Overview

Hillside Elementary School's gifted and talented magnet program presumes ALL children have special gifts and talents and that it is our responsibility to identify and nurture those talents. Hillside School offers classes for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Due to the wide variety of choices at Hillside, students of all abilities, interests and backgrounds are able to discover areas in which they will excel.

Our school day begins at 9:10 am and the day ends at 3:35 pm; early dismissal days end at 2:10 pm. There are 8 periods per day and each period is 40 minutes long. Five periods a day are sent with a Basic team for instruction in language arts, math, science, & social studies. The remaining 3 periods are for lunch and elective classes.

The academic year is divided into 3 cycles. Students have a different elective schedule for each cycle. Hillside uses “A” days and “B” days which each run for 3 consecutive days. Each student has a different schedule on “A” and “B” days, which allows them to take 4 Aesthetic/CI courses per cycle. An announcement is made each morning to let students know if it's an “A” or “B” day. This might sound a bit confusing for you, but don't worry the kids always figure it out!

Basic classes refer to language arts, math, science, social studies, and response to intervention (RTI), which are taught by teachers working in teams of two. Typically there are four teams per grade (8 teachers). Your child will be assigned to one team of Basics teachers for the entire academic year. Their homeroom teacher will either teach Math/Science or Language Arts/Social Studies and the switch teacher will deliver instruction for the other two subjects.

Students take two elective classes everyday. These could be Aesthetics, which are open to ALL students or "Creative Intellect” classes, which offer advanced instruction in a particular subject. CI classes require pre-screening and only eligible students are enrolled in these courses. Once you test into a CI, you will always be eligible to take a CI class in that subject.

As part of their elective selection (in a given school year), each student must take three cycles of a Physical Education (traditional physical education, dance, or gymnastics) as well as one cycle of a visual or performing arts class and one cycle of a technology class.

All Aesthetic and CI classes enrich the basic curriculum but do not replace it. These elected classes simply allow students who have a special interest or aptitude for a particular subject to pursue it to its fullest, enriching their academic experience.

Through the Aesthetics and CI's program, students have a variety of opportunities as we offer core subject electives, Mandarin and Spanish language classes. Our Instrumental Music Program includes the Hillside Philharmonic (orchestra), a multi-level percussion program inclusive of our Drums of Thunder. Physical Education is a required elective that can be fulfilled by taking any one of our gymnastic, dance, or physical education classes. Our Drama Program has something for just about everyone, even the student who isn't interested in performing! Course offerings include creative dramatics, Play Production, and Traveling Troupe. Other dynamic electives include courses at are apart of our chorus program or extensive art program.

Third grade students eat lunch in the cafeteria with only 3rd grade students during 6th period, which is from 1:17 to 2:04. Half of the students go outside while the other half eat lunch, then they switch. Because 3rd graders have the latest lunch they are given time in the morning for a snack.

Hillside has a full range of Special Education Programs from in class support to self-contained classrooms being offered in all three grade-levels. The programs are individualized to meet ALL students' needs and are developed by a Child Study Team to establish the individualized education plan (IEP).

Annual school-wide events include a winter & spring concerts, science fair, international night, field day, student council, and a host of other offerings.

MAKERSPACE – In the 2018-2019 school year we will continue to work toward establishing a building based MakerSpace that will support Science-Technology-Engineering-Art- Math (STEAM) curriculum. A MakerSpace is a physical place that brings together students, teachers, and community members. A location in the school building that contains tools and materials to support curriculum initiatives. This learning environment will nurture creativity, risk-taking, and ideas that will change the world. The educational philosophy of this learning environment embodies a “Growth Mindset”; ones' capabilities will be developed, improved upon, and expanded through successes and failures. This mindset will teach students to adapt and contribute to a world that is constantly changing. Ultimately asking students, “What can you do with what you know?” Experiences in the MakerSpace will include exploratory projects inclusive of skill building and getting to know how materials function; applied projects that are more involved and cross curricular; and portfolio projects that are student designed.

TECHNOLOGY - Technology is every changing and so are we! Hillside currently has one technology lab where technology elective classes are held; this lab also offers open lab times in which teachers of Basic classes bring their students to. We currently have a proposal submitted to expand our technology space in the hopes of creating a technology hub for all to use. Laptop carts (sets of 30) are in regular rotation and afforded to all classes. Our devices range from MacBook Airs, Chrome Books, to iPads. Most classrooms are outfitted with Smart Boards for interactive learning. Our newest technological additions include three 3-D printers, which are operated by three teachers who are currently enrolled in Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software trainings. This software will be used for digital prototyping.

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