in those grades seem sub-par and I am very concerned about my child being "left behind" due to this situation. I know everyone is concerned about overcrowding but I think we have more serious, deeper issues at Hillcrest.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 6, 2013

My child is a 3rd grader at Hillcrest this year. 2nd grade was wonderful as the teacher really worked with my child and was receptive to my inquiries. 3rd grade is a different story. Teacher seems to no clear understanding of how to use Common Core and there is little to no evidence of differentiated instruction in the classroom. Concerned that my child is regressing instead of moving forward. Teacher seems unreceptive to parent concerns as no changes have been made to meet my child's needs. Homework is never checked yet we spend 30 minutes to an hour every night on it. Seems to be more busy work then anything else. Hope things change sooner then later for my child's sake.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 6, 2013

Both of my boys have gone here and I've been very happy with Hillcrest. I have found the teachers to be engaging and interested in helping my boys do the best that they can. To the parent who's concerned about teachers struggling with Common Core: you do realize that BCPS has not finished writing the curriculum for Common Core. Teachers are scrambling to make meaningful lesson plans because they literally do not know what they will be teaching in two weeks. Blame BCPS, not the teachers or Hillcrest Administration.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 19, 2013

Hillcrest Elementary School is one of the premier elementary schools in Baltimore County. High test scores are indicative of the excellent learning environment of the school. The principal is the unsung hero of the school. This is demonstrated by the excellent teaching staff and virtually no teacher turnover. The parent participation is envied by other schools. The PTA is very active and has a true partnership with the school. The PTA sponsors many events such as, Literature Night, Math & Science Night, International Night, all cultural assemblies, Fish release field trips, after school clubs and much much more. The school is currently overcrowded and projected to grow even larger in the future. The PTA has played an active role in bringing the overcrowding to the attention of BCPS and continues to work with the county on solutions.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 18, 2013

In the past 12 years, both of my children have attended and graduated from Hillcrest. Both were very well prepared in the GT program to succeed in middle school and beyond. The parental involvement at this school is STELLAR and provides much support for teachers and for student enrichment opportunities. Only one teacher we didn't love in all 12 years, and all the rest were excellent. The overenrollment at present is an unfortunate side effect of success. I'm not a native to the area and have made tons of friends here as have my kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 9, 2013

My daughter has been attending HES since kindergarden (now in second grade) and absolutely loves it. The school has active parents, a PTA second to none and the students are treated with the utmost respect. This school has great programs with the neighboring presbyterian church for before and after care which runs seamlessly.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 11, 2012

While I agree with the snobby parents, I have be enable to get over that. My child has definitely had an overall great experience after his first year. The school has kept me well informed about my child for the most part. my child has made plenty of friends and loved his teacher(s). He comes home everyday and has a lot to tell me about what he has learned. His home assignments were straight forward and I like that there were projects that kept myself involved by helping with the projects and being invited to watch classroom presentations. A lot of after school functions are held throughout the year and the kids really seem to enjoy these. The school always seems to be well maintained and clean. I see a big difference in my child's outlook on school since he started here. They have made learning fun for him and he has built the confidence he needs to succeed and has done so. We look forward to another year.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 23, 2011

The school has great MSA scores, but a lousy environment and too much focus on the MSAs rather than an education. The MSA focus is bordering on obsession. We have been at this school for several years now. We are utterly frustrated by the out of touch administration that views the parents hostilely, the horrible overcrowding, the over-emphasis on the MSAs and uneven teaching. The overcrowding has become a big issue even with a new addition to the school. With over 700 kids-which is more than the middle school has--it became clear to us at conferences that our child's teacher has absolutely no idea what the child is like beyond a set of scores in the gradebook because of the class size. There are around 34 kids in our childs reading class. The language arts homework for 3 years has had NO connection or relevance to what is being done in class. My child has in fact had the exact same homework in language arts every day for the entire year. So it's pretty tough to help them if they are stuck on something learned in class. If you want good MSA scores it's great, but not if you want broader skills and learning"
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 3, 2010

Unfortunately, leadership is lacking at this school and the teaching my child received was very uneven. Personal experience with some teaching staff was extremely unprofessional. This school's rigid policies don't allow any choice or options when teachers aren't meeting your child's need. The principal is doing very little to recruit the best new teachers.
—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 74% in 2014.

100 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
98%

2013

 
 
95%

2012

 
 
99%

2011

 
 
>=95%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2014.

123 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
98%

2013

 
 
98%

2012

 
 
99%

2011

 
 
>=95%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Maryland used the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math, and grades 5 and 8 in science. The MSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Maryland. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Maryland State Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 81% in 2014.

130 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
96%

2013

 
 
99%

2012

 
 
99%

2011

 
 
>=95%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 86% in 2014.

102 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
97%

2013

 
 
98%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
>=95%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Maryland used the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math, and grades 5 and 8 in science. The MSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Maryland. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Maryland State Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 73% in 2014.

135 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
95%

2013

 
 
97%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
>=95%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 89% in 2014.

136 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
96%

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
>=95%
Science

The state average for Science was 64% in 2014.

136 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
85%

2013

 
 
87%

2012

 
 
85%

2011

 
 
88%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Maryland used the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math, and grades 5 and 8 in science. The MSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Maryland. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Maryland State 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 State average
White 71% 42%
Black 13% 35%
Hispanic 6% 12%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 5% 6%
Two or more races 5% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 23%N/A42%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students School counslor
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
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment

Arts & music

Music
  • Instrumental music lessons

Language learning

Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs
School leaders can update this information here.

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Programs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • School counslor
Extra learning resources offered
  • Counseling
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Parent involvement
  • Join PTO/PTA
School leaders can update this information here.

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1500 Frederick Rd
Baltimore, MD 21228
Phone: (410) 887-0820

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