Raising The Bar: The Hillside School

Accreditation has always been important to The Hillside School, an independent K-8 school founded 34 years ago to help children with language-based learning disabilities reach their full potential.
“We’ve always been accredited through Middle States,” said Donna Henry, Head of School. “It’s something we take seriously and work diligently to accomplish.”
Recently, the school achieved reaccreditation through the Sustaining Excellence protocol, which Henry said was a perfect fit for Hillside because of its focus on action research. Hillside’s research is focusing on effective writing instruction for students with language-based learning disabilities.
Additionally, the colloquium component required under Sustaining Excellence fit with the school’s goals.
“One of our goals is not only to be a leader in the field of learning disabilities, but to also educate the broader community about them,” Henry said.
Students attending Hillside, located in Lower Macungie, Pa., come from over 20 school districts and nine counties. While bright and creative, Hillside student may experience a range of language-based disabilities.
“Hillside students are intelligent children who learn differently than their peers and therefore need a different approach to match their learning style,” Henry said.
Hillside provides students differentiated and explicit, multi-sensory programs delivered in a small group setting of eight students per class. Students acquire the ability to understand their own unique learning needs and are challenged to learn “how to learn.”
An emphasis on demystifying individual learning profiles and securing the tools and strategies essential for success as life-long learners are key to the Hillside mission.
“When we see students finally feel the joy in learning, that’s the best,” Henry said.
 

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