As a former student of Hillside, I have to say that it was one of the best things my parents could have chosen for me. It is a wonderful balance of structure and freedom; core classes give students the necessary education while electives allow them to be in charge of their own curiosity. The students are given a huge sense of independence, whether it be from being able to choose from several aesthetic classes, or simply from having the ability to walk to class alone. I am now going into my second year of college, and I have found myself closely comparing the choices that university offers to 20-year-olds to those that I had as a 10-year-old. Something like emphasizing the geometry behind origami folds, or having a guest speak about epilepsy to a group of 5th graders, many would see no point in it, but Hillside saw potential. The teachers and the administration take full advantage of a child's retentive mind and put an incredible amount of effort and creativity into a program that makes students eager to learn and explore.
Hi, this is my daughter's first half year and we're loving it. The teachers and office staff has helped her in several ways. She's caught on well to the system of Hillside School, continuing to be organized and self-motivated and last but not least has made many friends! I wish everyone the best success and we love your great work! Best Regards, The Robinson Family
Hillside has enlightened my daughter to the point where she actually WANTS to go to school. They have amazing programs that the other Montclair Schools do not offer. The academics are rigorous and can be explored even further through the CI program. The CI program offers classes in every category, from math to tap dance to writing and visual arts. This school has a unique approach that looks at the whole child, incorporating an enriching program that actually strengthens my daughters academic performance.
Hillside School is an amazing experience for almost any child. Whether the child excels in academics, performing arts or athletics, there is an advanced or in-depth class offering. The children can try new classes each cycle (3 each year) and are exposed to things most elementary school aged children don't experience. Examples are, chemistry (3rd graders!) - a truly fun class that introduces the children to chemistry using a hands on approach. This introduction has gotten my daughter excited and interested in chemistry. She has also enjoyed taking dance as her gym class (you can choose from many, such as, gymnastics, rock climbing, phys ed, etc.) Each of the aesthic classes work this way...music, choose chorus, drums, keyboards, and many others. The kids also love the movement of going from class to class. It gives them a fresh start 8 times daily. No more doldrums!
all of the amazing electives! From drama to volcanoes, to photography to playwriting, kids can learn about anything!
I relocated to Montclair from Atlanta and was quite worried about which school to place my daughter but I chose Hillside because of its Arts concentration. I am so pleased with the administration and staff at Hillside.They're caring, attentive, friendly and really want to address each child's needs. My daughter loves it and doesn't even think about her old school in Atlanta anymore.
Have had several kids at Hillside. The arts and music are terrific, as are the special programming for advanced language arts and math. Basic academic were OK - too much focus on bringing up the bottom third to manage test scores. Overall a good experience but stay engaged!
A pretty committed staff that is sometimes overwhelmed by the number and variety of students. Two basics teachers helps give proper emphasis to math and science along with language arts. Some great elective courses for qualified students. Terrific orchestra and drum corps.
My son joined Hillside in the 4th grade. It begins in 3rd grade and I was concerned that the size of the school would be a detriment to him. He has thrived there. The teachers are exceptional, the art and drama and music courses are the best in the district. I think that the leadership of the school is not up to par with the other schools and the test scores were not exceptional.
Wonderful assortment of electives, but core classes and requirements such as foreign language, music and phys ed ultimately restrict choices. Nonetheless, my son is thoroughly enjoying 'Causes of the Civil War' and 'NASA' among other electives.
Hillside School offers excellent facilities, however for a Gifted & Talented Magnet School, Hillside does a poor job supporting a truly gifted child with low self-esteem in developing true friendships.
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.
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.
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