The goal of a Hill School education is to build character,
self-confidence, and scholarship through academic and
co-curricular excellence, individualized attention, and a strong sense of community.
Philosophy & Objectives
The school’s goal is to help children grow strong and happy. In doing so we prize certain abilities: the abilities to think, to demonstrate essential academic skills, to be curious and resourceful, to communicate with oneself and with others, to trust, to be grateful, to wonder. And we prize certain qualities: honesty, humility, empathy, and compassion.
To preserve or achieve these attributes, we believe that one must possess a sense of worth and a sense of belonging – a child who feels alienated or unsure will be neither a good citizen nor an efficient learner. Therefore the school’s first concern is to be a family, so that students may be secure enough to be able to appraise their own strengths and weaknesses, to risk succeeding and failing.
We believe that confidence derives partly from experience, therefore that students should have opportunities to participate in many and varied activities – academic, artistic, social, athletic – intimately and realistically. A class overnight camping trip is as integral to the curriculum as is long division, care of a salamander in the science lab as germane as learning how to study for a test. Students need not only to read and discuss plays, but write and act them; not only to listen to symphonies, but play instruments; not only to participate in sports, but compete in them. There should be time to practice as well as study democracy; time to teach, as well as be taught.
Students also need opportunities to make choices: simple choices – whether or not to attend carefully to today’s test review; and complex choices – whether or not to show disapproval of an irresponsible act by an important friend. They need freedom, often encouragement, to make such choices. Mistakes need to have as realistic consequences as possible, yet if adult intervention is required, it should be forth-right, but also sympathetic and optimistic. Similarly, responsible conduct should be rewarded as naturally as possible, but when necessary, with adult confirmation.
Finally, we recognize that the most sensible and ambitious philosophy is achieved only by parents and teachers who maintain high expectations of themselves and their children, who are patient, and who are not discouraged by failure, or afraid to love.
Hill School is committed to a Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8 education. We believe that early childhood education is a critical foundation for future growth and development. We are a community focused on children and developing their passion for lifelong learning. Our upper school students are leaders and models for younger students.
Hill School is united by a clear sense of mission. We live our mission every day, from our classrooms to our athletic fields and performing arts center. Our alumni make us proud and show that fostering a happy, healthy, challenging childhood promotes life success.
Hill School teachers are dedicated to their students. We are committed to working with every child. The school's 6:1 student/teacher ratio allows us to adjust and individualize the program to meet the needs of each child and, most importantly, to provide many opportunities for every student to discover a passion. Students and teachers build relationships that endure for years beyond the child's experience at Hill.
Hill School engages students throughout the curriculum. In addition to a strong academic program, the co-curricular offerings--art, music, drama, and athletics--are essential elements of a Hill School education. We provide an environment in which everyone participates.
Hill School promotes a strong and meaningful school community. We believe every child and every family deserve respect and care. Parents are an integral part of the school, working with teachers and administrators in the shared responsibility of fostering children who work hard, know themselves, and feel part of something greater than themselves.
Hill School uses its campus as a learning environment. Our Place Based Education program makes the 138 acre campus--including the Dornin Science Center, two ponds, meadows, woodlands, playing fields, and a walking trail--integral to the academic and co-curricular programs. We believe that developing an appreciation and understanding of the natural world should be part of every child’s education.
The best way to understand the value of the Hill School experience is to visit our campus and see firsthand what we do. We look forward to meeting you.