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Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA view map
All Boys, No Religious Affiliation
Standards and expectations are the guideposts for success at Hillside School. Our boys learn to embrace the School’s core values of compassion, determination, honesty, respect and fun at Hillside and beyond. These values prepare them for lives of meaning and purpose. Our boys’ efforts in achieving the Hillside core values are measured using our Shades of Blue system. This communication system monitors student progress and behavior, brings attention to areas of concern, and often prevents small issues from escalating. Shades of Blue is essential to Hillside’s effort to keep parents informed of their son’s academic and behavioral success and areas of challenge.
Hillside faculty draw upon their deep experience of knowing how boys learn, to meet every student at his individual learning threshold. Academics are thoughtfully designed to accommodate a spectrum of learning styles, from complex and accelerated courses, to programs designed for English as a Second Language students, to coursework that supports bright boys with particular areas of learning difficulty. One key characteristic of Hillside academic life is our shared commitment to teaching boys lifelong learning skills. They master how to take notes, read a text, study, and conduct research -- so that when they graduate, they are genuinely and deeply prepared to tackle the challenges of their future learning.
Athletics promote group cooperation, socialization, self-confidence, school spirit, and play, as well as good physical, mental, and emotional health, all of which are essential to a child’s development. The Hillside Athletic Program strives to instill sportsmanship, integrity, and effort through student participation. Coaches also emphasize value development.
Hillside’s nurturing environment provides the vital support every boy needs to learn and mature. Our graduates emerge as confident, independent learners and valued members of their communities.
404 Robin Hill Road, Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA
Director of Admission:
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Summary: At Hillside, we know that 150 (commonly known as Dunbar’s Number) “appears to be the maximum number of individuals with whom we can have a genuine social relationship, the kind where we know who they are and how they relate to us.” Our School is built upon this principle; our student body always numbers within that range. Students and their teachers, house parents, and advisors all know each other and have a deep and abiding relationship.
Knowing the intimacy of Hillside’s size, visitors to campus might be surprised to see the range of facilities, in academics, athletics, activities, and the arts. Our students are actively encouraged to pursue – or to develop – important skills in such wide-ranging offerings as Mandarin and lacrosse, hockey and rocketry, Computer Media and Peace Education, Leadership and golf, Farm Immersion and Economics.
Some students come to Hillside already energized by a particular facet of their own imagination. For others, it is during these pivotal years that they are first exposed to new talents and opportunities. We believe in the compelling power of passion. A young man’s passions will undoubtedly evolve over time. But we are convinced of the lifelong value of developing a capacity for such passion.
Classes rarely number more than 12 and the average student-teacher ratio is 7:1. We offer small-group tutorials in Organization and Language Arts, Social Skills and Mathematics. Students learn how to organize not only their belongings, but also their time and thinking. They acquire note-taking and outlining techniques, and amass clues to effective text analysis. One unique aspect of Hillside’s tutorial program is that boys attend during their “flex periods;” they don’t miss any academic subjects while they meet. Specialists work side by side with the boys, examining their learning styles and addressing weaker areas while building on their strengths. Through academic assignments, specialists tailor strategies that will help each boy learn best. They communicate openly with classroom teachers, so everyone is working together to best support the boys.
Department Director: Richard Eyster
Average Class Size: 10
Full Time Teachers: 35
Teachers Holding Advanced Degrees: 38.00%
Student/Teacher Ratio: 7/1
Summary: Hillside School provides a structured, supportive, and challenging academic environment for boys in grades five through nine. Boarding and day students enjoy a rich curriculum that also includes a vibrant visual and performing arts program and competitive athletics. The School's unique academic and leadership program, "Shades of Blue," builds character, while holding students accountable to our core values. The cohesiveness of our community is our hallmark.
Clear, consistent standards and expectations are key at Hillside. Our Shades of Blue system rewards students’ exemplary performance, while also identifying areas of concern before they escalate. The system fosters open communication with parents, so they remain aware of their son’s academic and social progress, as well as areas of challenge.
Advisor groups serve as “families” within the Hillside community. Mentors work side by side with small clusters of boys throughout the year, as they share in achievements and challenges. Advisors discuss areas for improvement and praise accomplishments, sharing Shades of Blue evaluations with advisees every two weeks. Students who model core values, such as respect for others, receive our Bulldog of the Week and Bulldog of the Term awards. Community support propels all of our students to reach the highest levels of Shades of Blue and, in doing so, to realize their full potential as students and as individuals.
Hillside’s nurturing environment provides the structure and security that middle school boys need to learn, mature, and to gain a lifelong foundation of compassion and self-esteem. Faculty experienced in meeting each boy at his own level of personal development offer guidance as he navigates the uncertain world of early adolescence.
Department Director: Kevin Hundley
Number of Dorms: 6
Average Students Per Dorm: 16
No. of Boys Dorms: 6
Dress Code: Formal
Summary: Hillside’s heart is its boarding program, which provides a warm “home away from home” for boys who live on campus either five or seven days a week. Living at Hillside offers students a wealth of opportunities for learning responsibility and cooperation. Many quickly learn that whether their housemates are from Boston or Beijing, they have much to offer each other. Having many faculty members and administrators live on campus forms a neighborhood in which adults, skilled in interacting with young boys, and in tune with their interests and concerns, are a consistently nurturing presence.
House parents awaken their young charges in the morning, making sure they are dressed properly and fulfill their house responsibilities. Student leaders who have been chosen as prefects and proctors also play a vital role in the houses, helping new boys acclimate to life at Hillside and serving as role models. Proper manners and hygiene receive particular attention, and boys keep their personal space and the common areas clean, out of a sense of shared responsibility and personal pride. Regular “house challenges” include friendly competitive activities, from Foursquare and tennis baseball games, to the “cleanest house” competition.
Hillside’s weekend offerings take full advantage of the many enjoyable enrichment activities afforded by the School’s proximity to historic, cultural and sporting amenities in nearby Boston and surrounding towns. Students also have time to relax with friends or enjoy on-campus activities at the Farm, pool, library, fields, or the gym.
Clubs and Organizations
Summary: At Hillside, athletics and sportsmanship are essential to the development of each student, and a vital part of his character education. Coaches stand steadfast by their players’ sides as they learn important life lessons through sports, from the satisfaction of scoring a goal to the disappointment of a missed play. The mark of a Hillside athlete is the grace with which he approaches either one.
The focus of coaching at Hillside is not just to win, but to use athletics as another way to reinforce the School’s core values, as well as encourage structure, motivation and independence. Commitment to a team, giving one’s best effort, and sporting a good attitude when encountering new challenges are as integral to the experience as any literal goals. While boys are required to participate in at least one competitive sport each year, Hillside recognizes that not all boys favor team sports. We also offer non-competitive options each season such as intramurals, Eco Team, skiing, snowboarding, drama, and sailing.
At Hillside, students are encouraged to take risks, support each other, and make their impression on the world around them. The Visual and Performing Arts curriculum at Hillside gives every boy an outlet for creative expression, teaching him to appreciate the value of diverse cultural influences, but also unique perspectives within his own peer group.
The Visual Arts program at Hillside inspires students to explore new methods of communication through mediums as varied as cubist painting, throwing pottery, or engineering Pitsco cars. They learn about the contributions of historical and contemporary artists like Seurat, Picasso, and Goldsworthy by emulating their work and applying their techniques.
Students develop their musical knowledge and appreciation through the study of composition and performance. The Performing Arts curriculum ranges from research projects about the great composers, to students’ own compositions using multimedia software.
Athletics Department Director: Tim McCarthy
Colleges attended in the past 5 years by our graduates:
Middle Percentile of SAT Scores
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